Does your marketing team have everything they need to succeed?
You hired the right people and gave them the right tools, but your vision for your company may go beyond the capabilities of an in-house team. You dream of a stronger online presence and smarter lead generation. Your team, however, has limited experience in an increasingly complex digital space — not to mention time constraints. After reacting to the needs of sales teams and other internal clients, many marketing teams don’t have time to conceptualize and execute effective strategies.
5 Reasons you need an Digital Marketing Agency
Digital marketing agencies have the skills and experience to generate creative solutions to your marketing challenges quickly and on budget. Whether you need to outsource one project or a long-term branding strategy, consider the following reasons to partner with an outside agency.
1. Save Money & Reduce Risk
It sounds odd, but it’s true. Finding, training, and retaining employees is an expensive process. If you hire the wrong person, you’re out both time and money with no progress to show for it. Agencies don’t need you to pay taxes or benefits, and they won’t ask you to cover the costs for new tools and training.
Hiring an agency is like walking into a marketing store and picking out exactly what you need. You can get a fresh style guide, a few targeted email campaigns, and a new social media strategy, all supported by analytics and backed by a team of dedicated experts who guarantee your purchase. Agencies provide the marketing expertise you need while staying within your budget and maximizing your ROI.
2. Keep Your Brand Relevant
Most companies can get by without staying up to date on digital marketing trends. Marketing agencies, however, live and die based on their knowledge of the digital marketing industry and their skill in navigating it. Working with an agency allows you to keep your focus on your company and products while your new partner keeps your brand in the spotlight.
3. Tell a Better Story
Sometimes, it’s hard to see the whole picture when you live in the middle of it. An agency can follow the story of your brand from an outsider’s perspective and help your team tell that story better. Unless you have a large budget for overhead, you’ll struggle to hire enough talented people to capitalize on cross-platform opportunities and communicate your company’s story. Social networks such as Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram all require different approaches, so keeping your story consistent across platforms is tricky. Partnering with a digital marketing agency allows you to build a cohesive, captivating story across multiple platforms and establish a narrative that keeps your company at the forefront of the industry.
4. Evaluate & Adapt
Professional agencies stake their reputation on each project, so demonstrating value is key. A good agency partner will work with you to identify key performance indicators and tailor their updates to show you the results you care about. From inbound marketing to email campaigns and web design, an agency can help you determine which initiatives provide the most ROI and adjust your strategy along the way.
5. Provide Expert Advice
What if you think you need a whole new website, but stronger content on your existing pages would accomplish your goals? What if you think you need to reposition your existing brand, but you would benefit more by rebranding the assets of a recent acquisition?
Your agency partner has helped others in your situation and knows which strategy would work best for you. Rely on their expertise and ask questions to figure out where you might be missing opportunities to boost your brand.
How to Choose a Digital Marketing Agency?
The best digital agencies execute targeted, deliberate strategies to provide the results you need. None of the “spray and pray” approach of old-school direct marketing — digital agencies today know how to get the right message to the right audience at the right time.
How can you tell which agencies are the real deal and which ones aren’t worth the money?
VET YOUR POTENTIAL PARTNERS ON:
If you need a new website, don’t hire an agency that’s mostly dedicated to email marketing. They might have one person who can help you, but if they have limited experience in the area you need, move on and find an agency with real-world expertise.
Reputation & Past Work:
What do past and current clients say about your potential partner? Do they rave, or are they full of stories about half-finished projects and pushed deadlines? Visit the websites and social media accounts of current clients to see the kind of support you’re likely to receive.
You get what you pay for. If you set out to find the cheapest option, you’ll likely end up with poor customer service, a messy website, and unprofessional content. Imagine having your customers search for you, only to find your website buried in search results and riddled with spelling errors. Don’t look at price alone — consider the value of the services and gauge that against the cost.
Full In-House Team:
Some agencies prefer to outsource their own work to maximize profit. How would you feel if you partnered with an agency you thought was full-service, only to discover that your new website was being built by a freelancer in another country? Confirm that your potential partner employs a full-time team before committing.
Does your agency understand the ins and outs of your industry? If their entire portfolio is comprised of nail salons and beauty stores, think twice before trusting them with a rebrand of your outdoor adventure business. Look for an agency that either has experience in your line of work or proven success across varied industries.
Your potential agency should understand and share your vision for success. Partners that see where you want to go and have chemistry with your internal staff are much more likely to deliver great results.
Supporting your Internal Team
Partnering with a Digital Marketing Agency doesn’t make your IN HOUSE team redundant.
