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Digital Marketing Agency – What do they do?

By Aidie Street
26th August 2021

Before we start our digital marketing agency journey you can skip to the bits you’re interested in here if you don’t want to read everything:

  1. Google Analytics
  2. Search Engine Optimisation
  3. Paid Search
  4. Paid Social
  5. Blogging and Content Marketing
  6. PR & Digital PR
  7. Email marketing
  8. Conversion Rate Optimisation and User Experience
  9. What Next?

We hear you; “my finance manager just sees marketing as a cost, something to cut to improve profit margins. I only just manage to keep my budget for traditional marketing, let alone more for a digital marketing agency!”

At Hillsgreen, digital marketing is treated as a business investment. Every penny you pay in should deliver a return on investment. It should be measurable, and tangible to the business. Which is why we love it so much.

We believe there are a few steps you can take to begin the process of change within any business, to support marketing being viewed as an investment:

  1. Link marketing with sales. Make the connection, in cold hard numbers between the money spent on marketing activities and the tangible revenue seen by the business. Our latest rural roundtable discusses this in depth [link]
  2. Get a handle on what the buzz words and jargon means. No, we don’t mean the definitions, we mean what does it mean to the business.

To help you with point 2, over the next few weeks we will be exploring each core digital marketing channel. What it is, how it can help you and why you would invest in it. This blog aims to give you a flavour for what each of the channels has to offer.  

In summary, the aim of digital marketing is to:

  1. Build your brand online
  2. Generate traffic to your website (shop window)
  3. Generate business leads and/or revenue

If your activity isn’t achieving one of these objectives you need to stop, re-assess and change your activity. 

Digital Marketing Agency Google Analytics Services

Using google analytics is more than just look at some numbers. It gives you real, actionable insight into your digital presence.

If there is one thing to take away from this blog, is that you need to have Google Analytics set up on your website, both Universal (Current Google Analytics) and GA4 (New Google Analytics), before investing further in digital marketing. 

At Hillsgreen we have a data-first approach to digital marketing, if you can’t measure it you can’t manage it. Google Analytics plays a significant part in data management and understanding your digital marketing strategy. 

Your site is at the centre of your marketing strategy, everything you do, whether it is online or offline, usually results in a user visiting your site. 

By having Google Analytics installed on your site, enabled, and configured correctly you can gain insights into your customers and audience beyond anything else you have had in the past. Allowing you to adapt, adjust and optimise what you do. Here is a flavour of those insights:

  • How that user found you
  • Is your digital marketing reaching your target audience
  • What they did on your site
  • Which content and activity works and doesn’t and why
  • Where are customers getting stuck, loosing interest or leaving your site
  • Why users look at your site but don’t get in touch
  • Understand user interaction

 …And so much more!

Click here to find out more…

Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) or Organic Search 

Often seen as a dark art, it is in fact just good digital marketing practice. 

SEO – Search Engine Optimisation is the practice of ensuring that search engines can effectively understand your site and its content. Once this is achieved the search engine will then be comfortable to deliver your pages as top results when someone searches a topic. 

Being a top result can be powerful in driving high converting, profitable traffic to your site, this is shown by the percentage click-through rate below:

Google organic CTR breakdown by position. Digital Marketing Agency
Source: Backlinko

As you can see being in positions 1-3 are incredibly powerful. We target “organic” traffic here. These are people who are naturally searching for something.

SEO requires a financial investment, but it compounds, unlike other paid digital marketing channels. What I mean by this is that good content is delivered well, drive users, more users indicates that the content is good, which results in higher positions. This all happens as long as Google can understand what your site and pages are about. That’s SEO. Making sure Google understands your site and your knowledge.

While SEO drives you up the search rankings to the top positions, it’s a process that happens over time (6 months minimum to see the start of results).  In the short term, if you need a hit of traffic, paid search could be for you.

Search engines such as Google and Bing enable advertisers to pay to appear at the top of the search engine results page for specific keywords.

We tend to use this channel of digital marketing to drive users to site who are already intent on researching or purchasing products or services (they are further along their decision-making process). 

On the contrary to organic search results, paid search enables you to pay a bid ‘fee’ and compete to appear higher up in the search engine results page (SERP) when users search your selected keywords. Here are the key reasons why Paid Search can be beneficial to you and your business: 

  • Control – Paid Search gives you full control of the keywords that you appear for. 
  • Compete – Paid Search enables you to drive traffic to your site quickly, as opposed to organic search engine optimisation which is a much longer-term strategy. 
  • Measure – It’s easy to measure how paid search is performing through and see exactly what leads it’s produced. 

Using Paid Search as a marketing method does not mean that you can settle with a poorly optimised site. Search engines don’t just display your advert based on the highest price, they also take into account an ads quality and relevancy.

Since it’s emerged, Paid Search has evolved substantially, from traditional search engine text ads, to now; Google Shopping, Display Network, Remarketing and much more! So, there really are plenty of opportunities to use Paid Search as part of your digital marketing mix.

The latest Statista data shows that there are approximately 3.78 billion users on social media worldwide, so there is a pretty good chance that the audience you are trying to target may just be there too, scrolling in their spare time.  

Across so many social channels, the capabilities to target users at every stage of the customer life cycle journey means that paid social can be used to drive a variety of different objectives. Utilising the skills and experience of a digital marketing agency that really understands your industry can deliver results far beyond expectations.

Whether it’s awareness you’re after, engagement, leads or up-sells, paid social has it all. With advanced targeting capabilities through using a Pixel (a little bit of code that sits on your website), there really is no better way to get in front of new or existing customers! 

