As a professional in the IT industry, you are aware of the importance of leveraging current technology to achieve results. But let’s face it, we often overlook the obvious. That same concept about maximizing current technology also applies to marketing your company’s products and services.
Companies started advertising on the internet back the 1990s, but a lot has changed since that time. Hopefully, your company’s website doesn’t date you. But if you are like many busy professionals focused on the day-to-day processes involved with your business, you may need some help.
What Does a Digital Marketing Agency Offer?
More than half of MSPs identify sales and marketing as their biggest challenge, according to Datto’s 2018 State of the MSP Report. And one reason it is such a challenge is due to the critical role sales and marketing play in the company’s profitability. Digital marketing continues to increase in significance as part of the overall marketing strategy.
A digital marketing agency provides one or more digital marketing services such as:
Website design and development to create an up-to-date electronic presence for your company.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) to increase traffic to your website.
Pay Per Click (PPC) ads on sites such as Google Adwords, Facebook, and LinkedIn to increase traffic to your website.
Social Media Marketing to provide information that builds customer relationships using the various social channels such as Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, and Twitter.
Content Marketing to increase exposure to your website by providing prospects with valuable information. Some examples of content include videos, ebooks, case studies, white papers, and infographics.
Email marketing to strengthen existing relationships with visitors, leads, customers, and promoters. The company consistently delivers relevant and valuable content directly to their inbox.
As you can imagine, a digital marketing agency is staffed by people who have many different skills. The positions require highly technical skills, articulate writing and communication skills, along with creativity and design skills. Furthermore, the agency needs people who are detail-oriented and ones that can manage projects.
Key Indicators It’s Time to Outsource Marketing
So how do you know when it’s time to consider working with a digital marketing agency? Here are some clues:
Your website hasn’t had an upgrade in the last five years.
You don’t have an email newsletter.
You’re not acquiring market development funds (MDF) from vendors.
You haven’t taken the time to identify your target customer.
You don’t have a consistent presence on the social media platforms.
You don’t have a graphic design style sheet.
Some digital marketing agencies focus on specific services while others provide a holistic approach by offering a comprehensive digital marketing plan.
Some digital marketing agencies attempt to service a vast array of industries and types of clients; however, those agencies that specialize in a specific industry have a better understanding of the business and the pain points experienced by the company.
If the time is right for you to take the next step, you should consider a comprehensive digital marketing plan designed specifically for your industry. Consider investing in an agency that will provide you with a strategic approach instead of settling for a tactical approach that may or may not achieve your desired results.
Characteristics of a Solid Agency
Once you’ve determined working with an agency makes sense, it’s time to start the process of finding an agency that is the best fit for your organization. This can be a difficult task, as the digital marketing landscape is very crowded. Here are a few things you can look for when selecting a digital marketing agency to represent your MSP or VAR:
High-Quality Clients – One of the first and most important steps is to find out which companies they’ve worked with in the past. This tells you not only a bit about their reputation, but also their skill level as well. Their clients don’t necessarily need to be large, but be sure to do a bit of research on them.
Relevant Partners – Marketing technology is now a large part of the marketing process. The partnerships and tools that an agency use are very important, as this is what they will be using with your business. If they are unable to clearly state which partnerships they have, the agency you’re considering may not have a clear process for working with clients.
Clear Offering – Strong agencies are very clear about what they do. This indicates they have a good process and work with clients on something proven vs. trying to do whatever comes their way. There is always some level of customization when it comes to marketing, but the reality is that good agencies know what they do best and lead with that.
Solid Processes – A characteristic of all good agencies is they are able to clearly articulate how they work with you. This means they have done it before, and they won’t scramble to cobble together solutions for your company once they have a signed contract.
Industry Experience – Agencies with a good amount of experience are clear about which verticals they have worked with previously. Some specialize in a single vertical, others cover many. Regardless, an agency should be able to prove they understand your business and industry with previous work or clients.
Once you’ve evaluated the agency for the criteria above, the next step is reviewing your existing marketing strategy to ensure your engagement with the agency meets your predetermined needs. This helps you to get the most value for your marketing investment with the firm. Next we’ll take a look at the core elements of a solid marketing strategy for MSPs and VARs:
Creating a Strategy for Success
The saying goes that failing to plan is planning to fail. Savvy business professionals know that effective outcomes begin with creating a plan, an overall strategy.
The same is true when your organization decides to invest in digital marketing. You want an agency that understands your business, and one that takes the time to provide consulting services to guide you through the process.
The crucial first step in developing an effective marketing strategy uniquely designed for your company is to conduct a marketing audit. The audit involves listening, learning, and evaluating what marketing initiatives are already in play at your company. This helps the agency understand your current situation so it can identify areas of opportunity.
The next step in the development of your marketing strategy is identifying your buyer personas. Understanding the customer’s pain points and how they research their needs helps to guide the marketing game plan. Bottom line: Digital marketing helps you affordably attract and convert your ideal leads into customers.
Implementation of a consistent digital marketing strategy will achieve the best results. Transforming your organization’s approach to marketing requires you to commit the time and resources to the initiative. When you’re ready to partner with a digital marketing agency, look for an agency focused on the IT industry who will be committed to you?
Trust Presh Marketing Solutions to provide you with the information and resources necessary to present your MSP or VAR in the best light in your marketplace.