Digital Marketing Agencies: The 2021 Ultimate Guide & The Best Ones
If you’re not using the internet to market your business and establish an online presence, you’re missing out on a profusion of potential customers.
Traditional marketing has had its heyday, and it’s safe to say that it’s no longer effective in this digital era of ours. Nurturing an online presence is far from an easy task, however, and that’s where digital marketing agencies come in.
What Is a Digital Marketing Agency?
Apart from the obvious, there’s a notable difference between traditional marketing agencies and digital marketing ones. Traditional marketing is all about playing the numbers game, with no orientation towards precision and measurable results.
Per contra, digital marketing agencies are all about measurable marketing and ROI, employing results-based means of advertising.
Digital marketing agencies consist of a team of consultants, developers, and creatives that work in unison to help generate more leads for your business and nourish your brand’s reputation.
It’s important to know that not all marketing agencies possess the internal skill required to help your brand flourish, as the vast majority of agencies are focused primarily on creative initiatives.
There’s absolutely nothing wrong with paying extra attention to aesthetics, but if an agency isn’t helping you convert visitors into leads or paying customers, then it’s not worth your hard-earned money.
Concisely, a worthwhile digital agency is one that helps improve your business, develop and nourish your online hub, and maximize your return on investment, ensuring higher profit.
The Different Types of Digital Marketing Agencies
‘Digital Marketing’ is an umbrella term that encompasses all means of employing the interweb to promote products and services, and so it only makes sense that there would be various types of digital marketing agencies.
Some types specialize in a particular area, whereas others are adept in many departments. The following paragraphs shed light on the types of digital agencies.
In this guide we cover: performance marketing agencies, influencer marketing, affiliate marketing agencies, e-commerce marketing agencies and the top digital marketing experts.
Marketing Strategy Agencies
Digital Marketing Strategy is an asset every brand needs to have. This strategy needs renovation every once in a while.
We can compare marketing to an orchestra, where all the different marketing channels are like musical instruments. In this scenario, the strategy will be the orchestra conductor. The orchestra can only be as good as its conductor.
While you might be a marketing expert, you need a team of marketing strategists by your side. This way, you’ll be working with professionals who have experience working with multiple clients in the past. Their experience will help you incorporate new, fresh ideas that will help your business grow.
If you feel like your current marketing strategy is old-school, and needs a few tweaks, look for experts outside of your organisation who can bring a fresh perspective. They could provide new ideas that might be exactly what you need to grow your business.
A marketing strategy will include the following:
● Customer segmentation (personas)
● Goals & KPIs
● Time horizon
● Marketing channel breakdown
● Tasks & Milestones
● Risk management
When deciding to bring a team of professionals on board, do make sure they consist of experienced marketers that have worked with a variety of clients.
There a few methods you can employ to test their skills: determine if their strategy passed the test of time, ask for use cases and begin with a workshop to determine if you will be a good fit.
Performance Marketing Agencies
Millions of dollars are spent by large-scale corporations on branding, but for most businesses, it all boils down to the bottom line. Performance marketing, simply put, is based on determining an action, and only paying when that action occurs.
Some of these actions include a click, a lead, or a sale. The best performance marketing agencies rely heavily on paid marketing channels.
Some of the most notable paid marketing channels that performance marketing gurus make use of include sponsored advertising, affiliate marketing, social media marketing, and search engine marketing.
Performance-based marketing offers a broad range of perks that any business would find beneficial, including low risk, ROI-focused operation, and easy-to-track performance.
Influencer Marketing Agencies
Influencers are people who have sway over target audiences within specific niches or industries. Influencer marketing employs these individuals to carry your brand’s message and drive it to the larger market, usually with the support of social media.
The primary focus of an influencer digital marketing agency is to plan and execute the most effective digital marketing campaign for the brands they’re working alongside by partnering with the prominent influencers within a brand’s industry, after having understood the values, goals, voice, and messaging of the brand.
After that, they work to ensure the success of the devised plan. An influencer digital marketing agency takes full responsibility for the process of finding and vetting influencers while considering the target audience.
Further, they establish social media publishing guidelines and schedules, evaluate the produced content, negotiate the rates, compile campaign reports, and more
Affiliate Marketing Agencies
Affiliate marketing, one of the most popular forms of digital marketing, is considered a form of performance-based digital marketing, where affiliates earn a commission for promoting another brand’s product or service, mostly via content marketing and social media.
Affiliates earn a percentage of every sale made through their digital marketing channels, tracked through affiliate links. An affiliate digital marketing agency helps connect a brand to the affiliate partners best suited to drive more traffic to the brand’s website or digital marketing channels.
