Digital Marketing Predictions for 2019

Here are our top five digital marketing predictions that will perform well over the next year and beyond. As technology and user behavior evolves, we expect that digital marketing will adapt and find more efficient ways of reaching targeted audiences.

1) Mobile: With more and more people using smartphones for everything in their lives, expect to see continued growth and performance of search engine and social media activity on mobile devices. Long story short, mobile marketing and mobile websites are going to become increasingly important in the new year. Mobile websites should be optimized and have user flows that allows visitors to easily navigate and quickly find exactly what they are looking for without much effort. User behavior studies on mobile devices indicates that people who cannot find what they are looking quickly will exit the site immediately. Digital advertising campaigns should be optimized to specifically target mobile devices. These campaigns should have ads designed to render appropriately on a wide range of devices, in addition to tablets and desktops which are obviously larger in size and resolution. Mobile searches have less area, leaving less room for the sponsored ads to appear above the fold. The tight space on mobile devices can make for a higher Cost Per Click. Campaigns are based on a supply and demand system, competing for space among the 2-4 positions available for paid search ads. Compare this to desktop and tablet searches where we typically see eight sponsored ad positions.

2) Content: Original content is becoming an increasingly important component of digital marketing, as traditional digital marketing methods are becoming less effective. Content marketing , a newer tactic in digital marketing defined as a strategic marketing approach focused on creating and distributing valuable, relevant, and consistent content to attract and retain a clearly defined audience – and ultimately, driving profitable customer action. To do this, start by creating original content for your website in the form of copy, images and videos relating to your business and the products and services you sell. Post links to your new content on blogs and social media to build and nurture an audience that is interested in your business offerings. Utilize best practices in paid and organic social media marketing to build a solid audience of prospective clients. Utilize ongoing communications to nurture leads and build the perception of your business as a leader – this is especially in products or services involving lengthy sales cycles. Studies show that quality, original content can increase sales and create a more loyal customer base.

3) Smart home assistants: As more smart home assistants such as Amazon Echo and Google Home are becoming increasingly popular, we anticipate that Google will introduce campaigns specifically for voice-assisted devices. These campaigns will be specifically for voice searches on Google and eventually Bing. Depending on screen formats, they could be dramatically different than the ads we see now on Google, possibly with images as well. Over the next few years, expect to see continued increases in the number of searches from voice. In the near future, Google Analytics will be able to track searches to identify if the source was type or voice. With voices searches, comes a new set of keywords so now is a good time to begin discussing plans for new voice-based campaigns.

4) Automated Intelligence Search Suggestions: The technology that drives smart home assistants is going to change how we optimize websites for Search Engine Optimization. We will start seeing more search activity for question and answer related searches. We are already starting to see this on Google with the new position zero. Position Zero is a box that appears at the top of Google with an answer to a question that was posed in the search. Google provides the most relevant answer to the question, typically an excerpt from a website. Instead of simply ranking for search terms, it will become increasingly important to optimize for answers to common questions involving your industry, products or services.

5) Video Marketing and Live Video: YouTube is still the #2 search engine in the world, and we do not except that to change anytime soon. Over 1.3 billion people use YouTube on a daily basis to watch over 5 billion videos on average. As more people continue to use YouTube those users spend more time viewing videos and searching for videos, it will become more important to showcase ads on YouTube for searches related to your business. With live video streaming now an option on Facebook and other social media platforms, early adapters will enjoy better performance of organic and sponsored videos. Live videos are now also an option and we expect to see better performance from live videos.

At AdEdge , we stay on top of emerging trends and technologies in digital marketing. We are constantly testing for new and efficient ways of reaching targeted audiences in with the ultimate goal of improving our clients’ performance. If you have any questions about these tactics or would like to discuss digital marketing channels that work well in your particular industry, please reach out to one of our digital marketing experts for a free consultation.

Inbound: A Driving Force in Digital Marketing

Whether you’re an experienced content marketer who is seasoned in all things inbound, or a rookie trying to figure out where to begin, the goal of inbound marketing remains the same: create value for your customers by solving a problem for them. So how can you do that through your content, and how can you give those customers a great experience when they come into contact with your brand? We’re here to give you some tips to take your inbound strategy to the next level and show you how to attract, convert, close, and delight your customers.

