Spoiler alert and a bit of a “behind the scenes scoop” for the topic of this blog: We were doing some keyword research for our own content planning a little while back and found that “What do digital marketing companies do” was something that had a high enough search volume and low enough competition that it was worth targeting. It’s a legitimate question that many people want an answer to, however we’d be lying if we said that we didn’t have a little bit of trepidation about trying to tackle this topic. Saying you work in online marketing is a bit like saying you work with “Computers”.
It’s such a broad term with so many different platforms, moving pieces and various disciplines (black, grey & white hat for example) that we’re not entirely sure the question can stay valid forever in any “list your services here” kind of way. So to get past this, we thought the best way to answer the question was to change “What do digital marketing companies do?” to something a bit more relevant to the results that you’re hoping to achieve rather than a simple list of services or explanations of technical expertise. We’d be here for days with the latter in particular.
So let’s try asking the question “What do digital marketing companies do for a business?” Perhaps it should be “What can” instead of “do” as not all digital marketing companies are created equal and results can’t always be guaranteed, but let’s run with this for the purposes of this blog.
Step 1. Establish clear goals
You know your industry and your products and services, we know the online marketing landscape. Together, we should be able to come up with a good idea of what your goals should be and in what ways we can try to achieve them. At this point we won’t know for sure as there’s a lot to unpack and explore before real decisions can be made, but from the get-go any agency you’re talking to should be focusing on what you want to achieve and how much of that can be put into action.
Step 2. Assess your situation
Once we have an idea of what you would like to aim for, an agency should then look at any current efforts (or lack thereof) that are in place. This is always a great learning experience for the agency, especially if you have tried digital marketing before, because we can look at the positives and negatives of previous campaigns to get a bit of a head start rather than just starting from scratch. However if we are starting from scratch there is still a lot to learn about your offerings and what needs to happen for this to work for you.
Step 3. Explore the possibilities
Once we know where your business is at, a deep dive then needs to be done into each and every platform that could potentially be utilised (be wary of anyone only offering particular platforms as they might be trying to fit a square peg into a round hole in order to get the sale). Whether it’s social media ads, pay-per-click advertising (Google & Bing Ads, etc), SEO (Search Engine Optimisation), media buying, direct selling or a range of other platforms, they all need to be explored separately and have lines drawn back to a singular draft strategy or brief to see how they could work as individual channels as well as together. Sometimes it’s one or the other, sometimes it’s both, but there will almost always be a platform that will be the clear performer that can be backed up by or work in tandem with at least one or two others.
Step 4. Take action
At this point, with a good understanding of your business offering and the platforms that look set to perform best, all considered under the umbrella of a single (but many tentacled) marketing plan, the strategy should be finalised and put into action! A good agency should ensure that you are well and truly across how the plan will roll out, what is being measured at different points and give you regular updates along these lines. Depending on which channels end up being utilised this could be anything from ever few days, to weekly, to monthly.
Step 5. Review
While talking in such broad terms, it’s hard to say at what point results should be reviewed, but having a monthly meeting with some contact in between is a good average amount of contact give or take. But frequency aside, review is the most important part of this process (along with taking action based on what you find). It’s also important to make sure as a business that you take on the responsibility of understanding the data given to you and that the agency take on the responsibility of helping to give you that education.
If you end up focusing on the wrong parts of the data then it can all go downhill quickly. At the end of the day all marketing is trial and error so it’s super important to know where to look to see if everything is headed in the right direction. Sometimes you’ll see results immediately, sometimes it could take months to achieve your goals. It all depends on a huge amount of separately spinning plates, but any agency worth their salt should be able to guide you through this process and leave your business feeling empowered.
Repeat steps 4 & 5
Lastly, make sure you come back to the previous two steps regularly. Review, take action, review again, take action again. Even if you’re already achieving your goals, improvements are almost always possible and where they’re not, you can always venture into new areas once others are at peak performance.
And this it for another week! As always if you’d like us to elaborate on anything here or simply want to explore your opportunities with regards to digital marketing in Brisbane (or anywhere in Australia) then please feel free to get in touch. You can also leave comments below if you feel like we’ve missed anything or just want to have a conversation. Until next week!