The number of active internet users has increased every year for the last 20 years. The technological advancements of society have had a staggering effect on marketing. Marketing began as a simple job of posting an ad in your newspaper or buying a 30 second slot during a popular television show. Those days are long gone.
These “traditional” marketing methods may garner you small results, but they are not an optimal way to gather leads and reach prospective clients/buyers. The value of being able to deliver your message through several media channels only grows over time.
As society becomes more digital it seems obvious that digital marketing must grow together. The responsibilities and tasks associated with digital marketing have grown to encompass web design, content writing, market research and graphic design to name just a few.
There is a very small number of people in the world who are talented in all these areas, and to combat these issues there has been a rise in digital agencies.
What is a digital agency?
A digital marketing agency is a marketing agency that focuses on the changing landscape of the digital era. Digital marketing agencies, in contrast with other marketing groups, concentrate mainly on leveraging new technologies and modern techniques to bolster their clients’ reputation and sales.
While all businesses will benefit from a digital marketing agency, it stands to reason that a business that predominantly exists online will gain much more value from digital than a brick-and-mortar business located in a rural town.
Digital marketing agencies are comprised of several talented people from diverse backgrounds. Together they can provide comprehensive services that will boost the acquisition, retention, revenue, and conversion rates for their clients.
A digital marketing agency has a vested interest in staying together and delivering high-quality results. A single graphic designer may have trouble acquiring clients who only need a small amount of graphic design.
However, a graphic designer and a web designer together may be able to provide top-to-bottom web page redesigns. As the number of experts in a group increases, the services offered become much more lucrative, leading to higher numbers of interested clients and better services.
A digital marketing agency will almost always outperform a freelance digital marketer. This is not to say that freelance digital marketers are not talented, but a singular digital marketer just does not have the resources to compete with a digital marketing agency.
The sheer talent, capital, and experience that a digital marketing agency has will almost always outperform a single digital marketer who needs to outsource work and balance several tasks from different disciplines.
Why hire a digital agency?
In a broad sense, the best digital marketing agencies do exactly what traditional marketing agencies do. They work to build your brand and increase your sales. If a digital marketing agency you have partnered with are not focusing on these metrics, then you may want to explore other options.
The differentiator of what digital marketing agencies do is in how they work on your brand and marketing strategy. Oftentimes, digital marketing agencies do targeted and focused work that traditional agencies are just unable to provide. They make data-driven decisions that influence their web design, ad strategy, and search engine optimisation.
In an ever-changing digital landscape, these services are key to acquiring repeat customers and driving reliable traffic to your site. Many traditional marketing agencies have realised that digital marketing is irreplaceable and have begun to offer these services on the side.
While digital marketing may seem simple, it takes years of experience and a talented team to produce consistent results. Always choose a digital marketing agency that is mainly focused on digital marketing, has a track record of success, and has positive reviews from their previous clients.
Choosing the right digital agency
In finding the right communications agency, it’s important to look at more than just the size of the organization. After all, the size and the reputation of the agency doesn’t matter if they don’t understand your business objectives.
There are many more facets to examine in determining whether the PR agency you found is compatible with your business. Before we discuss that topic, it’s important to understand the job of the agency.
Define your goals
Before hiring a digital marketing agency, you need to decide on the needs of your brand. Determining what you want to achieve means that you can express yourself correctly and get the results you expect.
Identifying internal needs will help your company filter accordingly, even when you start your search for an agency. Deciding your budget (more on that below), but most importantly understanding why you want to hire them is the first step.
You might want to introduce a new product or service or maybe your goal is essentially to build a community online. In both cases, deciding why you need to work with an agency and determining an in-house plan for this will reduce your agency search process in a positive way.
Here are some best practice tips for working with a digital agency if you’re not sure what to expect.
Set a budget
Having an allocated amount for your marketing strategy is crucial for your brand’s longevity and long-term growth. Other than your specific objectives, you should also set a budget for your marketing efforts.
Your marketing budget will be split between different social media channels and tactics depending on your industry, business type, and objectives.
For instance, a local shop owner would want to increase awareness in their specific location. This means they’ll spend most of their budget on targeted local ads and local SEO to help people find the shop easier.
On the other hand, someone running an online e-commerce store should focus on retargeting and email marketing, which are critical for converting website visitors into customers.
Do your research
There are many different digital agencies in the industry, but it is unclear whether all of them can provide the desired service. This makes it more difficult to find the right one.