Inbound Marketing 101

1) Blogging: No matter what type of industry you are in, blogging is a great way to establish yourself as an industry leader and showcase your expertise. Use your website as a resource for customers who may have questions about your products or services, or broader questions about your industry. The more specific your blog posts are, the more likely it is that you’ll bring value to someone who is looking for a solution to a specific problem or an answer to a question. Google loves fresh content and while posting blogs on a regular basis can be time consuming, it will be well worth it. Over time, Google will reward you with higher ranking for frequent posts that are relevant to your business. Even if you go back to old posts and breathe some new life into them, Google will still reward you with higher ranking and it will benefit your customers as well. Think about new editions of a book. Times change and with an updated blog post, the content is fully relevant, fresh and back on top where customers can find it. So how often should you post to your blog? Once week is ideal but the key is to post as often as you have interesting, relevant content. If you’re just starting out, don’t force yourself to blog more frequently if the content is dull or thin. Shoot for between one and four times per month. In inbound marketing, content is king, so the more content you post over time the better.

2) Social Media is another important tool for any inbound marketer. If you spend a good amount of time posting great content on your blog, don’t you want to share it with the world and get more people to see it? The best way to get more visitors to your blog posts is by leveraging social media to tease them with a piece of your blog content. Creating a social media plan that works for you and using a calendar to update your posts is a great way to manage the effort in a way that will help you stick to the plan and gain traction. Social media is just like blogging, if you post frequently with interesting, relevant, interesting content, your will gain fans and friends, encourage engagement, build your leadership position and attract a regular source of website visitors.

3) Forms: You’ve probably seen pop-up forms on certain websites. In fact, if you’ve been to adedgemarketing.com, you probably saw one there too. Why? Because they work. Pop ups are a great way to encourage interaction with your customers and let them know about special promotions you may have or inform them about an event that is coming up. Forms are most commonly used to capture lead information like name, email and phone number of the person who is requesting information about your products or service. Another benefit of forms is, when used in conjunction with SEM, they give you an opportunity to “grab” the lead before they hit the [back] button to check out other resources. If you post valuable content frequently, use forms to encourage prospects to sign up for your newsletter or subscribe to your YouTube channel. Once you’ve got a curious prospect on your site, use your content to share your unique selling proposition and show them that you’re the best in your industry.

4) Landing pages: This is probably the most overlooked part of the process when it comes to inbound marketing. Where you send your visitors can either make or break their experience on your website. Where they land on your website is going to be their all important “first impression”. If you want to impress and keep them on your website, provide value and make it easy. It’s all about relevance. Let’s take real estate for example. Prospects who come to your website from a social media post about new homes for sale should be directed to a page about new homes for sale, not listing homes for sale, and not finding a realtor. Directing visitors to relevant landing pages on your website will help engage and close customers.

5) Newsletters: Once you’ve created a substantial list of prospects or clients/customers, a great way to keep in touch with them is through monthly or even weekly newsletters. A happy customer is a loyal customer, so whether it’s through a newsletter, annual event, or featuring them on social media posts, it’s important to keep in contact and delight those already established customers. With the right tactics and the right content, inbound marketing will attract customers to you naturally without any old-school sales or advertising techniques.

If you have any questions about inbound marketing or need help with strategy or building a plan, schedule a call with one of our experts today.

Target LinkedIn Users on the Bing Ads Network

Bing Ads is expanding to reach LinkedIn users for searches on Bing, MSN and Yahoo with their sponsored ads. Targeting for Search on the Bing Network and owned/operated sites will start in January 2019 to all accounts serving the United States. There are many segments on LinkedIn that are available for targeting. The latest figures for LinkedIn include 145 industries, 80,000 companies and 26 job functions. Microsoft bought LinkedIn for $26 billion in 2016, so this is not surprising that the two ad networks would share resources at some point. LinkedIn currently has over 575 million users, and Microsoft wants to take advantage of user insights and profile data to increase revenue for Bing Ads.

