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Business is more competitive than ever, and it’s imperative to have a strategic marketing plan to stay agile and ahead of the competition.
While marketing principles haven’t changed, their delivery mechanisms have evolved.
If you can’t keep up, your business will surely be left behind. That is why every business, regardless of size, should hire a digital marketing agency.
In today’s digital world, it’s essential for you to be visible to your customers where they spend a great deal of time. Moreover, today, people are online almost 70% of their time.
Whether it’s being active on social media or browsing the internet for information on products or services, people today are logging in much time on their computers.
Here are some surprising statistics:
- According to a 2016 study by the Miniwatts Marketing Group, 4.1 billion people globally have internet access. 95% of all adults in North America and 85% of all adults in Europe have internet access.
- Mintel Flagship conducted a study in 2016 which found that 69% of American consumers research goods and services before making a decision. Whether it’s checking an online review site or using their web browsers, people are using the internet to make well-educated decisions.
- In 2015, the Acuity Group conducted a study on the decision-making process of purchasing directors. The study found that 94% of them conducted online research before making a recommendation or purchase.
Unfortunately, most businesses don’t have the budget for a dedicated marketing department which can handle their social media presence, online advertising, or ensure that their target market is getting their brand message.
So, how can a small business compete with companies which can afford large marketing budgets? That’s where digital marketing agencies come in.
You can hire professionals to act as your own “marketing department” without breaking the bank. Also, by utilizing the talents of digital marketing experts, your time will be freed up so you can focus on your business.
What is a Digital Marketing Agency?
A digital marketing agency is a company which uses digital technologies to reach, convert and retain customers.
The type of services they offer often include: web design, social media management, reputation management, content marketing, email marketing, and search engine optimization (SEO).
These professionals can handle all or part of your business’s online presence. They can also offer advice on the creation of a unified digital marketing plan.
It’s essential to have an idea because it will improve the allocation of resources.
Doing this translates into the ability to maximize your company’s presence and reach potential customers who are specifically targeted based on the characteristics of your ideal customer.
They can also monitor your campaigns and assess the results to leverage your successes or make any improvements if necessary.
For example agencies such as Search Beast, Thrive Internet Marketing, and Rise Interactive offer services which run the gamut from web design to social media marketing.
These agencies take an integrative approach making sure that your brand’s voice is consistent across all your media. Their web design teams are experienced in building websites which are not only attractive but search engine optimized (SEO) as well.
This means that when a prospective customer enters a particular word or phrase your website will appear in the results. The better optimized your site is, the higher it will rank and make it visible to more people.
The process entails determining which words or phrases your ideal customer would use to search for your business or service.
Then, it’s a matter of using these “keywords” in strategic ways throughout the content on your site.
Search engines, such as Google, have guidelines which dictate how it should be done correctly and a good SEO professional will keep abreast of any changes to these policies.
Your Digital Marketing Strategy Plan
While there are certain companies which implement digital strategies without a plan in place, there are crucial reasons why you should have one.
It doesn’t have to be a complex document, in fact, it’s often better to have a 90-day plan so that you can review your results and make any changes within a relatively short period of time.
Here are 3 reasons why your company will benefit from an integrated strategic plan for your digital marketing efforts:
1. The ability to optimize your efforts
By committing to a plan and schedule benchmarks — from the prospecting of sites to the actual creation of article with images — you’ll be able to assess each strategy to ensure it’s being implemented correctly.
Once you have the basics, it becomes easier to review, hone, and continuously improve them.
2. Increase your agility
You will have access to analytics and statistics which will allow your company to innovate, make corrections quickly, and stay ahead.
3. Understand your online audience
It’s important to understand your online audience because it differs from your traditional marketplace.
Fortunately, there is a multitude of online tools available so that you can analyze the data and create an accurate online customer profile.
Choosing a Digital Marketing Agency
It can seem overwhelming to hire an agency since there’s immense pressure to make the right choice.
However, there are steps you can take to make the process easier and achieve better results.
1. Determine what you want to accomplish
Maybe you want more visitors to your website, or perhaps you want to send a monthly email newsletter to your current customers.
An agency can guide you towards strategies that will best fit your needs and budget if you’re unsure what you should focus on first.
Once you know what you want them to do, decide how you will measure results. You both should agree on a method which allows you to gauge how well the implementation is proceeding.
2. Ask many questions
Some agencies are experts at pitching to prospective clients, but that doesn’t mean that they can deliver on their promises.
Ask about their experience and get references from current clients. Request case studies which include information on actual results which they’ve achieved for their clients.
3. How will the agency manage your account?
Once you sign the contract, how will they communicate with you and how often?
Is there a specific point person that will handle your project? Make sure that you understand how they track their progress and how frequently you will receive updates.
Deciding on which agency to get service from can be less stressful by thoroughly checking references, asking probing questions, and setting measurable goals.
A digital marketing agency can help you accelerate your marketing efforts and deliver results which might be difficult for you to achieve, not only in small businesses but also in huge names in the business.
Handling your online marketing in-house can be expensive, messy, and can also put stress on your budget.
Outsourcing tasks to an agency can be a time saver, by freeing you or your staff from focusing on works which are not the most effective use of your time at the moment.
Delegating this way is also cost-effective and allows you to allocate the savings to other parts of your business.