What is digital marketing and why is important?
Digital marketing is the promotion of a brand and its products and services to online audiences. It's done through a variety of digital marketing strategies including search engine marketing, affiliate marketing, social media advertising, and other digital channels.
Digital marketing is about bringing more target customers through the marketing funnel. However, if a brand doesn't have a good product or doesn't create a positive customer experience then no marketing tactics would lead to sustainable growth.
Digital marketing efforts come in after that foundation is built and they help business owners increase organic traffic, improve the brand's social media presence, and execute digital campaigns across a variety of digital platforms and marketplaces.
Inbound marketing vs digital marketing
Digital marketing is a broad term that's used to describe all the different ways to target your audience using digital channels. Inbound marketing is a methodology that uses digital marketing assets to attract, engage, and delight customers online. There's a difference between inbound and outbound methods.
For example, inbound marketing is heavy on content development on the company's blog and various social media platforms. It includes things like email marketing campaigns, video marketing, and influencer marketing. Outbound methods include various performance channels like Google Ads (Google AdWords), native advertising, social advertising, PPC management, and ads on mobile devices.
Which online marketing services are right for my business?
There's no cookie cutter answer on this but a good first step is to look at your current channels and see which ones yield the highest return on investment. Look at what's already working and see if you could improve it. Maybe you need an outside consultant or marketing expert to help your marketing team with a specific channel. Or you might need to manage a digital channel more intensively.
The right marketing service will also depend on the type of industry you're in. For example, influencer marketing and social media advertising work really well for eCommerce products and more glamorous products. A plumbing service may need to use more traditional channels like developing a good SEO strategy and going all-in on local SEO.
Here are a few helpful questions to ask yourself:
- What are my most successful digital marketing campaigns? What's working well and what's not working at all?
- What are the most popular digital channels in my industry?
- Do I need a generalist (like a full-service digital marketing agency) to look at all my channels and see what should be improved? Do I need someone with specific expertise on one channel?
- How is my social presence doing? Am I active on social platforms? Do I get engagement on my social media posts? Do I run social advertising campaigns?
- What are the greatest bottlenecks in my sales funnel?
- Do I have a content strategy? Am I creating blog posts and other forms of online content to get more organic traffic?
- How big is my marketing department? What skills am I lacking on the marketing team? And what do other digital marketing teams in my industry usually specialize in?
If you're still not sure which service is best for your business maybe it's a good idea to look into getting a professional marketing strategy update and getting an expert to help.
What types of digital content should I create?
The type of online content you should create depends on the channels you're using and your business goals. Content creation is completely different for PPC marketing than for an influencer campaign for example. Here are the different channels you should be aware of.
Social media marketing -> Improve your social presence with engaging social media posts, video marketing, and some social proof.
Organic traffic (SEO) -> Use a good blend of content marketing and technical SEO to create long-form blog posts and guides for your potential customers. An SEO agency or content agency would be able to help you with this one.
Advertising -> Ads on social media channels require good copy and creatives to work well. PPC ads require less work on the creative side. If you are heavy on your advertising channels then you might need a performance marketing agency to create and manage your ad campaigns.
“Make it simple. Make it memorable. Make it inviting to look at. Make it fun to read.” - Leo Burnett
How much does online marketing cost?
The average cost of digital marketing services ranges from $2,500 to $12,000 per month. That's for a monthly retainer, the hourly rates vary from $50 to $500+ per hour. The biggest digital agencies like Dentsu International or Publicis Group charge more than $12k per month but you don't need a fancy firm from San Francisco to do your marketing. You need a marketing partner that has achieved business growth with other clients in your industry, and that has experience working with similar target audiences and marketing budgets.
How to hire the perfect marketing company to work with
By now you're probably wondering - where do I find the best digital advertising agency for my business? Don't fret, you don't have to waste your time and resources working with the wrong agency. Here is the process you should follow to find the best experts.
Check their success record
Don't just look at the sales deck and the customer reviews. Look at the specific clients that they've worked with and the results they achieved. Make sure they have proven success in working with clients in your specific industry. Don't just take their word for it, ask to see some names in their client base and talk to those people.
- Do they have experience working with midmarket clients? Enterprise companies? Startups?
- Which industries have they worked with in the past? (healthcare marketing, sports marketing, etc.)
Check their expertise
Look at the range of services they offer and make sure that it matches exactly what you need to accomplish. Make sure they have experience working with your target demographic and business model.
Traditional marketing at advertising companies used to be about billboards, newspaper ads, and TV placements. With the digital revolution, a whole new world has opened up and there are now hundreds of different marketing specialties. Agencies usually have a wide variety of channels they specialize in so always ask about any additional services they may offer.
- Are they a full-service digital agency or do they specialize in specific channels?
- Do they have proven results in the specific channel that you're looking to grow?
Find out their availability
You should also check how available they are to work on your project. How many existing clients do they have? And how much staff do they have to service those clients? Usually, medium-sized agencies (10 - 49 staff) and large agencies (50 - 100 staff) are really busy and don't give you the time of day. Work with someone smaller and more specialized to get the results you're looking for.
- How many people will be assigned to your project?
- How often will they report on results and communicate with your team?
- Do they have a collaborative culture? How much input would you have on the project?
- Where are their offices located?
Find the perfect agency with Mayple
We have some of the world's top marketing companies in the world including agencies that specialize in social media marketing, digital strategy, content marketing, search engine marketing (SEM), direct marketing, and much more. You don't need to work with the world's largest marketing companies to achieve the results you're looking for. You just need the right partner with a proven success record in your niche that's vetted by Mayple.