What Is a Digital Marketing Agency?

A full-service digital marketing agency develops and executes marketing strategies on a variety of digital channels based on online user behavior data and analytics.

These channels include:

  • Websites
  • Blogs
  • Search engines
  • Paid advertising or pay-per-click (PPC)
  • Social media platforms
  • Email
  • And more

Unlike traditional marketing and online advertising companies, full-service digital marketing agencies focus on producing measurable results like:

  • On-site conversions
  • Rankings on search engine results pages (SERPS)
  • PPC lead generation
  • Social media engagement
  • Social-media-generated traffic and conversions
    And more

Digital marketing agencies are often confused with digital agencies.

While a full-service digital agency typically does provide digital marketing services, they tend to specialize in all things digital and, therefore, also provide web, app and software design and development in addition to other services that grow businesses online.

digital marketing concept
91% of B2B companies use content marketing to attract and retain their audiences

What Services Do Marketing Firms Provide?

Digital marketing companies offer services as varied as the digital channels they specialize in.

To answer this question, let's take one step back and look at the engagement models, i.e. how these agencies deliver their services.

  • Partnerships: Digital marketing outsourcing is one of the most common engagement models. Two-thirds of B2B companies outsource online marketing to professional agencies to be able to focus their in-house resources on revenue-generating work.
  • Projects: One-time or other short-term engagements where a business outsources a particular campaign, strategy or another time-bound task to a specialized agency.

As for the services themselves, the best marketing companies often combine a number of techniques to promote your brand across channels and drive online business growth.

Some of these efforts include:

1. Internet Marketing & Advertising

Service marketing companies manage marketing and advertising across a wide variety of platforms. These tactics can include:

  • Retargeting and remarketing
  • Paid search
  • Paid media
  • Pay-per-click advertising
  • Native advertising
  • And more

These initiatives can be executed on many platforms, including:

  • Google
  • Bing
  • Facebook
  • LinkedIn
  • Email
  • Other publications
  • And more

2. Content & Social Media Marketing

Multimedia content and social media are steadily replacing outdated traditional advertising tactics, such as radio spots and expensive TV ads.

Full-service marketing companies can conceptualize, create and publish all sorts of content, such as:

  • Blog posts
  • Articles
  • Brand videos
  • Social media posts and content
  • Infographics
  • User-generated content campaigns
  • Digital newsletters
  • Whitepapers
  • Webinars
  • And more

According to Content Marketing Institute, 91% of B2B organizations use content marketing to attract and retain their audiences.

And the tasks they outsource the most include:

  • Content creation (47%)
  • Content promotion/distribution (23%)
  • Content marketing measurement (11%)
  • Content marketing strategy (9%)

3. Search Engine Optimization

Online marketing also encompasses search engine optimization (SEO).

This robust initiative is the act of optimizing your web design and corresponding content to
rank higher on relevant search results.

There are three types of SEO that you need to focus on for a well-rounded organic search strategy:

  • Technical SEO
  • On-page SEO
  • Off-page SEO

Unsurprisingly, most companies optimize for Google since it dominates the search engine market and in May 2020 it maintained 92% of the total market share.

However, the engine uses more than 200 factors to rank websites.

And while some of them are clearer than others, top marketing agencies have both enough experience and data to develop effective SEO strategies that will increase your website traffic organically.

4. Additional Digital Marketing Services

There is a near-endless list of campaigns that can be implemented to grow your business.

Additional digital marketing services include:

Digital Marketing Firms vs. Digital Advertising Companies

The fields of online marketing and digital advertising tend to overlap often and to a degree that makes it difficult to set any clear boundaries between them.

A digital advertising agency develops and delivers advertising campaigns for online audiences. As such, digital advertising couples data and tech with creativity.

Some of the services that online advertisement companies offer are:

  • Display ads: Data analysis, data-based campaign conceptualization, design, deployment, performance tracking and optimization.
  • Social ads: Social media campaigns based on the target audience behavior.
  • PPC and other forms of paid ads including social.

In reality, most marketing firms will include these advertising services in their offering.

Online marketing is usually viewed as a broader strategy that ties all the digital branding, lead generation and customer relationship building initiatives under its wing.

So, these agencies develop expertise in a few particular branches of online marketing. Some even develop industry-specific expertise.

As a result, these companies’ offerings will differ and the right outsourcing partner will specialize in just the type of services you need.

Looking for the best SEO companies?

How Much Do the Best Marketing Companies Charge for Their Services?

Local digital marketing agencies usually price their services based on hourly rates. In the U.S., the hourly rates for range between $100 and $175.

However, if you choose to partner with an overseas company, rates per hour can drop to as low as $40.

Many organizations also hire top specialists on a monthly retainer contract, meaning that the internet marketing company acts as an expert consultant that advises your business.

Depending on the type of project, monthly retainer fees for US-based companies range from $1,000 to $3,000 or more.