As the social space gets busier and busier, it’s now incredibly important to have a monthly ad spend budget to attribute towards ‘boosting’ your content. This can be done from within the page interface, usually, and will enable your message to reach more users.

If you’re looking to target multiple audiences with a core objective in mind, then utilising ads manager will be the option for you. You’ll be able to set your objective, create your audiences; saved, custom and even lookalikes and then compare different creative options. There’s the opportunity to identify what performs well and make tweaks to ensure your campaign runs as efficiently as possible to deliver a return on investment.

The opportunities are endless when it comes to paid social, and has the channel has become a mainstay in many digital marketing strategies. We are currently managing Paid Social campaigns across all core social media platforms including Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn and Twitter.   

Blogging & Content Marketing 

You ‘need’ a blog – but why, and where do you start?!

Blogs are the perfect opportunity to show your customer, or prospect, your expertise and the value they can gain from working with you.

The best thing is, blogs don’t have to just contain text! Don’t get us wrong, they can be and they work well. However, what about images, infographics, videos, flow charts, diagrams, white papers…. The list goes on and on. In fact a demand gen report shows 91% of buyers prefer visual content over traditional formats [links] https://killervisualstrategies.com/blog/3-ways-to-use-infographics-on-your-blog.html.

Whatever your product or service, longer-form content lets you get into the nitty-gritty behind your business, opening a deeper conversation with your customer.

Not only do blogs provide additional value to your established client relationships, but they can also be used to increase site traffic and bolster the top of your sales funnel.

Optimising content for search rankings puts your website in front of targeted audiences, making sure you’re where the customers you want are. This not only increases your quantity of leads but enhances the quality of those leads.

Ultimately, the value that blogs can bring to your marketing strategy should not be underestimated. Harnessing their power can take your website from just a shop window to a trusted, educational space online.

This transition from a shop window to a trusted, education space will support other parts of your digital marketing strategy. Think about a time when you weren’t sure whether to purchase something, did you go a look for a reason to purchase it? Some advice, some comparisons… well that is the power of blogs for conversions.

PR & Digital PR

When we hear ‘PR’ we typically think of the more traditional form of public relations, which involves writing a press release and networking with journalists to get your editorial printed. Definitely not a Digital Marketing Agency. As the main aim is to achieve coverage in newspapers, on radio and on television.

Whilst this is still a huge element of PR, we also need to consider digital PR; getting coverage online. 

Digital PR is an online digital marketing strategy used to increase a business’s online presence. It is much wider than what we would usually refer to as PR – it’s about online coverage with the media but also supporting SEO activity.

Gaining high-quality backlinks from well-respected sites and even social media mentions to improve how visible a business is on Google.

Digital PR can also encompass social media activity as a form of communicating with customers, as well as influencer outreach and working with celebrity ambassadors. 

Examples of digital PR tactics include:

  • Writing press releases for online media, not just offline
  • Ensuring press releases are optimised with backlinks to site
  • Influencer outreach to achieve social media mentions from influential accounts

With over 1.8 billion websites, businesses need to look at ways of standing out and digital PR is just one way of doing this. 

Digital Markeing Agency & Email Marketing

Email marketing is a great communications tool that is often under-utilised, with an average ROI of 3800%[link]. You are 6x more likely to get a click from an email campaign than you are a social post and 61% of consumers from a HubSpot survey [link] stated that they preferred to be contacted by email. 

We’re not just talking a monthly newsletter email; the best value lies within behavioural email – targeted email journeys that are sent in real-time based on customer behaviour and interactions. To set up successful customer email journeys you must understand your customer and the data that you have.

The more valuable data you have that you can LEGALLY use, the stronger your content can be. We highlight ‘legally’ here because you MUST make sure whatever data you have that you are fully compliant in holding that data and then communicating with your customers via email.

Checking your data and ensuring you are GDPR compliant should be your first step!

6 reasons why you should be using email marketing:

  1. High engagement rate
  2. Huge ROI 
  3. Personalised communication
  4. Measurable
  5. Less intrusive
  6. Real-time marketing

Email marketing is all about sending the right message, to the right people, at the right time. 

Conversion Rate Optimisation and User Experience

A lot of the time our digital marketing strategies and channels are focused on driving traffic to a website. That’s good, that’s exactly what we need, people to see our businesses and get in touch or purchase.

However, its not quite that simple. Just in the same way you would in a brick and mortar store, it’s important to assess how people flow around the site, which information or items are prominent and ensure your users are attracted to the thing you want them to do. Any digital marketing agency worth its salt will have a dedicated resource for conversion rate optimisation and user experience.

Conversion rate optimisation and user experience go hand in hand. We have all been there, when we land on a website and its slow, looks horrible, has broken links and pictures that don’t quite make sense.

What do you do in that scenario? I’m 99% sure the answer is to leave and find a site that is nice to be on and you’ll more than likely give that company your business.

In all honesty, I’ve mentioned some pretty obvious CRO and UX mistakes to provide an example. However, it can be the small nuisances that have a big impact. Maybe the contrasts are wrong, is the message clear enough, does it resonate with the user. There are hundreds of different things that impact how we interact with a business’s website.

That’s why CRO and UX is important, we need to make sure our site resonates with our target audience. It’s the last piece of the puzzle. Driving people to a website is a complete waste of time and money, if they aren’t going to action the thing you would like to them to do.

What Next?

We hope this has given you a flavour for what Digital Marketing can achieve and why you would invest, but you don’t need to be an expert in this subject to use it, you just need to have an understanding of the potential opportunities digital marketing has for your business.

Then leave it to us to support you with what activity would be most suitable to achieve your business objectives. 

For your FREE 30 minute discovery call to discuss your business objectives contact our team today.

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