The Role of a Digital Marketing Agency
Marketing is changing…
Marketing is changing so rapidly that business owners cannot keep up with everything they should learn about marketing their business and how to increase sales. There are so many options or choices: social media platforms, messenger chatbots, email marketing platforms, website options, content marketing strategies, sms tools, search engine optimization techniques… and this list could go on and on.
There’s NO WAY one business owner can invest the time and energy to learn every little (or major) thing about digital marketing and still have time to run their own business… making it more important to seek out a digital marketing agency skilled in #allthingsdigitalmarketing for your business’s benefit.
What is a Digital Marketing Agency?
A digital marketing agency or online marketing company has the ability to think outside of the box to create an online marketing strategy to help strengthen & grow your business. By improving your business foundation, the agency has the ability to obtain leads and/or sales to help your business continue to grow forward. The agency can also analyze all the data, numbers, and statistics to help you create the right strategy and assets to maximize your advertising budget and scale your business to the next level.
In the past, traditional marketing agencies focused on direct mailers, television marketing, flyers, radio advertising, newspapers, billboards, and numerous other ways of reaching a broader audience. These types of marketing are still relevant, but stats have consistently shown people are on their smart devices more and more.
Every single day I venture out of my home office to my mailbox, and 9 times out of 10 everything gets thrown in the trash. If it’s not from my children’s school or a random bill that can’t be taken care of electronically, it doesn’t get my attention. As a mom, I do subscribe to the newspaper for the sole purpose of clipping articles that feature my children so I can keep a copy for each of their scrapbooks… because #momlife.
Today, digital advertising agencies have more abilities to create niche audiences across the world using search engine optimization (SEO), social media platforms, content marketing, email marketing, messenger chatbots, paid marketing campaigns, SMS, video marketing, app marketing, and more. You can’t go more than a few minutes on ANY platform and not see some form of marketing on whatever device you’re using.
What do Digital Marketing Agencies do?
An online marketing company has the ability to completely take over time-consuming marketing tasks and help you stay focused on the long term goals: GROWTH AND SCALING!
I don’t care what anyone tells you, every business is unique and WILL require its own unique strategy. The RIGHT digital marketing agency will create and implement a strategy that’s custom for your business. Because, let’s face it, this is not a one size fits all world we live in anymore.
Depending on the type of Digital Marketing Agency you decide to work with, most of them have the ability to help you with the following:
~ Researching and narrowing down your target audience
~ Creating a marketing strategy to help develop your value ladder and/or offers
~ Creating landing pages, sales pages, and confirmation pages
~ Creating a social media plan of action for specific platforms
~ Creating and managing paid marketing campaigns
~ Creating engaging chatbots and maintaining their flows
~ Optimizing your website and blog posts for easier opt-ins
~ Researching keywords for search engine optimization
~ Analyzing the data, numbers, and statistics in order to know and understand what is working well to convert leads to buying customers, what needs to be improved to get better results, and what you should stop doing because it isn’t getting results.
Some agencies offer more than what’s listed above. Because like each business, each digital marketing agency is unique in what they offer, with some offering more services and some offering less. Either way, these types of agencies usually have an entire network of professionals that can quickly join forces to provide the additional support your custom strategies demand. So always ask about the support network before deciding on which digital marketing agency to sign with.
Benefits of working with a digital marketing agency versus DIY marketing:
Let me paint a quick picture for you…
You’re attempting to run your business. You’re creating products and/or services. You’re building a website. You’re trying to create a marketing strategy in order to sell your products or services. You’re trying to do it all, and not getting anywhere fast. You’re overworked, overwhelmed, and stressed the heck out.
Plus, since you’re trying to DIY everything, you have to get on YouTube or buy a course in order to learn new skills, which then means you have to invest time (your MOST valuable resource) to listening to those videos and/or courses… for #allthethings!
And then everything just stops, because….
THAT’S NO WAY TO EFFECTIVELY RUN AND MANAGE YOUR BUSINESS. It IS an effective way to burn out and fail.
If you’re anything like me, I’m a control freak. I want to be involved in all the decisions regarding my business. But sometimes an outsider has the ability to provide objectivity and creative insights where you might have been missing unique opportunities.
By hiring an online digital marketing agency, you’re essentially building your own team and surrounding yourself with people who have a common goal for your business: GROWTH AND SCALE. They have invested their time, energy, and financial resources in learning the latest trends and have advanced insight from all the tools they have experience using a professional so they can provide expert advice when a question or unexpected issues arise. It’s like the difference between maintaining your car yourself or having a master mechanic who takes great care of your care, so all you have to worry about is getting to your destination.
