You’ve faced the inevitable – your business needs to grow its online presence – but not everybody has the skills, expertise and personnel to create and maintain an effective digital marketing strategy that will increase brand awareness, online traffic and engagement, and ultimately bring in new customers. The smart move is to work with an internet marketing agency that can operate and oversee the many different facets required to meet your marketing objectives.
The decision to hire an agency that can enhance your internet marketing efforts may initially look like just another expense, but it should instead be seen as an investment. Consumers appreciate the quality of customer service. As a business owner, time management is just as important as finance management, and both can have an enormous impact on your ability to offer quality products and services while maintaining excellent customer service. By hiring an agency to handle your online marketing, or a portion of it, you can concentrate on your main responsibility: running your business.
But what should you expect from your online marketing consultant? How can you get the most out of them? Here’s a rundown of what they should be providing for you, and how you can best use their service to reach your digital goals.
First and foremost, your internet marketing agency will set up an effective campaign management system that will identify the market you want to reach, how best to do it, and how to measure the results of your efforts.
They will help you define your buyer personas and the buyer journey so you know what type of content to create, when, and what platforms to promote it through for maximum effect and ROI.
People search online for information about a problem or challenge they want to overcome: they want to identify and put a name on their problem, find out how to overcome or solve it, and they want to find the best product or service to provide that solution. In order to provide this solution, you need to know certain things about them so that you can direct your marketing strategy towards them effectively. This could involve keyword research to find out what terms your target market is using to find the information they need.
Offering a mutual information swap through a compelling Call to Action, or CTA, brings you that information. Your digital marketing agency can create various means by which potential customers will provide their information in an equitable swap of information: a free report, whitepaper or video, for example, containing the information they seek to download in exchange for their contact details and contact email.
After this, they can create an email workflow that will communicate information about your business to them to build stronger relationships with your potential customers.
Search Engine Optimisation (SEO)
Consumers now look to the internet for information and solutions to their challenges and problems, and your website needs to not only provide that information, but be easy to find. Your online marketing agency will optimise your content for you to make sure it ranks highly on search engine results through the research and use of the many facets that make up top-ranking search results – relevance, authority, accuracy, as well as keywords, links, and social media shares.
A good agency can even create the content for you, ready to go as keyword-rich, optimised blogs and webpages.
You can of course perform SEO yourself, but it can be time-consuming. A good internet marketing agency can save you time, the expenses of a website that doesn’t work to its highest level, and the heartache of what can seem like an endless task, all while increasing your online presence and overall profitability.
Your internet marketing agency should offer you great on- and off-page SEO. The on-page SEO should include higher visibility for your website and increased levels of engagement through great blog promotion and efficient content management through CMS. The off-page SEO should include consistently creating great content published and shared on the right platforms and through the right people, while nurturing the backlinks search engines love from other relevant business and thought leaders.
What was that about content?
Your internet marketing agency should be able to offer you great cornerstone content – landing pages that provide relevant information that addresses a person’s challenges and pain points to show your company as a trusted, go-to resource and solution provider – all of which is user-friendly with quick load times and reduced friction before the point of conversion.
This is then backed up by great pillar content on your blog, building your authority and ensuring you can internally link your website and direct visitors to your landing pages.
This is where expert insights from a professional agency come in. The insights, knowledge, and experience it brings can dramatically reduce your learning curve and boost your organic reach, customer engagement, and visitor conversion through great content, and as they will no doubt tell you over and over, content is king.
Your internet marketing agency can also ensure your website and all online content remains as up to date as possible in what is an ever-changing environment. For example, only a couple of years ago, the focus was on creating webpages with great design, but that has been superseded by more minimalist, functional designs with faster loading speeds, which in turn were overtaken by adaptive websites that responded to device sizes. It’s hard to keep up, but your agency can do that for you.
No longer merely the domain for idle chatter, social media platforms are now a hugely important part of any digital marketing strategy. The stats say it all: more than 70% of consumers are likely to make a purchasing decision based on social media referrals. Your internet marketing agency will identify the people who drive online discussions, engage with them, and establish relationships that will see your content enjoy exponential growth as it is shared. Trusted influencers sharing, liking or referring to your brand or your content is a major part of your marketing, and your internet marketing agency can help you not only promote your message to a wider audience, but promote it through the right people with the right audience, ie, your target market.
They will understand exactly what you need for your business in terms of social media by learning about your business and your marketing objectives, as well as marketing trends within your industry, and will ensure your message is clear through all your social media networks. In short, you need them to provide a unique blueprint for success.
This will involve utilising the right platforms, not simply plastering posts across every one. Your internet marketing agency will interact directly with your audience to respond to your followers, to gain loyalty for your brand, and create the specific message you are looking to get across.
Your social media platforms can also be used as a great tool for social listening and to receive valuable feedback from your potential market, and your agency should use their expertise to gain a cost-effective insight into what changes your company needs to make in your mass communications and overall business strategy.
All of your content needs to be a part of a larger strategy that drives people into your sales funnel, rather than simply separate parts of a mass communications strategy, and your agency can formulate this strategy so that each element forms part of a streamlined, integrated whole centred around your customers and potential customers.
They should be using a CMS portal that allows all content to connect so that content on blogs and webpages leads directly to landing pages that lead to forms that capture visitor data, which can then be acted upon through email workflows that offer further helpful content to your target market.
This integrated marketing communication approach ensures coherence (each communication type is connected), consistency (each communication supports the other), and continuity, repeating key headlines and phrases that connect each post to a campaign. The result? A customer-centric tailored content strategy and cost savings through the efficient use of content on every platform.
There is a lot of work involved in creating an effective digital marketing strategy, but if you pick the right internet marketing agency to take on the role for you, you will have more time to run your business while they oversee and operate a unique, efficient, tailored plan that will see an increase in brand awareness, website visits and activity, and ultimately, a better bottom line for you.