How fast do you want to grow is the short answer.
In 2020 we have probably seen more digital acceleration in the last four months, then we have seen in the previous four years.
Digital in a lot of ways is the new normal, and any advantage you can get should not be discounted.
Any investment in resources, whether external or internal, should be clear in its return to the business.
Defining these metrics makes the investment parameters clear.
The hiring of any marketing agency should take into account the following five areas.
1. Do you have the expertise in house?
The number of services a marketing agency can provide is extensive. If we take Digital Stand as an example, we have deep expertise in:
- Social media
- Google ads (Search engine marketing (PPC), YouTube etc.)
- Audience targetting
- Digital advertising
- Content creation
- Inbound marketing
- Conversion rate optimisation
- Journey mapping
- And E-commerce
In each of these domains, we have in house expertise. Not only in understanding these areas but more importantly finding ways to exceed client expectations.
This is 100% of our focus, and they are not shared resources across several areas.
Each of these areas requires an intimate understanding of what is possible and what is coming?
Overlaying client priorities and the ability to execute as opportunities present themselves.
Best represented as speed to market.
2. Are you growing?
Ok, let's assume you are and you are growing at 8% year on year. In 2020 that's impressive. Well done :)
But indulge me if you will with the following two examples.
In one scenario, you are an e-commerce business. You are achieving traffic at 100k unique visits per month, and converting 2% of that traffic.
By all accounts, you are well in line with industry standards. But therein lies the danger.
To illustrate this, let me ask you a couple of questions about the Australian online market.
What are the top growth areas for online purchases by suburb? Yes, not yours but generally?
According to a report compiled by Australia Post when it comes to online shopping, the below suburbs are the top 3 in Australia.
- Point Cook
They are the top 3 buying locations by volume. If you do not know this, how would you know to target these areas specifically? And test them amongst your other marketing activities?
Interestingly Point Cook and Toowoomba were also in last years list. And of course, there is a cascading scale of suburbs to consider.
Is your industry growing at 8% or is it growing at 12%? While we are growing, we are happy; everything feels right because the dollars are coming in, and the energy of the business is good.
But if your industry is growing at 12%, and you are growing at 8%. Well, you are behind the game, and potentially heading for a more considerable fall.
What is the latency of your website? Now if you have more of a business focus (not technical), you might be asking what latency is or what does this have to do with e-commerce?
The more technical reader will know that the faster the website, the better the consumer experience (latency = time of the website to load). Of course, this will also lead to increased conversions. If the web design agency who created the website has performance orientation, the site will load quickly.
If not well, this may be costing you a significant amount of revenue.
Google recommends a latency of no more than 2 seconds.
Should you want to see how fast your site loads both on the desktop and mobile, you can head here or here to run a speed test.
Now while you would clearly understand the speed of your website impacts user experience! Did you also know it will have a significant impact on your advertising costs?
See Google and the social networks want to provide the best user experience possible. A slow website impacts the usability of their platforms, so the cost of your advertising goes up, as your quality score decreases.
It also ways heavily on your search traffic, impacting your SEO.
As with anything, one component can affect many. It is knowing how these interrelationships work enables you to know where to focus.
Enabling you to grow your online business at 12% or more.
Ok but let us also have a look at a B2B business.
An average conversion rate for B2B online sits at around 6%. Now, this is not for a new client, but rather a subscription, enquiry rate.
From here, you need to understand the quality of the lead, time to close the sale, the path they took before converting, and the how long the whole journey took.
What piece of content finally moved them into the qualified lead stage, TOFU, MOFU, BOFU? And is that piece of content the one that is converting most of the leads.
Are they part of your target audience, and are you using marketing automation to nurture these leads?
What happens when marketing moves them across to sales. Etc.
And speaking of leads were is the best source of leads coming from? Is it LinkedIn, Google, Facebook, or Instagram?
Now many of you who are actually in a B2B business will be probably shaking you're head at the prospect that I mentioned Instagram or Facebook in the above.
But did you think that perhaps your client whomever that is, is probably using more than just LinkedIn?
