Marketing Strategy

What Does a Digital Marketing Agency Do? Everything You Need to Know

by Sha Drena Simon . February 17, 2021
Before partnering with a digital marketing agency, make sure you know who you'll be working with.


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A digital marketing agency can be a valuable partner to your business, though you may not fully realize all they can do for you. As a sales or marketing manager, your job is to bring in customers through your business’ “front doors.

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Today, 81 percent of customers conduct online research before making a purchase decision, which means it’s imperative to develop a robust online presence that engages and nurtures customers online throughout their customer journey. A digital marketing company can do this for your business, plus a lot more.

What is Digital Marketing?

Digital marketing is a multifaceted strategy aimed to target, reach out to, and build relationships with customers online, across a broad range of channels, ultimately getting them to make a purchase and more purchases in the future.

The results of digital marketing are dramatic. Blogging alone can help brands bring in 67 percent more leads compared to those that never post. SEO also boasts a conversion rate of 14.6 percent, which is dramatically higher than the 1.7 percent conversion rate that traditional outbound methods deliver.

Digital marketing services consist of the following tactics:

A digital marketing agency employs a wide variety of different tactics, strategies, and online tools to help a business attain its marketing and sales goals. This can make planning and executing a successful digital marketing campaign a challenging prospect for most solopreneurs and smaller marketing departments.

Given the scope of digital marketing, it’s helpful to look at the most popular types of digital marketing agencies and the services they offer.

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7 Types of Digital Marketing Agencies (and What They Do)

Choosing a digital marketing agency can be challenging if you aren’t familiar with the industry. Some agencies specialize in one industry or service, while others offer a broad range of services. Remember that the best one for your business will depend on your budget, your digital marketing goals and objectives, and how hands-on you want to be in your digital marketing. Below are seven of the most common types of digital marketing agencies:

1. Digital Marketing Agency

A digital marketing agency reaches customers online through omnichannel marketing, multichannel marketing, or single-channel marketing. With multichannel and single-channel marketing, agencies interact with customers in one or multiple channels such as websites, blogs, email, social media, and more. Omnichannel marketing refers to marketing that provides a seamless customer experience across channels and devices throughout their lifecycle. A digital marketing agency typically won’t offer traditional marketing services.

2. Full-Service Digital Marketing Agency

A full-service digital marketing agency tends to be larger than most other types of agencies and offer a variety of digital marketing services. Businesses often partner with full-service digital marketing agencies because they have the experience doing specific projects that the businesses need done, such as lead nurture campaigns or a website redesign. These agencies can also bring added muscle to existing marketing departments at a lower cost than it would take to build them out with new hires.

3. Inbound Marketing Agency

An inbound marketing agency offers inbound marketing tactics and strategies, which differ from traditional outbound strategies. Inbound agencies seek to position a business online where customers can find them, build trust over time, and eventually generate sales. Inbound strategies can yield significant results over time, but they typically require a longer time horizon (six months to a year or more) before leads and sales “hockey stick” up.

4. SEO Agency

Digital marketing agencies specializing in SEO (search engine optimization) help their clients’ websites and website content rank high on search results. They will have specialists perform the following:

  • Keyword research
  • Website audits
  • Backlink audits
  • Website and blog content
  • Metadata assessment (checking the quality of URL, title tags, meta descriptions, etc.)
  • Video description optimization
  • Link building
  • And more

An SEO company will utilize a variety of data analytics and website developer tools like Google Analytics, Google Search Console, SEM Rush, and SEO Moz. SEO agencies are always early adopters of search engine optimization best practices, including compliance with Google’s ever-changing search algorithm.

4. Digital Ad (PPC) Agency

Paid search, also called paid advertising, is the other way to generate traffic to a business website. Unlike free organic traffic, paid traffic involves spending money to bid on keywords and ad placement on search results. Digital ads can appear on websites, search result pages (SERPs), and social media channels. 

Digital ad agencies know how to produce attention-getting, keyword-filled ads that conform to the best practices of the digital platforms on which ads appear. Popular services include Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and YouTube ad creation and deployment, and Google Ads Manager account creation and maintenance.

5. Online Ad Agency/PPC Agency

Paid search, also called paid advertising, is another way to generate traffic to a website. Unlike free organic traffic, paid traffic involves spending money to bid on keywords and ad placement on search results. Digital ads can appear on websites, search result pages (SERPs), and social media channels. This can bring you leads quickly, but your campaign must be properly set up to reach your target audience.

Digital marketing agencies that focus on online ads know how to produce attention-getting, optimized ads that conform to best practices. You may choose to hire an online ad agency alone or in conjunction with other agencies as part of a broader online strategy. While PPC can perform well on its own, it works best when paired with a less expensive long-term strategy that can capitalize on the paid traffic you generate.

6. Social Media Agency

Companies turn to social media agencies when they need help with establishing and maintaining a social media presence. Social media agencies can manage and produce social content and set up advertisements on social platforms like Facebook and Instagram. They will also offer services related to responding and reacting to customer interactions on social media platforms. They may also offer influencer outreach for cross promotion or affiliate marketing.

7. Web Design Agency  

A web design agency is composed of creative designers who build customized and optimized websites or web pages for businesses. Web designers will handle the look, feel, and functionality of the pages, whether it’s for a brand new website, a website redesign, or a smaller project. Common services offered by website agencies include user experience and user interface (UX/UI) design and research, image creation and storage, web development, and web hosting.

Digital Marketing Consultant

A digital marketing consultant is a professional who may or may not be affiliated with a digital marketing agency. Digital marketing consultants have a broad knowledge of digital marketing and can help businesses come up with a digital marketing strategy. They can identify weaknesses in your current strategy, areas of improvement, and the best way to make the most gains. They may also have a network of other marketing professionals or agencies they can refer you to for further assistance.