Meanwhile, those companies located overseas have less expensive monthly retainers that hover around $700 per month.

Other pricing structures include fees per project or results-based.

Why Should You Hire a Top Marketing Agency?

Here are the top five advantages of partnering with a marketing firm:

1. Staying relevant in your industry

Your partner agency will develop an in-depth understanding of your industry and business environment which matters in the success of your business growth efforts as these are some of the key factors that will improve your strategy.

2. Being on top of the latest trends

Digital marketing specialists will also keep you on top of the emerging trends in online marketing and the latest market-tested tactics to help you reach your goals.

3. Having access to premium marketing tools

The top marketing studios use expensive tools that automate their strategies, provide analytical insight and help with day-to-day online marketing management efforts.

4. Generating more quality leads

With their tactics and tools in motion, you will get a deeper insight into your target market behavior and help you identify better buyer personas, thus driving qualified leads.

5. Getting analytical reports

These experts will also provide you with useful data on your audience, competitors and brand which can help you improve your online marketing strategies.

Connect with the right digital ad agency for your project.

How To Choose the Right Internet Marketing Company for Your Business

By now, you have probably observed that each global and local digital marketing agency in our directory is unique in its focus, expertise, cost and experience.

As such, each company will have something unique to contribute to your business. Some are crafty wordsmiths, design wizards and brand whisperers, others excel in designing and developing your online spaces, as well as using the latest tech to create memorable user experiences.

To find the best marketing and design company for your business, take these steps:

Step #1: Ask About Their Experts

One of the main reasons why businesses choose to outsource their digital marketing entirely is to tap into the expertise these agencies foster.

In other words, people stand as their most important resource. Try to meet the experts who will work on your account or project to ensure they have enough experience and the right skills to lead you to success.

Step #2: Identify Their Area(s) Of Expertise

Know your business goals and understand exactly what you want to achieve by hiring a marketing firm.

Online marketing encompasses many strategies and campaigns across dozens of platforms. And investigating these agencies' core competencies will give you an insight into their skills, qualifications and relevant experience.

Step #3: Understand Their Processes To Learn How They Deliver Results

The best marketing companies have clearly defined and streamlined processes that help them optimize client engagement as well as results.

Ask your shortlisted candidates to share with you:

  • How they would interact with your in-house team to obtain insights and approvals
  • How they manage internal and client communication
  • How they devise and deliver strategies
  • How they ensure transparency over the entire process

Step #4: View Their Professional Portfolio

The top marketing agencies have detailed portfolios full of successful projects.

Do your own research and learn what you can about an agency’s prior campaigns. Then, ask the agency detailed questions about these projects, such as:

  • Why was it successful?
  • Did it go according to plan – why or why not?
  • What did you learn from the project?

Plus, don’t forget to ask these experts about their missteps, too. They will recognize projects that didn’t meet expectations and will tell you what they learned and how they plan to avoid that in the future.

Asking yourself these questions will also help you find the right partner:

  • To onshore or offshore:
    • How important is the agency’s physical proximity to your offices?
    • How important is the time zone overlap?
    • How important is it to outsource to a US-based agency and why?
  • Project scope:
    • What type of digital marketing services do you need?
    • Will your project expand over time? If so, which new tasks do you expect to outsource to the agency you partner with?
  • Budget:
    • How much are you looking to invest in your project?

10 Questions To Ask A Marketing Services Company

Ask these questions to find the best digital marketing creative agency for your next project easily:

  1. Who would be working on our account? What qualifies them for this role?
  2. What are some of the high-level suggestions you have for our online presence and why?
  3. What is your process, i.e. how would you approach our project?
  4. How would you engage our in-house team during this process?
  5. How often would we meet to review progress and results?
  6. How will you measure our results?
  7. What tools, programs or resources do you use and why?
  8. What experience do you have in our industry?
  9. What experience do you have solving business growth or marketing problems that are similar to ours?
  10. What digital marketing services are included in your fee? Are there any services, programs, etc. that may cost extra?

Takeaways on Digital Marketing Agencies

Digital marketing agencies develop strategies that foster business growth online.

They offer various pricing plans with the fee per hour as their most common, which ranges between $100-$175.

The best digital marketing companies in the world share key qualities that prove that can help brands grow online successfully:

  • The ability to understand and adapt to any brand
  • Strong company leadership and highly skilled teams
  • Access to top tools and resources that give them better management capabilities and access to real-time data
  • Experience in your industry and solving similar business growth problems to yours
  • Expertise in the online marketing areas you’re looking to implement
  • A collaborative culture that will work with your brand
  • The ability to create a clear and organized roadmap to success – and stick to it
  • A history of successful marketing campaigns, strategies and initiatives

To find the right internet marketing company for your business, follow these easy steps:

  • Get to know their team
  • Determine their service focus
  • Explore their portfolios
  • Understand their processes

Best of luck!


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