Are Advertisement Agencies Worth It?
Advertising agencies fall into two broad categories: full-service ad agencies and specialized agencies.
Full-service or integrated, agencies like The Los Angeles Media Factory offer a complete range of ad-related services across all media and markets. They may use multiple tactics – such as advertising campaigns, email/mail, public relations, digital marketing and social media – in an integrated marketing initiative.
Agencies may have the following types of specialties:
- Branding. These firms widen the marketing scope beyond your products or services. They are focused on your company – specifically on establishing, cultivating, and maintaining a strong public image or “brand” for your business in the marketplace.
- Direct marketing. These agencies focus on “direct response” media – which are communications tactics that have a built-in way for consumers to respond to you. This can include mail pieces such as letters or postcards, email marketing that drives consumers to your website, and/or telephone marketing in which trained callers phone a predetermined set of prospective customers.
- Digital marketing/new media. These companies develop ad campaigns designed for the Internet and other digital media. Their tactics may include banner advertising, viral campaigns, and email marketing, as well as campaigns in other media such as mobile advertising and video.
- Social media. A hot subset of digital marketing agencies, these firms focus on using blogs, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, and other social media to communicate with customers. These agencies monitor social networks regularly. Establishing and maintaining online relationships with customers and prospects is a priority for them.
- Shopper activation/shopper marketing. These agencies offer promotion and marketing strategies and services to engage retail shoppers. They typically use multiple in-store media and technologies to create programs along the entire “path to purchase.” This drives customer trial, loyalty, and purchase frequency.
- Public relations. These firms focus on helping the public understand your company and its products. Creating a strong image of your company to the outside world is a major focus for them. Their tactics can include press releases, events, media talk shows, articles, and columns in trade publications.
While the benefits of hiring an accountant or bookkeeper for your business may seem obvious, the benefits of a full-service marketing agency may not be so clear. Here are a few ways that a marketing agency can help your business.
1. Marketing Strategy
This is the most obvious way in which a marketing agency can help your business succeed. Trying to successfully grow your business without an effective strategy can lead to chaos and unpredictable results. Sadly, over 40% of businesses approach marketing this way. We recommend a different approach. A full-service marketing agency can help your business implement a guiding strategy that will create cohesiveness across all aspects of your marketing. Each piece will work in agreement with the next. Best of all, a marketing agency will have a full team at your disposal to help you implement that strategy and bring it to life.
2. Brand Identity
A marketing agency can help you get to the heart of what you do and why. This is key to creating a brand identity that will drive every aspect of your brand including how you sound, how your website looks, how your employees answer the phone, and even the elevator pitch you give to a prospective client.
Your brand identity is much more than just a logo. It includes several key components including creative development, brand standards, and guidelines, brand differentiators, a brand personality and tone, copywriting, graphic design, logo development, and competitive analysis. With a team of experienced marketers, you can nail down your business’ specific brand identity and create a brand strategy that is the driving force behind your business.
The third way a marketing agency can help your business is with professional web design, development, and management. Generic websites no longer cut it in today’s business world. Customers are looking for a web experience that is easy to use and answers their questions quickly. A marketing agency can help you design a site that is professional and visually appealing. They will also be experienced in the latest web technology to make sure your website functions at peak performance while meeting your customers’ expectations.
With a full-service marketing agency, you’ll also have peace of mind knowing someone is managing your website at all times. As the hub of all your digital marketing activities, it’s imperative that your website is kept up to date and glitches are prevented or resolved quickly.
4. Search engine optimization
Over 90% of online experiences begin with a search engine. If your business cannot be easily found on Google and other major search engines, it could be missing a large number of new customer opportunities. A marketing agency can help ensure your business is visible online through keyword research, site architecture optimization, and creative content creation.
5. Pay-Per-Click Advertising
Pay-per-click (PPC) management platforms like Google AdWords allow businesses to place sponsored ads in search engine results, typically on the first page. The benefits of PPC advertising are numerous but managing it can be overwhelming and time-consuming for many small businesses. A marketing agency can not only manage PPC advertising for you, but they can also assess your business’s current position in the marketplace, perform competitor analysis, and look at how your customers view and talk about your products in order to create a customized campaign that will generate more sales and leads.
6. Content Creation
Content creation is one of the best ways to generate buzz around your business today. Whether it’s through blog posts, white papers, social media content, e-books, infographics, or case studies, content marketing is a great way to build brand relationships online. The problem is it is probably one of the most time-consuming methods of marketing out there. As a business owner, having a dedicated marketing agency managing your content marketing program can be invaluable.
Video can help boost your business’s success in social media and search results by generating leads and improving engagement. It’s no longer reserved for businesses with an extravagant marketing budget either. A marketing agency will have a team of marketers who can handle video production from strategy, script-writing, and production to sharing the videos post-production.
8. Social Media Marketing
Social media may seem like an easy thing to manage in-house but building an effective social media presence takes time and effort. That’s where a marketing agency comes in. From determining the right platforms to join to creating content calendars, a social media team can help develop a customized strategy for social media success.
9. Collateral Design and Creation
An effective brand presence is one that works consistently across all marketing channels – including print collateral. Well-designed marketing collateral, like business cards, sales sheets, brochures, or banners, can keep your business top of mind with consumers and help them make educated buying decisions. A marketing agency can help you create pieces that fit seamlessly and cohesively into your brand standards. They will keep all of your brand pieces on file so new pieces can be printed easily and quickly.
A marketing agency can provide your business with the resources, software, and analytics to report on the success of your marketing strategy once it’s implemented. Marketing shouldn’t be guesswork. Hiring an agency to regularly examine the data and analytics and then interpret them into actionable steps is an invaluable resource for any business.
When deciding whether a digital marketing agency is worth the money you have to consider when results will start coming in. Understand that there are a lot of factors. Seeing results can take varying amounts of time–It could only be 1 or 2 months or could be 9 months or more. Every business is unique in its target demographics, budgets, and channels used in its digital marketing strategies.
We are also at the mercy of the search engines and tracking tools and how they give credit to the work. Getting results is never as quick as we want it to be. Accurately forecasting digital marketing results is complicated. There’s no magic switch to turn on. When working on results, work with your digital marketing agency to set proper expectations about the time it takes to see results.
It’s rare to find one person who can utilize both the right brain and the left brain for a detailed marketing strategy. Both the artist and the data scientist have to be engaged for the best digital marketing results. So, if this person exists in your organization can their skills be afforded?
Is Hiring a Marketing Agency Worth It?
In the end, having a marketing agency means having a team of innovators dedicated to the growth and success of your business. While you’re focusing on what you do best, a team of web developers, copywriters, designers, and account managers are working on your behalf to develop and grow your brand through customized strategies. For those thinking, could I just do it myself? Ask yourself these questions: Do I have the time? Do I know how to a? How much is my time worth? Could my time be better spent doing something else?
Your business needs digital marketing. Don’t let not knowing the answers to all these questions stop you from getting started. If you’ve decided you’re ready for a digital marketing agency, give Los Angeles Media Factory a call to help you manage digitally marketing your business.