We get a lot of questions from prospective clients about digital marketing, SEO and lead capture. But what is a digital marketing agency, really? The truth is, the answer will be tied to your goals.
A digital marketing agency can be many things to many companies. The agency can be highly involved and practically take over all of your marketing efforts, or take on a more team-oriented approach. It all depends on your needs, and again, your goal.
So, let’s answer the question “What is a digital marketing agency?” by answering the questions we get the most about digital marketing.
If you don't know how to answer that question, you're probably not measuring anything, which is a big part of digital marketing. If you think you’re getting lots of website traffic, you should be measuring how many visitors are converting to leads. You should also be tracking how many leads convert to sales. This will help you decide if digital marketing is helping your business.
Lead capture is another important aspect of digital/inbound marketing. The principal advantage of digital marketing is that it's like a marketing campaign carried out over an indefinite amount of time. You're constantly building relationships online, creating content, promoting it, capturing leads and measuring results. Without this framework, your efforts may deliver some but not all of the potential for success in digital marketing.
An agency can help you with a lot of the heavy lifting that comes with digital marketing. You get out of it what you put into it.
The more content (e.g. blogs, resources), engagement (e.g. marketing emails, social media, ads), measuring (e.g. reports), tweaking and creative thinking you do, the better your results will be. If you’re thinking about keeping the workload in-house, you have to ask yourself questions like:
If you answered "no" to any of these questions, then you should consider hiring an agency.
Unlike more traditional brand marketing, inbound marketing has few fixed costs. You’ll need software to do the job. You get what you pay for with software. There are free solutions, but they don't talk to each other. How much you spend depends on the size of your organization and needs. Most of the cost is labor. You either pay by committing your own staff or by hiring an agency. Consider how much it would cost to hire an expert in the field.
One way to determine how much you’re going to spend to hire an agency is to compare what it will cost you to keep everything in-house with the monthly costs to hire an agency. Either way, make sure you set out specific, but reasonable goals for ROI.
This is one of the questions digital marketing addresses directly. The strategy is first to attract visitors to your site by creating interesting, useful content and by building relationships online via social media. Then you use established SEO strategies to make sure your content gets indexed and ranks for long-tail keywords.
Your content and relationships drive inbound links to your website, and with a consistent effort, your website pages start to rank on Google. Then, over time your site gains in the rankings.
But that's not enough! Digital marketing takes it further to make sure that these new search engine visitors become leads giving you a way to increase sales and demonstrate positive ROI.
The best answer we can give you to the question “What is a digital marketing agency?” is a team of professionals who will help you to reach your goals. When you hire an agency, you’re hiring a group of people who are experts in every facet of digital marketing. You can spend the time looking for the right people to hire individually, or you can hire an agency that can develop a digital marketing ecosystem for your company.
If you’re interested in learning more about what a digital marketing agency can do for you, check out our Digital Marketing Strategy Guide. It can help you to keep tabs on the ever-changing world of digital marketing.