11 Signs Your Business Needs A Marketing Agency

11 Signs Your Business Needs A Marketing Agency

You can only get so far by doing it all yourself- DIY’ing it isn't always the best approach. Digital marketing is no exception: You can run an in-house operation for a while, but not forever. So, what are some signs it’s time to chat with a digital agency? If your digital marketing efforts aren't delivering the results you'd hoped for, it may be time to hire an agency. Other signs that you should hire a digital marketing agency include:

1. An Agency Can Fix What’s Broken

When you first started your business, you had to do everything yourself or with a small team. It worked for a while: you came up with great ideas, generated leads, and increased your sales. Then something strange happened: website traffic slowed, leads dried up… Whatever got you this far has broken down.

At this point, you need new ideas and new people to help you come up with and carry out a plan that will get you the results you want. This is another sign to consider hiring a digital marketing agency to help you take your business to the next level

2. An Agency Has The Time To Commit

With everything on your plate, you probably don’t have enough time to create a comprehensive digital marketing strategy.

Let's be honest. Digital marketing is a time-consuming endeavor that includes SEO, content marketing, website updates, social media management, email marketing, and analytics. Unless you have the extra time and resources to learn how to become a bonified marketing expert, then hiring an agency while you focus on your core business is probably a more productive use of your time.

3. An Agency Knows More About Marketing

You know your business and industry inside and out, better than anyone right? But you're no digital marketing guru. You are not equipped with the skills, or experience necessary to develop and roll out a digital marketing strategy that is likely to succeed. And that's okay. You're better off allocating your time & resources to the business you've created. Website development, graphic design, content creation, SEO, analytics, social media, technology, and a variety of other tools are all play a role in digital marketing and all tied together.

4. An Agency Would Care More

You recognize the value of digital marketing for your company, but you don't understand how it works or how it's done, or you simply don't care. You're no dummy, you know it works and you want results. But you can't or don't want to be involved in the process of getting them. So if digital marketing isnt' your jam an you'd rather spend your time on other parts of your business, then it may be time to delegate it to an agency with a passion for digital marketing.

5. Return On Investment Is Underwhelming

Digital marketing can be a roller coaster, especially nowadays. Your marketing needs to evolve as the web evolves. So setting up multiple traffic streams to keep a steady flow of eager buyers incoming to your business is the way to go but unfortunately the rock solid strategies you've used just a couple years, or even months ago aren't driving customers to your business like they used to. And now your bag of tricks isn't generating the ROI it once was, and you're out of ideas.

This is yet another sign it's time consult with an agency. A good digital marketing agency will track your ROI so you can cut wasteful spending and optimize your campaigns while suggesting fresh new ideas that are working for local businesses right now.

6. You're On A Tight Budget

You can't grow your business without marketing. Let's just make that clear.

This normally means 1 of 2 things. A small budget could mean that the business doesn't understand how important digital marketing is or that it doesn't make enough money to spend on digital marketing.

Working with a marketing agency does not have to be expensive. In fact, it can be much more expensive building/maintaining an in-house marketing department. A dedicated space, skilled staff, ongoing training, salaries and benefits, specialized technology, and other costly components are all required for an in-house operation.

This is where a reputable digital marketing agency shines because they'll already have the team in place, tools, and expertise ready to go from day one and you don't have to worry about training, paying salaries or providing benefits.

7. You Need More Targeted Traffic

A slow flow of new leads and customers indicates a less than optimal digital marketing strategy. Maybe you're using the incorrect channel or channel combination. Perhaps your website is out of date, your content isn't engaging visitors, or your social media activity is insufficient. You might be targeting the wrong people

These are just some of the many challenges that a digital marketing agency takes on in order to help you reach your target demographic and bring in more business.

businessman holding tablet and showing a growing virtual hologram of statistics, graph and chart with arrow up on dark background. Stock market. Business growth, planing and strategy concept.
businessman holding tablet and showing a growing virtual hologram of statistics, graph and chart with arrow up on dark background. Stock market. Business growth, planing and strategy concept.

8. The Competition Is Winning

When your competitors' websites and blog posts rank higher than yours in Google search results and you can't avoid their social media activity, you know they're beating you. Clearly, they're spending a lot of money on digital marketing to expand their business and capture customers and sales that could be yours.