You may encounter a variety of agencies, though you would want to make sure that the agency you want to hire is in line with your prospects and goals.
If you proceed with the right research, you will save time and money in the long run, since you will be able to understand which agency is reliable or which is successful as a result.
Check their work
You should request a portfolio including their recent jobs and projects, providing concrete evidence of the agency’s capabilities. Coming across agencies that can share their work and results without hesitation will be key in your decision making.
The most important thing is to choose an agency that will offer you a suitable strategy, a specific plan, and a targeted result that you’re aiming for.
An agency can ask previous clients to act as a reference because of their ability to present their successfully completed projects. This is something you'll want to consider before making a deal with a digital agency.
Ensure they are a true modern agency
The digital world is an ever-changing living environment. And as marketers, we need to be able to cultivate an adaptable mindset. Yesterday’s trend may become obsolete tomorrow.
In this case, it is very important that the agency you will work with, especially if it is a long-term plan, always keeps up to speed, follows developments and popular topics, and incorporates them into its marketing strategy.
In some cases, this may cause a slight change in the original plan or may cause you to deviate from your intended path. In this case, if the agency you hire is successful and experienced in its field, you may want to trust them.
As you reach out to a digital marketing agency’s sales team, make sure that you are receiving clear, concise answers to your questions regarding pricing, team size, the scope of work, etc. It’s important to enter your initial meeting with clear expectations and relevant questions.
It’s important to understand how they work internally as an agency, what the process of onboarding is like for them, and how your business would fit into their company culture.
Think about this aspect like dating; when you’re looking at the dating pool, you are most likely to choose a potential suitor that is forthcoming, transparent, and like-minded to you. When choosing a digital marketing agency, you need to play the same game.
No one wants to jump through a bunch of hoops or be given the run around when connecting with multiple potential digital marketing agency partners, so pay attention to who gives you the most beneficial information, is upfront, and outlines the most need-to-know aspects of running a campaign with them from A-Z.
Avoid the jack of all trade agencies
Digital agencies that promise absolute success in every area or sector generally offer an average service. Rather than opting for such agencies, working with agencies that are fully specialized in a few specific areas will definitely play a big role in the growth of your brand, and help you, both financially and in terms of authenticity.
When it comes to digital marketing, it will be effective to work with agencies that specialize to your needs, instead of choosing agencies that cover every issue that arises.
Although digital marketing may seem easy to do to those not in the industry, content creation, competitor analysis, and the ability to reach your target audience with the right approach are much more complicated than they seem. Plus things always change as new digital marketing trends emerge every year.
In addition, the workload can be heavier than you think. For this reason, companies or brands may need to cooperate with successful digital agencies to have a certain place in search results, on social media, and most importantly to reach the targeted audience.
Although it’s common to outsource content creators or social media specialists, more comprehensive support may be required when it comes to digital marketing. However, it is also important to decide where and how to get this necessary help.
Make sure they share your mindset
One of the best ways, to vet a potential digital agency is to see who they partner themselves with. This shows a like-minded connection and can give you insight into the level of expertise they have internally. Great marketing agencies do not work alone.
Understanding who is in their connected web of partnerships and what each partner brings to the agency, and residually you the client, is an integral piece of choosing why that agency would benefit you.
While meeting with multiple potential agency partners, and one of them has partnerships with TikTok, Google, and Forbes, it’s more likely to be inclined to move them to the top of my list because of the precedence that those agencies’ partnerships have.
Creativepool has hundreds of digital agencies ready and waiting to help bring your ideas and your brand to life.
Finding a web design agency that fits your needs on Creativepool is simple and effective.
You have 2 main options. Search and contact or post a studiobrief.
1. Search and Contact
The Creative Services Directory is the place for you to be able to search and select the company that best serves your needs.
After using the search bar, you will be able to view the profiles, case studies and information about each company listed.
When you find a company then you can contact them directly. This is the most effective way for you to be in control of who you work with
2. Post a studiobrief
The second way that you can use Creativepool to find a company that meets your creative needs is to advertise your brief.
Doing so is completely free and to help you along you will be assigned an account manager. Once you have posted your initial brief, they will be in contact with you about what you are looking for and help you amend your brief (if needed) and send it out to the most relevant companies on the platform.
Once posted you will receive applications from companies directly and you can then discuss your needs with the company in more detail.
Posting a studiobrief is by far the easiest approach, free and you are under no obligation to hire any of the companies that apply. It's a flexible and powerful approach to finding a new agency partner that does most of the hard work for you.