The ability to target LinkedIn audiences for search engines will only be available for Bing Ads, not Google’s Ad Network. Since Microsoft and Google are competitors, it’s unlikely that Google will ever be able to target LinkedIn users. This gives the Bing Ads Network a new advantage over Google Ads, who currently controls about two thirds of the search engine market. The new targeting will allow bid modifiers that can be set for the specific LinkedIn profile targeting, for example, increase bids by 15 percent to reach United Health Care employees when searching on Bing, MSN or Yahoo. This is going to be an excellent tactic to utilize for advertising to B2B audiences, a group that can be very difficult to target directly online. This will not only help B2B campaigns but B2C as well, especially if the campaign can benefit from targeting people who work for a specific company or in a specific industry. After all, the campaign will be primary targeting people who search for a specific keyword term. LinkedIn’s targeting will allow campaigns to reduce wasted clicks on irrelevant searches and help narrow the audience to specific targets. These capabilities can be combined with targeting by age group, gender, location and device to put ads in front of the most relevant audience to achieve the campaign goals. Campaigns and ad groups can have unique messages for LinkedIn targeting only, compared to a traditional search campaign targeted only by keyword.

AdEdge Digital Marketing was the first company in Connecticut to earn advanced certifications in both Google Ads and Bing Advertising. If you have any questions about this new tactic, or questions or concerns about your current digital marketing strategy in general, please feel free to reach out to us for a free consultation or digital marketing evaluation.

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Happy New Year!

Six Tips For An Effective Content Marketing Strategy

Have you ever heard the expression, “Content is King”? In the marketing world, it’s equally important for mass media as it is for digital marketing. Whatever the medium or industry, content provides for the ideal way to connect with people by adding value, expertise or entertainment. In an online environment that is flooded with information, it’s easy to get lost in the noise, even if you are a top tier company who does amazing work in your industry. The key to content marketing is to make your website, blog, podcast or YouTube channel a resource for your targeted clients and customers. So how can you produce content that brings your customers to you?

Here are six tips to help you create a great content marketing strategy

1) Create Value: The first step is to create value for your target audience. One way to do this is by answering questions that you know your customers want answers to. Finding solutions to pain-points for businesses/individuals is a great way to bring value to them. One simple example that you’ve probably found yourself doing at some point is looking up a how-to video on YouTube. By creating a simple how-to video, some YouTubers have generated millions of views, simply because they are offering a quick solution to their audience’s question. Another way value can be created is through blogging. Most travel bloggers share their experiences with their audience through photos, videos and writing on their blog. Avid travelers are naturally drawn to this hub of content and interested in learning about new places the travelers have been. Although these are simple examples, the concept of creating value for a target audience is consistent in both situations.

2) Use Social Media: Once you’ve found a way to create value for your target audience, how should your share it with the world? The quickest way to do so is through social media. By sharing brief pieces of your content, whether its video, a great photo, or an announcement of a new blog post, you will be able to link those posts back to your page where the real value is. Social media is a great way to generate awareness of your brand and to increase your reach so you can connect with more and more people as you grow.

3) Put Your Expertise On Display: It’s obvious that in order to create value, you need to be great at what you do. Whether it’s Digital Marketing, Finance, Real Estate, Education, Law or whatever your business is, you need to showcase your expertise and provide value. Just make sure you’re an expert in the subject matter you’re writing about and if you’re not, get help from a content professional.

4) Use Video: This can’t be stressed enough. New studies show that in 2019, 80% of online traffic will be through video. So why is video so much more effective than everything else? For starters, it’s more entertaining, it provides for more detail, more information and it helps customers put a face to your brand. Understanding who you’re going to be working with or who you’re taking advice from is a huge part of building a relationship for your audience. By creating personalized videos and talking to your audience, you are developing trust and taking ownership of the content you are putting out there. If you haven’t used video in the past, give it a shot. You can do a video series, testimonials from clients, or post a clip from an industry event you attended. A short video can go a long way.

5) Create High Quality Content: Not only does your content have to be valuable, professional and engaging, but it also has to be done right. This doesn’t mean investing in an expensive camera or photographer. It means that each piece of content you produce has to meet your standard of work. In other words you need to practice what you preach. If you’re an amazing graphic designer, the graphics in your content better be outstanding; or if you’re a professional copywriter, the content you write better be extremely engaging; or in our case, if you’re a digital marketing company, make sure to create content on a regular basis regarding top trends in our industry. (Hint, Hint, content marketing is a top trend that’s growing!) So whatever high quality content translates to in your industry, make it the standard to hold yourself to with any content you put out there.

