In the modern world of internet commerce, digital marketing has gone from being an option for business owners looking to grow their businesses to an absolute requirement for success. A digital marketing agency helps business owners create, execute, and manage successful digital marketing campaigns, allowing the business owner to focus on operating their business.
What does a digital marketing agency do, exactly?
The array of services offered by most full-service digital marketing agencies is extensive, and the actual services provided will vary depending on the agency that you choose and your own business needs. That being said, the services provided below are the base of any digital marketing efforts, and as such, you can expect that your digital marketing agency will provide these core services and more.
Before putting pen to paper or mouse to desktop, to begin designing and executing your digital marketing campaign, a digital marketing agency will first spend time conducting market research and competitor research and compiling and analyzing the resulting data to gain a better understanding of factors affecting the particular industry, and what role, if any, that direct competitors represent in the market.
A digital marketing agency will generally conduct basic market research and possibly industry research to get an understanding of any challenges or quirks that are unique to the industry. Essentially, the market research will provide a baseline of data regarding the average sales volume per year for the top brands or businesses in the industry, the basic demographic information of the top consumers making purchases within the industry, and the projected outlook for future industry growth. If there are any other important outside factors that are likely to have a significant impact on the overall performance of the industry, these factors will be included in the research as well.
In addition to market research and industry research tasks, a digital marketing agency will also need to dig into the competitor research for your industry before getting started on building your digital marketing campaign. The digital marketing team will gather data to determine the top competitors for your business or brand, to get an idea of what types of digital marketing techniques and tools they have used, and what level of success or failure resulted from each selection.
By completing this research before beginning the planning and execution phase of your digital media campaign, the digital marketing agency will be able to hit the ground running with a clear idea of what sort of marketing has resonated most with consumers in your industry, and they will be able to save time and cost by opting to avoid marketing projects that had been less well-received
In a similar fashion to that of the market and competitor research discussed in the last section, a digital marketing agency will also conduct in-depth consumer research to learn who is most likely to purchase the products or services offered by a particular business or brand, what are the most important selling features that consumers would like to find, and what is the best way to locate and communicate with the target audiences.
The first step in identifying the ideal clients for your business or brand is to take a detailed look at the different groups of people who are most likely to seek information and eventually purchase the products offered by your company.
In most instances, this research to select the ideal clients will most likely result in several unique subsets of consumers. Let’s use a hypothetical scenario, and imagine that your business produces a product that is geared toward teenagers. Your primary audience or primary ideal customers will be the teenagers that you expect to find the most value in your product or service. The process does not stop there. While teenagers may make the decision to search for information and purchase the product or service, it is more likely that an adult family member or another adult will be involved in shopping for and ultimately deciding to purchase the product or service as well.
Once the individual subsets of ideal customers have been identified, the digital marketing team will then research each group individually to determine the exact features, traits, and services that each group considers to be the most important to them. This data will be used to create digital marketing campaigns that specifically highlight the features and information that consumers care about most.
With the first two questions answered, we now know who our ideal customers are and what they are looking for. The next round of consumer research conducted for each business persona will help the digital marketing team determine where each group is most likely to congregate and where they will be most receptive to learning more about the products, topics, and services that your business offers.
The digital marketers will apply their own deep knowledge of the various social media platforms to create individualized digital marketing campaign materials that are crafted to match the style, format, and communication preferences of each social media platform and its users.
Each individual subset of consumers will be treated as one unique ideal customer group. At Dexterous Media Group, we refer to each of these unique ideal customer groups as “Business Personas.” Each individual business persona will be tailored to match the data found by asking and answering the questions in this section.
Keeping with the theme of the hypothetical scenario used in our original example, the primary ideal customer group, teenagers, would be most likely to congregate and engage with content on popular video-based sites like TikTok or youtube or image-based sites like Instagram and Pinterest. The secondary ideal customer group is likely to have far more individual subgroups or business personas. While we know that an adult is likely to play a significant role in any purchase decision, the type of adult could change quite a bit from group to group. For this reason, when it comes to the secondary ideal customer groups, the digital marketing team will need to create business personas for parents, grandparents, teachers, coaches, and other responsible adults who will influence the final purchase decision.
