Online Partners

InStore, April 2016

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Social media and other forms of online marketing are often a thorn in the paw of many small businesses, most of which are already stretched thin with resources. If you decide to outsource, make sure the agency you choose has a liaison at your store. “If possible, using a combination of [in-house and an agency] is ideal,” says Jay Gerber of W.R. Cobb. “An agency as an extension of your digital team can round out your strategy and provide a quality partnership.” If you know you need outside help and you’re considering partnering with a digital-marketing firm, ask about strategy, because anybody can post to Facebook or set up an AdWords campaign, but if there is not a strategic objective, you’re just spinning your wheels, says Shane O’Neill of Fruchtman Marketing. – SARAH PROTZMAN HOWLETT