Online marketing agencies are success staples in today’s digital age. Without them, many of the brands you know and love would not be where they are today.
In light of the COVID-19 crisis especially, there has been a notable spike in interest and investment in digital services. In the UK, adoption of online services rose from 83% to 93% during the pandemic. A growth rate which would have taken two to three years to occur in a pre-pandemic scenario.
That being said, even without considering the pandemic, there are a number of reasons why people choose to boost their business online. Here we will discuss how to know when you need an online marketing agency.
What do online marketing agencies do?
They are experts in building brands online. Whether it be maximising online presence, generating sales leads or even educating curious businesses – they play a part in making digital success happen.
Usually, an online marketing agency will offer full service or partial services – meaning they can tailor a package to suit your needs. For example: if you only need help with SEO, or social media, or both – they can allocate a specialist individual or team to focus on this for you.
While marketing agencies house experts, there is no time to sit back and get comfortable in the digital world. Due to its rapid, ever-changing nature, marketing agencies need to be on top of every trend, trying and testing them to make sure they are worth the hype.
This means when clients come in, marketers are able to offer their knowledge and expertise on what the best options are for them.
But the question still stands – when do you know you need them? Here we have compiled the top reasons ProfileTree have been hired by clients.
When to hire an online marketing agency
There are usually a handful of reasons as to why people take the plunge and hire an online marketing agency. Usually, it is to solve a problem that a company is facing, or to provide guidance to help a company adapt. Either way, online marketing agencies are there as a cooperative resource, to provide a service that will generate positive results.
Here we have coined the main reasons why an online marketing agency is needed.
You plan to expand
Like all businesses, success is the main and most important goal. With success, comes the need to adapt and follow where the demand is. For the better part of this century, online has consistently been where the demand is, as people tend to favour e-commerce for its convenience and social media for its entertainment.
You may already have social media pages and a website setup, but haven’t ventured beyond the basics. Or, you are a start-up that needs to create all of these from scratch. Either way, having a strong online presence for your business is essential to reach target audiences.
For either of these reasons, digital marketing agencies will provide a multitude of services. Whether it be web, social media or content. If you invest in these, then you will establish stronger customer relationships, generate more leads and your business will continue to grow.
You lack expertise
While you may be a senior member of your business, you are experienced in your own specialist field and tasks. Often, people think that if they occupy a senior-level job title, then they need to wear all the hats. This is not the case, and it is perfectly fine to outsource help.
With marketing especially – there is a reason it has its own industry. There is a broad spectrum of specialisms within marketing that not even the most experienced individual in the field could be confident in executing them all.
That being said, an online marketing agency will comprise a mixture of people who each have their own strand of specialist skills. For example: there will be a digital team, content team, design team and a website team to name a few. By recruiting an agency, they are experts for your benefit, and will be able to do all the work for you so you can continue making your business a success.
You don’t have the time
Much like any manager or business owner, your time is precious and extremely limited.
While you are managing multiple people, delegating and completing tasks as well as handling clients, you cannot afford to take time out of these. The reason you are so valuable in your business is because you are busy helping it tick over everyday.
If you were to take time out of your busy schedule to learn marketing techniques – it would take a lot of time, trial and error to get it right. While it may be beneficial to educate yourself, it is important to know that marketing is not an overnight solution.
Online marketing agencies specifically focus on trending and traditional marketing methods, meaning they are knowledgeable, experienced and will most importantly save you time and money.
You are not seeing ROI
It is common that companies will spend a large amount of money on new websites and social media advertising and see no return. Usually, this is due to a lack of knowledge of what people respond to and engage with.
As previously mentioned, marketing is a process that needs to be tried and tested. However, with an online marketing agency, they will have the expertise to know what works and what doesn’t.
Through a marketing agency, you will have access to varied skill sets, innovative ideas and fresh approaches to make your business stand out from the rest. Therefore, if you are already at a loss with your current marketing efforts, you will have nothing to lose but everything to gain by hiring an agency.
At ProfileTree, we understand that trusting an outside agency with your business’s online image is a big step. We feel just as passionate about helping businesses prosper, as you do with your own business. We are here specially to help businesses grow online through bespoke solutions. Whether it be sleek web design or engaging content – our team of experts can help you communicate more effectively to your audience online. We can also measure success for you, so you can see how far you have come.
By investing in your business’s online presence, you will win customer loyalty and continue to flourish. For an online marketing agency you can trust, contact us here or use the links below.
Outsource Marketing: What to Look for and Avoid
Outsource marketing may seem like a simple phrase that speaks for itself. But, when you’re on the fence about whether you should source external help with your marketing, it can seem like a huge, daunting decision for any company.
Despite the weighty task of making the decision, outsource marketing is a welcome solution to a variety of problems. You may be considering this particularly if your business is planning for growth, lacking in expertise or not seeing good return on investment.
When you feel the time is right to seek assistance with your marketing from an outside freelancer or agency – it is good to know the ins, the outs and everything in between before taking the plunge.
We share two videos from our youtube channel on how to set up and grow your business online – an opportunity for us to showcase the online marketing skills of our agency:
What Is Outsource Marketing?
Outsource marketing is when a company decides to hire a marketing agency to help them succeed within this specialist field. Agencies work with clients, therefore the company hiring the marketing agency would then become a client. This is usually the case when a company does not have a dedicated in-house marketing team, therefore it seeks professional advice from an outside source.