After conducting market, industry, competitor, and consumer research, determining who the ideal customer groups are likely to be, and crafting tailored business personas, there is still one last bit of planning to be done.
The digital marketing agency will bring all of the data and reports generated in the previous segments together into an easy-to-navigate; at Dexterous Media Group, we like to compile all data into a small book that we call a “Brand Atlas.” The Brand Atlas serves to clearly define the marketing strategy as a whole and offers an excellent resource for keeping track of the digital marketing campaign efforts for each business persona.
Content media marketing is one of the largest and most vital roles that the digital marketing agency will play in the current marketing environment. Today’s web surfer or online buyer is far more likely to interact and share an infographic, short video, or podcast. Of course, that does not mean that written content is no longer needed. On the contrary, modern web users expect the brands that they engage with on a regular basis to provide a high-quality user experience, high-value information in the form of informative blog posts and articles, and entertaining and informative videos and podcasts that they can enjoy and share with others.
Let’s take a quick look at some of the top services that you can expect to find in most digital marketing agency packages.
The look and ease of use of your company website or storefront are critical to the ultimate success of your digital marketing campaign. Users expect the website to be easy to navigate, with pages that load quickly and interactive features which work smoothly regardless of what type of device you may be using. A digital marketing agency will have a team of web designers and web developers that ensure that your business website looks amazing and performs perfectly across any device or platform.
Search engine optimization (SEO) is the key to ensuring that your business website, your content, and your digital marketing efforts are seen by as many web users as possible. When an internet user searches for information using one of the top search engines, the search engine algorithm will look for the most relevant, informative, high-quality, and current websites and other web-based resources that match the search words or phrases originally entered in the search box by the user. A digital marketing agency will generally have an SEO specialist or SEO team with the experience and knowledge needed to fine-tune your business website and content to ensure that the search engine algorithms routinely view your business or brand as the most valuable resource available and thus display your content to the web searcher on the first page of search results returned for web searches containing keywords or phrases related to your business.
Social media marketing is the realm of digital marketing that manages all of the social media outreach for your business or brand. We discussed the creation of multiple business personas intended to craft content that is customized for a specific ideal customer group and a specific social media platform. Creating multiple different versions of branded content and deploying it in the right style and format at the best possible time requires the expertise and insider know-how of a social media specialist. The social media marketing team will not only create customized content for each social media platform, but they will also need to create a branded account on each site that is optimized for the individual platform yet still retains enough of the original business branding to ensure that every social media interaction is immediately recognizable as having originated from the official brand.
While information-rich, high-value written content is still viewed as the gold standard of informational resources in the search engine ranking system, modern web surfers often expect, and at times prefer, to find the information they are seeking in the form of a short, instructional, or informational video. A digital marketing agency will have a team of video marketing professionals to help craft branded videos for posting to social media platforms, video-sharing websites, and the company’s own website. A professional video marketing team will employ their expertise to create high-quality branded content that is informative and entertaining to keep viewers engaged with the content and encourage the original viewer to share the content with their own personal network, thus increasing the overall views for your business website and brand.
A digital marketing agency will deploy an interconnected network of AI-powered automation tools across your business website, social media platforms, and other spaces where your business publishes content and engages with internet users. These high-tech tools serve a number of different functions, including the tracking, monitoring, management, and reporting of visitor engagement with various aspects of the digital marketing campaign and direct communication with the customer or potential customer using chatbots and automated messaging responses to specific customer inquiries.
While automation cannot replace the personal service of a live customer service staff, it can help to ensure that all consumers receive an immediate response to welcome them to your business website and ensure that they are able to easily find the information that they need. Automation also serves to ensure that potential customers who visit your business website or engage with your content on other platforms or through email receive follow-up communication that encourages them to return to your business when they are ready to make a purchase.