Consider it a wake-up call. You can do it if they can. But chances are you won't be able to do it alone. To get there, you'll need the right combination of content creation, citation and link building as well as social media, and analytics support. This is where an agency comes in handy.

9. Your Website Requires An Overhaul

Your website is the public face of your company. Customers visit it to learn more about your products and services and to make purchasing decisions. A well-designed, user-friendly website improves their interaction with your brand and speeds up the conversion process. An out-of-date, broken, or confusing website turns them off and undermines your brand's credibility.

An outdated appearance, low Google rankings, dwindling traffic, incorrect information, infrequent content publication, and technical difficulties are all serious issues that should be addressed right away.

10. You Can't Create Enough Content

Do I I really need to say it? Okay, fine… Content IS King. Now more than ever. Content and engagement is how Google measures success. If you go two to three weeks without creating and publishing new content, you need additional help. A lack of fresh content harms your website's Google ranking and significantly reduces user engagement. When there's nothing interesting to follow, followers leave and don't come back.

You should be adding new content to your website on a weekly and daily basis for social media. This content should be interesting, relevant, and useful to your intended audience. If you find yourself falling behind, it's time to hire a digital marketing agency.

11. You Aren't Measuring Results

One of the major advantages of digital marketing over traditional marketing is analytics. You can track, measure, and analyze the performance of your marketing campaigns using digital marketing to determine what works and what doesn't. This knowledge enables you to tailor your efforts in order to maximize your results and budget.

Is your digital marketing strategy producing results? Are your efforts bearing fruit? You're wasting time and money if you don't know, and you need an agency.

Wrapping up

In today's online world, establishing a solid digital marketing strategy and understanding how to apply it is pretty much essential for your success of your campaign. You may be a determined do-it-yourselfer, but unless you are well versed in all forms of digital marketing, you will require the expertise of an agency sooner or later. In the long run, acting sooner will save you more time and money.

Looking for a reliable digital marketing agency? We can help! Reach out today to contact us and learn more about the digital marketing help we can provide. Or, are you looking for a fresh, new way to boost your digital marketing content variety? Sign up today to meet with Jay Vics on the Meet the Experts podcast! Get your name out there!

Local Content: Cracking The Code To Great Content

Local Content: Cracking The Code To Great Content

In the past, creating local content was easy. You paid for a listing in the Yellow Pages, printed flyers, and possibly placed an ad in the local newspaper. People were aware of who you were and where you were.

Then came web marketing and everything changed. At first, the advice was to focus on general keywords. However, Google and other search engines' algorithms have evolved over time. They now prioritize local search above all else.

Why does that matter? In short, creating compelling local content is not optional. It is as essential as oxygen. You need to demonstrate to potential clients that you are an active participant in the neighborhood, which requires you to go beyond simply providing an address.

The Fundamentals of Local Marketing

I've already written a lot about local marketing, but I think it's important to include a short summary of how to optimize your website and content for local search. Keep these things in mind:

  • Optimize your site for mobile search and make sure it looks great on mobile devices.
  • Optimize your site for local voice searches and "near me" searches.
  • Choose local keywords with a high search volume that are highly relevant to your business. The name of your city, state, or neighborhood, as well as keywords relevant to your business, are the best local search words.
  • Use rich snippets to include important geographic information in your Google search results.
  • Obtain links from important local sites to your site. Remember that when it comes to link building, quality trumps quantity. To build your local SEO "cred," focus on local business guides, the Chamber of Commerce, and related local businesses.
  • Encourage your customers to leave reviews and link to your review pages on your website. Customer testimonials, which go into a bit more depth than reviews, are also very important.

Following these tips will help you get started, but you'll still need to create compelling local content to attract customers.

Local Content Creation Tips

Once your site has been optimized for local searches, you should concentrate on creating local content. This entails more than simply incorporating local keywords into general content. You'll need to demonstrate to site visitors that you're a part of a local community.

Suggestions to get you started:

Determine your audience's interests and then write about them. Of course, you don't want to stray too far from your business, but there's nothing wrong with getting excited about topics that are important to your audience. You could, for example, write about an upcoming community event or the year's first major storm.  If you already have a customer avatar, this should be even easier.

Write a blog about local events

Local events are important in every community, from small rural towns to large cities. As a business owner, you should be aware of these events and look for ways to create local content about them that are relevant to your company. It will be simple if you plan to sponsor a booth at your local fair.

