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As a small business owner, it can be difficult to relinquish control on any aspect of your business, never mind entire departments like marketing and customer service. This reluctance makes sense, but will end up hurting your business in the long run. Outsourcing select tasks makes sense for growth-focused small businesses.

Trying to learn the ever-changing technical aspects of marketing isn’t practical for owners and managers. Convincing a reluctant employee to add something new to their to-do list doesn’t often yield positive results and can be difficult. It’s important to know how to utilize your own talents as well as the talents of your team, and sometimes, the best option is to outsource tasks that take up a lot of time and resources but end up becoming essential to a solid marketing plan.

1. Social media

Social media offers an efficient way to drive traffic to the company website, connect one-on-one with customers, nurture relationships, build trust, and establish the business as a “helper” in its industry. It’s also a huge time suck with many platforms, and in some cases, there is a steep learning curve. If your team isn’t already familiar with strategic social media use, a lot of time will be spent and wasted trying to figure out how to utilize different platforms.

Outsourcing social media to a freelancer is a smart move, but finding the right person may seem like a daunting task. Before turning the keys to the social media kingdom over to a remotely located contractor, take time to check references. High quality work will make all the difference to your audience. Focus on creating a content marketing strategy that feeds directly into company goals. It’s also a good idea to have a lawyer draft a simple contract that specifies the terms of the arrangement.

Keep in mind that good social media marketing campaigns are a form of customer service. Responding to queries, interacting with clients, and getting valuable feedback offers the opportunity to tailor the company message to meet the needs of the target demographic.

2. Editing video footage and podcasts

Small businesses who have an informative podcast understand how much value it provides to customers. Audio is an important part of any marketing plan. For most people, easy-to-use technology makes producing a podcast, even on the fly, fun and simple.

Video is another area that has a lot of outreach potential if employed correctly. By making something dynamic and shareable, you are creating another channel of communication with an audience that is likely to share extensively on social media.

However, editing audio and video files is just another time-consuming task that’s easy to outsource. Messing with audio files isn’t for everyone, and unless it fascinates someone on staff, it’s best to turn it over to an experienced freelancer. Editing video can also be very challenging, and often requires an experienced eye to avoid coming off as amateurish. Spend the time previously spent editing on producing more content, and you’ll surprise yourself with your output and the quality of the end result.

3. Facebook advertising

Driving traffic to landing pages and raising awareness of a company’s products and services to a targeted demographic is an inexpensive endeavor on Facebook. The problem many business owners face is lack of knowledge. The landscape is always changing on this popular social media platform, but it’s worth pursuing as a marketing channel.

The days of choosing a radio or television station with an age range of 40 years and a geographical area twice the size of the businesses’ range are over. Small businesses who understand the specific demographics of their ideal customer can target that audience on Facebook for a fraction of what a good radio promotion would have cost ten years ago.

The Content Marketing Institute says that marketing through social media, online ads, and a company website generates three times as many leads and costs 62% less than traditional outbound marketing. Customers welcome high-quality content. Offering solutions to common problems increase exposure to the brand and positions the company as a valuable source of information.

Outsourcing a Facebook advertising campaign to an expert is an excellent way to skip the learning process and reap the rewards of this powerhouse marketing channel

4. Receptionist duties

For businesses with only a few employees or those in an industry where customers rarely visit the office in person, keeping a full-time receptionist on site may not be practical. If there’s no one to handle incoming phone calls during lunch hour and breaks, customer calls go to voicemail. Holidays, vacations, and sick days also create a situation where phone calls go unanswered.

Unfortunately, when a customer ends up in the company voice mail, they are likely to seek help elsewhere rather than wait for a returned call. According to VOIP phone service provider, Vonage, 80% of callers choose to hang up when they hear voicemail.

Three years ago, the Coca-Cola Company let workers choose to turn off their office voice mail. Only 6% of their employees decided to continue to use the service. There are even apps available for voicemail-hating smartphone users that allow them to redirect missed calls to a service that provides infinite ringing. No More Voicemail routes callers to the continuous ringing when the recipient of the call dismisses or ignores it.

Giving customers the ability to talk to a live person 24/7 means never losing the chance for an appointment or missing a marketing opportunity. Clients who call with a problem, like an insurance claim or a plumbing emergency, want immediate attention. Emergencies don’t always happen during business hours. When a customer can talk to a live person any time of the day or night, they are left with a positive impression of the company.

Providing excellent customer service should be a cornerstone of every small business’ marketing plan. Acquiring new customers is expensive, so it’s important to take great care with every interaction.

By outsourcing these essential but time-consuming tasks, your company can ensure that it is using time and resources efficiently. Your team can focus on building skills critical to their work performance, while you can hone your management skills and continue to develop your company as you see fit.

Important departments like marketing and customer service can be expertly outsourced, and your entire team will benefit from this prioritization.