DIY Marketing vs. Hiring an Agency: What’s Right for You?

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By Bill Fukui

A thriving digital presence is essential to the success of your practice. A website alone may have sufficed a decade ago. In today’s online environment, a healthy digital presence includes a website, social media, mobile performance, search engine optimization, paid ads, online reviews and more.

So what online spaces does your business occupy? Do you want to expand your reach to attract new patients? Perhaps you have a knack for technology and a desire to cut costs, and want to venture into DIY marketing opportunities. If you choose that route, beware. There are some challenges when bringing all of your marketing in-house.

DIY Marketing: Will It Pay Off Given the Time You Put In?

When working with a digital marketing agency, you are entrusting specialized work to experts. When you bring some of those duties in-house, your biggest consideration should be your time. Ask yourself:

  • Do you have time to learn about effective marketing strategies?
  • Do you have time to execute those strategies?
  • Can you deliver an engaging mix of content to inform and attract your desired audience?
  • Are you able to identify and analyze key performance indicators so you can measure success?
  • Can you measure the return on your investment of time when evaluating new leads you have attracted through DIY marketing?

Digital marketing specialists do all this and more. That being said, it may make sense to dedicate some of your time in addition to hiring specialists. Below, we discuss some of the opportunities to do so.

Delegating Specialized Work to the Experts

Your marketing strategy must be much more robust than a one-and-done, static website. Instead, you should think of digital marketing as a wide array of activities designed to reach new patients.

As you consider your marketing strategy in 2019, ask yourself whether you have the time and skill to dedicate to the following activities.

  • Website Design and Development: Drag-and-drop templates from website builders like Wix and SqaureSpace may sound economical and easy to use, but they have limited capability in the areas of search engine optimization, customization, monitoring of activity and recording of leads.
  • Social Media: Social media seems like a no-brainer, right? Not so fast. The power and prominence of social media platforms mean you need a sophisticated approach. Social media specialists help your practice build a brand voice that is consistent across all social platforms. They track the performance of individual posts and engagement in general. They manage paid ad campaigns on Facebook. They manage your social reputation. That being said, you can help your social content stand out by writing your own posts and sharing relevant images, which is a great DIY marketing opportunity.
  • SEO: Keeping your website optimized for high search engine rankings remains essential. A search engine optimization specialist researches the keywords people are using to search for you and your competitors. They know how to track the performance of your web pages, how to implement the latest strategies and how to adapt to algorithm updates. Most importantly, they have the time to stay on top of the latest developments and strategies for effective SEO. 
  • Content: Really great content is vital to your online presence. It signals authority to search engines, demonstrates expertise to your audience and attracts new patients to the business. Pages, blogs, articles, visual content, videos – these are all elements of a robust content strategy. You may have time and the knowledge to participate in the content marketing of your practice, but to do it right requires a lot of time and effort on an ongoing basis. Most doctors don’t have the time to handle all of this on their own.

The above are just a few examples of what is required in digital marketing. 

Conclusion

A successful digital marketing strategy requires time and expertise. You need to ask yourself if you have the time and expertise to execute effective online marketing. If the answer is no, you may want to consider hiring specialists to either: a) fill in the gaps where your time and expertise are insufficient, or b) handle all aspects of your digital presence and digital advertising so that you can focus on providing care to your patients. 

Enlisting marketing services does cost money, but remember that your time is your money. Weigh the ROI of DIY marketing against the benefits of hiring a specialized team. You may see opportunities where you can contribute, but in most cases, you will be better served by hiring dedicated experts to handle the bulk of your online marketing.

Bill Fukui is the Vice President of Sales and Marketing at Page 1 Solutions, LLC. Page 1 Solutions is a full-service digital marketing agency serving dentists, attorneys, and doctors throughout North America. Bill can be reached at BillF@Page1Solutions.com