What Is a Digital Marketing Agency and What Can It Do?
Contributor: Matthew J Fritschle
Remember when everything that went into running a business could be accomplished in-house? When all you really had to do was take out some ads on the local newspaper, and maybe hand some promotional flyers around town?
Ahh, those were the days.
And then the internet came, along with a slew of online competitors, all vying to sway your audience and get them to buy from them.
Thankfully, things weren’t too different at first. Sure, you may have lost some clients, but things were still manageable.
After all, when you saw the other guys pairing their brick and mortar stores with websites, you did the same. And hey, you even started getting more and more online sales to offset diminishing foot traffic.
But then, things started changing faster and faster. You started hearings things like SEOand PPC, and realized that your online sales slowed to a trickle.
Hmm, what’s up with that?
A quick Google search for your inventory returned some competitor ads and their websites — not yours.
Okay, maybe it’s in the second page… nothing.
Then you started sweating.
After more research, which added words like SERPs, bounce rates, impressions and web crawlers to your vocabulary, you finally narrowed down the problem: while you sat idly, hoping for things to stay the same, or even go back to the way they were, your competitors were getting help from the experts, i.e. digital marketing agencies.
You’d heard of them before, and after further research you came across variants like digital agencies and creative agencies.
Even more problems. All you wanted was to get your sales back with a top digital marketing agency, and now you had the added problem of deciding if you wanted the former or the latter.
Thankfully, that’s exactly what we’re going to cover today. From a digital marketing agency definition (and the difference between digital and creative), to why you should even go to a digital marketing agency in the first place, here’s what you need to know.
What Is a Digital Marketing Agency?
As we define what a digital marketing agency is, let’s start with the creative vs. digital agency debate.
While some use them interchangeably, others draw a stark contrast between both, saying that one is this and the other that.
The reality, though, hits closer to the former, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t slight differences between both.
For example, even though “digital agency” has the term, digital, and the other doesn’t, both deal with the digital landscape.
Similarly, even though “creative agency” has creative in its name—implying design—and the other doesn’t, both dabble in it.
With that in mind, let’s delve deeper and start with what those who define themselves as creative agencies do.
What Does a Creative Agency Do?
Creative agencies usually focus on more traditional aspects of marketing, such as improving and bolstering a brand’s reputation through print, radio, television and online advertising, public relations (PR), and direct and electronic mail campaigns.
As we briefly touched on, these agencies also place special focus on design and presenting the brand in an aesthetically pleasing way, meaning that their expertise lands more on the creative side of the marketing spectrum, rather than the technical side that employs tactics like SEO, PPC, web development, etc.
What Does a Digital Agency Do?
Like creative agencies, digital agencies still care about design and a brand’s aesthetic, but they differ in the sense that their focus lies in the technical.
For example, they’ll consider design aspects from a discoverability point of view. That is to say that when designing a website, they’ll think of SEO, branding and how they can get the website to rank higher on search engine results pages (SERPs).
Along similar lines, they’ll employ social media, content and other forms of marketing to drive business growth, which usually entails getting more conversions (e.g. while some brands consider sales to be conversions, others consider email sign-ups to be so).
Digital Marketing Agency: A Combination of Both
From what’s above, you can see that both creative and digital agencies act in similar capacities, albeit with some differences mixed in.
The thing is, more often than not, digital agencies are creative agencies, and vice versa.
It all comes down to how the agency wants to define itself.
For example, if it wants to appeal to fashion brands who are looking to rebrand themselves, it’ll go with creative agency. If it wants to appeal to SMBs who want to rank higher than their competition, it’ll go with digital agency.
The point being that a digital marketing agency understands the benefits of both, and will use whatever techniques work best to accomplish their client’s desired goals, whether it’s through creating design and branding services, or more technical ones like search engine, mobile or voice search optimization services.
Why Should I Go to a Digital Marketing Agency?
If what we’ve covered so far doesn’t convince you to look for some top digital marketing agencies in the USA, hopefully what we’re about to cover should get you to start googling “digital marketing agency near me” ASAP.
Let’s start with some statistics:
- 75% of inbound organizations believe their marketing strategy is effective
- 61% of marketers say improving SEO and growing their organic presence is their top inbound marketing priority
- Only about 22% of businesses are satisfied with their conversion rates
Mind you, these are only three stats that cover very little about marketing as a whole, but they do present an accurate portrayal of what’s what: a lot of organizations are unhappy with the way things are going.
Maybe they feel their efforts aren’t being rewarded; maybe they don’t even know whereto expend their efforts in the first place. Whatever the case, they are not happy and wants things to change.
What do they do to make that change?
If you guessed hire what they hope is one of the top 100 marketing agencies in their area, you are correct!
In doing so, they can tell them exactly what they want, whether it be expanding their audience, getting more sales, branching into a new sector, or whatever it is their heart desires.
What Can a Digital Marketing Agency Do for Me?
Based on your goals, a digital agency (or creative, your pick) will offer a multitude of services that, depending on your budget and scope of work, will work in sync to reach your goals.
For example, over here at Aumcore (a proud digital marketing agency NYC has to offer), we offer services that fall into three categories that vary depending on what you’re looking for:
- Strategic services designed to accomplish goals:
- Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
- Mobile SEO
- Voice Search SEO
- Pay-Per Click (PPC)
- User Experience Design (UX)
- Social Media
- Content Planning
- Brand Strategy
- Creative services designed to help you connect with your audience at a personal level:
- Print Design
- Digital Design
- Brand Identity
- User Interface Design (UI)
- Developmental services designed to promote business initiatives:
- Platform Development
- Platform Integration
- Sitecore Development
- Web Development
- eCommerce Web Development
- Mobile App Development
- Digital Asset Management Development (DAM)
- Content Management System Development (CMS)
Again, depending on what you’re looking for, a combination of the services above will be used concurrently, or one after the other.
For example, let’s go a scenario in which you’re a global innovator of cybersecurity solutions that wants to rebrand and reposition itself as an authority figure in the cybersecurity industry.
To do that, we would use brand strategy and web design. More specifically, we would research your market and develop benchmarks to come up with a strategy to deliver exactly what you want delivered to your audience.
After that, we would put our design hats on and focus on developing a website that was truly you; one that would distinguish you from the other players in the game and position you above them.
As for the end results? Take a look.
Digital marketing agencies are a lot of things, and can do a lot.
On the surface, they can help you bridge the gap between physical and digital, i.e. pairing your brick and mortar store with a website.
Going a bit deeper, they can help you completely rebrand yourself and reposition yourself as something that’s completely different from where you started.
Do you need a website? No problem. A mobile app? Sure. A mobile app, a website AND a CMS? Of course
Did that answer your titular question of “what is a digital agency and what can it do?”