What services should a digital agency offer, you may ask? This is a good question because it would seem that anyone with a laptop and internet connection can offer ‘digital marketing services’ or ‘social media marketing’ nowadays. I need to make it clear that there is a big distinction between the two. Social media marketing is a facet of digital marketing, while digital marketing focuses on all of the online marketing techniques that include digital technology. In other words, social media marketing is a cog in that digital marketing wheel.
Here are services that a typical digital marketing agency should be offering in order to qualify as a digital marketing agency:
First and foremost, any good agency must understand strategy at its most basic level. Without knowledge of strategy, there can be no successful deployment of digital tactics and technologies.
Data Analytics & Insights
It goes without saying that digital marketing is all about data, information and measurables. That’s why data analytics is so important. If you can’t understand the information that’s lying in front of you, then you’re effectively going in blind every time you put out messaging. The more you understand your audience, your market, your own data, the better calculations you can make about how you should be marketing. Therefore, a digital marketing agency should be offering a service that helps its clients understand data.
Customer Relationship Management
Every agency should understand the basics of customer relationship management. Without this, there can be no understanding of direct marketing, marketing automation or broad-based lead attribution or the handling of data. It is imperative that agencies offering CRM have all of the information security protocols in place that protect their clients’ data and information.
Search Engine Optimisation
Digital marketing is all about being found online. But how can you be found online if you don’t have a website? How can you rank organically on SERPs if you’re not paying attention to search engine optimisation (SEO)? SEO is not only about the content on your site, but it also has everything to do with how technically sound your website is and building a backlink profile. If you’re looking for an agency, ensure that it offers technical, on-page and off-page SEO.
Web Development & Design
This is not necessarily a service that all digital marketing agencies offer in-house. However, a great digital marketing agency should for these reasons:
It is imperative that the user experience design and user interface process is seamless and that the brand custodians are involved. If the service is housed within the agency, it’ll be easier to manage the value chain.
The only way to build a website that will rank is for SEO specialists to be involved from the beginning, to iron out any technical issues. Again, this is best managed if the development team sits in-house.
Maintenance and management of websites are also much easier if they happen in-house; thus, it is imperative that SEO is able to iterate websites monthly.
Online Media Buying
Not all digital marketing agencies offer online media buying in-house, but again, a great agency should. Why? Because there really shouldn’t be a divide between media buyers and creative teams. Clients will never experience optimal media performance if the creative team and media team are separated by different agencies. It is imperative that the media buying team is able to feedback to the creative team on the performance of the creative based on data. This will enable a complete overview of what does and doesn’t work across all platforms, including social media, programmatic, niche, premium placements, native, etc.
Online Creative Production
Every digital marketing agency should have some sort of creative output ability. This is particularly important for performance marketing. For the broader brand creative and purpose marketing, it is not always necessary. We believe that a great agency, however, should have a full-suite creative team. This should include:
Digital graphic designers
User experience designers
User interface designers
2D and 3D animation
Simple AV ability
Social Media Marketing & Management
An agency should have social media marketing ability. This should include community management, moderation and escalation of queries on behalf of the client. Above this, there is also the ability to build social media strategy, tactical campaigns and creative content. All of this would typically be held in place by what is called a content calendar and content pillars.
Public Relations & Influencer Marketing
This is not a typical service that a digital marketing agency offers but is definitely a value add. Public relations works hand-in-hand with search engine optimisation in understanding what the most topical searches are around a client’s brand and what should inform successful content development for media seeding. There is also value in being able to manage influencer marketing and crises management, especially in the ever-volatile world of social media.
An agency should be able to create, manage and distribute direct marketing campaigns for clients. This includes the development of creative and deployment across channels such as:
In conclusion, a digital marketing agency should offer everything that concerns the successful marketing of a client online. The above list is not exhaustive but the offerings listed will certainly make a successful impact for any business.