Last updated 22 May 2020
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 has to grow hand-in-hand. 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 of these areas, and in order to combat these issues there has been a rise in digital marketing agencies.
Definition: What Is a Digital Marketing 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 are able to 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.
What Does a Digital Marketing Agency Do?
In a broad sense, 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 stellar reviews from their previous clients.
What Services Do Digital Marketing Agencies Offer?
The services that digital marketing agencies offer differ from agency to agency, but there are popular services that you can find in the majority of digital marketing agencies:
- Website Design
- Website Development
- Brand Development
- Graphic Design
- Pay-Per-Click Marketing
- Conversion Rate Optimisation
- Search Engine Marketing
- Search Engine Optimisation
- Social Media Marketing
- Influencer Marketing
- Lead Generation
- Email Lists and Re-targeting
- Mobile Campaigns
- Press Release and Media Campaigns
Every business will want to find a tailored digital marketing agency that offers exactly what they are looking for. An e-commerce shop may not be as interested in copywriting but they may find a digital marketing agency that specialises in search engine optimisation useful. A small business owner that has already done customer discovery and built a working website may want to find a digital marketing agency that focuses on lead generation and conversion rate optimisation.
The services that an agency offers are diverse because the talented marketers within their agency are also diverse. It is important to remember that just because an agency offers a service does not mean that it is exactly what you are looking for. A digital agency that specialises in a certain niche is much more likely to produce results within that niche than a digital marketing agency that is generalised and claims they can handle any project.
How Much Do Digital Marketing Agencies Charge?
The next obstacle after discovering the power and value that a digital marketing agency can provide is seeing how they can fit into your business’s marketing budget. The costs of a digital marketing agency vary in the same way that the costs of an solicitor or a barber may vary. There is a general agreed upon price point, but depending on the experience, location, and services offered there is a large range of prices that digital marketing agencies charge.
A comprehensive digital marketing service will cost several thousands of pounds. To have a team of experts handle your social media, SEO, marketing campaigns, and website design could easily be tens of thousands of pounds a month. We highly suggest doing this only when your company is generating a sizeable revenue and you are at a stage where you want to aggressively scale. For most small to medium businesses, the most efficient use of your money is to pinpoint what part of your digital marketing requires the most attention and find a digital marketing agency that will cater to that need.
A small business that has been having trouble with prospective customers coming onto the page and immediately leaving may want to start off with a simple web design. If their budget allows, they may also want to subscribe to their SEO package since they are re-designing the site anyway. The digital marketing agency may charge £2000-£5000 a month, but the SEO and web design may lead to a high ROI months down the line as customers begin to organically visit and stay on the site.
One thing to note is that you can always upgrade your services when you feel that you are ready. If a business completes their web design and SEO, they may want to now focus on conversion rate optimisation and influencer marketing while dedicating a small monthly retainer to maintain their SEO. The exact services you look for dictate the charge from the digital marketing agency, and well-informed business owners will always be able to get a large ROI from their digital marketing efforts.
How Can a Digital Marketing Agency Help You?
We hope that after learning about exactly what a digital marketing agency is and what they offer, you can help you determine whether you are ready to take the next step in your marketing journey. In many ways marketing is one of the most transparent industries where clients can clearly see whether their agency is delivering what they promised.
Can you think of a problem in your business that needs solving? Could it be that you are in need of more leads? Are visitors to your site not purchasing anything or not purchasing enough? Is your social media presence lacking or do you lack the content to manage your social media?
As a business owner, you may be tempted to tackle all of these issues by yourself and learn from the bottom up. There is definitely a time and place for that entrepreneurial spirit, but digital marketing is a space that grows more complex over time and is densely saturated.
Working With a Digital Marketing Agency
We highly recommend contacting a digital marketing agency to see exactly how they can fit into your business. Most digital marketing agencies offer a free consultation. These consultations by themselves can be very useful in learning what aspects of your business need improvement.
Working with a digital marketing agency should be a partnership. Any good agency should discuss your business goals and get to understand your brand and business principles, and work with you to help your business. The ultimate objective of a digital marketing agency partner should be to improve your business's ROI by taking control of your digital efforts, while keeping you informed and updated along the way.
If you decide to partner with a digital marketing agency we wish you the best of luck! The best digital marketing agencies will help you develop a stronger online presence, drive traffic to your services, increase sales, and make a real difference.
At Whitehat we are humbly confident in our ability to provide companies with high quality leads for their sales teams. Our data-driven methodology can help you attract customers, not chase after them to help you business grow.
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Invest in digital marketing and take your company to greater heights