Is a Digital Marketing Agency Right for You?

By Mario Medina

As consumers become increasingly busy, distracted and overloaded with information, employing the right marketing strategy becomes more important. Your message has to cut through the clutter and stand out not just from your competitors, but from all the other distractions vying for attention in the digital world.

A content-focused digital marketing agency can help you define your audience and deliver your message in a laser-focused way that consumers find appealing. The right agency can help drive traffic to your website and increase your customer base, which in turn boosts your profitability.

The key to finding someone who can do that, of course, lies in knowing what to look for in a digital marketing agency.

Choosing the Right Type of Agency

Jumping online to look for a marketing agency can quickly take you down a rabbit hole. With so many different types of agencies, it can be difficult to understand what each one does. They share many similarities and terminologies, and the lines between what they do can quickly blur. To clarify what different agencies do, it’s important to understand today’s most prevalent types of marketing.

1. Content marketing:

Content marketing is a form of inbound marketing, which you’ll learn more about in a moment. Modern-day consumers engage differently with brands than previous generations have, which has made it crucial for brands to change the way they reach out to buyers. Content can take many forms: videos, social media posts, infographics, blog posts, etc. It is less about selling and more about telling your story to help develop brand loyalty and a following. Content marketing agencies can help you develop a strategic content plan that’s relevant for your brand and then create it using your company’s industry expertise and professional brand voice.   

2. Digital marketing:

While content marketing depends upon, well, content, a digital marketing agency is all about providing services in the digital space. A digital marketing team will understand more than just the need for a certain website design or how to develop a great app; they can delve into back-end operations as well. This gives them the insight to create the most successful digital experience possible for customers. Digital marketing places an emphasis on sales, and a digital marketing agency is well-versed in how to improve ROI and uses tactics like SEO and PPC to achieve that return.

3. Inbound marketing:

In recent years, inbound marketing has emerged as an effective way to gain new customers. Instead of interrupting potential customers with a commercial or an ad, inbound marketing provides useful, engaging information that leads them through the different stages of the buyer’s journey. By taking a deep dive into what those would-be customers are looking for, inbound marketing agencies can develop pieces of information that will answer their questions. This information may be delivered through blogs, e-books, white papers, videos and more; the agency then uses SEO activities to help people find that content online. While content marketing is used to build affinity for a brand or relationships with customers in broader strokes, inbound marketing zeroes in to provide the right content to the right customer at the right time — which encourages them to take the next step.  

Which Agency Is Right for Your Business?

Different agencies have particular strengths, so if you’re trying to choose between a digital marketing agency, inbound marketing agency or a content marketing agency, you may find yourself unsure of which one is best for you.

A good digital marketing company can provide complete branding and communications services, graphic design and digital marketing services that include SEO and PPC campaigns as well as all of the essential accompanying analytics. On the content marketing side, it can create content as a vehicle for building brand awareness and can provide strategic direction for distributing that content. In the area of inbound marketing, it will be able to develop content designed to strategically guide the customer through the buyer’s journey and turn them into customers.

One solution is to work with a content-driven digital marketing agency that is experienced in all forms of marketing.

What would such an agency look like? It combines the strongest elements of all three worlds to get the word out about your brand, products and services. Messaging weaves the storytelling and personal engagement of content marketing with practical solutions your potential customers are looking for online. That content is shared through digital marketing tools such as SEO-savvy blogs, social media posts, email and PPC campaigns targeted to specific buyer personas to lead them along their journey to a purchase.

Choosing an agency that’s skilled in all areas will ensure your marketing content is compelling and relevant to the audience that is primed to buy your products and services. When delivered through the right digital marketing channels, your targeted customer base will be compelled to take the desired action. Win-win-win!

How to Choose the Agency That’s Right for You

With no shortage of agencies offering their services, you might wonder how to decide which one will be the best fit for your needs. Here are a few questions to ask yourself while making that decision:

1. What’s their track record?

Has the company been around for a few years, or are they brand-new to the game? You want a company that has some experience and can show you what kind of results they have been able to achieve for others. Ask for case studies or references from current and previous customers to learn more about the company and what they’ve done.

2. Do they have a specialty area?

Some agencies will specialize in a specific industry, such as health care or IT. That’s terrific if you’re part of that industry, but do you know how well they’ll do if you’re not part of that industry? Sometimes, a broader-based agency that has the ability to serve multiple vertical markets will serve you better. After all, you wouldn’t see a cardiologist to treat a sprained ankle.

3. How well do you like their work?

A good place to start is the agency’s own website and social media campaigns. Then look at the work they’ve created for others — is it something you’re drawn to? Does it make you want to see more? If it’s the right agency, you’re going to feel good about the work they’ve done … and excited about what they can do for you.

4. Do you like their team?

Just as with hiring employees, it’s important to feel like you’ll be able to work with them easily. They’re going to serve as an extension of your own team, so you want to make sure that they’re a good fit not only in the skills they bring to the table but in personality as well.

Invest Time in Your Search

There’s no need to rush your search for the right digital marketing agency. Take time to learn what’s out there, review their work and make a decision you’re happy with. That way, you’re more likely to find an agency you can work with for a long time to come.

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Mario Medina

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