However, local charity events and holiday celebrations allow you to talk about your community and why you love it.

Stay local with your local content

Create case studies that are relevant to local prospects.. One method is to create an "insider’s guide to…."  that demonstrates your knowledge of the area.  A landscaper in Southern California, for example, might discuss the risk of wildfires or provide advice on how to get rid of black widow spiders.

Discuss local news. Did your neighborhood Little League team advance to the playoffs? Was your town featured nationally somehow? Is there going to be a new business in town? Any of these things could be turned into blog posts, and they're especially effective if you can find a natural way to connect the story to your business.

Staying connected to your community online is a great way to get ideas for local content. You could like your local Chamber of Commerce on Facebook, subscribe to your local newspaper, and go to the library to see what new flyers have been posted on the bulletin board.

What is your content's intent?

When creating local content, one of the most important things to remember is that every blog post or social media update you write should have a clear intention that is related to your business.

What exactly do I mean? Simply put, you can't waste time blogging about something if you don't know why you're writing about it. Sometimes the intention is obvious. You own a hardware store, and blogging about winter snowfall predictions might help you sell some shovels and snowblowers, or at the very least some Ice Melt.

At times, however, the intention may be a little more difficult to pin down. There's nothing wrong with that, but don't skip this step. If you're inventive enough, you should be able to connect any piece of content you create to your company.

For example, suppose you want to blog about a local charity event but can't think of an organic way to connect it to your business. Instead of giving up, consider donating a portion of your sales to charity or organizing a fundraising event with other local business owners.

The key is to make your local content relevant to your company and its target audience. You can still share general content, but if you want your business to grow, you must share local content.

Looking for new, unique ways to share your local business? We want to help you curate your local content! Sign up to meet with Jay Vics on the Meet the Experts podcast to showcase your local business.

Customer Service That Helps You Stand Out Among Your Competitors

Customer Service That Helps You Stand Out Among Your Competitors

"My customers appreciate the excellent quality, customer service, and attention to detail that I provide. If only more people were aware of my existence…but my industry is so competitive that it's impossible to stand out." This is the most common issue we hear from business owners. It's also been a challenge for us.

So let's get right into it. If you're wondering how to get more eyes on your business, we're sharing  our best ideas you can try to stand out in a sea of samesies.

Surprise & Delight With Your Customer Service

So many businesses claim to provide the best service. When you ask them how they can improve, they list things like "delivering on time" or "delivering quality work." Personally, I consider these to be standard operating procedures; I expect them.

When you have a surprisingly good or surprisingly bad customer service experience, you are more likely to remember it. However, mediocre service is unlikely to stick with you long enough for you to tell anyone about it.

Businesses that stand out are those that make you feel like your satisfaction is always their top priority. They actively seek ways to go above and beyond, turning challenges or mistakes into opportunities to delight.

Don't settle for mediocrity. If you want to be memorable, go above and beyond with your marketing and customer service—every time. Would someone tell their friends about your customer service experience?  Use that as a general rule.

Make a Name for Yourself

Have you ever heard the expression "the riches are in the niches"? It's much easier to stand out and become known for one, very specific thing than it is to try to sell everything to everyone. Your competitors are fewer in a niche market, your marketing dollars can be spent more strategically, and you can often charge more because you're a specialist.

Are you the best pet photographer in town? Do you make an awesome vegan pizza? Focus, claim, and own it.

Provide Noticeably Different Customer Service

It is our responsibility as business owners to be able to confidently tell potential customers why we are worth their time and money. When there is nothing distinctive or distinguishing about your products, services, or brand, price becomes the only variable. And, if the only differentiating factor is price, we become magnets for bargain hunters looking for the best bang for their buck.

Stand out by identifying areas where you can provide value that your competitors cannot, or by addressing customer pain points that your competitors are not. When you look deeper, you'll discover that there are far more opportunities to stand out than you realize.

Take Customer Service Feedback Seriously & Apply It

Too often, we assume what our customers want and need instead of asking them.

Collecting customer feedback can help you identify potential product and service offerings that your customers want but that you aren't yet providing. It can also assist you in determining where your customers are confused or require additional assistance. Feedback also provides insight into the words and phrases your customers are using to describe their problems, which will help you assist them.

