Digital marketing agencies are helping companies achieve great success with their online presence today.
Maintaining a business presence and connecting with customers in the real world can be tricky. In the past, you would maintain this through offline marketing efforts such as distributing business cards and brochures.
Although historically proven effective in varying degrees, offline marketing can be labour-intensive. That is why in the present, offline marketing just won’t cut it.
In effect, today’s digital era sees businesses and customers shifting online to conduct their transactions. However, some companies still struggle to establish themselves on the internet, where competition is at an all-time high. In the digital space, anyone can start a business and compete.
The solution? Digital marketing.
This modern approach to marketing employs digital techniques to drive leads and conversions, and it can be more effective than traditional offline marketing. Digital marketing approaches use the power of the internet to reach billions of users and generate leads.
Nonetheless, as a relatively new marketing technique, digital marketing can be challenging. Fortunately, you won’t have to start from scratch to secure a place online to launch your business. You can skip the guesswork and opt for a digital marketing agency instead.
What is a Digital Marketing Agency?
The internet is an incomprehensibly vast space, so visibility is a struggle. Digital marketing agencies are organizations that employ marketing strategies specialized for digital channels to help relevant users see specific brands.
Some of their methods include:
- Search engine optimization
- Social media marketing
- Content marketing
- Online advertising
Many of these terms may sound foreign to you, but this is where agencies can help. They are in charge of the online aspect of your business, eliminating the need for you to learn complex marketing tactics.
That said, it could help you to note that there are several digital marketing agencies, most of which specialize in specific marketing approaches.
Here is a quick rundown of the different types of digital marketing agencies and what they do best. This will help you decide the best one that fits your business.
Types of Digital Marketing Agencies
Here are the types of digital marketing agencies you should know:
- Content marketing agencies
- SEO agencies
- Online advertising agencies
- Social media marketing agencies
- Inbound marketing agencies
- Outbound marketing agencies
- Full-service digital marketing agencies
1. Content marketing agencies
This type of agency focuses on producing content that provides valuable information to prospects or customers, with less emphasis on direct selling or advertising. The content they create can help establish your business as a credible entity in your industry.
Some forms of content that these agencies make are:
- Blog posts
- Landing pages
Many consider videos to be the most significant content form. HubSpot’s 2022 study of digital marketing trends determined that most markets use short-form video content, hence the surge in popularity of video platforms like TikTok and YouTube.
Creating content focuses on building a trust-based relationship with your audience. However, producing relevant content can be time-consuming and require skills you might not have.
Thankfully, content marketing agencies step in to create them for you, allowing you to focus on leading your business to greater heights.
2. SEO agencies
Search engine optimization (SEO) agencies aim to place websites and web content among the top-tanking results in search engines. They transform your content into what web searchers are looking for, increasing website visibility and organic (unpaid) traffic to your site.
To achieve these goals, SEO experts analyze data using web analytics tools and implement the following processes accordingly, among many others:
- Link building
- Producing SEO web content
- Backlink audits
- Metadata adjustments
Aside from these, SEO agencies are also responsible for keeping tabs on SEO updates and ensuring that your website and content are up-to-date. For instance, mobile browsing has become more popular than ever. Hence, most SEO marketers have started investing in mobile optimization.
3. Online advertising agencies
Unlike SEO, online advertising agencies emphasize the importance of paid advertisement methods.
They are responsible for analyzing user data to identify your target demographic, including their location, age group, and behaviour. Afterwards, the agency implements advertisement campaigns on search engine results pages (SERPs) and other websites to drive traffic back to your website.
Some of the common approaches that online advertising agencies take include:
- Search ads
- Display ads (ex., banners, video ads)
- Influencer marketing
Additionally, online advertising agencies ensure that the ads they produce for you are optimized for their respective release platforms.
4. Social media marketing agencies
As the name suggests, social media marketing agencies are experts in executing marketing plans through social media channels.
Their experts can fill your social media pages with high-quality written content, infographics, and videos to attract and engage prospects and customers. They are also well-versed in executing social media ad campaigns that can reach millions of users.
Social media marketing can be considered one of the most effective digital marketing techniques a business can utilize. For instance, statistics show that Facebook, with 2.8 billion active users, is currently the most preferred platform for social media marketing. YouTube is second, coming up from fourth only in 2021, according to the earlier HubSpot study.
The audience reach in social media platforms shows that establishing an engaging presence is vital for marketing.
5. Inbound marketing agencies
Inbound marketing agencies implement lead-generating tactics that encourage prospects to approach the company—hence the term inbound. This approach focuses on building and nurturing customer relations and brand awareness with the expectation that customers will eventually choose your brand when they are ready to buy.
