Should you hire a marketing agency to build and maintain your online presence? There are a lot of factors to think about and you want to make sure you do what’s right for business and your wallet.
HubSpot asserts that 97% of people learn about local businesses online. Judging by advertising spend in the United States in 2020, the vast majority of businesses realize that online marketing is essential to success. The effect that the pandemic has had on ad spend is pretty interesting, overall ad spend is down, however digital ad spend is projected to be 6% higher than last year. Search Engine Land goes into more detail here.
You Need to be Online
Your competition is already online and according to Neil Patel “marketers waste 37 to 95 percent of their marketing budget.” He goes on to say that many companies don’t have the personnel or infrastructure in place to plan, implement and optimize their marketing strategies. Does yours? Lots of businesses don’t have the time or knowledge to run effective campaigns, and that is why outsourcing to marketing agencies is so common.
If you have the resources to build an in-house team instead of outsourcing to an agency, Neil Patel the content machine, has a great blog about in-house vs agencies
What Do Agencies Do?
So what does a digital marketing company even do? According to HubSpot, “Marketing’s job is to raise brand awareness and build a pipeline of qualified leads that turn into sales.” This can be done in many ways and that’s why marketing agencies come in so many different forms.
Different agencies will specialize in specific areas. It’s important to know what channels you would like to pursue in order to choose a good fit for your business. The most popular forms of marketing include:
- Content Marketing
- Social Media
- Affiliate Marketing
There is a lot of info out there on all of these channels, so do your research to make an informed decision. The best bet is to have 2 to 3 channels running effectively before adding more.
Types of Marketing
These channels can be divided into inbound and outbound methods.
Inbound are strategies with the aim of having people come to you. This includes SEO, Content Marketing, and Social Media. Inbound channels generally take time and serious effort to build and maintain, but can be highly effective in building trust and presenting yourself as an expert. This is the long game.
Outbound strategies seek out potential customers through paid advertising, email, display, etc. These strategies are a bit more intrusive as they are not asked to be seen, however, if run effectively, they can produce results. The biggest strength of outbound strategies is that they are much faster than inbound channels. Many businesses can’t wait for inbound strategies to start making a decent ROI, so outbound may be a good fit.
When I see businesses with a strong online presence, generally they are using both inbound and outbound channels. Maybe they’re using Direct Placement® on Google and writing a blog twice a week. Or PPC and SEO. Agencies can help you implement the correct channels at the right time to maximize your reach.
Why Should You Team Up With a Marketing Agency?
There are three main reasons why agencies are uniquely positioned to help bring you success. The first is expertise. Marketing is what they do all day every day and as the old saying goes – “practice makes perfect”
The second is that they have analysts and processes in place to interpret data and use it to solve problems. Marketing isn’t a one size fits all service; your strategies will need to be tailored over time to fit your business goals. Professional marketers know how to use data to modify your strategies for the better.
Lastly, many agencies perform market research to build strategies around real-world consumer behavior. HubSpot has a cool post on this. Knowing how potential customers behave is a huge advantage when it comes to advertising.
One of the things about working with a marketing agency is that they know they have to produce results, otherwise you can always go elsewhere. Because of this, agencies will generally use key performance indicators (KPI) to really evaluate the effectiveness of campaigns and see if adjustments need to be made. There are a ton of different KPI’s and knowing when to use what is important. A few examples include:
- Customer Acquisition Cost (CAC)
- Return On Ad Spend (ROAS)
- Conversion Rate
- Marketing Qualified Leads (MQL)
- Follower Growth
What Could Go Wrong?
Ok, so working with an agency has a lot of pros, but what are the potential downsides? Well there are two that come to mind.
The first is that marketing agencies generally work with many clients, meaning that their attention is divided between a lot of campaigns.
The second is that they will not have as deep of an understanding of your brand as someone who is in your company and around your business frequently.
Whether or not you need to hire an agency is really dependent on your situation, however an agency brings a lot of power and expertise to your business. You need to be visible online, and if you can plan, implement and optimize a solid marketing strategy yourself, go for it! However, if you can’t, outsourcing marketing to an agency may be a great option for you.
Direct Placement, LLC is a digital marketing agency dedicated to shaping our advertising efforts to best fit your company’s needs. We are a Google Premier Partner and Bing Ads Accredited Company that specializes in a number of digital advertising formats. From our trademarked flat-rate SEM marketing service to social media marketing and even directory profile creation, we have a number of services that we can use to help your company thrive. Contact Direct Placement, LLC to learn more about how we can start transforming your business one click at a time! You can also follow us on Facebook, Twitter, or Blogger for more regular marketing content.
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