You'll be able to truly get to know your customers and how you can better serve them if you survey them. If you follow their advice, you'll be able to understand what they consider to be exceptional customer service, must-have products, clear marketing, and much more.

Give the Impression You Care

Your brand’s visuals are your the first impression of your company and sets the tone for interactions with you. You want them to say-  “Wow! I'd love to work with this brand,” not “If this is how their website looks, how will the quality of their work or service be?”

If your website, logo, or marketing materials are sloppy, it tells your customers that you don't value your brand enough to invest in it. If you're just starting out or don't have a lot of money to spend, there are designers to suit every budget and business type.

Make your brand stand out by ensuring that it’s professional and trustworthy at all touchpoints. Check out how we have used bright colors and enticing fonts to drive the eye towards our logo for Meet the Experts!

Give (and Receive)

Building trust with your target audience takes time and, in many cases, multiple interactions. Asking someone for a sale is the business equivalent of asking for their hand in marriage, and shotgun weddings are relatively rare. If the 'marriage proposal' fails, ask them out on a date instead—consider offering a free trial, sample, information (blogs, videos, PDFs), or a free initial consultation to reduce risk perceptions, create goodwill, and build your relationship.

When we give generously to potential customers, we break down barriers, attract people to our business, assist our customers in getting to know us, build trust, and foster reciprocity.

Reward Loyal Customers

"Repeat buyers generate the same revenue as five new customers combined and are nine times more likely to convert," says the study. (Autopilot).

Yes, existing customers are just as important and valuable to impress as new ones (if not more). Consider differentiating yourself from the competition by rewarding their loyalty with discounts, incentives, exclusive deals, affiliate programs, or referrer bonuses.

Your company's success is directly related to the customers who patronize it. Treat them like royalty and create new ways to wow them in order to stand out in your industry. Click here for more quick conversion tips!

So now that you have the framework for customer service success, we want to help you more with your marketing needs! Meet with Jay Vics on the Meet the Experts podcast to get your name out there, and put your marketing skills to the test. We want to help show your customers what you have to offer!

Marketing Fails That Can Happen and How To Fix Them

Marketing Fails That Can Happen and How To Fix Them

Everyone makes mistakes, especially when trying out new marketing strategies. However, when your small business is putting its reputation (and money) on the line to experiment with new digital marketing strategies, making certain mistakes can be (literally) costly.

With that in mind, let's look at 5 of the most common local marketing fails and how to avoid them.

1. A user experience that is focused on you rather than marketing to your audience

A website's visual impact is important, but it also needs to support an engaging and efficient customer journey.

Your audience visits your site to solve their problems and alleviate their pain points, not to learn about your products. Your marketing should show that products could be the solution to their problems. But, they’re not picking up what you're putting down.

So, if you have a lot of visitors to your site but they aren't converting the way you want them to, it's time to take a step back and evaluate your user experience.

Consider a Home Page refresh, new Landing Pages, or an update to your payment options or check-out process, as examples.

According to recent Bain research, companies that excel at Customer Experience grow revenues at a rate that is 4%-8% higher than the market average.

2. Reluctant to experiment with new marketing channels

Marketing is constantly evolving, and the only way to effectively promote your business on a consistent basis is to keep up with the changes and be open to trying new marketing activities.

However, many small business owners make the mistake of focusing solely on one, relatively simple marketing technique. For example, they may build a following on Instagram and believe they can avoid using other marketing methods.

So, what happens if your target audience unfollows you on IG? It may appear unlikely that such a thing could occur, but it is possible. Trends pass us by. Websites that were popular yesterday are no longer available. You must plan ahead of time and do everything possible to spread the word in multiple ways. That doesn't mean you should spend all of your time marketing, but it does mean you should diversify.

3. You haven't claimed your social media pages yet

You don't have to be active on every social media site out there. What you should do is spend a few minutes claiming your business name on all relevant sites and posting some basic information about your business. If a potential customer searches for you on Instagram, you want them to find accurate information, such as your address, phone number, email address, and business hours.

If you don't claim your business, your leads may end up on a page run by a stranger, someone who isn't looking out for your best interests. So a few minutes now can save you a lot of marketing trouble later. Check out one of our brand pages here for Meet the Experts!