And think about this… if you pay for an experienced agency to create a strategy for your business, and recommend the right tools for you to use to make that strategy come to life, then why wouldn't you invest in hiring these experts to help you implement the plan, too?
Why digital marketing fails
When done right, digital marketing will create significant growth, but this requires more than just every day tactics. Growing your business requires a firm understanding of current marketing trends and strategies.
Here are my top eight reasons why marketing strategies fail:
1. Lack of having a marketing strategy: Without the correct strategy in place, you end up with random pieces of content all over the place with no conversion goal in mind. There’s no clarity in what you’re trying to achieve or what call to action you want a person to take. This failure causes your business to become a turn-off versus a turn-on because people will think you don’t have it together.
2. Failure to implement: That sounds like such a bad word, but it’s true. Failure to implement, no matter in what area of your business, plays a key role in your marketing efforts. Some examples are not implementing a consistent social media schedule, unwilling to listen to consumers, not creating a lead generation opt-in, not revising landing pages that don’t convert, etc. Your online marketing strategy requires value-based content, engaging videos, captivating emails, and so much more... and when #allthosethings start overwhelming you, you never implement.
3. Lack of audience clarity: Before you start marketing yourself, you have to know who you’re marketing to. Most importantly... you need to know what their pain points are, VERY well, and be able to speak to them using the exact language they would use themselves, and get them to emotionally invest in the value based content you're putting out there.
4. Setting unrealistic goals: One of the first questions I ask on a discovery call is “What are your marketing goals?” Many times, I am hit with unrealistic goals, such as I only want to invested $1,000 in my marketing efforts, but I want to make $100K off this launch. While anything is possible, most of the people I speak with have never run an ad in their business, nor invested in any marketing. Another unrealistic goal is believing they know their audience, when in reality, the marketing data shows otherwise. When you set up goals, these goals should provide focused direction on exactly what you want to work toward or achieve. By setting goals, you not only have the ability to create a plan to reach your goals, but also give yourself permission to revisit those goals and change anything to help further the plan. And you know what...there will be obstacles that will affect the outcome of your goals, but if you focus on the obstacle, you’ll fail and not reach the desired outcome, thus hitting the brickwall. But..If you focus on the goal, the desired outcome, you’ll continue along the path to your success.
5. Not providing enough valuable, educational content: Customers today are doing their homework and researching everything prior to purchasing. This gives you the opportunity to build a relationship with each person that interacts with your social media, reads your blog content, watches your videos and/or stories, engages your messenger chat bot, reads your emails, etc. So if you're not creating this value based, educational content, you aren't getting found by potential clients.
6. Limiting your presence: A digital marketing strategy requires implementation on more than just one platform. Everyone has access to the internet and has their own personal preferences of where they go to find out about services or products. By using a combination of platforms, you have the ability to reach more people which results in bringing them back to your website with retargeting efforts. And it doesn't have to be that time consuming and difficult either. For example, Facebook and Instagram have a direct integration. If you're posting more consistently and engaged more on Instagram, you can connect the two platforms and all IG posts and stories will appear on your Facebook business page, too.
7. Neglecting to measure your return on investment: One thing I always ask my digital marketing is...Do you have Google Analytics set up? Believe it or not, most business owners haven’t done this one simple thing to be able to measure how their marketing efforts are performing across all platforms. How do you know what’s successful when you don’t have data? Data drives success! Data gives us the ability to improve and optimize any marketing strategy. By interpreting the data you have the ability to get laser-focused on where you’re getting the most results, and scale your marketing campaigns accordingly.
8. Setting unhealthy expectations: I have a lot of needs and wants within my own business, but without a plan and the proper budget, I have no idea how it will happen. One of the most important questions I ask business owners is what is how much of a product, service, or course they expect to sell from each marketing campaign. A lot of times, their expectations don’t meet the budget they have set for their marketing efforts. You might expect to have a certain income goal but in reality, it may be out-of-reach at the because you don’t have the marketing budget necessary to achieve that result. By properly setting expectations, it will allow you to make improvements where needed and really niche down your focus on the responding audience so you get the maximum results for your marketing budget.
What is a digital marketing strategy?
For business growth, you have to create a marketing strategy. And this doesn’t have to be some complex exercise! So for those of you about to freak out… take a look at how simple this can be.
