Is White Labeling Right for My Agency?
Agencies face an increasingly challenging environment between the heightened competition for consumers' attention and a multiplicity of channels and formats used for digital content. Technology is another element of that equation as machine learning and analytics allow marketers to deliver highly curated and personalized marketing content, redefining consumers' expectations.
Successful agencies do more than keep up with those changes. They become early adopters of new technologies and set trends. That requires considering new models to plan campaigns and create digital content.
White labeling is an attractive option due to its flexibility and scalability. Outsourcing tasks like content creation allows agencies to focus on what they do best: recruit the best talent for each project and support their clients' growth.
Outsourcing is a widely used model among businesses. With 62% of businesses outsourcing marketing, companies that still have a marketing team are becoming the exception. This trend is spreading to agencies since only 25% of marketers don't outsource any of their tasks.
Is white labeling right for you? There are some important considerations before adopting that model and some questions to ask yourself to make sure you outsource content creation successfully.
What does success mean for a digital campaign?
You need to have a thorough understanding of the goals, challenges, and benefits of digital marketing campaigns to decide whether it's something you can tackle with your current resources. Identifying goals and challenges also informs the planning process, including outsourcing.
These digital marketing trends are redefining what success looks like for marketers:
- The omnichannel experience. Consumers use multiple devices to access digital content. Ninety-eight percent of Americans use more than one device in a day, and 87% of consumers would like to see that brands deliver more seamless experiences. Creating an omnichannel experience means you have to provide quality content across different platforms while consolidating data across channels to offer a consistent experience.
- Multiplication of content format and type. Marketers need to develop plans with a broad scope to target the best way to deliver content for different user profiles. There are new formats to consider, including live videos, interactive ads, social media promotions, and more traditional formats like blog posts or white papers.
- Micro-moments. A successful digital campaign is a series of micro-moments when the consumer connects with the brand. You can create those micro-moments by tailoring content for a niche and delivering knowledge, emotion, and value. There is an emphasis on storytelling and crafting content for a niche or persona.
In light of those trends, you need to ask yourself whether you have the talent and resources needed to cover a broad scope of channels and digital content format and the technology to consolidate data about consumers' interactions to deliver an omnichannel experience.
What does it take to hire and train digital team members?
Businesses spend an average of $1,800 a year on training per employee. Digital marketing is a field where professional development is crucial due to new trends, new tools, and new tech-oriented skills. Ad programmatic could be the next trend that redefines how campaigns are planned and will require marketers to acquire a new set of skills.
The need for advanced technical skills to plan successful digital campaigns results in higher costs for agencies. For instance, adding a special talent like data science to your team could cost as much as $140,000 a year.
There are also risks associated with hiring new talent and investing in training. All employers are aware of millennials and the job-hopping trend. An estimated 60% of millennials are currently open to new opportunities.
An environment where employees have access to new opportunities and positive company culture can improve employee retention, but you can't completely eliminate those risks.
Can your agency invest in the technology needed to manage digital campaigns?
- Data-driven insights are a key component of a successful digital campaign. Here is why marketers need to use analytics and other tech-based tools:
- You need to develop advanced attribution models to understand better how consumers connect with a campaign.
- Data-driven insights help you develop more accurate buyer personas.
- Analytics gives you real-time visibility into how ads are performing to adjust how you use a campaign's budget.
- Tech-based tools are necessary for offering a personalized experience and showing the right piece of content at the right time.
- Using data allows marketers to automate a wide range of tasks, which results in a more effective campaign.
- Data and tech-based tools help you make better recommendations to clients and develop beneficial long-term partnerships that contribute to their success.
Agencies need to invest in tech-based tools to manage existing content, track performance, and optimize how to deliver content to consumers. This approach keeps consumers engaged and meets their expectations of finding content relevant to their journey and having a seamless experience across channels.
Investing in data and tech-based tools also gives you visibility over your digital campaigns. It's difficult to assess whether a client's budget is spent wisely or whether the content your team created resonates with the target audience without data-driven insights.
Will outsourcing result in lower costs?
The short answer is yes. For 59% of businesses outsourcing content creation is primarily a decision made to cut costs.
However, you will have to consider outsourcing on a case by case basis to estimate how that model would lower costs and potentially increase revenues.
Outsourcing is a lot more affordable than hiring an entire marketing team. A team that can navigate the modern digital landscape needs special talent and a wide range of skills for creating content and leveraging tech-based tools to get results.