This service can be provided to fill a number of gaps. It could be that a marketing agency is needed to deliver training sessions for a small group of employees who will be taking on more marketing-related tasks. Or, the agency may supply full or partial marketing services, depending on what is required by the outsourcing company.
Benefits of outsource marketing
Outsourced marketing exists because it solves problems for conscious companies. Here we have highlighted the benefits you will see from hiring an outsourced marketing firm.
Lightens the load
Understandably, if you run or manage a business – you already don’t have enough hours in the day. Using this precious time to teach yourself and your employees marketing from scratch would just be additional stress and time wasted.
It makes more sense to hire an external professional rather than try to keep up with the ever-changing field that is marketing. This would lighten your workload and give you time to focus on your priorities. In turn, your business’s management, morale and success would benefit.
Leaves it to the experts
A marketing agency will be filled to the brim with experts in the field. They will be up-to-date on what topics are trending, what the best practices are, and have valuable connections at their fingertips. Therefore, you know your business will be in safe hands.
If you have ever been curious about a marketing tactic such as influencer marketing – a professional can suggest a list of bloggers that would suit your company. If you want help with SEO, a marketing expert can provide you with a list of keywords and create a plan of action.
What’s more, an agency will have all of this information ready and waiting. Meaning you don’t have to aimlessly scroll online to try and find all the answers yourself.
Saves time and resources
Hiring an external marketing agency is value for money. Instead of wasting time and money vetting and recruiting a number of professionals, training up juniors or investing in the software that marketers need – you can simply outsource.
An agency will already have all of their necessary resources and be skilled to carry out the job straight away. This avoids major overheads coming out of your company’s budget. The way it works is you would pay a monthly fee to the agency, usually based on the amount of hours they have spent carrying out your work.
While this may seem like an extra expense – it will save you in the long run.
What to seek
There is an abundance of marketing agencies out there, which makes it even harder to choose the perfect one to recruit. Here we have collated a checklist of what key aspects to look out for when it comes to searching for an outsourced marketing agency.
A strong backlog of clients
A quality agency will have an extensive list of reputable clients. Make sure to look for clients that fall within the same industry as you. This can help you decipher if there’s a conflict of interest, or show you if the agency has worked with similar companies who are not a competitive threat.
If the agency has worked with a good mix of consumer and corporate clients, then this shows they are a diverse, talented agency that are likely to meet your company’s needs.
Awards prove success
If the agency has won or been shortlisted for an array of awards, this is a key indicator of their quality standards. If the agency has been recognised for their work on a number of occasions, then this proves their efforts are noteworthy and innovative.
Even if they are a relatively new agency who have not had the chance to enter in for any awards, client testimonials are another way of determining the professionalism of their work. This is vital, as the feedback will be coming from a valid, true source.
Qualifications and experience
It is good to know who you’re working with, no matter what the project is. By having a browse through agency websites and social media pages, you should be able to at least find out what projects the company is working on and who the main face of the company is.
Luckily with marketing professionals, they will have their fingers in all the social media pies. Check LinkedIn especially – this will allow you to see how qualified, experienced and well-connected they are. The more you feel like you know the agency, the more you will feel like you can trust them with your business. We have 2 companies who talk us through their experience of online marketing and how they have grown their businesses using agencies and outsourced digital marketing:
What to avoid:
Unfortunately, there are a number of marketing agencies that will not live up to expectations. From empty promises to bad communication – we’ve collated a list of things to avoid when outsourcing.
Setting unrealistic expectations
If you meet with an agency and they guarantee you ‘X’ number of results in ‘X’ number of months – whether these be likes on social media, clicks on Google or publications in a newspaper – these are totally unpredictable metrics and will only disappoint you if they do not come to fruition.
Not only is it a risky tactic, it also is amateurship. The agency is there to help you improve over time with good quality work, not rushing under intense pressure to try and meet a made-up target. Marketing is not an overnight solution. Only once a logical plan is put in place, you can begin to monitor progression and determine success.
Agencies that offer a service but have no evidence
Agencies will want to remain competitive, therefore they will try to offer as many services as possible. However, what will determine fact from fiction is whether the agency has the evidence to substantiate their claims.
For example: if an agency offers SEO services, but they do not have a client or case study to prove this, or they do not have an SEO specialist in-house – alarm bells should start ringing. If an agency truly offers a certain service, they will boast about it and be busting to tell you the details and results of their efforts.
Agencies that say one person will do all the work
This is never the case. Across online marketing agencies or any time of agency, the workload is usually split between executives and a delegated manager, who is also responsible for overseeing.
An agency, depending on their workload, will introduce you to the whole team that will be working on your marketing strategy. It is perfectly normal to be in contact mainly with the manager. Yet, if the manager is off sick and you need to converse with someone else, there will be familiarity and a sense of comfort that your work is being looked after by a trusted individual.
By knowing what to seek and what to avoid, this will help you on your journey to find the best possible marketing agency for you.
At ProfileTree, we help brands grow online. You can trust there’s no faff with us – we’re the real deal and we’re here to boost your success.
Our client work specialises in digital strategy and content marketing, as well as website design and development. If you are looking for more advice on outsource marketing and are considering hiring an online marketing agency. Or if you are keen to know how we can help, simply contact us! We look forward to hearing from you.