Recently, I have spoken a lot about bringing your Digital Marketing back in-house. I explained why insourcing might make more sense than outsourcing for many organizations and compared the costs of doing your marketing versus paying an external marketing agency for it.
At this point, you might say to yourself: "Hannah, that is all well and good. But I hired an external team because they know what they are doing, and I don't." I hear you! I have been a marketing professional for more than twenty years now and I still find myself in meetings where newly hired fractional CMOs or Marketing VPs introduce the new marketing strategy like this:
Image Source: Marketoonist. Used with license.
Listening to marketing professionals can sometimes sound like listening to a Gen Z texting. But the truth is: Digital Marketing isn't complicated. At least, it doesn't have to be. Is it hard work? Yes, for sure. Is there a learning curve? You bet. Can your team learn how to do it? Absolutely.
What Is Involved When Bringing Your Digital Marking In-House?
There are five key areas we need to cover when discussing what you will need to do to set your in-house marketing team up for success:
- Can My Current Internal Marketing Team Take Over The Responsibility?
- What Roles Do You Have To Hire/Fill & When?
- How Do I Develop The Skills Needed?
- How Do I Make Sure I Am Doing It Right?
- What Additional Tools Do I Need?
In this article, we focus only on practicalities. Of course, you will also need executive buy-in and sponsorship, sales and marketing team alignment, and cultivating an internal culture shift that obsesses about answering your customers' questions. We will discuss these topics in other posts in the coming weeks.
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Can My Current Internal Marketing Team Take Over The Responsibility?
The first question you will need to answer is: "Who is going to do the work?" Depending on the size of your organization and your current digital marketing retainer agreement, having someone on your team take over could be an option.
But here is the thing: as marketers within an organization, especially in companies smaller than $5 million in revenue, we tend to wear multiple (if not already too many) hats. Sometimes, the business owner, CEO, or another manager has been coordinating with the marketing agency, and there isn't even a dedicated marketing person/team currently employed.
Whether you are retraining a current employee or hiring a new resource, the most critical thing is that they are SOLELY focused on creating content or shooting videos. For your new content marketer, this means they will focus on three helpful pieces of content (mainly blog posts) a week. This also means they cannot help you "prepare for an upcoming conference," "quickly write a brochure," or "edit your presentation." They must be allowed to wear one hat and one hat only.
What Roles Do You Have To Hire/Fill & When?
The next questions usually are, "What roles do I need to fill?" and "By when do I need to make the hire?" Let's have a look at each of the roles and when to hire for them.
Content Marketing Manager (Full-Time)
One of the first roles you will want to fill is your content marketer. This person interviews your subject matter experts, writes blog posts and other content assets, as well as optimizes, edits, and publishes the content. This person heads up your content strategy, leads your revenue team meetings, and keeps a tab on the editorial calendar containing the customer questions to be answered in the blog posts.
This role should be hired immediately after deciding to bring your marketing in-house. Depending on how competitive the market is in your area, this can take anywhere from two to six weeks. Add another two to four weeks for onboarding, training, and ramp-up before you can expect them to start writing. By the way, many companies are so successful that they hire a second and third content manager soon after.
HubSpot Owner (Not Full-Time)
You will need a marketing automation solution (email marketing, blog, and website hosting, landing pages, social media management, and much more) that will allow you to attribute a return on investment on each marketing activity. We are a HubSpot-certified partner agency because we believe HubSpot is the best solution for the job.
You will need someone in your company responsible for managing HubSpot, implementing the trickier items, such as workflows, and helping your team out if they get stuck. This can be your sales operations manager or someone good with reporting, analytics, and data. This does not need to be a full-time role and probably will save the person responsible much time in the long run because of the increased efficiencies gained through HubSpot. Fill this role as soon as you purchase HubSpot so they can be part of the initial onboarding, setup, and training process.
Your in-house videographer interviews and records your subject matter experts and then creates and edits on-brand video footage for marketing and sales. This might seem like overkill since you are probably not doing much video at the moment, and even if you are, you are most likely outsourcing this to yet another agency (and spending a LOT of money per video).
"68% of marketers say content showcasing their products and services generates the biggest ROI." - HubSpot
However, video marketing can be done in-house faster and much more cost-effectively. With some training and without a lot of fancy equipment, you can produce great marketing and sales videos that will be used all over your website, social media, blog posts, and learning center, and throughout your sales process.
When you should hire your videographer depends on your situation. If video is a large part of your current marketing spend and already plays a key role in your marketing mix, hire sooner than later. But if you are new to digital marketing and need to get your feet wet by writing content and using HubSpot most efficiently, then wait three to six months.
A graphic designer supports the content manager by creating any visual assets required. You might be surprised how many of those you will need, e.g., blog graphics, call-to-action images, social media images, infographics, etc.
For most smaller companies, it will not be necessary to hire a full-time, in-house graphic designer. For your day-to-day visual assets used for your content marketing, your content manager can quickly create graphics with Canva or similar tools. For something more substantial, like an infographic or an animated video bumper, graphic design services such as Delesign are available to help. Once you have a larger team, you can hire a full-time resource to come on board.