4. You are not managing your reviews

Local businesses rely heavily on online reviews. People who frequent your business can easily leave reviews on sites like Yelp, Angi, and Google. According to research, more than 80% of all consumers rely on online reviews before making a purchase. However, many local business owners don't do everything they can to ensure that their reviews are benefiting their marketing.

The first step is to claim your business listing on all local review sites. Customers can leave reviews even if a business hasn't created a listing, so you might be surprised at how many reviews you have if you haven't checked. Check your existing profile to ensure that all relevant information, such as your contact information, hours, and prices, is correct.

The second step is to devise a system for responding to reviews. It's a good idea to keep an eye on your accounts. Positive reviews can be great for marketing, and you should respond with a simple thank you. But, negative reviews require a bit more finesse. Responses that remain positive are the most successful. If possible, try to take the conversation offline and do whatever you need to do to resolve the situation.

5. You are not being consistent with your brand

Everything you do online has an impact on your brand. If you have more than one person posting on your behalf, whether on your blog, website, or social media, you must have a well-defined strategy in place to ensure that everything associated with your company reflects your brand. That is, your colors and fonts should be consistent with your logo. However, it also implies that the tone of what you post must be consistent with the personality of your brand.

Creating a customer profile can assist you in identifying your core customers and tailoring your brand to them. Consider the tone of some major corporations, such as Red Bull and Rolls Royce. Red Bull employs brash, hip language that reflects their brand and audience, whereas Rolls Royce employs elevated language that addresses their core customers.

The good news is that these five errors are simple to correct. If you notice any of these flaws in your own marketing efforts, take the time to correct them and get back on track. Your company will be grateful in more ways than one!

Looking for new ways to make your marketing successful? Click here to join Jay Vics on the Meet the Experts podcast. We want to help you with fun, unique marketing that fits your business!

Is Email Marketing or SMS Marketing Better for Your Business?

Is Email Marketing or SMS Marketing Better for Your Business?

For decades, email marketing has been the preferred method for sending and receiving mass messages and reaching audiences. Text (or SMS) marketing, on the other hand, is quick and cost-effective. So, which reigns supreme?

Email or SMS marketing?

In order to figure out which strategy is right for your business you need to consider factors like: cost, click-through rate (CTR), conversion rate, level of engagement, open rate, and ROI – just to name a few.

In this article, we will breakdown the differences between SMS marketing and email marketing. We'll explain each strategy and demonstrate how they work, their benefits and drawbacks, and when to use them. Also, whether you should hire the services of a digital agency for help

So What Exactly Is Email Marketing?

Email marketing is mass-sending emails to people (leads or customers) on your e-mail list. The people on your list have chosen to be there. You send emails to inform current and prospective customers about new products, services, discounts, and special offers. Consider it a direct method of communicating with your customers in which you have their permission to send them promotional information. Your email list should be one of your most valuable business assets.

The Benefits and Drawbacks of Email Marketing

Approximately 125 billion emails are sent every day. Emails are an important part of any business, and it works best for delivering more detailed information. It also has a much higher ROI than many other marketing channels and is quite versatile. In fact, email campaigns can be for product updates, subscriptions, and promotions.

Here's why you should use email marketing:

It is reasonably priced – With a $40 profit for for every $1, it’s still the best ROI in the game for over 2 decades.

Emails have the ability to be personal to the recipient –Any reputable email marketing expert will tell you that this feature helps you connect with your audience. This can increase the email marketing conversion rate.

The versatility of email is unlike any other marketing tool –You can use emails to provide detailed product information, make brief announcements, and send reminders. Also, you can welcome new customers, announce special offers, follow up with leads, or simply greet your target audience.

It plays on user habits and intent – 44% of consumers check their emails at least once per day. People open emails with specific intentions, such as looking for updates, product information, or customer service. This is why email marketing is so important.

Emails are an excellent way to increase traffic to your website – You can increase the number of website visitors looking for your products or services by using targeted email marketing services. Using targeted traffic increases the ROI of email marketing.

The Cons of Email Marketing

A crowded inbox makes it difficult to capture the attention of your consumer – Every day, we all receive approximately 121 emails. When consumers sort through those emails on a daily basis, it's easy to put everything in the spam folder. In many cases your emails will end up in the same folder as spam.

