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Digital Marketing Company in Kansas City

The 5 Most Important Things to Look for in a Reputable Marketing Vendor

Business & Marketing Strategy / February 11, 2021

We can’t tell you how many times we’ve seen this scenario: (a) business wants to start digital marketing; (b) marketing tasks get shuffled around or put on someone who may not be an expert in performing that task or in thinking critically about WHY they are doing things the way they are; (c) marketing efforts drop off when things get busy or is ineffective. 

Most small, medium, or even large companies or nonprofits don’t have the budget to hire an entire team of marketing professionals, so outsourcing to an agency is the next best thing—and sometimes, it’s even better!

Outsourcing your marketing to an agency can:

  • Offload time and stress from your core team
  • Keep your business up to date on ever-changing trends and best practices
  • Increase brand awareness through new marketing channels
  • Help you stay on course toward your marketing goals
  • Establish KPIs and measurable actions for you to keep themselves and your team accountable

First thing’s first. What is digital marketing?

Digital marketing is any outbound content, messaging, or advertising from your brand served to an online audience. All the following are various methods of digital marketing.

SEO Content

Writing good SEO content means writing and publishing it once, and reaping the benefit for years to come 👌 From writing and adding content in your actual web pages, publishing blog content, or simply editing content that already exists to make it better, SEO is one of the most important aspects of digital marketing in 2021 in reaching new potential customers organically.

Email Newsletters

The best customers are the ones you already have. That’s why for most industries, email marketing is still one of the most effective ways to communicate and engage your audience, providing repetitive and consistent calls to action. In your monthly, weekly, or even (squeam) daily newsletter, you can let your existing customers in on the best ways to get the most out of their subscription or relationship with you. You can also entice them to take advantage of a promotion, discount, or coupon, or help educate them by sending out links to informative blog content on your website.

Social Media

Should your business use social media? Most businesses should at least have some kind of “searchable” presence on all primary social media platforms (i.e., if someone types in your name, there should be a profile or page with your business information leading them back to your website, or some sort of active way of contacting you) even if the pages themselves are not active. As with any marketing effort, it’s important to measure your success on social media. Here’s how.

Video Content

Creating high quality video content is a great way to establish your expertise in a topic, answer frequently asked questions, show off your work, and/or expand your organic reach on video streaming websites like YouTube and Vimeo. You can then turn those videos into ads that can target both new users AND users that once visited your website but did not convert into a lead the first time around (also known as “remarketing”).

Paid Advertising

PPC, or pay per click, when set up and executed properly, can help you get your brand in front of new users at a (typically) low cost per acquisition. PPC can include Search Engine Marketing (SEM) in the form of Search Ads, Display Ads, or Google Remarketing; it can also include YouTube Advertising, paid social media, and more. A good digital marketing strategy usually includes both SEO & SEM, unless your (trusted) marketing company advises against it. 

E-Commerce

Yes, arguably a shiny online e-commerce store is less of a “marketing channel” and more of a tool. However, if 2020 taught us anything, it’s that your website should be able to serve your audience where they are—at home, on the go, and beyond 🙌 

Online Events

Webinars, Live Q&As, and other networking events conducted online can and should be considered as part of your holistic digital marketing plan.

What are the most important things you should look for in a digital marketing company?

1) They ask you the right questions.

Questions are easy to ask, but are they the right questions? Your marketing company should be able to discuss how your business has been doing, recall past events/promotions, and critically think about your audience. 

In-depth knowledge of your business operations and your clients will ultimately make them better at suggesting what channels to target, how much to spend on your next paid campaign, or how to know when to stop things that aren’t working. 

It can also open up their mind to brainstorm ideas you might not have thought about, such as opening an online store to sell products to a wider audience, or targeting paid ads on social media

This leads perfectly to point number two.

2) They push back.

The last thing you want is a “yes man” in charge of your marketing services. More often than not, this leads to wasted spending (of YOUR money) just to appease you.

You should never pay someone to spend your money how you want them to unless it’s the RIGHT thing to do. 

For example, you heard about a new advertising platform on Snapchat. It would be silly not to take advantage, right?! Cost is “low” (gotta get you hooked somehow!) and so is competition. But if you’re in manufacturing and you’re targeting B2B and the typical persona of your audience is a middle-aged man, you should probably pass on that shiny new trend. 

A good, confident marketing team would at least bring up the fact that your target age group makes up only 9% of Snapchat users. They would also let you know that Snapchat has one of the lowest conversion rates of any paid digital platform

If this were a client of Lifted Logic, and they continued to insist on running this campaign, we would support them 100%—until the data tells us otherwise.

3) They set up measurements of accountability & KPIs.

If your digital marketing company doesn’t provide you with any measurable goals or KPIs to help you gauge the success of your marketing efforts, it’s because they’re behind on the times, don’t understand what they’re doing, or they simply don’t want you to know… Red flags is right!

We believe every client should be empowered to make the best decisions for their business—and that when a client has a great ROI on their marketing services, we all win.

4) They don’t hide information.

The digital space is constantly changing and evolving. If they’re not actively discussing “new updates” with you, it might mean they’re not aware of changing industry trends, or worse, they don’t want YOU to be. 

Our industry is highly unregulated in terms of accountability and transparency. So it’s not only important that your digital marketing company be highly in tune to what you need, but also provide answers, and results, you can trust.

If they can’t answer a straightforward question straightforwardly, in context you’ll understand, using actual data, that’s a huge red flag.

5) They know what (and when) to automate.

While some people have found the best automated marketing platforms for their specific needs, marketing isn’t all automation—at least not effective marketing. 

We’re a custom web dev shop, and often that means clients get excited about all the possibilities of what we can do for them. And it makes us excited too! But we will also always warn you of the implications of automating any one part of your actual marketing or sales funnel. 

As web developers, we are intimately in tune with the kinds of capabilities we CAN put in place, as well as all the reasons we shouldn’t. Because at the end of the day, we want to make it EASIER for your potential customers to reach you, not turn them away or make you look out of touch using automation that doesn’t make sense.

Take, for example, automatic email replies to contact form submissions. Wouldn’t you rather have an actual person on your team reach out to a potential lead, rather than a canned email response? 

Another common example of when NOT to automate that we see often is the implementation of live chat on a website. Setting up an automated chatbot takes a LOT of work on the front end by writers to set up, but even the most intricately built response-logic trees can still be flawed. For example, if a patient on a doctor’s website were to ask a chatbot, “how much does this procedure hurt?” it may register “how much” and respond with a canned answer about the cost of the procedure, rather than the amount of pain they should expect. 

Looking for a digital marketing company in Kansas City? 

Lifted Logic is a veteran agency in the KC community. But just because we’ve been around for a while (ahem, 12 years and counting) doesn’t mean we simply do things like they’ve always been done.

We pride ourselves on offering flexible and strategic marketing services from small businesses and nonprofit organizations to multi-million dollar corporate operations. Our expert team of SEOs, content strategists, and business consultants are dedicated to providing well-rounded marketing solutions that make sense for your business and your audience.

Get in touch today or use our cost calculator tool to get started.

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