Moreover, inbound marketing is a catch-all term for various inbound strategies, including content marketing, SEO, and social media marketing. However, inbound marketing agencies are experts in handling a combination of these.
When dealing with inbound marketing agencies, it is essential to realize that building a lasting customer relationship can take a long time. In effect, your expected results may not arrive for a few months or sometimes even years.
That said, if the strategies are effective, you will see rapid growth in leads and conversions.
6. Outbound marketing agencies
As an antithesis to inbound marketing, outbound marketing agencies emphasize the importance of directly reaching out to prospects and customers. Although their practices may be inconvenient or annoying to some, they are based on popular offline marketing traditions.
Some practices that outbound marketing agencies may use are:
- Reaching out through social media
- Intrusive advertisements (e.g., popups, YouTube ads)
Outbound marketing techniques can become tiresome for users, so much so that they elect to install programs that block them. In fact, an increasing number of users are using browsers that block intrusive ads.
That said, it is helpful to remember that outbound marketing agencies might not deliver the results you expect.
7. Full-service digital marketing agencies
Is your business lacking in multiple digital marketing aspects? If that is the case, hiring a full-service agency could be the perfect solution. This agency has teams of experienced experts in different digital marketing fields, eliminating the fuss of hiring and corresponding with multiple agencies.
Most importantly, employing a full-service agency allows you to establish a structure that integrates different approaches into a single system, thereby improving your marketing efficiency.
Each process would work hand-in-hand, efficiently increasing your lead generation, brand awareness, and conversions. Moreover, full-service industries are equipped with a wide array of digital marketing tools that assist every aspect of their processes.
How to Choose the Right Digital Marketing Agency?
Even with all these options, picking the appropriate agency can still be quite daunting. Luckily, there are only a few things you need to consider to help you out.
1. Identify your needs and goals
Perhaps the best way to identify which digital marketing agency you need is to determine what you need help with.
For instance, if you lack a social media presence, you could consult with a social media marketing agency. Alternatively, if your marketing tactics are ineffective with customer retention, hiring an inbound marketing agency is the best path you could take.
Other than your needs, you should also identify what your marketing efforts are for. Is your goal to generate website traffic or to create sales? Knowing what you are aiming for will help you identify the digital marketing agency you’ll need.
Your plan can also serve as a benchmark to determine the precise steps to achieve your goal.
2. Choose a competent agency
Of course, if you want the best results, you’ll need to hire a capable and experienced agency. One of the best ways to identify an agency’s expertise is to check its portfolio of present and past clients.
Great agencies would have worked with renowned companies, reflecting their reputation. However, it is also important to note that this isn’t always the case.
Some agencies can attract big leagues but fall short in their actual performance during their contract period. This is why checking client reviews is crucial in choosing an agency. You could look through forums or review sites to check how a particular agency worked with past clients to help you decide.
3. Ask questions
Lastly, don’t hesitate to ask questions. Consulting with the agency is the best way to know how they can improve your marketing processes. Consider asking the digital marketing agency some of the following:
- What organizations in your industry has the agency worked with?
- How effective were the digital marketing strategies they implemented in those organizations?
- How does the agency measure the success of its marketing efforts?
- What can you expect in the first few months of working with the agency?
- How often will the agency communicate with you regarding updates?
Asking the agency about their plans will give you an idea of their digital marketing expertise and the internal processes they observe when handling clients. Moreover, it can also inform you about the experiences you should generally expect while working with them.
The Future of Digital Marketing
Digital marketing might truly be the future of marketing. Hence, investing time and resources is essential to ensure that you have a sustainable digital marketing plan.
However, suppose you don’t want the hassle of managing this yourself. In that case, you could hire an in-house marketing team or, even better, outsource from an agency instead.
A competent agency will effectively grow your customer base, improve customer retention, drive new leads, build brand awareness, and promote conversions.
This is why it is essential to identify what kind of agency you need. However, before hiring one, you should determine your marketing goals to give you an idea of what processes you need to implement.
Of course, it is essential to do your research. However, don’t hesitate to shop for agencies and consult them about what they can do to improve your marketing tactics.
Getting all your inquiries answered is essential to your decision. After all, the agency you pick will make or break your brand’s profits and reputation.
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Pamela Dionisio is an Online PR Specialist for Spiralyitcs, Inc. – a digital marketing agency in the Philippines. Outside work, she likes to explore new cultures, spend time with her loved ones, and learn more about digital marketing.