6/5/2023 0 Comments
Digital marketing is crucial during an economic downturn because it allows you to more quickly assess what's working and what's not so that you can optimize effectiveness, minimize waste and maximize effectiveness. But what's involved, what are the best practices, and what results can a growing business expect?
First, understand that B2B buyers will complete 57% - 70% of their buying research before contacting sales. Nine out of ten B2B buyers say online content has a moderate to major effect on purchasing decisions. One study found that 59% of B2B buyers would rather do research online instead of interacting with a sales rep because they think reps push their own agendas instead of actually trying to solve the customer's problem.
Digital marketing means using digital channels such as your website, search engine optimization, paid search marketing and programmatic marketing to market your products and services. There are several types of digital marketing. Using them in combination is wise, but even adding one will increase your digital reach. Decide which ones make sense for your business and what you’ll be able to accomplish with your available resources.
Key Digital Marketing Tools
Your website is foundational. Research confirms that 99.8% of all first customer interactions begin on a businesses website. You must know your target audience. It's vital that your site can be found fast and impress visitors with fast load times, intuitive navigation, smooth functionality and by being instantly informative. People want what they want instantly - they don't want to have to figure out your website. Make sure it loads quickly and works on both desktop and mobile. Customers skip websites that look unprofessional or make it difficult to find what they want.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
SEO, or Search Engine Optimization, is a crucial component of digital marketing. Good SEO focuses on improving a website’s visibility and ranking in search engine results pages (SERPs). Great SEO makes a website more appealing to search engines and users. The SEO process involves optimizing various aspects of a website, including its content, structure, and back-links. Job 1 is aligning your website structure and content with Google guidelines so that your site engages your best customers who want, need and buy from you."
Chris Lowers, president of Grey Partners said it best, "SEO is pivotal for small businesses. Through well-maintained SEO small-to-medium businesses can compete and win, increasing their organic search visibility, attracting more targeted and highly qualified customers, and ultimately grow faster than their competition."
Email marketing is one of the best ways to reach people interested in your business. Give customers a simple way to sign up for emails, and you can use it as a funnel for future sales. It’s a great way to communicate relevant information to those who care. Like your website, your emails should be as clean and professional-looking as possible.
Email marketing is a more efficient replacement for traditional direct mail. Mailers cant be tracked and are mostly seen as spam now. Even consumers interested in your business would probably throw out your “junk” mail.
Paid Search Marketing
Paid advertisements are a popular way to reach customers. Typically, a company distributes your ads to the internet, and you pay them for each click they receive. This is known as pay-per-click advertising. It can quickly scale up or down for businesses of all sizes. Ad campaigns can target consumers based on demographics and interests, ensuring that the right audience sees your brand.
Content marketing is a way to reach your audience with original media. Rather than being a direct advertisement, it focuses on related topics that draw users in. For example, it’s now commonplace for a business’s website to have a blog. Content marketing is a great way to maximize search engine optimization (SEO). Your content can be optimized to rank higher in search results, making it more likely to be clicked on.
Social Media Marketing
Social media has exploded over the last decade with billions of people worldwide addicted social media. It's easy for B2B advertisers to consider social media a viable marketing tool but, smart B2B marketers know that while they may receive a large volume of traffic, converting that traffic to paying customers is often challenging.
Yes, a business presence on these social platforms gives you access to billions of users but what percentage will actually buy your goods or services? Well-planned social media campaigns can expose your business to mass amounts of people and are often a wonderful marketing tool for retail goods, entertainment and services but often under perform for B2B marketers.
10 Reasons to Invest in Digital Marketing
1. Reach a Broader Audience. Traditional marketing has limits. Digital marketing offers the opportunity to reach more of the right audience. You can serve your advertising to potential customers with the need and desire to purchase your goods or services at the exact moment they are searching for those products.
2. Reach a More Qualified Audience. Digital marketing lets you focus on the people most likely to buy when they are shopping or researching the goods or services you offer. It's a much more efficient and effective advertising because you know your budget is being spent marketing to those who need your goods or services. Those that are interested in your business, products, or services can choose to follow your content greatly improving your marketing ROI. People also share content with others with similar interests, giving you further reach without extra digital marketing effort.
3. Increase Brand Awareness. Digital marketing offers excellent opportunities for organic brand awareness. One of the best tools is your content. Blog posts, online courses, webinars, and podcasts are a few examples. Anyone searching for suitable topics or consuming related content could organically find yours. That will expose them to your brand and reach even more people if they share it.
4. Measure Results to Focus Your Efforts. Digital marketing channels give you access to important analytics. You can see the number of clicks on your ads, how long people watched your video, where your blog post ranks in search and more. Each piece of your marketing strategy can be analyzed in-depth. This will show you how effective your methods are and allow you to weigh their benefit and cost.
5. Compete with Competitors. Keeping up with your competitors has always been important, but digital media has ramped up the race. Businesses that don’t keep track of technology or follow their analytics will quickly be left behind. Technology can change in days, opening a new marketing path or even closing one you used.
7. Cost-effective & responsive. Digital marketing is has a much lower entry cost and you can instantly tune you campaign at eny time to optimize your response. That's a huge advantage over traditioanl advertising which requires a large up-front commitment without the opportunity to optimize - if you're not getting results that's wasted money with traditional advertising. One of the significant benefits of digital marketing is its flexibility. Changing some of your content or advertising only takes a few clicks and, you're in control of all the details.
