As a CMO looking for a digital marketing agency to help you with your company’s online marketing needs, you’re presented with a difficult choice:
Do you go with a single full-service digital marketing agency that can manage all the various aspects of your digital presence, from website development to social media to SEO to content marketing?
Or do you pick several niche agencies, each of which specializes in one certain area of online marketing – one for social media, one for email, one for influencer marketing…or on an even more granular level, one for Facebook, one for Instagram, one for Twitter?
For some companies, the niche option can seem best. After all, if Instagram is all an agency does, they must be pretty darn good at marketing businesses on that platform. Why wouldn’t you want to bring together top experts from every field to work on your company’s marketing campaigns?
And when you take a look at the full-service option, it becomes clear that for many businesses, full-service digital marketing agencies are the way to go. Digital marketing can be highly effective when it’s integrated – when each piece is fully interconnected with every other piece.
Let’s take a look at each kind of digital marketing agency a little more in-depth, to see which one is right for your company.
At a niche agency, it’s a no-brainer – every team member is an expert specializing in that agency’s area of focus, whether that’s a certain social media platform, content marketing, or SEO. If your company needs expert help in one specific area of digital marketing, this can be a great choice.
At a full-service digital marketing agency, like Zen Media, everyone in each of our various departments is also an expert in their field. Our SEO department, for example, is chock full of SEO specialists at the top of their game, on top of current trends, their skills honed through years of experience. Our content marketing department is home to accomplished writers who have been polishing their craft for years, and are as much marketing strategists as they are wordsmiths. The main difference? Our experts are all in one place, streamlining communication if you need help with multiple digital marketing channels.
In a niche marketing agency, data gleaned from the analytics from one campaign can be used to inform the next campaign on that same platform. With in-depth experience in that particular channel, niche agencies will know exactly what your data means, and how to act on it to your benefit.
Full-service, integrated digital marketing agencies also use data – data from the analytics taken from every single aspect of digital marketing – and they apply that new knowledge across the board to every channel’s next campaigns.
What do we mean? Here at Zen Media, for example, our social media team might research our clients’ audience characteristics on Twitter, and then share those findings with the content team and the design team, allowing them to tailor their next blog posts and images even more to that client’s audience to boost engagement and drive traffic, as well as with the influencer marketing team, giving them the data they need to connect with just the right influencers. The SEO team shares the search terms people are using to find that same client, or the terms they should be able to find them with, so that the web development team can optimize the client’s site, and the content team can use those terms strategically to create content. Everything is interconnected, and what is learned by one team is shared with every team, so that successes can be constantly improved upon.
A niche agency has the experience and expertise to know exactly how best to utilize their digital marketing channel to move consumers through the section of your sales funnel they control, whether that means getting you more followers on Twitter, or getting more search traffic to your website.
An integrated full-service marketing agency, on the other hand, has the ability to create a seamless pathway for your prospects as they move through the entire sales funnel and eventually convert.
For example, we might direct a consumer on your Facebook page to a landing page on your site, where they can sign up for a free download of an ebook and get on your email subscriber list. Those emails then keep them updated about new blog posts, which draw them back to the site again and again. Those posts have links to strategic pages on your site, such as the FAQ page or the Contact Us page, to overcome objections or get consumers to take that next step. This kind of close coordination is one of the great benefits of an integrated digital marketing agency.
Using a niche agency can be a great way to add a spark of fun and excitement to your target audience’s online brand experience. When an agency is well-versed in one platform, it goes without saying that they’ll know just how to use it to create the best possible UX.
When one single digital marketing agency is handling it all, however, it’s easier to coordinate voice and persona, messaging and branding, so that customers have a seamless experience across every channel. Your audience might be confused if your blog projects a different brand personality than your social media posts do, or if the images on your site look different from the ones in your emails – and confusion does not lead to conversions.
Finally, the bottom line. If you’re looking for help with one particular channel or platform, a niche agency can be a smart choice. But if you need help with your online marketing from A to Z, a full-service, integrated digital marketing agency is the way to go. Depending on your company’s needs, either one can be a cost-effective way to use your company’s marketing budget – and an effective way to boost your company’s marketing ROI, as well.
If you’d like to talk to a full-service digital marketing agency where integration is king, contact us here at Zen Media today. We’d be happy to put your business on the path to realizing a greater ROI, and start making your digital marketing work for you.