Further, an affiliate digital marketing agency has connections with content creators, social and media influencers, and other creative partnerships, allowing them to devise a focused digital marketing strategy for your specific brand.
E-commerce Marketing Agencies
An e-commerce digital marketing agency is an external team that helps you achieve your business goals via strategic utilization of creative, marketing, and technological services. These marketing agencies take the time to understand the facets that set your brand apart from other competitors so that they can capitalize on them to boost your brand’s sales.
An e-commerce digital marketing agency uses social media marketing and other digital platforms to generate traffic to online stores, including email marketing, content marketing, display advertising, web design, and search engine optimization.
Usually, they’re also experts in tackling e-commerce challenges, including the security and privacy of online transactions, virus and hacking threats, web design, and the how-to of implementing a secure online payment system.
If you wish to proliferate your sales using e-commerce marketing tactics, check out the best e-commerce marketing agencies available today.
Digital Marketing Experts
Sometimes you don’t really need a full-blown digital agency to handle your marketing campaign. One proficient digital marketer can be enough to boost your brand’s performance significantly.
It also feels a lot better to communicate your thoughts directly with a single individual that has one goal and one goal only, and that’s to boost your business and broaden your outlook.
There are numerous online marketing experts in various areas, be it SEO, social media, or content marketing, just to name a few. But how exactly do you go about finding those versatile and creative professionals? You don’t have to! We’ve curated a lengthy list of the most prominent digital marketing experts and influencers worldwide.
B2B Marketing Agencies
B2B marketing isn’t an easy task for most of us, as marketing for a B2B company is not the same as marketing for a B2C company.
Everything is different, from strategy to marketing channels, to reaching out and communicating with key decision makers. That’s why nowadays, many B2B companies are looking for a marketing agency, that specializes in B2B marketing.
A good B2B agency will have some great experience behind them and will know how to work with a similar company to yours, as well as how to target a similar audience.
Typically, B2B marketing agencies consist of a specialized team of B2B marketers, who focus on developing unique business marketing strategies for each of their clients.
Each agency will take the time to understand exactly how your business functions, as well as determining the KPIs that matter the most to your business. They will then design a business marketing strategy in line with reaching your unique growth goals, by optimizing your existing campaigns.
There are many reasons for a B2B company needing to work with a specialized B2B marketing agency, aside from the obvious ones. A business-focused marketing team will understand business metrics and will be able to provide reporting that will matter greatly to your company.
PPC Marketing Agencies
Pay Per Click is a delicate practice. While many platforms, through their great user experience and design tactics make it look easy, there’s a huge difference between an amateur who is launching and optimizing a PPC campaign, versus an expert with years of experience.
This difference is that a PPC expert will enable you to unlock the true growth potential of PPC advertising. If your PPC campaign is set up properly, it will be much easier for you or for anyone else to optimize and scale them.
For every 1$ you spend in PPC should bring you at least 2$ in profit. The metric to measure an expert is called ROAS, or Return on Ad Spend.
When evaluating an agency, make sure to ask them about the metrics they were able to achieve with their previous clients. Ideally, some of those clients have a similar business model to yours. As with a PPC agency, it’s all about performance and your bottom line.
A PPC agency will have technical campaign setup, and optimization experts, including copywriters and creative designers. The common channels they use include social media advertising (Facebook, LinkedIn, etc.) and SEM, as well as Bing, Adwords, and Google display network.
Email Marketing Agencies
Email marketing is often overlooked by companies. The truth is that when it’s done right, email marketing can have an amazing impact on your bottom line and growth.
The ROI that can be achieved through email marketing can triumph all other marketing channels for the mere reason that sending emails is almost free.
While the basics of email marketing are known to many companies, excelling in this channel, often requires getting experts on board who can help you create a successful email marketing strategy right from the start.
Email marketing experts will also help you set up email automation flows and optimize the subject lines, copy, and deliverability.
The main metrics, outside of sales generated by emails, are referred to as the click-through rate and the open rate of your emails. The experts will focus on these 3 metrics and will use all their skills to optimize them.
They will also help you put email marketing on autopilot, which is one of the great benefits of email marketing. Email marketing agencies usually consist of a specialized team of email designers, copywriters, coders, analyzers, software developers, marketing experts, and project managers.
All there to help you develop and manage a streamlined and effective email marketing strategy, unique to your business.
Digital Creative Agencies
Branding is a lot more than a good design and some attractive visuals. It takes a great deal of research and informative storytelling to create a branding strategy that resonates with the audience and boosts the recall and recognition of your brand.
Digital Creative Agencies capture your brand’s story through visual and interactive elements and put them out for the masses to see. They help businesses develop and maintain a strong market position through their innovative strategies and highly creative campaigns.