6) Be Consistent: It’s easy to say you are going to do all of these things, but what it comes down to is doing them consistently and being patient. Are you willing to invest your time to produce great blog posts? Are you ready to step in front of a camera and create a video series? Will you put in the effort to create a social media calendar and stick to it on a consistent basis? We get it, not everyone has the time to do this when they are focusing on their business. However, investing in a content marketing strategy can be extremely beneficial if done correctly.

By following these six tips consistently, you will see how much content marketing can help your business. Whether you’re trying to establish yourself as an industry leader or growing your business through a new source of leads, the results are waiting. If you have any questions about content marketing, or would like to learn about other effective digital marketing tactics, please sign up for our monthly newsletter or schedule a call with one of our experts for a free consultation.

Tech Talk: How Costly Is That Free Email Service Provider You’re Using?

By: Andrea Wagner, President, Wagner Web Designs, Inc.

Examples of free email services are Yahoo!, Gmail, Hotmail, sbcglobal.net, etc. In the event of a problem with your account, there is NO support or customer service for free accounts. (The last line of the troubleshooting guide states “ If these steps have not resolved the issue, feel free to set up a new email account.”) Lost data is lost permanently, and there is no one to turn to for help.

Have you ever wondered how these companies are able to offer you a free email account? Once you sign up and begin sending and receiving email messages, you have become a target in the company’s sales and marketing sights, sharing your interests, your connections, your customers’ information, and even what your personal finances look like. Computer programs search and catalog every message you send, and every message you receive (no matter where the incoming messages originate), picking out words and phrases which are then used in targeted ad campaigns. You can see the result in the ads which appear on the side of the email screen, and are sometimes embedded within your email messages themselves.

Your Company Image – Using a free email service in place of your company domain name can raise a red flag to consumers, resulting in them deleting your email messages without reading them, or even reporting them as spam. This can stall your small business’ growth and hurt your reputation.

Another Domain Name Scam  – Many of my customers have been sending me this notice they receive via email.

“Dear Domain owner,

Don’t miss out on this offer which includes search engine submissions for yourdomain.com…” It appears to be an invoice for renewing their domain name. But keep reading! “There is no obligation to pay for this order unless you complete your payment by xx/xx/xx. Our services provide submission and search engine ranking for domain owners. Failure to complete your search engine registration may result in the cancellation of this order (making it difficult for your customers to locate you using search engines on the web). You are under no obligation to pay the amount stated above unless you accept this offer.”

This is an advertisement made to look like an invoice. Many customers pay it out of fear of losing their domain. Just ignore. And finally, if you receive an invoice that you don’t expect from someone you don’t know, delete it!

Andrea is president of Wagner Web Designs, Inc, specializing in optimized small business websites. Have a question? Feel free to contact: (914) 245 2626.

Digital Marketing Tips For The Holiday Season

Black Friday and Cyber Monday are all the craze around the the holidays. There are great promotions in stores, apps, and online. If you think you missed out this year, don’t fret, because promotions actually run all the way through and even after Christmas and into the New Year. Lots of consumer businesses generate most of their revenue during the months of November. In fact, “Black Friday” was named after the day that many businesses finally got “in the black” for the year. December sees lots of last minute shoppers and January attracts deal-crazed shoppers. As a business owner or manager, what can you be doing with digital marketing to make the most of the holidays? Here are some simple tips to help you be successful this holiday season.

Focus on Re-targeting Ads: For businesses with longer sales cycles – those with products or services that don’t involve “snap” purchasing decisions, re-targeting is an extremely effective way to keep your brand and product or service in front of prospective customers. With customers facing so many choices, the best way to break through is with repetition and with re-targeting or re-marketing, your ads are shown only to customers who have considered your product or service but have not completed a goal – whether that goal is a lead, sale or some other form of engagement on your website. By keeping your company and information in front of these prospects, you remain top of mind which keeps you in the game during the research process and develops trust and preference among these prospects. Most businesses aren’t doing this which makes this tactic that much more effective.