In fact, an outside partner boosts the capabilities of internal marketing teams, freeing them to focus on the areas that need their attention the most.
Small in-house teams don’t always have all the skills necessary to execute a comprehensive digital strategy. Frequently, companies will employ someone who is great at one aspect of marketing (such as web design) but lack the resources to employ people who excel in other areas (such as SEO or social media advertising)
Consider the many channels where consumers expect companies to maintain a presence today. Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Instagram, email, blogs, search engines — companies have to be everywhere at once. Without massive internal teams, it’s unlikely in-house marketing teams can provide consistent, high-quality content across every channel. By partnering with an outside agency, you can maintain a larger online presence without massive increases in spending or staffing.
What a Digital Marketing Agency can do for you?
You know why you should hire an agency, how to choose the right partner, and how a third-party agency supplements your in-house team. Now you just need to know what outside agencies actually do to help your company grow.
The answer? Almost anything. Whether your website looks stale, your social media accounts are boring, or you simply don’t have enough content, an agency partner can transform your brand or your company into the envy of your industry.
Your brand is everything. Without a strong brand, consumers don’t know who you are, what you do, or what values you represent. The best brands don’t remind people of companies, but of themselves and the lifestyles they want to lead. Creating and curating your brand requires a delicate, multifaceted approach to achieve optimal results.
The right agency can help with the following.
You don’t need to see the words “Coca-Cola” when you see a red background and a white outline of a bottle. Why? Because the brand design is consistent and memorable. Your brand identity is comprised of the words, logos, colors, fonts, imagery, and overall style of your online presence. Neglecting that identity is the quickest way to confuse consumers and harm your company’s image. Outside agencies study your existing brand design and create new assets to use across multiple channels, ensuring seamless branding across platforms.
Is your company the same as it was the day it opened? Probably not. As your company evolves, so must your brand. You must evaluate if your brand position is the same as it used to be and decide whether a second look could benefit your company. A good agency will help you discover (or rediscover) who you are and communicate that to consumers through your branding.
Companies go through rebrands every day — some more successfully than others. If you have an established brand, you might need help revitalizing it to prevent stagnation. If you’ve recently made acquisitions, you must reskin newly acquired assets to prevent confusion among consumers and present a unified front for your company. Rebrands can quickly become massive undertakings for internal teams, hogging resources and slowing down other valuable marketing efforts. Outside agencies can significantly reduce the costs of a rebrand.
Internal style guides help your team maintain a consistent tone when designing new marketing materials. These guides cover everything from the exact colors to use to company-specific grammar rules and preferred tone of voice. Agencies evaluate your existing content, help you discover how you want your brand to be perceived, and create a comprehensive guide to assist employees in maintaining a consistent brand presence.
Traditional outbound marketing makes measuring results difficult. Your increase in traffic could be due to a recent television commercial or billboard, but without actual metrics, it’s impossible to say.
Inbound marketing is more powerful. Using inbound strategies, you can attract new customers, identify and nurture leads, and develop thought leadership pieces that demonstrate why your company is an expert in your industry.
Inbound marketing also supplements sales directly. Marketing generates leads and sends the information to the sales staff. This begins a nurturing process that gives your company more opportunities to engage meaningfully with consumers and close more deals.
What specific practices make inbound marketing so effective, and how do digital marketing agencies make the most of inbound initiatives?
Strategic lead generation campaigns are at the heart of every good inbound marketing strategy. Agencies create email campaigns and attract website visitors with calls to action (CTAs) that incentivize consumers to share their contact information. Once this information passes to sales, the agency tracks the lead from beginning to end, helping companies identify which strategies provide the best leads. Companies can also discover shortfalls in their own sales processes by seeing where leads tend to stagnate, providing opportunities to reevaluate internal processes.
Agencies help companies build brand awareness by writing, publishing, and distributing high-quality content across multiple channels. From videos posted to Facebook, case studies and infographics posted to the company website, and thought leadership pieces made available to download, content marketing takes a variety of forms. The more high-quality content you have, the more consumers see your company as a market leader — and the more likely they are to engage with your company
Effective email campaign strategies and traditional email campaign strategies look nothing alike. Many companies lack the necessary resources and experience to execute an email strategy that provides measurable, meaningful results. A digital marketing agency can help you develop leadnurturing strategies that provide demonstrable ROI. If you are already running email campaigns, an agency partner can help you discover areas for improvement and optimize your lead generation and nurturing processes to achieve better results.