Editor (Not Full-Time)
This role is so often forgotten or ignored. An editor is essential to creating great content as they will not only check the text for spelling errors and grammar mistakes but also improve readability and ensure the accuracy of the content. Many writers are asked to edit their own content, and while that is good practice as a first round, it is better to have an editor check everything before it goes out. I recommend finding someone part-time as soon as you ramp up content production.
How Do I Develop The Skills Needed?
Next, let's look at how you can develop the skill set needed to set yourself up for long-term success. Thankfully, there are a lot of different online and in-person courses available, making it easy to develop the required skills in-house.
HubSpot has built an overwhelming learning center containing many learning and certification paths. These provide you with the theoretical and practical knowledge to implement HubSpot and do Inbound Marketing and Sales by yourself. Here are the ones that get you started right away:
- Inbound Certification (quick, easy, and free entry-level course explaining inbound marketing and sales)
- Marketing Hub Implementation (for your content manager and HubSpot person)
- Various Marketing certification courses, such as Digital Marketing, Social Marketing, Email Marketing, Content Marketing, etc.
- Inbound Sales Certification (for all your sales professionals)
- Get your 30-day HubSpot trial.
Another fantastic resource you definitely should check out is the Impact+ learning center. Run by one of the best sales and marketing training companies, Impact+ provides a layer of learning on top of the HubSpot Academy that focuses on translating what you learned about Inbound Marketing and Sales into effective strategies.
There are free courses, such as:
- They Ask, You Answer Fundamentals with Marcus Sheridan
- The Revenue Team Approach to Sales Enablement Content
- How to Write “The Big 5”
In addition, there are a variety of learning paths, single lessons, tools, and live/on-demand events that are only available with a Pro Account.
If you are working with a coach (more on that in a minute), they will provide you with a detailed, step-by-step curriculum to ensure you are getting through the right courses at the right time. It is easy to go down a rabbit hole and get overwhelmed here, so your coach will be there to guide you so you can get out of the gate as soon as possible.
How Do I Make Sure I Am Doing It Right? Should I Hire A Marketing & Sales Coach/Trainer?
Let's say you decided to bring your digital marketing in-house. You inform your marketing agency that your collaboration is ending, and you hire your content manager. Now what? Where do you start?
While it is entirely doable, taking ownership of your marketing can feel overwhelming as it comes with a learning curve that can feel like you are drinking from a fire hose. There is a lot to learn, and you want to learn it fast, the right way, and in the correct order. Taking this step is a leap of faith.
And this is where hiring a sales and marketing coach can be tremendously helpful. For example, we at 3P Creative Group guide organizations like yours through a mastery program that lasts 12-24 months, depending on the organization's size, makeup, and goals.
This ensures that you will do things in the correct order and avoid common pitfalls and mistakes where people usually get stuck. Most importantly, coaching helps you manage the internal cultural shift that cements this new customer-first, content-driven philosophy into your corporate value structure for long-term success. In addition, your content marketer, videographer, sales professionals, and HubSpot person will get expert training in their respective areas.
Coaching is an investment that pays off very quickly, as you will save the agency retainer fees and be able to switch off paid ads. The investment for coaching from the beginning until graduation is $131,000 over 12 to 24 months for a mid-size company with more than $2.5 million in annual revenue. There are also smaller business coaching options available.
- They Ask, You Answer Mastery Program
What Additional Tools Do I Need?
Last, but not least, you will need some additional tools to support your new internal marketing team.
Marketing Automation & CRM (HubSpot or similar). You will need a platform that will not only host your website, landing pages, and blog, but will also manage all your contacts, send targeted emails, schedule social media posts, and so on. Most importantly, it needs to be connected to your CRM so you can analyze how much each content piece and marketing activity contributed to generating leads and closing deals. Cost: $800/month for the HubSpot Marketing Hub Professional
SEO Tools. There are a lot of different SEO tools out there, but we found SEMRush to be the best for what you need at this stage. The smallest plan includes competitor analysis, keyword research, website audit, advertising and social media tools, and more, and it costs $119 per month. In addition, if you haven't already, set up Google Search Console and Google Webmaster Tools and connect them both to HubSpot and SEMRush. It is also worth noting that HubSpot includes some SEO tools.
Graphic Design Software. I always found Adobe Photoshop too involved and too hard to learn for someone who needs just a few graphics done. Get a Canva Pro or Teams account instead. Cost: $120-$150 per year.
Video Editing Software. Your in-house videographer will probably use Adobe Premiere Pro, which costs $21-$36 per month for individuals/teams. If you are looking for a different option, Vimeo and Wondershare Filmora are great, easy-to-use alternatives.
(Note: All prices are in USD. The pricing information is as of Dec. 2022 and is subject to change.)
At 3P Creative Group, it is our mission to help companies grow through sales and marketing excellence without having to rely on a marketing agency ever again. We do this by providing tailored coaching and training programs and enabling organizations to develop the confidence and core competencies required to generate more and better quality leads and close deals faster.
If you are considering moving your digital marketing in-house, talk to an advisor today about how best to approach this initiative in a way that works best for you.
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