First thing is to set a goal. Yes, you want to grow your business, but you have to get specific on the overall goal you’re trying to achieve. Are you wanting more customers? Are you wanting more brand awareness? Are you wanting to increase your leads? You have to focus on the goals in order to create the strategy. And the more focused the goal, the more effective strategy.
Then, you need to make sure your website is optimized. A lot of people overlook this part of their strategy. But if you get your next door neighbor’s teenager to build your website, you’re most likely NOT drawing in the potential clients or customers you’d need to achieve your goals. Your website is the front door to your business, so it needs to speak directly to who it is you’re wanting to do business with.
Building a relationship with your potential customers should be a top priority. To do that you need a library of value-based content that directly talks about their pain points and issues surrounding them. By creating engaging, value-based content, you have the ability to connect with them on a personal level. This content will build your authority and credibility as well as establishing you as an expert in your industry and niche. Your content can be blogs, videos, social media posts, stories, and more.
Now, depending on the type of industry you’re in, you’ll want to create a way for people to opt-in to your email list, messenger bot, SMS system, or any other ways you’ve created for your target market to communicate with you and engage with your content. Usually this is a value exchange in the form of a lead magnet. If you’re a service provider, you can create a pdf guide, e-book, webinar, etc. If you’re an e-Commerce based business, you can give them a first purchase discount in exchange for their email. You’re lead magnet should be a direct invitation from you that helps develop the relationship.
And lastly, it’s all about organic traffic. In order to get visible, you have to drive traffic to your website. You have the ability to use SEO Keyword Strategy, high quality value-based content, social media posts, and paid marketing advertising.
Remember, every business goal will require its own marketing strategy. Some may only take a few steps while others will require a more robust approach. But the overall goal of ANY marketing strategy is to implement a plan that considers both your short-term goals and long-term goals. As you conquer those short-term goals, you then start building on that marketing strategy by adding additional campaign layers.
When creating your digital marketing strategy, you need to put yourself in your potential client’s shoes and help solve their problems. By solving their problems through your content, you’re providing them with a value-based, educational experience that helps you stand out from your competition, or as I like to call it, giving them a quick win. One advantage to this is creating trust more quickly which adds to your credibility and authority. Plus, it will help convert them to loyal fans or purchasers more quickly, too.
Digital marketing is not a get clients or make sales quick gimmick. Think of it as a marathon versus a sprint...A sprint is a fast, quick race to the finish line that ends in mere seconds while a marathon last for hours or sometimes days. Marketing is a marathon of discovering what will bring the best results for your business.
How a digital marketing agency helps determine the best strategy and measures results
Online marketing agencies use innovative techniques to create your marketing strategy, read the data and tweak accordingly, and measure campaign results.
Measuring campaign results isn’t as cut and dry as everyone makes it out to be. It’s a case-by-case basis. Whatever the goal may be, there will be a unique way to interpret the data in order to decide if the marketing strategy worked. PLUS...these results go deeper than just looking at the overall outcome. It also includes looking at the overall data to see where something could be tweaked and optimized to improve overall results.
There are numerous ways to track and measure results; and each of those would require their own blog post. But here are a few ways I interpret data to confirm a marketing strategy:
~ Google Analytics: set up goals based on what I’m attempting to achieve
~ Facebook Pixel: to have the ability to retarget based on an action taken
~ Email CRM: Review open rates on leads being brought in
~ Booking Calls: Utilize a secret shopper to confirm the experience is genuine
~ Website data: Review website analytics or utilize a plugin to interpret the data
~ Social Media Insights: review business social media accounts to review engagement, page growth and overall health of business profile.
How Do I Keep Up With The Changes?
Creating your customer journey will be the most important part of your marketing strategy.
Digital marketing, once again, changes every day. New platforms appear. You have to update your strategy. You have to incorporate new blog content. Film more video content. This list could go on and on…
If you're going to do it yourself, you might as well get ready to ride the wave of constantly investing time and money to learn every little thing about the latest tools and newest techniques, then testing each of those to find what works best for your business... OR...
You can enlist the help of a digital marketing expert who can help you set realistic goals, develop an effective strategy, create the necessary assets, and then implement and optimize your campaigns to get the results you need.
If you’re ready to seriously commit to creating your own marketing strategy, sign up for my Digital Marketing Touchpoints and let me show you all the platforms and channels you should consider integrating into your overall marketing strategy.