Analytics set inbound marketing apart from other, less effective strategies. By collecting and measuring metrics related to inbound marketing efforts, digital marketing agencies help you figure out what’s working, what isn’t, and how to improve your results. The best agencies gather analytics from all platforms — including email, landing pages, and social media sites — then sit down with you to go over the data and optimize your strategy.
WEB DESIGN & DEVELOPMENT
Your website is the most visible part of your company. If it loads slowly or feels difficult to navigate, visitors will quickly exit the page. That bounce rate can do serious damage, because websites that regularly repel visitors tend to drop in Google’s search rankings.
Some agencies try to force you to adopt a template, but the best agencies know that your needs are unique — and your site should be, too. Custom websites work seamlessly on desktop and mobile devices, limit load times, and ensure your visitors receive a premium online experience. In addition, custom creation allows you to take advantage of “growth-driven design,” a strategy that relies on real analytics and traffic to make design decisions.
If you don’t have an internal web marketing team, or if your existing team could benefit from the services of experienced professionals, consider contacting an agency to bolster your online presence through the following methods.
Google recently revamped its search algorithm to punish websites that are not mobile-friendly. Responsive design provides the best experience on any device, limiting the need for resizing and keeping search engines happy. A good agency partner will work with you to create a customized responsive design website that will improve your search rankings, please your visitors, and make navigating your website a breeze.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
If you don’t want your website to end up buried in search results, you need a quality team of SEO experts. Digital marketing agencies can help you design and execute an SEO strategy to keep your site at the top of the rankings, increase brand awareness, and drive organic traffic. An agency with a comprehensive marketing staff not only helps you optimize SEO design, but SEO content as well, ensuring that the keywords associated with your industry point searchers to your website first.
Engaging, high-quality content demonstrates to consumers that your company is a key player in your industry. And the more content you have, the more important it is to manage it effectively. Inhouse marketing teams often struggle to create scalable content management systems, eventually leading to time-consuming (and expensive) efforts to consolidate and catalog. Agencies can build customized content management solutions for your company, providing the flexibility you need to create, modify, and retrieve your content.
Custom Software & Apps
Just as your website needs are unique, so are your internal processes. An experienced marketing agency can tailor your intranet, customer portals, and other enterprise solutions. Whether you need to create a robust app or simply automate everyday processes, a full-service agency partner can help you design and execute the custom solution that best meets your requirements.
SOCIAL MEDIA MARKETING
People spend more time on social media sites than anywhere else online. If you do not have a dynamic social media presence, your company will suffer for it. The slightest blunder can spark a PR disaster, and if you don’t have a team of experts managing your accounts, you could quickly find your company on the wrong end of a viral phenomenon.
Digital marketing agencies specialize in creating, curating, and managing social media accounts in ways that in-house marketing teams rarely do. Don’t leave one of the most important consumer-facing areas of your business in the hands of someone who isn’t trained in social media marketing. Instead, let the professionals handle your accounts and enjoy the ROI (and the peace of mind) that comes with knowing your online presence is in good hands.
What specific social media services do full-service agencies provide?
Social Media Strategy
Why have social media accounts if you don’t use them to drive consumer engagement? Agencies help you identify your target audience and tailor your approach to engage the demographics most important to you. That includes keeping your messaging consistent across multiple platforms. As your social media presence grows and your consumer community develops, your agency partner will be by your side to keep your audience interested.
The best social media content is like good branding — it resonates with consumers on a personal level. By partnering with an agency, you can ensure that your brand will be in front of your consumers in the online environments they visit most. With a targeted content approach, your audience will perceive your brand positively and develop an emotional connection to the values you represent.
Nothing deters potential customers like a barren social media profile. Full-service agencies employ full-time social media managers who develop, manage, and monitor all your social media accounts to maximize audience engagement. That includes responding to messages in your company’s voice and monitoring the web for mentions of your brand. Avoid embarrassing social media blunders and meltdowns by partnering with professionals who can deftly maneuver the social space to give your brand the positive reputation it deserves.
Social Media Advertising
Don’t feel intimidated by the pitfalls of social media advertising. With the help of the right agency, you can deliver highly targeted advertisements to the people most likely to engage with your brand. Ad optimization techniques help social media managers get the most from your online presence, generating new leads and maximizing your advertising dollars.
Without the support of a marketing agency, you could be missing countless opportunities to promote your brand, engage with your audience, and strengthen your online presence. If you haven’t considered partnering with an agency before, now is the perfect time.