7 Step Guide to Outsourcing Marketing in 2024


6 steps to outsourcing your marketing

The Great Resignation left countless companies scrambling to fill vacated, full-time marketing positions. And while the trend of workers quitting their full-time jobs tapered off by about mid-2023, many companies today still feel budget-challenged to hire a full-blown, in-house marketing team. 

This is where outsourcing can be a viable option.

Let’s look at exactly what it means to outsource marketing services, the pros and cons, and how you can make this work for your company. 

What it means to outsource marketing

Outsourcing your marketing refers to the practice of hiring external professionals or agencies to execute some or all of your company’s marketing activities. This includes tasks such as creating content, managing social media accounts, running advertising campaigns, and conducting market research.

When companies outsource marketing, they benefit from the expertise and resources of external specialists without having to hire a full-time marketing team. This can help companies save time and money while still achieving their marketing goals.

Outsourcing marketing can also provide businesses with flexibility and scalability. For example, if a company wants to launch a new product or enter a new market, it can quickly scale up its marketing efforts by outsourcing to a team of professionals who specialize in that specific deliverable.  

Marketing can be wholly outsourced, entirely in-house, or a combination of the two. This flexibility is possible because marketing agencies typically offer broad expertise across a comprehensive range of services.

Pros and cons of outsourced marketing services

As with any business decision, there can be pros and cons.

On the one hand, companies have the opportunity to contract with outside experts who are highly skilled in executing marketing services for optimal results. Outsourcing marketing services is also typically less expensive than hiring a team because companies are not required to cover benefits and offer other employee perks for contract help. Another pro? Companies often don’t have to onboard costly marketing tools and software resources because the agency utilizes their own. Finally, there can be significant time and productivity savings for companies in that business leaders and employees can focus on what they do best and leave expert marketing execution to a trained team. 

On the other hand, there can be a perceived or real risk of losing control over the marketing process when outsourcing all or part of a marketing function. And, as can always be the case, if there is miscommunication between the agency team and the client team–and objectives and expectations are not clearly relayed–a project can break down. 

what to consider when deciding what component of your marketing you should outsource

When should you outsource marketing?

Here are a few scenarios where your company would benefit from outsourced marketing services:

  • Business is growing. Your company wants to maintain momentum through online marketing.
  • You want to accelerate growth.
  • You and your employees are pressed for time and don’t have enough bandwidth to execute successful campaigns.
  • You want to focus on insights rather than operations.
  • You want your marketing to be in the hands of experts.
  • You want a unified marketing strategy.
  • You want to get ahead of the competitive curve.

What part of your marketing should you outsource?

Again, you don’t have to outsource every component of your marketing. You could outsource:

And any other element of your marketing or PR.

types of content you should outsource

A helpful determiner of what you might be wise to outsource is a thoughtful consideration of your in-house workload, team/individual skill sets, and timelines to complete. 

Are you curious about the more specific advantages of outsourcing different elements of your marketing? Here’s a quick breakdown:

Content Marketing Outsourcing

  • Helps position your brand as an informative thought leader.
  • Creates more relevant and engaging content for your ideal customer. 
  • Increases the quality and quantity of your content output.
  • Streamlines the content creation process.
  • Allows for new insights and platforms to help your content stay fresh.
  • Accelerates full funnel marketing collateral production to impact the buy cycle and help create faster MQL to SQL conversions. 

Email Marketing Outsourcing

  • Increases automation and personalization based on a user’s behavior.
  • Streamlines email marketing delivery and timing.
  • Ensures you’re not breaking any laws regarding unsubscribes, unsolicited emails, or spam.
  • Assists in a well-planned “drip campaign.”

Influencer Marketing Outsourcing

  • Establishes your brand as a trustworthy and credible industry leader.
  • Creates long-term relationships with influential members of the public and/or your given industry.
  • Boosts your website’s SEO and ROI by connecting with a wider audience.
  • Builds a community around your business via social media channels

Social Media Marketing Outsourcing

  • Grows brand awareness.
  • Focuses on one or many social media platforms.
  • Automates postings.
  • Utilizes social media experts who follow trends, ignite interest, and keep your marketing current and accessible. 

Now, without further ado, here’s your 7-step guide to marketing outsourcing:

  1. Decide if you’ll go the agency or freelancer route

How do you know if an outsourced marketing agency or freelancer is best for you?

Here’s a comparison of the two:


  • Typically charge an hourly rate or bills by project. Trackable with a time tracker for freelancers.
  • Often offers wider availability from standard business hours.
  • As a client, you usually communicate with one individual.
  • Likely working on other/multiple projects in addition to yours.
  • May have a specialty/expertise.


  • Typically bill on a monthly basis.
  • Availability during standard business hours.
  • As a client, you usually communicate with one point of contact.
  • Are likely working on multiple projects and with multiple clients.
  • Able to provide both depth and breadth of expertise.
deciding between an agency or freelancer when outsourcing marketing
  1. Establish a budget

Establishing your budget can help clarify whether your organization should use a freelancer or an agency that specializes in outsourced marketing.