It is imperative to work with multiple formats and channels and a need for robust data solutions that give visibility into the campaign or deliver curation and personalization capabilities. Those trends are here to stay and could keep driving up digital marketing costs in the future.
Because of those trends, agencies will see costs linked to training, hiring talent, and maintaining a portfolio of data and tech-based tools go up.
White labeling is a model your agency pays for as a service. This approach eliminates costs linked to hiring, training, administrative, and HR expenses. It also eliminates costs linked to maintaining an office where your marketing team works. As a general rule, paying for service costs less than supporting a full-time marketing team.
There are other considerations linked to cost. Expertise is crucial for the success of a digital campaign, but you will need different skillsets from one project to another.
Outsourcing makes you a lot more flexible. Instead of maintaining an entire team with a wide range of skills and experience, you can choose the best people for each project. Creating a unique team for each project means you can select professionals who have experience with a specific niche or hire an analytics specialist when you need that type of talent. You can bring in experts with a fresh perspective and find a balance between costs and expertise by hiring specialists to work on a small portion of a project.
Can you get better results with that approach? The answer is yes, as long as you outsource a project to the right team. Working with experts who can master a client's voice right away and have experience with a specific niche or who are comfortable with a channel or content format will yield better results.
Outsourcing the management aspect of a campaign can also result in a better outcome for your client if you don't have data experts on your team. It also gives you instant access to the new skills driving digital marketing trends. It has the potential to provide you and your clients a competitive edge by being early adopters.
What are the challenges and downsides of outsourcing digital content creation?
Just like with any other aspect of digital marketing campaign planning, there are some challenges to anticipate when you outsource content creation. There are different strategies you can use to address those challenges.
These are the main outsourcing challenges to anticipate:
- Outsourcing gives you access to a vast pool of talent. You need to coordinate communication with the different members of your team, who will work remotely. You need to keep everyone on the same page, assign tasks, and achieve a consistent result even though team members might never meet in person.
- White labeling adds layers to a project. Your client will communicate their goals and expectations to your agency but will not directly interact with content creators. Team members will only have the information you share with them, and you need to clearly communicate what the client expects and what the goals of the campaign are.
- Meeting deadlines can be a challenge when working with a remote team. It's best to have a team leader on your staff who can plan a campaign and make sure team members meet their goals on time.
- Hiring the right people is crucial for your campaign's success. You will have to review profiles and portfolios to determine who has the best skillset for your project. You need to identify the skills and background necessary for each project without letting talent selection become a time-consuming task.
- Budgeting is another challenge you might encounter. You need to provide clients with realistic quotes and outsource content creation without going over budget. A client's budget might determine who you can hire for the project and how much of their time the team members will spend on the project.
- How will you ensure quality for the finished product? You need to develop a robust editorial process and have a team manager provide feedback to team members. Outsourcing isn't a "set it and forget it" process. You will get better results if you build strong work relationships with an agency or freelancers.
Will outsourcing allow my team to focus on core competencies?
One of the benefits of white labeling is that it frees up time for other tasks. Your full-time marketing team can outsource some tasks and spend their time on the things they excel at.
There is a simple recipe for building a successful agency. Know what you do well and what sets you apart from your competition. Focus on those competencies and look at them as a strategic advantage.
You might decide to specialize in digital content creation for a specific channel or have your team work with one or two formats and outsource other content-creation tasks. You might develop a business model for outsourcing all content creation, and your team focuses on campaign planning and analytics.
Regardless of what you decide to outsource, you will have more time for the workflows that help your agency grow. This includes client acquisition. You can also spend more time and resources on working with clients to understand better what they want or develop campaigns that will help them grow in the long-term.
The success of an outsourced digital marketing campaign depends on your ability to pick the right people for the project. This flexible approach gives you access to a huge pool of talents, but the potential benefits can turn into a drawback if choosing talent is too time-consuming or if you don't outsource to experts with the right skills.
The best way to approach white labeling is to form long-term partnerships. Partner with an agency or form a team of freelancers you can call on for your different projects.
Forming long-term partnerships allows you to get to know different content creators and become familiar with their unique talents, skills, and experience. After a while, you will instantly know who is best suited to create a specific piece of content and help your clients reach their goal.
The Moran Group could be the right white labeling partner for you. Our team members possess experience and expertise in a wide range of areas, including SEM, SEO, retargeting, social, video, and email. We can help you gain visibility over your project with tech tools that use visual data, and our proven strategies have helped our clients achieve their goals in a wide range of industries.