You‘ve got a business. You need to market that business to generate more leads. You’re super busy just trying to keep the wheels moving. So, you go to an agency.
At this point you may need to make a choice between choosing an agency that specialises in a particular area or choosing one that does everything. But what are the differences? And what are the pros and cons of each.
What to Expect from a Full-Service Digital Marketing Agency
As the name suggests a full-service digital marketing agency would cover all your digital marketing needs under one roof.
The advantages are that you only need to meet with one agency to run your marketing. You can start off smaller, perhaps using one service and as you grow you can easily integrate more services. The agency will know you and they’ll know your needs so this should be seamless.
If you choose an agency that specialises in one area, naturally as you grow you will need to hire more agencies to cover your other requirements.
The obvious advantages of choosing a full-service agency is that it’s easy and convenient. As they get to know your business and your market, applying this knowledge across different services becomes easier.
Success depends as much on relationships and the agency sharing your goals, as it does with technical ability. And this is made much easier with one agency.
The flip side is that a specialist agency is just that. You might be swapping access to a range of services for seriously in-depth knowledge. And a specialist agency should be a leader in its chosen field, helping move your business forward leaps and bounds in one area.
The Strategies and Services
The strategic areas and services a full-service digital agency would cover should be:
- Search Engine Optimisation (SEO)
- Link Building
- Content Development and PR
- Paid Search, Search Engine Marketing and Affiliates
- Social Media
- Web Development and Design (including User Experience)
- Email Newsletters and Transactional Emails
Your business may or may not need all, but with a full-service agency you have the opportunity to implement new services at speed. It can be useful if you need to be reactive to certain marketing opportunities.
What to Expect from Your Agency
It’s important that as well as delivering services your agency can plan strategically with a view to growing your business, or whatever other goals you set it.
You should expect to see regular reports and strategic plans to develop areas or meet challenges/pain points.
A full service digital marketing agency should be able to handle all aspects of marketing your business online including planning, implementation, testing and monitoring.
It should have creative ideas that are driven by data.
The risk with some agencies that claim to be able to do it all is that they may have grown from something else, for example from a straight-forward design agency, into an all-round agency to diversify its product offering. It may lack the experience and technical ability your business needs.
And that’s not to say that any agency that has grown this way is inferior. But not all agencies were created equal. A good agency looks objectively at what works and what doesn’t and helps to fix your challenges.
Look for a friendly team that clearly works well together and can understand the holistic approach that your business needs.
Good marketers know that from a customer’s perspective there is no real separation between social media and an email newsletter. To them it’s all the same. It’s the company they’re engaged with, and the messaging needs to reflect that.
The strategy and tactics take place behind the scenes.
Many businesses choose a full-service digital marketing agency for the ease of implementing campaigns and strategies. But ultimately if an agency is going to work well for your business you need an online partner who shares the same goals as your business.
Approach hiring an agency in the same way you would as if you were hiring a new member of staff. It’s about getting the right fit for your business.