Compliment Your In-Store Promotions With a Strong Digital Strategy: There are many brick and mortar stores that offer in-store promotions. Use digital campaigns to compliment your in-store promotions and other advertising and marketing channels. Advertising to customers from several channels of media has a multiplying impact. Whether it’s print, TV or digital advertising, each channel of advertising you add to a campaign, improves it’s effectiveness by a multiple. Although online purchases are expected to increase 5.1% this holiday season, in-store sales still make up the majority of sales during the holidays. So it’s important to maintain a healthy balance between in-store and online promotions to maximize your marketing performance.

Increase Campaign Budgets: Tying into the idea of maintaining a strong digital strategy, it’s a good idea to set a healthy budget for ad spend during the holidays, especially for consumer products. With a heavily saturated online market, a simple way to boost your campaign performance is to increase ad spend for the months of November, December and January. Since sales conversions are higher during holiday periods, a budget increase will increase your ads position and frequency. Just make sure all the other attributes of your campaign are healthy as well: high intent keywords, top performing placements, location targeting, demographic targeting and bids that are custom set based on keyword and placement performance, just to name a few.

Focus On Mobile Marketing: It’s no secret that almost everyone has their cell phone within one foot of themselves at all times but what you may not know is that smart phone use has surpassed desktop use and the divide is growing. As of 2018, 63% of all desktop traffic comes from mobile devices. Looking at the consumer market, that number jumps into the upper 70% range! To take advantage of this opportunity, make mobile a priority for your marketing strategy. That means a mobile optimized site and mobile optimized advertising.

If you have any questions about your digital marketing efforts during this holiday season or anytime for that matter, feel free to schedule a complimentary call with one of our experts, request a free digital marketing performance analysis or subscribe to our newsletter which is chock full of news and cool new tactics in digital marketing. Thanks for reading and happy shopping!

Four Tactics for Highly Targeted Banner Ads

Back in the day when traditional media was king, (the movie Mad Men, anyone?) most brand building was done with TV, radio and print ads. While we’re not one to poo-poo mass marketing (because for some industries, it still works!) the days of two martini lunches at overpaid ad agencies are gone and the new kid on the block is digital advertising. Why is digital advertising and banner advertising in particular stealing the show?

Two reasons. 1) Unlike traditional media, digital banners are interactive – they not only build brand, but they can also act as direct response ads, driving prospects to your website for further cultivation. 2) Banner advertising is highly targeted and able to present a custom message to an exact audience in the right place at the right time… Oh and 3) they’re way more cost-effective. It’s the ability to target ads with laser precision and optimize campaigns in real time based on performance that distinguishes the great campaigns (and the great agencies) from the mediocre. Knowing your customer well, who they are, what they do, what they want and when they want it are all clues you can use to build a strong digital campaign. Here are four banner ad targeting tactics that can skyrocket your campaign’s performance if implemented correctly.

Placement Based Targeting – This most simple form of targeting involves selecting specific websites for your ads to be displayed on. Use placements that appeal based on context, demographics, lifestyle or other considerations. For example, yacht ads can be placed on website related to boating, high net worth lifestyles or target locations.

Search-Based Targeting – This hybrid form of targeting combines the relevance of search history with the appeal of graphics in a banner ad. With search-based banner, you can show ads to anyone who searched for your product or service in the last 30 days. This tactic works particularly well in industries with long sales-cycle products or services like automotive, education, law, finance, real estate and others. It doesn’t work as well for short sales cycle purchases like the trades (electricians, plumbers, etc.) inexpensive consumer products, entertainment and dining industries. These shorter sales cycle industries cannot benefit from ads that show over time because those purchase decisions happen quickly. Placing banner ads in front of prospects who have searched for the products or services you sell keeps your brand top of mind as the decision-making process is happening. It gives you the unique ability to share multiple benefits of your products and services to perfectly targeted individuals.

