What is a Digital Marketing Agency?
A digital marketing agency is an organization that provides digital marketing services to businesses to acquire more customers. Now there is a lot to unpack here. First, we need to understand what digital marketing is and what it's not. Then we need to understand what an agency is, and lastly, what type of customers agencies can serve.
Digital marketing is marketing typically conducted on the internet and viewed through technology devices like computers and mobile phones. This includes search engine optimization (SEO), search engine marketing (SEM), social media marketing (SMM), short message system marketing (SMS), content marketing, display ads, e-mail marketing, influencer marketing, content automation, etc.
It doesn't include traditional marketing efforts like billboards, flyers, radio ads, TV, newspaper, radio, etc. What differentiates digital marketing is that it has the unique advantage of real-time trackability. Meaning, you're able to see your results from your marketing efforts immediately. This allows you to see your return on investment (ROI) for each dollar you put into your digital marketing efforts as opposed to more ambiguous ROI from traditional marketing because it's much harder to track your results.
Also, digital marketing makes it more accessible for small businesses to compete in the marketplace because of its high visibility and low cost (There are over 2.7 Billion people that use Facebook alone and only cost $5 to run an ad). This also means there is a huge need for digital marketing experts. Small businesses make up 99.7% of all businesses in the United States alone and over 627,000 new small businesses open each year according to the Small Business Administration (SBA).
An agency can be a one-person operation or it can be a large organization There are many agencies that serve different markets and provide different digital marketing services. Some agencies focus on a comprehensive digital marketing strategy while others might focus on one aspect of digital marketing like social media marketing, SEO, or content marketing.
Agencies can also determine the type of customer they want to serve. It can range from small mom and pop businesses to large multinational companies. However, if you're just starting out, there is a massive opportunity for small niche businesses that need digital marketing services like dental offices, real estate, beauty salons, flower shops, gyms, and many other businesses.
How Does it Work?
How Do You Make Money?
With a digital marketing agency, you make money by providing marketing services to businesses. Many of these businesses allow a certain amount of marketing dollars every month in their budget and are willing to outsource their marketing needs to marketing agencies. Many small businesses don't even know that they need digital marketing services but are generally very willing to pay for services if they know they will be getting value in return.
Most agencies work off monthly payments for their services or by marketing campaigns. Successful marketing agencies are able to generate reoccurring monthly revenues from clients. Small agencies just starting out can acquire small businesses as customers that are able to pay $1,000+ a month in marketing services.
What Are The Pros & Cons?
- Reoccurring monthly income.
- Able to get create sizeable income quickly.
- Little overhead getting started.
- Able to scale business and services.
- You need to convince businesses about your services.
- Managing clients and expectations.
- Ongoing client support.
Estimated Startup Cost
The type and scale of your digital marketing agency will obviously change your startup cost. If you're starting out as a one-man team, you can keep the costs fairly low. It helps if you're able to create your own website and business card. This will help you establish a sense of professionalism when you're reaching out to prospective clients. You'll also need to purchase marketing software that will allow you to perform your marketing duties. Other than that, you'll be paying with sweat equity, putting in the hours to build up your clientele and services their marketing needs.
Key Activities as Digital Marketing Agency
When you first begin your digital marketing agency, most of your time will be spent getting new customers. As you establish a fairly consistent customer base, you'll spend most of your time managing your marketing efforts.
What you'll spend your time doing in marketing depends on your company's marketing focus. If you choose to do search engine optimization (SEO), you'll spend most of your time analyzing your customer's website, maximize website exposure to search engines, and creating relevant keyword-focused content. If you do social media marketing (SMM), most of your time will be spent creating relevant media content to bring exposure to your customer's product and brand. If you do paid ads, you'll spend time creating captivating ads and optimize ad metrics.
The rest of your time is spent is dialoguing with your customers to make sure you're on the same page and acquiring new customers.
Start a Digital Marketing Agency
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