What Is A Digital Marketing Agency?
A digital marketing agency develops and executes marketing strategies on a variety of digital channels based on online user behavior data and analytics.
These channels include:
- Search engines
- Paid advertising or pay-per-click (PPC)
- Social media platforms
- and more
Unlike traditional marketing and advertising companies, they focus on producing measurable results like:
- On-site conversions
- Rankings on search engine results pages (SERPS)
- PPC lead generation
- Social media engagement
- Social-media-generated traffic and conversions
- and more
Digital marketing agencies are often confused with digital agencies.
While digital agencies typically do provide digital marketing services, they tend to specialize in all things digital and, therefore, also provide web, app and software design and development in addition to other services that grow businesses online.
What Services Do Top Digital Marketing Companies Provide?
Digital marketing companies offer services as varied as the digital channels they specialize in.
To answer this question, let’s take one step back and look at the engagement models, i.e. the how these companies deliver their services.
- Partnerships: Digital marketing outsourcing is one of the most common engagement models. Two-thirds of B2B companies outsource online marketing to professional agencies to be able to focus their in-house resources on revenue-generating work.
- Projects: These are one-time or other short-term engagements where a business outsources a particular campaign, strategy or another time-bound task to a specialized agency.
As for the services themselves, the top digital marketing companies often combine a number of techniques to promote your brand across channels and drive online business growth.
Some of these efforts include:
Internet Marketing & Advertising
Digital marketing agencies in the US manage marketing and advertising across a wide variety of platforms. These tactics can include:
- Retargeting and remarketing
- Paid search
- Paid media
- Pay-per-click advertising
- Native advertising
- And more
These initiatives can be executed on many platforms, including:
- Other publications
- And more
Content & Social Media Marketing
Multimedia content and social media are steadily replacing outdated traditional advertising tactics, such as radio spots and expensive TV ads.
Top digital marketing agencies can conceptualize, create and publish all sorts of content, such as:
- Blog posts
- Brand videos
- Social media posts and content
- User-generated content campaigns
- Digital newsletters
- And more
According to Content Marketing Institute, 91% of B2B organizations use content marketing to attract and retain their audiences.
And the tasks they outsource the most include:
- Content creation (47%)
- Content promotion/distribution (23%)
- Content marketing measurement (11%)
- Content marketing strategy (9%)
Search Engine Optimization
Online marketing also encompasses search engine optimization (SEO).
This robust initiative is the act of optimizing your web design and corresponding content to
rank higher on relevant search results.
There are three types of SEO that you need to focus on for a well-rounded organic search strategy:
- Technical SEO
- On-page SEO
- Off-page SEO
Unsurprisingly, most companies optimize for Google since it dominates the search engine market and in May 2020 it maintained 92% of the total market share.
However, the engine uses more than 200 factors to rank websites.
And while some of them are clearer than others, top digital marketing companies have both enough experience and data to develop effective SEO strategies that will increase your website traffic organically.
Additional Digital Marketing Services
There is a near-endless list of campaigns that can be implemented to grow your business.
Additional digital marketing services include:
- Email marketing
- Marketing automation
- Affiliate marketing
- Data and analytics
- Inbound marketing
- Digital public relations
- Conversion rate optimization
- And more
Digital Marketing Company vs. Digital Advertising Agency
The fields of online marketing and digital advertising tend to overlap often and to a degree that makes it difficult to set any clear boundaries between them.
You can view digital advertising, and – with it – the services a digital advertising agency provides to their clients, as the development and delivery of advertising campaigns for online audiences.
As such, digital advertising marries data and tech with creativity.
Some of the services that would fall within the scope of digital advertising are:
- Display ads: Data analysis, data-based campaign conceptualization, design, deployment, performance tracking and optimization
- Social ads: Similarly to display ads, digital advertising agencies devise social media campaigns based on the target audience behavior
- PPC and other forms of paid ads including social
In reality, most digital marketing agencies in the USA will include these advertising services in their offering.
Online marketing is usually viewed as a broader strategy that ties all the digital branding, lead generation and customer relationship building initiatives under its wing.
So, these agencies develop expertise in a few particular branches of online marketing. Some even develop industry-specific expertise.
As a result, these companies’ offerings will differ and the right outsourcing partner will specialize in just the type of services you need.
How Much Do Digital Marketing Agencies Charge For Their Services?
Top digital marketing companies usually price their services based on hourly rates. In the US, the hourly rates for digital marketing agency services range between $100 and $175.
However, if you choose to partner with an overseas company, hourly rates can drop to as low as $40.
Many organizations also hire top digital marketing companies on a monthly retainer contract, meaning that the online marketing company acts as an expert consultant that advises your business.
Depending on the type of project, monthly retainer fees for US-based companies range from $1,000 to $3,000 or more.
