In a world that’s relying on technology more and more every day, it’s no surprise that marketing has largely gone digital. As trends change and new platforms take off, it’s easy to start feeling left behind. There is a lot to take in and keep up with, even for the most savvy business owner.
Even if you really wanted to, keeping your brand totally offline isn’t really an option these days. Since your marketing is being done online, anyway… would you rather thrive in the digital landscape, or simply survive?
There are digital marketing solutions for all of your needs, to be sure, but many of us are lacking the time and skills to make those solutions a reality. Digital marketing agencies exist to turn your marketing problems into the results you crave. The great debate is whether it’s worthwhile to hand over the reins, or if you should roll up your sleeves and learn how to do it all on your own.
There are countless factors that play into this decision, with pros and cons on both sides. Which begs the question: how do you know if a digital marketing agency is right for you?
This is a hugely important topic that I have both invested in and been hired for.
First of all, what is digital marketing?
Basically, it's marketing done online that helps you connect with customers and ideally drive the message (the strategy to a sale).
It's also a fairly new and growing field that can be quite confusing to most people because there are so many moving parts: automations, tracking, variety, integrations, A/B testing, ads, creative, social media, and then some!
A digital marketing agency should be able to provide solutions to your basic problems of traffic, lead generation, and growth. Not only that, they should be able to show the results as data. For example, a digital marketing agency can create a social media content plan to grow your email list. They may help you execute it by creating the graphics, editing the videos, posting for you, and helping funnel the viewers into a place where they can give you their email (and thus grow your list).
That is just one example of how an agency can help. But you're probably wondering: is it worth the investment?
To answer this question, let’s work backwards for a moment, because we need to address a few things:
This is the age-old question! Ok, it’s not age-old, since digital marketing is a new industry… but it’s definitely one that comes up a lot in my groups and forums.
A VA is going to be an integral part of your business, but he/she is an assistant… not your executive marketing director.
This is where many people go wrong. They hire a VA and expect them to create a high-level strategy for them, and perhaps don’t get the results they want.
For example, a VA might help you with various tasks, ranging from creative projects, to executive administrative work, to client management. You, the business owner, should tell the VA what to do for the most part-- of course, having open communication and being receptive to their suggestions, too.
Depending on their experience level, a VA will be able to take tasks off your hands so you can focus on the top revenue-generating activities for your business: creating content, networking, having sales conversations, and enrolling clients for your services or programs.
If you’ve considered hiring a virtual assistant, there’s a few things I would invite you to think about beforehand!
Enter the online business manager! I would say this role falls somewhere between a digital marketing agency and a virtual assistant.
The exact definition of an online business manager, according to Indeed.com:
“An online business manager is a virtual support professional that helps organizations manage daily projects, processes and team members. They're in charge of maintaining the operations of the company by tracking key performance indicators (KPIs), establishing goals and measuring their progress.”
Once again, this individual is NOT a digital marketer, but understands digital based business growth and the roles team members play to maximize your ROI.
I think it’s a smart investment to hire an OBM once you’re getting to 6 figures to exponentially grow your business. This way, you can have a clear view of what actions and efforts are needed to double, triple, or tenfold your expansion.
Digital marketing agencies might have an internal OBM that works for them, but this is not always the case.
Digital marketing is a skillset that can take a new business owner from excited and pumped, to feeling confused and not sure what to do next.
Grow an email list?
Update my website?
Run ads? (They didn’t work when I boosted my post!)
Should I go live at 2pm or at 8pm?
How do I make a reel?
These are all questions related to problems that a digital marketing agency can solve, or that a marketing consultant can advise on.
Depending on the agency and the services they provide, since not all agencies do everything, you’ll want to have a list (or at least an idea) of what you’re looking for when hiring someone to help you.
Make sure you’re well-versed in the tasks in your business you need outsourced. That way, you can focus on growth and service.
There are several things an agency can handle for their clients on a regular basis, which I will list below.
First, always create an overall marketing strategy for brand positioning, visitor growth and optimization of sales. This can be both for services or product-based brands.
Platforms and Technologies:
This is such an important question, because sometimes people hire agencies out of desperation. This happens when they can no longer keep up with all the marketing tasks at hand, plus the sales that need to move the needle forward in their business.
Agencies can charge $3,500 - $20,000 a month, depending on what it is they are doing and the level of management it entails. An 8- or 9-figure business typically has a much bigger budget, which also comes with a higher level of responsibility for the agency to manage.
A personal brand won’t need all of the services listed above when they’re first starting, since most of the business won’t come from paid advertising. Because of this factor, the cost might be on the lower end of the range.
Depending on where you are in business, you can also hire a marketing consultant to do a big picture overview with you, creating the plan and strategy. This will then be given to your virtual assistant and online business manager to implement alongside yourself.
At the end of the day, you want to focus on doing what you’re really good at. If marketing isn’t on your list, then consider working with a professional to get you started on the right path versus throwing spaghetti at a wall and seeing what sticks.
Time lost is much worse than money lost, and most of the time, you need to hire a really terrible agency or consultant to get no value from your investment.
Your business growth depends on wise investment of marketing to grow your sales, so be smart with who you work with. Make sure they’re aligned with your values, your vision and your goals.
I’m here to help you, so please feel free to reach out. Follow me on social media or check out my website!