The labour shortage is one of the biggest issues facing businesses across the UK and currently over ¼ of businesses are reporting a shortage of workers. With labour shortages and increased demand for marketing professionals coupled with a high average cost-per-hire, getting support from a Virtual Assistant with your digital marketing could be the catch-all solution. In this article, we will explore how working with a Virtual Assistant (VA) can help you to navigate the shortage of workers whilst growing your brand presence through digital marketing.
The difficulties in hiring marketing professionals
As you are probably aware, businesses are currently navigating a shortage of workers across various industries and marketing services are no exception. Marketing continues to be one of the top 10 most in-demand skills in 2023, in particular social media and digital marketing. The nature of digital marketing means that the online landscape is continually changing and evolving. When combined with the increased demand for these skills, this is creating a significant digital marketing skills gap.
It is becoming increasingly difficult to hire experienced marketing professionals and these open vacancies are creating an additional workload (and potentially stress) for existing team members. Plus, with marketing playing a big role in attracting new customers to your business, the shortage of workers and skill gap in this area could have catastrophic consequences for businesses unable to utilise effective marketing strategies.
What is a Virtual Assistant (VA)?
Before I dive into why a Virtual Assistant could be a much-needed addition to your marketing team, I briefly wanted to touch on what a VA actually is. In short, a Virtual Assistant is a skilled professional who provides support to businesses and individuals remotely. For example, our Virtual Assistant service is based in Aberdeen and in addition to our Aberdeen-based clients, we also support clients across the UK. A Virtual Assistant service is usually its own independent business, so instead of hiring an employee to support with marketing, you would be outsourcing your marketing to a Virtual Assistant (in a similar way to working with an Accountant). In addition to working remotely, Virtual Assistants usually have a wealth of experience supporting businesses just like yours and bring a range of benefits for businesses struggling to hire marketing staff.
Why a Virtual Assistant could be a much-needed addition to your marketing team
- Lower costs. Instead of paying an employee for a certain amount of time per week (regardless of whether you have sufficient work), you only pay for the work you outsource. You also don’t have to worry about additional costs such as pensions, national insurance and holiday pay. Plus, with an average cost per hire of £3,000 in the UK (and 27.5 days), you can also save time and money as part of the hiring process because an experienced Virtual Assistant will be ready to hit the ground running, without the usual induction and training requirements.
- High-level marketing skills and experience. Unlike employees who may have limited previous experience, a Virtual Assistant is likely to have specialist marketing skills and experience such as social media management, content creation, SEO, copywriting, email marketing and more. We have worked with 30+ businesses and have built up a range of high-level, specialist marketing skills and experience that we bring to the businesses and teams we support. By working with a Virtual Assistant, your business benefits from being able to tap into these skills, without the need for additional team training.
- Flexibility and scalability. Unlike traditional employment, outsourcing work to a Virtual Assistant service brings additional flexibility whereby you can choose to outsource work for a one-off project/ marketing campaign or on an ongoing basis and can adjust support as needed. The flexibility that working with a VA provides ensures that your business can adapt and pivot to changing circumstances as required.
Preventing problems and maximising your VA partnership
Although working with a Virtual Assistant on your marketing can bring a plethora of benefits, it is also important to prevent any potential problems before they arise, to maximise the partnership. The first step to preventing potential problems is to find a Virtual Assistant who is the right fit for your company. Do your research and check testimonials/ previous results, to ensure you are entering the perfect VA partnership for your business.
On an ongoing basis, similar to maximising relationships with employees, the most effective VA partnerships are based on effective communication, with clear channels to discuss project details and provide feedback. Project management tools such as ClickUp or Trello can also be beneficial for productivity and streamlining your project process and workflow. Finally, as with any project, it is important to clearly establish the scope of work, deadline and any performance metrics.
Success Stories: VA becoming a vital part of the marketing team
Adding a Virtual Assistant to your marketing team is a tried and tested method for navigating the current labour shortages. For instance, at the beginning of 2023 we began supporting a start-up with their social media. Having never outsourced marketing work to a Virtual Assistant before, the business was reluctant about whether it would be worth the investment… Fast forward three months and we have created multiple sales as a result of their social media campaign and they have made back over 3.5 times their investment!!
Solving the skills shortage by adding a Virtual Assistant to your marketing team
There is no doubt that the current shortage of workers is creating significant problems for businesses across the UK, but working with a Virtual Assistant could be the solution you have been searching for. Reputable VAs bring specialist skill sets and a wealth of experience to the table, without the lack of flexibility and high costs associated with hiring a new employee. So, if your business is struggling to hire marketing staff, get in touch today to find out how you could leverage the expertise of a Virtual Assistant to ensure that your organisation continues to attract new clients and thrive.