Meanwhile, those companies located overseas have less expensive monthly retainers that hover around $700 per month.
Top digital marketing agencies can also charge per project or a results-based fee.
5 Advantages Of Employing Professional Digital Marketing Services
Here are the top five advantages of working with a digital marketing company:
- Staying relevant in your industry: Your agency will develop an in-depth understanding of your industry and business environment which matters in the success of your business growth efforts as these are some of the key factors that will improve your strategy.
- Being on the top of the latest trends: Digital marketing specialists will also keep you on top of the emerging trends in online marketing and the latest market-tested tactics to help you reach your goals.
- Having access to premium marketing tools: The top agencies use expensive tools that automate their strategies, provide analytical insight and help with day-to-day online marketing management efforts.
- Generating more quality leads: The tactics and tools your digital marketing company will provide you with, will help you get a deeper insight into your target market behavior and help you identify better buyer personas.
- Getting analytical reports: These experts will also provide you with useful data on your audience, competitors and brand which can help you improve your online marketing strategies.
How To Choose The Best Digital Marketing Company
By now, you have probably observed that each digital marketing agency on our list is unique in their focus, expertise, cost and experience.
As such, each company will have something unique to contribute to your business. Some are crafty wordsmiths, design wizards and brand whisperers, others excel in designing and developing your online spaces, as well as using the latest tech to create memorable user experiences.
To find the best digital marketing agency for your business, consider the following:
Step #1: Ask About Their Experts
One of the main reasons why companies are choosing to outsource their digital marketing entirely is to be able to tap into the expertise the agencies foster.
In other words: These agencies’ most important resource is, i.e. are, their people.
Try to meet the experts who would be working on your account or project to ensure they have enough experience and the right skill set.
Step #2: Identify Their Area(s) Of Expertise
Understanding what you want to achieve by hiring an online marketing specialist will be helpful in finding the right partner.
Online marketing encompasses many strategies and campaigns across dozens of platforms. And asking about the companies’ core competencies will give you an insight into their skills, qualifications and relevant experience.
Step #3: Understand Their Processes To Learn How They Deliver Results
The top digital marketing agencies have clearly defined and streamlined processes that help them optimize the client engagement as well as results.
Ask your shortlisted candidates to share how they:
- Would interact with you and/or your inhouse team to obtain insights and approvals
- Manage internal and client communication
- Deliver strategies
- Ensure transparency over the entire process
Step #4: View Their Professional Portfolio
The top digital marketing agencies in the United States have detailed portfolios full of successful projects.
Do your own research and learn what you can about an agency’s prior campaigns. Then, ask the agency detailed questions about these projects, such as:
- Why was it successful?
- Did it go according to plan – why or why not?
- What did you learn from the project?
Plus, don’t forget to ask these experts about their missteps, too.
The top digital marketing companies will recognize projects that didn’t meet expectations and will tell you what they learned and how they plan to avoid that in the future.
Asking yourself these questions will also help in your search for the right partner:
- To onshore or offshore:
- How important is the agency’s physical proximity to your offices?
- How important is the time zone overlap?
- How important is it to outsource to a US-based agency and why?
- Project scope:
- What type of digital marketing services do you need?
- Will your project expand over time? If so, which new tasks do you expect to outsource to the digital marketing agency you partner with?
- How much are you looking to invest in your project?
10 Questions To Ask Digital Marketing Agencies Before You Hire One
Ask the following questions to find the best digital marketing agency for your next project easily:
- Who would be working on our account? What qualifies them for this role?
- What are some of the high-level suggestions you have for our online presence and why?
- What is your process, i.e. how would you approach our project?
- How would you engage our in-house team during this process?
- How often would we meet to review progress and results?
- How would you measure our digital marketing results?
- What tools, programs or resources do you use and why?
- What experience do you have in our industry?
- What experience do you have solving business growth or marketing problems that are similar to ours?
- What digital marketing services are included in your fee? Are there any services, programs, etc. that may cost extra?
Takeaways: Which Is The Best Digital Marketing Company?
Digital marketing companies develop strategies that foster business growth online.
They offer various pricing plans but the most common fee is the fee per hour which ranges between $100-$175 per person, per hour.
The best digital marketing agencies in the world share key qualities that prove that can help brands grow online successfully.
These qualities are:
- The ability to understand and adapt to any brand
- Strong company leadership and highly skilled teams
- Access to top tools and resources that give them better management capabilities and access to real-time data
- Experience in your industry and solving similar business growth problems to yours
- Expertise in the online marketing areas you’re looking to implement
- A collaborative culture that will work with your brand
- The ability to create a clear and organized roadmap to success – and stick to it
- A history of successful marketing campaigns, strategies and initiatives
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