It’s clear that within the last decade or so, consumers have drastically changed not only the way they shop, but also the way they research, review and discover new products before buying.
In virtually all arenas, from basics like electronics sales, to developing trends like grocery delivery services, there are more options out there than ever before, and more companies clamoring for the attention of the customer.
Buyers are spending time doing their research, comparing multiple reviews and getting a feeling for a company’s brand vision before they even consider reaching for their wallets and making a purchase.
This means businesses need to be searchable, as well as engaging online.
And, because these changes have all stemmed from the internet becoming increasingly more accessible and ubiquitous, many companies have turned to social media and other inbound marketing techniques like search engine optimization strategies to stay relevant and tap into an easily distracted target market.
However, it’s not easy, especially for new businesses, as fighting for market share can be tough. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, only half of businesses survive more than five years, and only one-third of those survive to celebrate their tenth anniversary.
Therefore, it’s now imperative for businesses to have an effective, strategic and ever-evolving digital marketing strategy in place. The idea is not to create an online presence simply for the sake of having a profile pop up in search results, but to tailor and distribute content right where it needs to be to cultivate and retain a loyal customer base.
Consumers must be able to find you, and connect with what you are offering, if you hope to make a sale.
Traditionally, yes. But, in today’s marketplace it doesn’t have to be.
Here’s where outsourcing to a digital marketing firm that has experience building the online reputations of small businesses comes in.
Developing an inbound marketing campaign takes skill and commitment, and most business owners need help from consultants to see the best results. Unfortunately, it can be quite expensive to hire marketing members to the team. For example, a mid-level marketing director’s salary runs around $151,342, not to mention the web developer you’ll need at $66,238, or the graphic designer tallying $51,360. However, outsourcing to a digital marketing agency gets you a whole team of experts ready to work for you at a fraction of the total cost. A quick example for Bash Foo would be our retainer clients. Even the smallest retainer client receives access to 5 of our team members on a monthly basis. Our largest client has 11 members of our team working for them at any given time.
An established marketing firm is a one-stop shop for all your needs. They already have relationships in place, from web development and graphic design, to social networking and inbound marketing pros who can work together to seamlessly streamline your online mark. Additionally, because you are hiring a team and not a single hire, you know they’ve developed campaigns across a variety of industries, meaning they have experience and knowledge which will help them target yours more effectively.
Oh, and did I mention that the tools that are used to analyze and report on the various marketing aspects of your account are expensive? For 2016 our tool cost alone was over $45,000. You probably don’t want to add that or any fraction of that to your bottom line, when you can allow an agency spread it across all of our clients.
A good agency will take time to get to know your business, and what your goals are. They will keep you and your in-house team updated on progress, of course, but also strategy. The idea is to have a clear funnel in place for boosting conversions, driving sales and raising brand awareness. Everyone on the team should understand the process and do their part to aid its success, whether that be in direct or indirect terms.
Well, if you are only looking at dipping your toe in and trying something, hiring a temporary freelancer is a better option. If you aren’t going to set marketing and sales goals, and you aren’t going to analyze and track the performance of your campaigns, you won’t need the heft and recurring costs that an agency will have for you. But be aware, freelancers won’t be guaranteeing sales funnel results, or presenting you with ROI metrics to justify their expense. If working with a freelancer feels like a dice roll, it’s because it is.
Finding the digital marketing help you need can be affordable (with retainers starting at $1,500/mos), and is vital to creating an online presence that will position you where you need to be to find new customers, and keep them.
Contact us for more information on how we can join your team and help you make your digital mark.