The major services creative agencies offer are web design and development, content creation, graphic design, and storytelling. All of this happens through multiple platforms such as audio, video, images, and text. The idea is to have a consistent story on all platforms so that the audience perceives a coherent brand image.
You can evaluate a digital agency primarily by its portfolio and clientele. Some other factors you might want to consider could be their values and culture, team members, guarantees, service costs, and the back and forth communication that happens.
E-sport Marketing Agencies
The Esports market has grown by more than 50% over the past year and is projected to hit $646 million in total by the end of 2021.
With such aggressive growth in the past year only, the esports industry has become very nuanced, and many agencies have started specializing in esports marketing.
Esports marketing uses multiple channels that work coherently to put together a strong esports marketing strategy. A few of these channels are SEO, SEM, App Store Optimization, and Influencer Marketing.
Influencer Marketing is particularly on the rise as esports influencers have large audiences that follow them on their social media and streaming platforms.
An esports marketing agency offers marketing services on all the channels mentioned above. Additionally, they offer sponsorship management, customer-centric strategies, and comprehensive social media campaigns.
Selecting an esports agency can be challenging, but there are a few metrics you can use to choose the right one. Make sure that the agency you select has a good network in the esports community and is already working with a few influencers of this industry.
Besides, you can see if they have experience organizing or managing esports events or tournaments. You could also go through their content creation strategy and, more importantly, their ROI tracking to make the final decision
Mobile Marketing Agencies
Mobile marketing is a whole new ball game and requires very specific strategies to give any results.
Once you have developed a mobile app or a game, you will need the services of a Mobile Marketing Agency to push it through the market.
Most Mobile Marketing agencies offer App Store Optimization (ASO) services, optimizing Cost-per Install (CPI) from ads, seeding strategies, and social media campaigns.
Besides, they conduct market research to understand who the competitors are and what best practices they are using to increase their reach.
You may also ask a Mobile Marketing agency to manage your PR or handle issues related to usability, auditing, localization, and monetization through the application store.
If the agencies you’re dealing with are experienced enough, they will happily take care of all of this for you.
Video Marketing Agencies
Video marketing is one of the most dependable ways to increase awareness, engagement, and conversions.
With videos, you can keep the audience interested for a longer time and get the message across more effectively.
Since creating good videos regularly can be a hassle, you can hire a Video Marketing agency to do it for you.
Video marketing agencies create video content for your brand and help you develop strategies that work best for your niche.
They help you generate compelling, polished, and truly memorable content to cut through the noise and make an impact.
The services Video Marketing agencies offer include analyzing the target audience, creating buyer personas, creating relevant content plans, and then finally developing and publishing that content.
They also optimize the videos for all the channels they will be posted on to get the most out of them.
If you are able to do video marketing the right way, you will get access to a more loyal audience that will stick with your brand for a long time and purchase from you again and again.
Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO) Agencies
Generating quality leads is only one part of the funnel, and getting them to convert demands a whole new strategy.
You need to put a lot of energy and resources into ensuring that the traffic you are getting ends up converting, and a Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO) Agency does precisely the same for you.
Basic services from CRO agencies include social media marketing for high-performing social media contests and optimal engagement and SEO for brand awareness. Besides, they offer in-depth reporting and analytics on how well your campaigns are doing and what needs to be done to boost conversion rates.
Everything from the initial planning to the final execution of the marketing strategy is done with CRO in mind, and all steps of the funnel are evaluated to make sure there is no leakage.
Since CRO agencies have access to a lot of historical performance data, you can quickly see how well an agency has done in the past and how effective its strategies are.
You can base your selection process for a CRO agency on the past results it has delivered and the reviews it has received from its previous clients.
SaaS Marketing Agencies
The SaaS industry in 2021 is highly competitive and developing a marketing strategy that helps bring in results is very challenging.
Hiring a SaaS Marketing Agency can do wonders for you since the burden will be lifted from your shoulders, and with their tried and tested strategies, they will bring in much better results than what you could have done.
SaaS marketing agencies offer services related to Performance Marketing, Growth Hacking, Lead Generation, PPC Ads, Customer Acquisition, and Customer Experience.
Every individual marketing channel is carefully curated to make sure it cuts through the competition and gets you the traffic you need.
Since SaaS agencies specialize in different industries, make sure that the one you choose has experience working in the same industry you are in.
Besides, you could look at their past performance or get in touch with their previous clients to see if they are satisfied with the results.
SaaS marketing requires a lot of investment, and the agency you choose isn’t going to go easy on your pockets.
So make sure that you make the right choice, so your marketing dollars don’t go to waste.
You should now have a clear understanding of the difference between traditional marketing versus digital marketing, as well as the various types of digital agencies you can hire to establish your digital presence, in a constantly evolving digital environment.