Take into account considerations such as: 

  • How much time and money keeping activities in-house are costing you. It’s hard to get an exact amount, but if you begin with your staff’s salaries and calculate how much time they’re spending on the activities you’ll be outsourcing, you can get a general read of the resources you’ll (theoretically) be freeing up.
  • How long you’ll be working with the freelancer or agency. Are you outsourcing a single campaign that will be completed within a month? Or are you looking for a long-term partnership?
  • Any potential savings from tools, contractors, or other services that you will no longer need once you begin working with the freelancer/agency.


  1. Nail down your marketing requirements

Before entering the search phase, you should nail down your organization’s marketing requirements and priorities. What marketing initiatives are most important to you at this time? Is it a website redesign? Creating a social media presence? Refining your SEO strategy?

If you already have some form of an in-house marketing team, consider their strengths and weaknesses. What are they managing well? What are they struggling with? How can outsourcing marketing complement, rather than replace, your in-house team?


  1. Start your search


Searching for agencies

When looking into marketing agencies, LinkedIn is an excellent resource. You can search for agencies directly and also reach out to your connections about whom they use for outsourced marketing. These kinds of referrals can go a long way in the vetting process. Look at current marketing campaigns that appeal to you and would be a solid match for your project. Which agencies created those campaigns?

After getting agency names, reach out either directly, through their website, or on a platform like LinkedIn to start a conversation.

What should you look for in a marketing agency?

Here are some things to consider when researching agencies for outsourced marketing services:

  • Recognition, contributions, and influence: Is this agency an active member of their industry?
  • Multitalented: Does this agency have experience working with a variety of clients in your industry?
  • Reputation: Can you find outside reviews of this agency? What are others saying about it?
  • Response time: How long did it take for this agency to get back to you? Were they quick to respond or slow?

and …

Partnership: Does this agency strike you as a good fit for your needs in an overall sense? Can you envision smooth collaboration and effective communication? Pay attention to how they address potential customers through blog posts, website copy, and other content. Are they approachable? Knowledgeable? Interested in collaborating, rather than potentially controlling?

what you should look for in an agency you will outsource your marketing to

Searching for freelancers

Here’s how you can search for freelancers who specialize in outsourced marketing services:

  • Post a job on LinkedIn and other professional sites.
  • Post on social media groups and professional platforms.
  • Research existing bloggers in your industry by looking at the authors of blog posts and articles you like.


What should you look for in a freelancer?

Here are considerations when reviewing a freelancer:

  • Experience: Do they have experience in the given industry? 
  • Skills: Do they have the right skills you are looking for?
  • Reliability: Do they have any outside reviews, or are they willing to share references?
  • Contracts and payments: How do they set up engagements? Are payments on a schedule and platform you can work with?

Ultimately, you want an agency or freelancer that is compatible with your company. Again, consider how the working partnership would assist your marketing plan and make your campaign run more smoothly and effectively.

  1. Give clear instructions

After deciding on your agency or freelancer, let the work begin!

To get started on the right foot, it is important to give ultra-clear instructions. Provide as much information as possible. You could even send over examples of what you’re envisioning.

By offering specifics and outlining expectations and concise information for all avenues of the marketing campaign, time and energy will be better focused. Be sure to explain your target audience in detail, too.

It’s so much more effective to begin strong and stay the course rather than endure repeated dead ends and misunderstandings. It can be difficult to get back on the correct trajectory if the initial work to be completed is not clear.

  1. Integrate your in-house marketing team via collaboration 

Be sure to champion collaboration between the hired hands and your in-house team by making sure that your team is able to offer ideas and input along the way. Keep the communication channels open and free-flowing and position it in a way that your team understands the benefit of learning from the expertise of the agency/freelancer professionals. The opinions of your team matter, so minimize hard feelings and promote positive integration practices. Serve as a role model in how this is done, in meetings and in the review of the work.  

  1. Monitor progress on an ongoing basis—but don’t micromanage

In the early stages of your partnership, be prepared to monitor the agency or freelancer’s progress while avoiding micromanaging. Open communication is key, but giving your experienced marketing agency or freelancer room to do their creative best is exactly why you hired them.

Let them perform their best work by paying close attention to the process without overwhelming them with unnecessary pressure or too much oversight.

Tools to help seamlessly outsource marketing

  1. Upwork

Upwork is one of the most popular platforms for finding freelancers and agencies for outsourcing marketing. You can post a job and receive proposals from qualified professionals who meet your requirements. You can also review their portfolios, ratings, and reviews to make an informed decision. Upwork also offers collaboration and payment tools to streamline your outsourcing process.

  1. Fiverr

Fiverr is another popular platform for outsourcing marketing tasks. You can find freelancers who specialize in various marketing disciplines, such as SEO, social media, content marketing, and graphic design. Fiverr offers fixed-price services and packages, making it easy to budget and scale your outsourcing. You can also communicate and collaborate with your freelancers through Fiverr’s messaging system.

  1. Hubstaff Talent

Hubstaff Talent is a free platform that connects businesses with remote workers from around the world. You can search for freelancers who have expertise in marketing and other fields. Hubstaff Talent also provides tools for tracking your freelancer’s work hours and ensuring accountability. You can also use Hubstaff Talent to manage payments and contracts.

Still unsure if outsourcing marketing is right for you? Reach out to Zen Media today for more guidance. We are happy to share our expertise.



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