And given that is the case do you have a 360% digital audience tracking, and nurturing capability in place. Is this part of your marketing strategy? It might interest you to note that for many of our clients, we have pulled in a significant amount of high value leads directly from Facebook.
By utilising other digital platforms, you could you take 6% to 10%. And if you moved to 10% what would that mean to your business?
3. Can you create the content that moves the needle?
200+ day's a year we are creating social media content, long-form content, video content, landing pages, EDM's, white-papers, e-books etc.
We measure the performance of all these content assets across all the social media channels and digital landscape.
We are iterating continuously and optimising for conversion. By comparison, even large brands we work with may run only one marketing campaign per month.
Whilst this enables them to build a digital asset knowledge base slowly. We are iterating many campaigns every month, looking for patterns in the data and leveraging this across all the industries we work in.
This enables us to find new areas of opportunities for our clients quickly, and execute them, with their permission.
Via comparison, if you are only running one campaign a month, and every month it is a different campaign. You cannot see patterns as quickly.
Because we are managing social media for a wide variety of industries, we can see patterns within sectors and across industries.
At the beginning of this point, I mentioned 6% was the industry standard. For a lot of our clients, we are achieving 20% or greater.
We have only been able to do this by leveraging the knowledge gained across 1k of social media marketing campaigns.
While it is stating the obvious, this is a real factor that inhibits growth.
You are winning the business is growing, but you find yourself under-resourced.
You can expand your team, but you have to go out to the market and hire. You then need to onboard them, train them, and then hope they are a good fit for the role, company and team.
But in comparison with a full-service marketing agency on retainer, you can deploy resource immediately. You can execute against the perceived opportunities, as they present themselves.
Let's make another comparison; in March of 2020, Australia went online. A lot of business were caught entirely off guard.
While we all were caught off guard by this, I am referring to their digital capabilities or lack thereof.
A lot of business quickly had to marshall resources and get up and running digitally in weeks. In a lot of cases, this meant overspending as they were competing with finite resourcing capability.
Having agency on hand would have meant they could make this deployment immediately not having to hire or build out a team. Yes, they most certainly could build the team out further but do so at a measured pace.
Whether it is executing against a new marketing opportunity, or filling a team gap or supplementing the existing team at a much lower cost. It only makes sense to have a readily deployable resource base.
5. You can not know it all?
As a Facebook agency and HubSpot Gold partner the access to education material, resources, and training enables us to be at the leading edge of digital and social.
This enables us to educate our clients, providing them with the latest capabilities and digital marketing services.
Digital and social is moving at such a rate that only the most resourced of internal teams can keep abreast of all the changes. The complexities of their interworkings and the rapidly growing opportunities.
- How many times a year does Google change their algorithm? Answer 5-600 times.
- What is the latest release from Instagram? Instagram Reels
- Where is social commerce at? Facebook and Instagram Shops.
- What is the best model for B2B lead acquisition? Marketing automation, whether HubSpot, Marketo, or equivalent.
- How do I engage my customers digitally? Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, LinkedIn, Snapchat, TikTok, Google. You have customers every channel. Any strong digital marketing company or social media agency knows this.
- How do I assess my customer journey or website performance? You use tools like think with Google, Pingdom Speed Test, Google Analytics etc.
- How does SEO work? Quality of content, consistency of content, distribution of content etc.
Ok so you get the idea, and as soon as I offer you some of the above by the time you read this something has changed! That is the challenge of marketing management in 2020.
Keeping yourself up to date with the latest in social and digital is no small task. I have presented to large digital audiences across Australia, and Internationally and even the most dedicated find there is something they have missed or did not draw the same lateral connection with.
If you find the right digital marketing agency, you will benefit from collaboration and knowledge sharing.
So should you hire a marketing agency? No! You should hire a partner. Someone who is dedicated to your success as you are, an agency that is as committed to excellence.
An agency that sets the standard for performance-based marketing.
They are an extension of your team and do it with you, not for you. Since 2013 an agency based in Sydney we have been servicing clients locally and globally. To enquire about our services, click here, or the image below.