 

 

Re-targeted Ads – Everyone has seen ads that “chase them around” but if done well and tastefully, re-targeting (also known as re-marketing) can be extremely effective. As your other digital marketing efforts (paid and organic) drive traffic to landing pages, re-targeting is there to kick in with prospects who “stall” within your sales funnel. Prospects who visit targeted landing pages but fail to take next steps of engagement, lead gen or purchase, are presented with ads designed to help jump-start their interest. Such ads can illustrate unique benefits, qualifications, testimonials or other compelling copy and images that will help get you a second look and hopefully, back in the game.

 

CRM Targeting – This more advanced form of banner advertising works with your company’s Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system to present ads to individuals based on their email address. Targeting can be based on basically any information in your CRM such as products or services they’ve looked at or other interactions they’ve had with your business. The technology is not perfect but you can expect to reach about 70% of your prospects with banner ads. This works best with lists of over 5,000 individuals but even a smaller list can make a big impact. No email list, no problem. A good digital agency should have access to reliable and trustworthy data partners who can append emails to your mailing list to get the job done. Combine CRM targeting with email marketing and all of a sudden, your brand is front and center. Hit your prospects with messages from all angles (banner, email, search and social) and your marketing impact multiplies. These four banner advertising tactics are great ways to reach relevant prospects, build your brand and drive activity to your website in a very cost-effective way.

 

 

If you would like to learn more about which form of banner ads might work well in your industry or which digital marketing tactics you might want to try in general, feel free book a meeting with one of our experts or subscribe to our newsletter for monthly insights on all kinds of effective and emerging digital marketing topics!

 

Staying Ahead of Industry Trends: 3 Tips

The most effective ways of doing business ebbs and flows over time. Best practices in operations, human resources, accounting and marketing come and go. Back in the day of “old school” mass marketing like print, TV and radio, change happened slowly like water carving a canyon, but with the newest and most effective form of marketing (digital marketing) change happens fast and those quick to adapt reap the benefits of supply and demand. You can catch a wave and ride it to success or watch it go by and your competition with it. So how do you stay ahead in the fast-paced world of digital marketing? Here are three effective ways to stay informed from thought leaders in the industry.

1) Subscribe to a Newsletter: It’s always exciting to learn about a new digital marketing tactic from a leading agency but it’s even more telling when more than one of them starts talking about it and starts finding success. Subscribe to a few newsletters, read them regularly and compare notes. You’ll get insights on industry trends, case studies and the most promising new tactics.

2) Set up Google Alerts: If you learn about a new trend or want to focus on a promising tactic that’s worthy of a deep dive, set up Google alerts using your Gmail account to get late breaking news and information about the topic as it comes off the presses. The cool thing about Google Alerts is it puts you in complete control, allowing you to set up specific times and days to get updates. Simply select any topic you want to receive updates about, and Google will deliver all articles they find pertaining to that subject according to your schedule.

3) Research Competitors: Of course, you want to be the company who harnesses the best new trends in digital marketing, but you never know when someone is going to beat you to the punch so keep abreast of your strongest competitors. You never know when they are going to pull and Ace out their hat. Visit their website, follow them on social media, subscribe to their newsletter and set them up on Google Alerts and you’re sure to keep close tabs on their every move. There are lots of smart people out there and sometimes it’s not always your awesome team that comes up with the coolest and best new ideas. By following your competition, you kind of putting their thought leaders on your team – not bad.

The overall message here is keep on top of the latest trends in digital marketing, don’t be afraid to test promising new tactics before your competition does and remember in digital marketing it’s all about testing, testing, testing. If you’d like to keep up to date on cool new digital marketing trends from a super smart agency, here’s one place you can start, our own newsletter from the geniuses at AdEdge, the “Digital Edge”. But don’t just subscribe to ours, subscribe to several to fill your brain with lots great ideas from leaders in digital marketing and watch how fast you’ll become an expert! If you want to learn more about Digital Marketing and how we help our clients feel free to give us a call or book a meeting with one of our experts.

P.S. Happy Thanksgiving!

4 Pros & Cons: Small Vs. Large Marketing Agencies

Big or small, broad or narrow, fast or slow… there are always pros and cons in choosing to work with various companies. The same is evident when choosing what kind of digital marketing agency you’d like to work with. The most important thing to consider is size, “should I work with a large or small agency?” Again, there are pros and cons to large and small agencies. It’s an important decision that could impact communications, operations and even performance. In this article we are going to explore the differences between large and small agencies and highlight four pros and cons to help you figure out which type of digital marketing agency is the right size and best fit for you.

