Digital marketing, or internet marketing, is marketing or advertising using digital channels, such as targeted emails, social media, blogs, and other online content. But just like traditional marketing, you will get the best bang for your buck when your efforts are targeted to the right audience, with the right messages, on the right channels.
That’s where a digital marketing agency can be your secret to success.
Because internet marketing has so many options and strategies associated with it, it can be overwhelming. While much of it can be low-cost options, you can also waste your time (and money), and even do your business harm if you don’t take a strategic approach to your digital marketing efforts, choosing the options that make sense for your business goals and budget.
WHAT WILL A DIGITAL MARKETING AGENCY DO FOR YOU?
1) Find New Customers
You have a great product or service that people want and/or need. But unless they can find you, all is for naught. As we mentioned in the first paragraph of this blog, most people search online first, before making a purchase. People need to find you and you need to stand out.
That is where search engine optimization comes in. It’s tricky business and constantly changing, but done well, more potential customers will find you and what you offer when they go looking. A digital marketing agency will use their SEO expertise to make your online content rank higher when searched. Step one of a strong SEO strategy is to make sure that your website and content marketing is the best they can be. SEO experts will do just that.
In addition to SEO experts, your agency will help you target your message to potential customers that fit the profile of potential buyers. That way, you are putting your resources directly where they can get the most benefit. You’re not wasting dollars on a broad-brush digital marketing approach that misses the mark.
2) Drive Brand Awareness
You’ll have access to a wide range of skilled expertise in one place. A digital marketing company will help you drive brand awareness and lead generation through the digital channels that can offer your business the biggest impact for the best ROI.
That can mean a full-blown brand and image campaign that includes social media, email marketing, and website content to coordinate with your in-house sales efforts. Or it can mean targeted social media ads that respond to specific customer behaviors.
Your internet marketing agency will access the specific talent you need to meet your marketing needs at any given time. Copywriting experts can craft the best subject line to improve your email marketing open rates. Database analysts can segment your email list to find those most likely to make a specific purchase at a specific time. Graphic designers can ensure your website design accurately reflects your brand. SEO experts will make sure your online content reaches the right audiences.
3) Manage Marketing Budget & Timelines
Digital agencies are experts at managing your marketing budget. In many cases, you set the budget and expectations and they can take care of the rest. They can analyze the message, audience, timing, and budget to determine the best channel to meet your marketing goals.
In terms of deadlines, your agency can help you create a meaningful and reasonable timeline for your marketing efforts to set the stage for a successful campaign. Depending on the extent of the campaign, that timeline can include milestones and hard deadlines for each aspect of your campaign so you can get the media, creative, copy, and design completed to ensure your campaign is executed smoothly and successfully.
4) Accurately Measure Performance
Perhaps most importantly, your digital marketing team can accurately measure the performance of each marketing channel used and make adjustments along the way if needed. For example, your marketing team will monitor your SEO traffic to help potential customers find you faster and easier using specific keywords. Or conduct an A/B test for your email marketing campaign to determine which creative, offer, or subject line works best.
Getting customers to your website is just half the battle. Now you need to convert those visitors to customers. A digital team can monitor your conversion ratio and make adjustments for improvement, build on successes and change what’s not working. And best of all, guide you to focus on the right data, interpret what it means, and use it effectively.
INTERNAL TEAM VS. EXTERNAL CREATIVE AGENCY
The size of your company may have a direct impact on whether you have an in-house digital marketing team, or hire a digital marketing agency. Excluding the Fortune 500 companies, it will likely make the most sense to hire an outside agency to gain the specialized expertise you need to keep pace with the rapidly changing landscape of digital marketing.
An outside agency can be a great resource and for your in-house marketing team, bringing the expert skills you may need like content-driven SEO, copywriting, creative design, social media strategy, marketing segmentation, and more. In other words, a digital marketing agency will serve as your internet marketing team, creative agency, website design agency, and branding company all rolled into one without the expense of hiring individual employees, which can really add up.
If you look at the Bureau Of Labor Statistics’ numbers on average wages for the following jobs, you will see that marketing talent does not come cheaply:
Digital Marketing Manager – $144,000 per year
Social Media Manager – $92,000 per year
Technical Writers (SEO writers) – $70,000 per year
It’s common to have a mixture of both. In fact, studies show approximately two-thirds of in-house teams partner with external agencies. Let’s dive deeper into some of those benefits:
Avoid Staffing Retention Problems
Aside from a potential gap in expertise, another challenge with maintaining an in-house team is employee turnover. Studies show marketing employees tend to change jobs every two to three years, which can disrupt your marketing initiatives and be costly. With an agency partner, you can be certain your marketing strategy will continue without interruptions.
Ensure Ongoing Creativity
When you collaborate with a digital creative agency, you bring in an expanded source of creativity and objectivity. When marketing efforts are kept in-house, it can lead to a more-of-the-same approach to continue doing what has been done before. A digital marketing agency isn’t bogged down by internal biases or assumed knowledge, so it’s easier to develop a clear message to the target audience.
Internal teams often have such in-depth knowledge that they try to say too much, assume too much and use an excessive amount of industry jargon that your audience doesn’t understand. A knowledgeable, but unbiased perspective can go a long way in developing a clear, succinct and creative approach to your marketing.
LOOK FOR THE SIGNS IN YOUR BUSINESS
Let’s wrap up our discussion with five things to signal the need to hire a digital marketing agency
1) Things aren’t working. You’re not reaching new customers, your sales force needs support, and what’s worked before just isn’t cutting it. You can and will get through this with some help. Many businesses experience this, and the successful ones know when it’s time to bring in the experts.
2) You and your team are overworked. There’s a difference between being busy and being spread so thin you can’t get anything done. Don’t get burned out. Be good to your team as well. Being busy can be good, but doesn’t always mean your business is successful.
3) You can’t identify your brand. Building a business is one thing, building a brand is very different. An outside resource with the skills and expertise to help you and your team identify your brand and then execute your brand strategy consistently will go a long way. A watered-down brand can’t compete in today’s market.
4) Your skills are needed elsewhere. Marketing is not your strength. It can seem like fun, but your skills and expertise are needed elsewhere. The company definitely needs your direction, but to successfully execute your marketing strategy it’s better to leave it to the experts while you do what you do best: grow your business.
5) The digital world is a mystery. Just when you think you’ve got it figured out, it changes. Keeping pace with the trends in digital marketing can be overwhelming. So do yourself a huge favor, and let the experts do it for you.
Working with a digital marketing agency like cloudCreative gives you all the expertise you need to attract new customers, retain existing customers, build your brand awareness, and ultimately, grow your business.
Get started with us today!