Let's start by covering what digital marketing actually is. Offline, online, isn't it all just marketing? Well, yes. Technically. But the split is important. Traditionally we have glossy magazines, persuasively beautiful advertisements, design that draws you in and wows you. It's a visual sensation but it's a poor performance indicator whose success is hard to nail down—unless it's incorporating discount codes or QR codes. Digital marketing runs on ever-improving technology. It takes performance tracking to impressive heights because of the available data—from Google Analytics to AI generated reports pulling in tracking results from a plethora of sources. All painting a very detailed picture of how a customer was won or lost. Digital data gives companies an upper hand, with live, real-time information on campaigns that make traditional marketing look like a massive waste of money. Traditional pushes out to the consumer while digital enables tailored offerings that can be designed on-the-fly for specific customers that can push to businesses instead. Now that's a huge benefit. Digital marketing elements are web design, graphic design, content writing, email marketing, video, mobile, social media, search engine optimization and online Pay Per Click advertising, like Google Adwords.
Types of Digital Marketing Agency
With so many agencies out there that specialize in all the above (full service,) or some of the above (niche,) what should a small business looking to get found online know about when it comes to choosing a digital marketing agency? It really depends on the company's goals. If the company doesn't have an internal marketing department then the agency can be their de facto one. But there's a lot to consider when it comes to budgets and the full service digital marketing firm—which can be an over-priced option, where their large team, downtown offices and overheads are costs bared by their clients. A smaller, niche firm can be a perfect fit for a small Mom and Pop business, startup or serial entrepreneur hoping to start the next Amazon, Uber, or Facebook on a tighter marketing budget. Finding an agency that gets results is imperative because a company's digital marketing efforts should bring a positive return on investment. In other words, working with an agency should make the phone ring, emails come in, and the resulting sales bring in more than the monthly marketing spend. With your digital presence, is your goal to get more online leads? Qualified leads? Then you need a strong content strategy and memorable branding. And for that a larger company may not be necessary—a niche firm can deliver what a specialized agency can, often much faster because they are leaner.
Web design and development
In 2021 the design of your website must be for mobile first. With the proliferation of smartphones and people wanting answers to questions immediately, web design and development must be primarily done for mobile devices otherwise your site's bounce rate can be through the roof! Say goodbye to pinch and zoom websites—they must look great on small screens no matter how complicated the website is.
Social Media Marketing is a must
Your online presence and digital marketing campaign must include social media channels. Facebook and Twitter have been around for well over a decade, with newer social media platforms like TikTok being all the rage with certain demographics. Google Analytics and engagement tracking software can easily show what impact your social media campaigns are having.
The power of a Content Strategy
Content writing is a true skill that is often overlooked but it can make or break a sale. When someone looks beyond beautiful imagery it's the words that are important. A marketing team should always have a strong content writer.
The importance of Search Engine Optimization
In digital that means the firm should not only be able to create beautiful websites, but they should be able to covert visitors into buyers. Getting eyes on the website is a mix of good social media marketing, search engine optimization (SEO) and paid advertising. Remember the movie Field of Dreams? The statement at one point in the movie was, “If you build it, they will come.” That stopped ringing true for websites around 2006. You can have the most stunning website on the planet but if no one can find it on search engines, only by knowing its url—it's definitely time for search engine marketing. This can be provided by an SEO agency or SEO companies depending on the size and scope of the business challenge.
Small businesses often overlook the importance of branding. They may have an online presence that is mediocre at best. A digital strategy must include branding so that every bit of offline collateral meshes with what a company puts out online.
Finding the right balance
One thing that companies can have trouble with when working out a budget and where to spend it, is how much is too much—or too little. The old adage, “you get what you pay for” doesn't always ring true with online marketing. There are so many freelance marketers that cut their teeth in big agencies and moonlight on the side. But at the end of the day, hearing from happy clients who endorse the digital agency or worker is paramount. Social proof is huge! So, now you know what a digital marketing agency is. When it comes to hiring a firm you need to be solid on your business goals and have a marketing team that can achieve them. Larger agencies have their pros but plenty of cons—bureaucracy can lead to longer more costly projects and retainers. Make sure that your digital marketing specialists aren't marking up their profits on junior talent—hire seasoned professionals who can deliver results. Depending on myriad factors, it may be beneficial to find a niche digital marketing agency that specializes in a few disciplines and grow from there as the company budget allows. Mobile Marketing Max is a niche firm specializing in web design, content marketing, SEO, brand photography, and social media management services to clients. Rather than take in lots of clients we focus intensely with a smaller number of companies to make sure that our best work is always being delivered. Whether it's a website redesign or having compelling and persuasive text and images on your site—or getting found on page one of Google, we have a proven track record of delivering online leads. If you're a business owner looking to get more sales leads then look beyond traditional agencies and hire a niche digital marketing agency that uses innovative technology and is as determined to build a strong client relationship as it is digital marketing strategies.