To find the best digital marketing agency, we first need to understand “what is digital marketing”, “is digital marketing beneficial for your business” and answer the question “how can I get more leads for my business?” – which should be the purpose of all marketing.
What is a digital marketing agency?
The dictionary definition of digital marketing means the marketing of products or services using digital technology, mainly on the Internet, but also on mobile phones, display advertising and any other digital media. So easy to sum up in one sentence, but it can be a complex process to get right and ensure that all of your digital marketing works together, not as silos. This is where the expertise and experience of the best digital marketing agencies can be of immense benefit.
Traditional advertising, newspaper and paper directories such as Yellow Pages, are increasingly less efficient for businesses. While a few years ago people went to the computer to find a product or service, today people are connected to the Internet all day, every day and “live online”. Searching for information, a product or a service is as fast and simple as searching on a laptop or computer at work or searching for a mobile phone or tablet. Digital marketing focuses on making your information, products and services visible to people when they search the web. The best digital agencies understand the purchase process of your products and services and ensure that your information is visible to potential customers at the right time. In the world of digital marketing, the different stages of the purchase process, i.e. research, consideration and purchase, are called “micro-moments” and the best digital marketing agency presents the necessary information, service or product during the purchase process. .
Although some digital marketing agencies also create and manage traditional advertising or business marketing, such as newspaper advertising, specialist digital marketing agencies focus on online marketing, unlike “marketing firms” that usually focus on TV, radio and print marketing.
Whether your business is business-to-business (B2B) or business-to-business (B2C), digital marketing can be a fast, often instant and reliable way to bring leads to your business and increase revenue. The best digital marketing agencies manage all digital advertising based on return on investment (ROI), ensuring that the leads generated make business sense and are profitable. Digital marketing benefits your business and answers the question “how do I get more leads for my business”?
Digital marketing, sometimes called website marketing, can be divided into several important features and services:
Search engine optimization, most commonly abbreviated as “SEO”, is the process of getting your website found on search engines like Google when people search for your company, services or products.
Whether your website is an online store or selling services, it will bring leads and sales to your business if it is found using the search terms that people use (often called “keywords”) to search for them on Google.
SEO requires experience and an understanding of how Google reads your website. What messages and information do you want Google to read on a web page or website and know where to place this information so search engines can find it. A good SEO company has a proven track record of ranking websites high in search results.
SEO works best when proven methods for getting rankings are used in conjunction with the latest trends driving traffic. An example of this is the “near me” phenomenon, which has grown 150% in the last 12 months, where mobile users add “near me” to their search query, i.e. “SEO Company near me”. These customers want to shop and buy from a local service or product supplier.
While SEO can be a standalone service, it is most effective when combined with PPC, social media and reputation marketing. SEO is also the cornerstone of effective PPC, social media and reputation management campaigns.
Pay Per Click
With Pay Per Click (PPC), often called “Google advertising” or “online advertising,” you place ads at the top of search results for specific search terms. These search terms can be words that people use during the “research” phase of a purchase, or target “buying keywords” when potential customers are looking to buy.
Although your ad can be displayed, depending on your budget, every time a search is made, you only pay when an Internet user clicks on your ad and is directed to your website or calls you directly from a search results page, meaning you only pay when you get a click from a potential customer, hence the name of this form of Pay Per Click marketing (often abbreviated to PPC).
How much you pay for each click is determined by a few factors. “Cost per click” (abbreviated as CPC) is determined based on the quality and relevance of the ad, the search term used, and the relevance of the page on your website that the potential customer lands on. These factors affect your overall “quality score”. The higher your Quality Score, the less you pay per click and the less you pay per lead for your business.
In the UK, Google has the vast majority of search traffic and the majority of your budget should be allocated to them, however, you don’t want to miss out on the smaller but still significant potential for customers from search engines such as Microsoft’s Bing platform, and a small portion of your budget should be allocated to other search engines. In addition, the best PPC management companies will also discuss splitting the PPC budget across multiple campaigns targeting different parts of the customer journey. A small part of the budget should be directed to the research phase of the buying process, when people use broad search terms to find information, a small part of the budget when people search for your company name, competitors or market leaders. Most of the budget when potential customers use search terms directly related to the purchase, and finally a small part of the budget for remarketing (showing your ad to people who have shown interest in your services or products by visiting the website) to collect and grow results from previously advertised customers as well.
The best PPC agency is Google Premier Partner. Google Premier Partner status shows that the company has a proven track record of delivering high quality campaigns that generate good competitive / low CPCs and generate a high and positive ROI. The best PPC agency has a solid PPC management process in place that allows you to react quickly and take advantage of changes in your competitors’ PPC campaigns.
Unlike SEO, which can take some time to be fully effective, Pay Per Click is immediate in that as soon as your campaigns are running, they can generate leads for your business.
PPC is very effective when performed in conjunction with SEO. A well-optimized website improves the quality score of your Google ad campaigns, resulting in a lower cost-per-click, which means you get more leads for your budget.
Social media marketing
Social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter are now legitimate places for businesses to attract leads. Facebook has over 38 MILLION active and regular users in the UK, and is expected to reach over 42 MILLION by 2020. Regardless of whether your business sells to consumers or to other businesses, your potential customers are on Facebook and use it frequently.
Facebook is great for raising awareness in the “research” phase of customers, reminding them of your services or products in the “consideration” phase, and getting your specific products in front of potential customers in the “buying” phase. Because Facebook has such a large audience and the flexibility to target customers throughout the buying process, Facebook can be a great way to generate leads and sales and generate a good return on investment.
A good digital marketing agency has proven experience in implementing highly effective Facebook advertising campaigns. The best digital marketing agencies are able to demonstrate the conversion rate and cost per lead of your social media marketing.
Again, social media marketing and especially Facebook marketing can be done as a standalone activity, but it works much better when combined with SEO and/or PPC. When a potential customer visits your website, their computer is marked as visited. You can then target the user of that computer who has shown interest in your products or services.
When a potential customer is considering a purchase, they browse the Internet to find feedback and reviews from previous customers. Your online marketing and sales can live or die based on the reviews of your business, service or product. Making sure positive reviews are easy to find and negative feedback is well managed can be a huge benefit to your conversion rate.
Digital marketing companies call this “reputation management” or “online reputation management”, but in reality it’s creating systems to create customer reviews and create customer feedback that results in positive customer satisfaction and is easy to find for potential customers.
Many companies like to give the public the opportunity to provide open feedback. You can’t always please everyone, and companies fear that a bad review will negatively impact their business. First, if someone has decided to leave a bad review for your business, they will find a platform to do so, and there are 1000’s of platforms to choose from. It is better to control where customers are encouraged to leave a review. Second, a bad or poor review can be a positive for your business if handled well. Participating in a bad review emphasizes that you care about the feedback, and then you care about your customers. One well-handled bad review can be as good as ten good reviews for your business.
A good digital marketing company uses one of a handful of recognized review platforms and provides the tools and means to capture, manage and respond to customer reviews.