Emails may not enter the recipient’s inbox – Email servers now have sophisticated filters. If your email appears to be spammy, it may be blocked from reaching your recipient's inbox. A digital agency can assist you in crafting emails that are more likely to reach your target audience's inbox.

People can easily delete or unsubscribe from emails – People may delete your emails or unsubscribe from your list for any reason. Like if they see messed up graphics, poorly written headlines, unreadable text, or blocked images. Or, simply content that isn’t relatable to them.

What Exactly Is SMS Marketing?

SMS marketing is the use of text messages to communicate with customers. SMS, like email marketing, can inform your audience about promotions, campaigns, updates, news, and more.

Before sending any promotional information, both SMS and email marketing ask for your audience's permission. The CAN-SPAM Act and the Consumer Protection Act are the primary laws that protect consumers from unsolicited SMS (TCPA). These rules and guidelines are in use in all good SMS marketing examples.

SMS and email marketing are both owned channels. This means you can choose who receives your emails or text messages.  It also means you have control over the type of user experience your customers will have.

You can send the SMS marketing examples listed below:

1. Promotional SMS: These are SMS messages that are intended to raise brand awareness, promote products or services, and boost sales.

2. Transactional SMS: These are text messages that contain information that your customers require. They may include delivery updates, product specifications, and order information.

SMS Marketing's Benefits and Drawbacks

When comparing SMS marketing to email marketing, SMS has the advantage of capturing the recipient's attention right away. When you receive a text message, your phone alerts you, capturing your attention right then and there. This is why the open rate for SMS marketing is higher than the open rate for email marketing.

This sense of urgency created by the alert is both a benefit and a disadvantage for SMS marketing. On the one hand, it may compel your customers to act immediately in response to your promotion. However, if sent at the wrong time, these texts can turn off users, who will either ignore or delete them.

Let's go over the specific benefits and drawbacks of SMS marketing.

Benefits of SMS marketing:

Your customers do not require internet – It's worth noting that 15% of Americans (52 million people) today have little or no internet access. This is a massive market that is beyond the scope of any email campaign.

It has a better response rate -On average, text messages are read in three minutes. That's a response rate of up to 209 percent when compared to social media, email, or even phone calls.

It has a high level of engagement – SMS, like email marketing, is a marketing channel with higher levels of engagement than other lead generation strategies. Higher engagement levels suggests a higher SMS open rate.

Drawbacks of SMS marketing:

It has a limited amount of content space – You have only 160 characters to work with. Sending messages that short while still packing a punch requires a pretty big vocabulary.

It's more expensive -The cost of running an SMS campaign is higher than the cost of running an email campaign.

It may erode customer trust – Customers can easily lose trust with businesses that send them unwanted text messages or SMS that are poorly structured. Customers may become irritated if you send text messages at inconvenient times. This may also cause them to opt out.

What Is the Difference Between SMS and Email Marketing?

Which is better: SMS marketing or email marketing? Think about the following:

Insert the table here from the bottom of the article Chris.

One of the first things marketers notice is that the ROI of email marketing is higher than that of SMS marketing. This suggests that the conversion rate for email marketing is also higher.

These are the figures that email marketing companies will provide you with. The lower email marketing open rate, on the other hand, proves the case for SMS marketing. Text messages also have a significantly higher CTR and response rate.

The Answer: Omnichannel Marketing

Omnichannel marketing is the use of multiple marketing channels to increase your bottom line. Your business has unique needs, so balancing SMS and email marketing is recommended for better results. You have a better chance of capturing your audience's attention if you develop a marketing strategy that uses both in tandem.

When should SMS marketing be used?  To respond to customer questions, solicit feedback, promote one of your products, and collect signups for your programs. Keeping track of its usage allows you to stay within your marketing budget.

Email marketing, on the other hand, is better suited for promoting multiple products due to its lower cost. It can be used for company updates, newsletters, and a variety of marketing.

Working With a Seasoned Digital Marketing Agency

Finding the right balance between SMS and email marketing can be difficult, especially if you haven't had much success with either.  If you are looking to improve your SMS and email marketing results, connect with us today. We can help you create a customized omnichannel plan based on your budget and goals. Connect with us to learn more!

We want to help you with all of your marketing needs. Looking to step into the world of video marketing after perfecting your email and SMS strategy? Click here to meet with Jay Vics on the Meet the Experts podcast. Get your name out there!