Live stream communications are the latest trend in direct digital marketing and offer the best of both worlds by allowing the digital marketing agency to schedule live stream events where informative content is presented by a subject matter expert from the business or brand or a guest expert that is well-known within the industry in life, and interactive format to an audience of viewers interested in the subject matter.
Regardless of how experienced and talented the digital marketing agency professional may be, it is unreasonable to expect a digital marketing campaign to perform perfectly across all areas immediately after deployment. Digital marketing campaigns are complex, multi-layered devices that must be consistently monitored and adjusted to ensure optimal results.
A digital marketing agency will provide a dedicated monitoring and tracking program which continuously tracks the performance of each individual aspect of the digital marketing campaign and provides a timely and detailed return on investment data reports that allow the team to quickly spot any areas that are underperforming so that an immediate course correction can be instituted. The digital marketing agency will conduct regular testing to determine various ROI metrics like:
The digital marketing agency will regularly conduct content testing to determine the answers to these questions and will use the resulting ROI data metrics to determine whether the digital marketing campaign is performing as expected or underperforming. This regular testing is critical to ensuring that your digital marketing campaign delivers the expected ROI from the very start and that it continues to produce the expected ROI over time.
A digital marketing agency has the staff and technological resources to deploy large-scale digital marketing efforts across multiple different platforms simultaneously. This large-scale deployment can be used strategically to provide powerful flooding of branded marketing, content, and communication across the various media networks to grab attention, and drive traffic at a crucial time, such as the launch of a new product or service or a special sale event.
These large-scale coordinated digital marketing events can produce powerful results when executed properly. While many aspects of digital marketing could be performed by an in-house team, this type of large-scale digital media marketing requires a large, multi-talented team of digital marketing professionals and a great deal of technical prowess to execute properly, making this particular digital marketing technique out of the scope of most in-house teams.
One of the most difficult aspects of maintaining a digital marketing campaign is the challenge of providing constant, responsive direct communication with both existing customers and potential customers. Because of the 24/7 nature of the internet, today’s consumers have come to expect an immediate response to their questions or communication regardless of the day or hour. Obviously, as a business owner, you are likely already struggling to find enough manpower and time to operate your business, and there is often no room in the business budget to employ a dedicated team of 24/7 live customer service agents. A digital marketing agency has the technology and the manpower to provide a wide network of direct communication tools, from AI-powered chats and emails to a team of live operators, which can be patched in by the AI system when a live person is needed. A digital marketing agency has the resources needed to provide responsive direct communication 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year, freeing you and your staff up to concentrate on operating your business.
A digital marketing agency has the resources to manage every aspect of the digital marketing campaign, from preliminary research to execution. When you choose to partner with a digital marketing agency, you are getting a dedicated team of digital marketing professionals who are all focused on maximizing the success of your digital marketing campaign. This dedicated focus allows the team to continuously monitor and refine the digital marketing strategy to ensure that the campaign is not just performing adequately but performing at the highest possible level across all areas.
Small business owners who are just starting out are often mistakenly convinced that they will not be able to afford the services of a digital marketing agency until their business begins to grow. This couldn’t be further from the truth. In fact, many small business owners may not be able to afford NOT to partner with a digital marketing agency. A strong digital marketing effort is critical to the success and growth of a new business; however, a brand new business often lacks the resources needed to execute a basic level of digital marketing effort required to see your business grow. Because a digital marketing agency employs a full staff of industry professionals providing services to several business clients, you are able to access the services of a dedicated marketing team for a fraction of the cost of maintaining an in-house team.
Dexterous Media Group is a full-service digital marketing agency offering all of the digital marketing services we have discussed in this article and so much more. When you are ready to learn more about the benefits of partnering with a digital marketing agency, be sure to visit Dexterous Media Group on the web or give us a call to find out how we can help you achieve your marketing goals and grow your business. We are here to help!