What Does a Digital Marketing Agency Do?

Companies work with digital marketing agencies because of their expertise in online marketing. Agencies know the latest trends, best practices, and best tools and strategies that are needed for digital marketing success.

Below are specific things to expect when working with a digital marketing agency:

Digital Marketing Agencies Grow Organic Traffic to Your Website

The overall goal of any digital marketing endeavor is to generate as much organic traffic to one’s business website. Marketing professionals at digital marketing agencies know the ins and outs of inbound marketing, customer journeys, and search engine search algorithms. When you work with a digital marketing agency, organic traffic (traffic from people who find your website online via a search engine search) to your website will increase. Your website will attract more leads with fewer costs. These leads will also be better quality leads that will increase the probability of them making a purchase. 

Digital Marketing Agencies Generate Sales-Ready Leads

The professionals at digital marketing agencies will know your business, your marketing goals and objectives, your sales funnel, and your ideal targeted audiences. Additionally, they will also be knowledgeable in various inbound marketing tactics such as content marketing, social media marketing, web design, and search engine optimization. 

In your sales funnel, different inbound marketing tactics are more effective than others based on where leads are within your sales funnel. When working with a digital marketing agency, you’ll be able to get the right message delivered through the right online medium, at the right time to each lead within your sales funnel. A digital marketing agency will help you generate sales-ready leads by moving leads from the top of your sales funnel to the bottom. 

Digital Marketing Agencies Expand Your Brand Reach

Your customers are online. You know that and every digital marketing agency knows that. Since digital marketing agencies specialize in promoting brands online and creating online relationships with customers, they know how to expand your brand’s reach online. By working with a digital marketing agency, your website will get better visibility from keyword research and buyer persona development done through the agency. If you employ a digital marketing agency to undertake your social media marketing, your brand will also gain additional online presence on various social media platforms. 

Digital Marketing Agencies Improve Your Marketing from Top to Bottom

The digital marketing agency you choose should feel like an extension of your internal marketing team. What your internal marketing lacks in terms of specialized digital marketing knowledge and time, your digital marketing agency partner will address. 

A digital marketing agency will also catch weaknesses in your current digital marketing activities. If your marketing team is small, chances are you won’t have the expertise your unique digital marketing campaign needs to be effective. For example, you need to web design, SEO, public relations, email marketing, and social media marketing. You may not have the expertise in all these areas. 

At Yokel Local, on the other hand, we offer a full scope of digital marketing services: 

Is a Digital Marketing Agency Right For Your Business?

Before hiring a digital marketing agency, it’s important to first assess your company’s needs. Do you need help with overhauling your content, implementing some SEO changes, or redesigning the UX for your website? Then you’ll want to evaluate your company’s own marketing skills, strengths, and capabilities to determine whether an agency, and what type, can benefit your business. Do you already have an in-house team that needs some help or is all of your marketing outsourced?

Once you've asked these questions, you’ll have a better idea as to whether or not working with an agency is the right choice. You’ll also know what kinds of digital marketing services your business needs.

Hiring a Digital Marketing Agency? Ask These 12 Questions

When choosing a digital marketing company to work with, be sure to do your research ahead of time. You will also need to know your digital marketing goals, budget, and degree to which you want to be involved in deploying a digital marketing campaign.

Below are some questions you should ask prospective digital marketing agencies:

  • Will you have a designated contact person or project manager in the agency?
  • Will in-house specialists or freelancers execute on the work?
  • How big is your contract relative to the other ones the agency is under?
  • What online tools and software do they use?
  • How much of your budget will go to administrative costs?
  • What does a good client look like for the agency? Or a bad client?
  • What KPIs does the agency use to measure success and how will this be communicated to you in routine meetings?
  • What can you expect from the first 90 days (or an equivalent starting period) of your contract?
  • How often will you be informed about the status of your digital marketing campaign?
  • What is the agency’s pricing structure?
  • Is there any proof of their success with companies like yours?
  • What do their testimonials, BBB ratings, or Google Reviews indicate?

You want to ensure that you are making the best decision for your business before handing over the reins to a digital marketing agency.

What Does Yokel Local Do Differently?

At Yokel Local, we embrace the inbound marketing framework, because it’s designed for the way today’s customers think and act. We can help your business attract customers when they’re ready to make a purchase decision instead of cold-calling and hoping they’re ready to buy.

To do this, we first have to find out how we can actually help you improve your marketing. We know that every business is different and a cookie-cutter approach won’t help you achieve your specific marketing goals. That’s why we use our 6-step inbound marketing methodology to find the kinks in your marketing machine. With this process, we’ll quickly pinpoint the problems in your sales and marketing funnel and work backward to devise a strategy to fix them.

And we have the talent to do so. Our T-shaped marketers have a wide breadth of knowledge of everything marketing and can spot needed areas of improvement. However, each also possesses their own superpower, whether it’s writing sensational content, generating more traffic than you ever thought possible, or creating graphics that are truly art. That means each member on our team can deliver on the changes that need to happen.

Some of the outcomes of the results-driven process at our digital marketing agency include:

  • Growing organic traffic to your website
  • Generating and nurturing sales-ready leads
  • Using new channels to expand brand reach for customer acquisition
  • Increasing revenue
  • Reducing lead acquisition cost

Yokel Local: A Data-Driven Digital Marketing Agency That Will Help You Increase Revenue

Effective digital marketing can attract leads and generate customers for your business, but doing it on your own can be tedious, time-consuming, and expensive. For this reason, many businesses work with an outside digital marketing agency. If you want to know where your marketing can improve, contact us today for a free 30-minute strategy session to review your strengths, weaknesses, and areas of opportunity!

Ready to work with a digital marketing agency? Find out how we can improve your online presence and generate sales!

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