8. Scalability. Businesses of all sizes can utilize digital marketing. Some aspects will grow organically through SEO, email subscriptions and social media. You can scale the rest yourself. Some small businesses start by doing all their marketing and then hiring it out once they’ve outgrown that.
9. Establishes a Roadmap for Your Business. Planning your digital marketing will also help you plan a roadmap for your business. You’ll be able to analyze where current customers come from and where you can find new ones. It also allows you to map out your growth and create marketing targets.
10. You Can Do It Yourself. Because the barriers to entry are low with digital marketing, small and medium businesses are able to market themselves without an ad agency or hiring a marketing team.
Build Your Business Through Digital Marketing
Digital marketing is more than beneficial — it’s a necessity. Customers research products online. Research indicates that website visitors determine the quality of service within 2-seconds of visiting your website. Without a engaging digital marketing presence, customers won’t find you and those that do will leave and go to your competitor.
Successful businesses know that investing in digital marketing is no longer an option, it's a necessity. If your business needs help taking your digital marketing to the next level, Grey Partners is here to help. Our team will accelerate your growth by helping you attract, engage and convert more of your best customers. We are your force multiplier delivering website design, search optimization and lead generation solutions for small to medium businesses.
5/31/2023 3 Comments
What questions should I ask before hiring a digital marketing company?
The first step in choosing the right agency for you is identifying your specific marketing needs. It’s important to understand that different agencies may offer different services. Some focus on foundational tools such as websites, SEO and SEM, others may favor social media and content marketing while larger firms may offer full-stack services. Businesses should evaluate their marketing goals, review agencies that can deliver results in the areas that matter most and then choose a firm that will truly value your business rather than treat you like a number.
Dr. Michael Perusich, CEO of Kats Consultants remarked, “we often think about marketing as a mechanism to accomplish a task. But, just like the need to create great relationships with your customers, the same is true when choosing your digital marketing partner. I advise my clients to avoid firms with ‘thousands of clients’. Yes, that can be reassuring to hear but, that also indicates a high-volume, cookie-cutter approach where you are just a number. Choosing a strategic partner that truly values your business will bear much more fruit for your business in the long run.”
It’s difficult to be confident about what services are offered and needed, how pricing and terms are structured and most of all, what results should be expected. And with so many choices, how do you select the right professional marketing team?
In this blog post we will explore the critical questions you should ask and considerations you should evaluate before selecting a digital marketing agency for your small or medium-sized business, discuss what services marketing agencies do for you, review the elements that make up an effective digital marketing strategy and, reveal standard costs and compensation structures.
Understanding these points better ensures that you’re more likely to select the right partner and create a successful relationship that generates the consistent growth outcomes you’re looking for. Let's get started!
When looking to hire a digital marketing company there are several things to evaluate. Look for an agency with experience in your industry, ask for examples of past work, what tools they use to track success, how often they can meet with you, the size of the agency, how they are compensated, what specifically is included and what terms are required.
What does a digital marketing agency do?
Digital marketing agencies typically provide a variety of services such as website design, search optimization, search engine marketing, social media marketing, email marketing, and SEO. Niche firms specialize in providing one or several services. Full-funnel digital marketing firms will typically offer all digital services plus graphic design, copywriting, video/audio production, branding, advertising, media planning/buying as well as public relations services.
What is an effective digital marketing strategy?
An effective digital marketing strategy requires careful planning, research, monitoring and goal-based adjustment. You need to define your target audience, establish your goals, choose the right channels, plan and implement your strategy, monitor and measure your results then adjust for improvement.
Effective digital marketing strategies are comprised of foundational elements no matter a business’s size, target audience or industry segment. By following these steps, you will be able to create a successful digital marketing strategy that delivers results for your small or medium business.
Ask agency candidates for example digital marketing plans and look for these elements:
What does it cost to hire a digital marketing agency?
Digital marketing agencies typically offer two types of compensation structures: project-based & retainer-based. Project-based compensation is charged by the hour for one-time projects such as website design, branding, or social media setup. Retainer-based compensation is charged monthly for services such as content creation, social media management, and email marketing.
When asked about why they chose a retainer through a full-funnel firm, Eric Johnson of CJ Real Estate said, “We struggled to realize how our website, SEO, email, events and social media - all our marketing - works together and needs to be managed as a whole. We wasted so much time and money with one-off projects and short-term focus. I’m so glad we listened to Chris Lowers and let his team get us marketing strategically. Grey Partners is a remarkable digital marketing agency – they have us off the sales roller-coaster and enjoying steady business growth. And, we’re spending about half of what we did on project work. Go figure!”
Service costs are often substantially reduced by entering into a monthly retainer agreement because it offers the same benefit for both the client and agency – consistent success. Agencies know that your success is their success. One-time projects typically won’t be good for them or their clients over the long term because websites and SEO must be continuously nurtured to be consistently successful.
Check out these FAQ’s to learn more about digital marketing agency pricing:
Before hiring a digital marketing firm, it’s crucial to do your research and ask critical questions to ensure that you end up with a firm that complements your business needs. Ask about the firm’s services, previous success stories, industry expertise, who will be managing your account, and their pricing structure. Ensure significant experience, an understanding of your goals and objectives, a commitment to be ahead of the latest trends and technology, transparency, and the ability and desire to measure success. With a clear understanding of the digital marketing firm, you’ll be more comfortable working together toward the common goal of building your brand and achieving consistent growth outcomes.
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