 

Adapting Landscapes: In business, changes are inevitable, so it’s important to know what you’re getting yourself into with large vs. small agencies. In most cases, large agencies will have more people working on a project, more hierarchy, structure and a longer approval process. Clients who need to make frequent changes or need changes fast may be frustrated by having to navigate all of the moving parts, longer approval times and expense of changes typical of a larger agency. A benefit of a larger agency in this respect is the very structure and approval process that makes changes slower ensures that changes are done correctly and done well, usually the first time. Small agencies are lighter on their feet when it comes to campaign changes. With less people, everyone usually knows what is going on at all times so changes can be made quickly and smoothly without having to fight through red tape. The work will likely be fine in either scenario but if time is an issue and deadlines change, its usually worth a conversation with the account manager to understand the process, time and cost involved in making the changes.

Specialized Work: In most cases, digital marketing agencies say they do anything and everything like SEO, SEM, Social Media Management, Website Development, Email Marketing and more. However, do they have true experts with significant experience on staff for each type of tactic or are they winging half of what they do? Many younger small agencies do not have the breadth or depth of experience of a larger firm but if you do your homework, you can find some very highly experienced small agencies. But if you ask, “what’s your sweet spot” you will usually get an honest answer and find out which areas of digital marketing they’re really good at. And here’s an interesting paradox. Don’t mistake a large agency’s qualifications for individual qualifications. Most large agencies have big, impressive qualifications, awards and badges on their website. But often, these designations are earned by a select few individuals, perhaps even one. They may talk a big game but when it comes to who is actually doing the work, some agencies (not all) use newly minted college grads who learn as they go, taking advice and direction from a senior marketer and in doing so, these agencies are able to serve the account on the cheap. Naturally, the quality and performance will suffer under this scenario. Regardless of what size agency you are working with, look past the impressive badges and find out who is actually going to be doing the work. If you want a full digital marketing campaign across all channels built from the ground up, a larger agency will probably be a better choice. However, if you are testing the waters with few digital marketing tactics a smaller agency may be better. Regardless, know the strengths and weaknesses of the agency you decide to work with and your relationship will be a smoother one.

Culture/Personality: Liking who you work with is always a good thing and having a good relationship is much easier and more natural when there is a good cultural match. There are a couple notable differences in the culture between large and small agencies. Depending on how large the account is, large agencies may assign dedicated account managers to clients. Again, it depends on the agency but larger agencies tend not to meet with clients in person and those who do tend to meet in person less often than a small agency. In some cases, large agencies will assign rotating account managers to clients a definite “con” If signing up with a large agency. Insist on a dedicated account manager and backup and again, make sure their qualifications meet your needs. With smaller agencies, you’re generally going to get the same account manager for the life of your account. They tend to be more accessible for in-person meetings as are their manager/owner. With a more flexible schedule, it’s easier for smaller agencies to dedicate time to individual clients and address their needs. Most of the time, smaller agencies will not have as many clients and therefore those clients simply get better attention and develop a more personal relationship.

Projects: Since most large agencies have more employees and resources, they are generally better at taking on a wider and deeper scope of marketing campaign than a small agency. A large agency will be able to take on and service large marketing projects for large clients but their smaller client accounts may not get the attention or resources they need or deserve. Some smaller agencies can handle pretty large and complex campaigns but they may have trouble balancing workload when needs or problems converge at the same time. Smart small agencies have contracted subject matter experts on the ready for such cases so that work can get done in a timely manner.

There is no evidence that reveals whether large or small digital marketing agencies produce better work, but it’s true that most small agencies tend to work well with small to medium sized businesses and small to medium-sized projects and large agencies tend to work well with larger clients. Whether you go small or large, just make sure you understand who you’ll be working with and confirm that person is qualified and is a good personal match for your company and personal style.

If you would like to learn more about banner advertising or get some ideas about other digital marketing tactics that may perform well in your industry, give us a call or schedule a meeting with one of our experts.

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