According to a study, there were over 4.33 billion active internet users as of July 2019. Yes, you read it right. That is a lot of people, constituting nearly 56% of the total global population.
Lots of people are using digital channels nowadays not only to search for information online but also to conduct their business. From shopping to connecting with people, everything is possible with online channels.
So how does this translate for businesses? Today, it is important that every business has a digital presence. With customers moving online, businesses need to be there too. Businesses need effective digital marketing strategies to reach out to their customers. Having said this, digital marketing is complex and extensive. There are many platforms and each has its features and it becomes difficult for businesses to master this effectively.
Fortunately, there are many digital marketing agencies which take care of the digital marketing needs of businesses.
But how do businesses chose which agency to work with? What are the benchmarks or skills that make a business chose one agency over another?
What do clients look for in an agency?
Let us explore some of the key digital marketing skills businesses look for in an agency.
1. Expertise In Developing Digital Marketing Strategies:
When businesses approach a digital marketing agency, it is either because they don’t have the required expertise in digital marketing themselves or their in-house digital marketing team does not have experience in a particular segment of digital marketing.
Clients look for agencies who are experts in developing out of the box and result-oriented digital marketing strategies. Each business is different, and the ability to understand a client’s business and conceptualize and execute suitable content marketing strategies is one skill businesses look for when hiring an agency. Many clients look for agencies with exposure in specific industries and they would rather hire them than agencies who are generalists.
2. Creative Website Development, SEO, SEM:
A website is the shopfront of a business online. From offering information about the values and mission of a business to the description of the products and services, websites do all this and more. Websites which are attractive, informative, and offer a good user experience are ranked higher by Google. Clients look for agencies who can create, optimize and rank their websites higher on search engine result pages. Expertise in running paid campaigns for conversions like website visits, lead generation is highly sought after and is a skill which any agency must have.
3. Social Media Marketing
Social media is an integral and important part of digital marketing. With people spending on an average more than 1-1/2 hour on social media every day, social media reach is growing day by day. Expertise in understanding how each social media platform works and ability to boost the image of the business both organically and through paid features is something clients look for. Social media can drive traffic to websites, help engage customers, create brand awareness and conversion.
4. Speed and Adaptability:
Digital marketing is evolving every day. What channels or marketing strategies worked a few years back may no longer work. Clients look for digital marketing agencies who are adaptable to the new changes and can respond to real-time challenges. This depends on the skills of the professionals who are part of the agency.
5. Data Analytics:
One of the noteworthy advantages of using digital marketing channels is the availability of data which can be tracked and analyzed. From web analytics to overall digital marketing analytics, agencies need to have the skill to organize, understand and interpret data from various digital channels. In today’s business scenario, data-driven decisions are the key to successful marketing campaigns. They should be able to identify the trends and use key data metrics to see that the marketing efforts are in sync with business goals.
6. Video Marketing:
Video marketing has been gaining popularity and statics show that videos are likely to increase conversions by nearly 80%. Therefore, clients look for agencies who have in-house professionals with video-making skills. If not, they need to at least know when to use videos, ability to hire and manage outside vendors for video making and to measure how a video is performing. Now with many easy to use video-making software available in the market, agencies are expected to have at least basic video-making skills.
7. Artificial Intelligence For Digital Marketing:
With newer AI-based systems being developed every day, clients look for agencies who can harness this for their business. From data analytics tools to track customers’ behavior, bots to answer customer queries to voice recognition technology, AI systems are presenting with automation solutions to marketing processes and can be used as and when needed.
8. Creative Content Marketing:
Creating engaging, relevant and quality content is an important skill which clients look for in an agency. An agency should be able to understand the needs and voice of a brand and be able to create compelling creatives to attract customers. Just creating content is not enough, identifying appropriate channels and marketing the content effectively to achieve business goals is equally important.
9. Knowledge of Human Behavior:
Gone are the days when hard-core selling or bombarding your customers with ads would lead to conversions. Nowadays as Tom Fishburne puts it “the best marketing doesn’t feel like marketing.” The focus has shifted from the needs of the seller to the needs of the buyer. Today’s marketing is all about providing value to a customer and creating a relationship. Therefore, insights into human behavior, problems and pain points of customers and how the business can solve those problems through their products or services is important.
The relationship between a client and a digital marketing agency is a partnership. Clients prefer to work with agencies who are proactive in reporting what was done, why it was done, and what the results are concerning their digital marketing campaigns. A very important skill digital marketing agencies need to have is the ability to have open communication with its clients, as no one knows a business better than the client.
If a business wants to remain profitable, along with the traditional marketing channels it needs to concentrate on digital marketing channels as well. Digital marketing scores due to various benefits it offers like greater reach, better ROI, analytics, and remarketing.
Digital marketing agencies have professionals who are experts in their field. Digital marketing is a field in which changes are happening every day. To keep up with these changes and to appropriately leverage digital marketing for its business, it makes sense for any business to partner up with a good digital marketing agency.
Hope the above article has provided some insights into what clients look for when hiring an agency. If your agency ticks all the boxes of the above checklist, clients are sure to make a beeline for you.
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