Why Does Your Brand Need a Digital Agency?

The last 5 years have changed the way branding and communication with the consumer works. A digital agency is now a must have for any brand big or small. Why? Because ultimately, whoever the end consumer is – is always looking for solutions on the World Wide Web.

Social media platforms have become all the rage. Irrespective of your target audience, Google seems to be the answer to everyone’s questions. But how does Google work? Through the digital services of digital agencies that know how to position their brands with the right kind of brand specific SEO and SEM campaigns. The correct use of keywords, targeting and positioning is imperative for any business to flourish online. If you want your brand to be displayed as the answer to your consumer’s query you must be at the top of your digital strategizing game.

A digital creative agency is one that takes care of your brand completely. They provide Social Media Communication strategies in terms of content and design. This goes way beyond creating content for Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and blogging portals. It includes the creation of engaging content and plans to make the consumers involved actively with the brand. Brand engagement and providing customer solutions online are also part of the digital services provided by a digital agency.

But it does not stop here. Web designing and web development also form a part of digital services. Right from the content, design and it’s look and feel to the execution and development of the website. A good digital agency is one that has the knowledge of everything – Design, Content, Coding – specific to that brand.

The mark of a good agency is when each brand is taken on as an independent project. The planning and execution for each brand is different. They must understand that Social Media is the key to reaching your end consumer. Each medium has a different role to play.

Facebook is more informative – where you have the space to create a brand identity on your brand page.- everything comes together on that page in terms of events, information on sales and contests as well as consumer complaints’ and feedback.

Twitter is all about instant updates for brands that know how to make what’s trending work in their favor. Twitter is for targeting the smarter audience that can tell the difference between advertising and communicating.

Instagram is all about making the images work for your brand, the essence is in displaying your products in the most user friendly way that makes the user want to move towards the call to action.

An agency that understands this basic differentiation is one that can help you put your brand on the map.

You want to choose a digital creative agency that not only understands your needs but has the capability to integrate them with the changing trends of the internet. The ability to adapt is the key here. All that is needed from your end, as a brand, is the willingness to allocate resources for digital strategy.

Working With a Digital Agency – Part 2

Choosing a digital agency

So now that you’ve realised how important the digital world has become and what benefits it can bring you, it’s time to make the next wise decision… which agency to use. This choice is going to depend on two main factors, what you want to achieve and how much you’re willing to spend, or rather, invest.

Firstly, what do you want to achieve? Any digital activity you choose to undertake should provide you with some kind of benefit – preferably a measurable one – that can ultimately be given a monetary value.

Coming up with a clear idea of what you want to achieve can be very tricky as there are thousands of possibilities that could benefit your business, achieve nothing or actually waste your company’s resources. It wouldn’t be practical to discuss all the possibilities in one blog post but it would be advisable to ask yourself: ‘How can I use digital to motivate my clients or potential clients to do more business with me?’, and take it from there. Here’s a tip: find out what questions or complaints you receive most from you customers and consider whether these can be addressed through some kind of digital application.

The purpose of this blog post is to give you advice about working with a digital agency so we’re not going to focus too much on various digital methodologies. We’ll have a look at those in later posts.

For simplicity we are going to use a general example to explain the process.

In our example, let’s say that you have a website that sells stationery online. You would like to improve the navigation (menus, item search etc.) of your site, speed up the transaction process, integrate your ordering system with that of your suppliers, make it easier to find your site on search engines and improve the general layout and appearance. You’ve also thought about adding a login section for businesses who buy in bulk, an increasingly important part of your business development. The thought of a regular newsletter has also crossed your mind but you’re not sure what it would be about.

Based on this broad idea, you are going to need an agency that can do web design and development, web application development, search engine optimisation as well as being able to build and implement content management systems and integrate database information.

The second major factor that’s going to play a role in selecting the right digital agency is what kind of budget you are able to commit to your digital strategy.

There are a host of digital agencies and deciding which one to use can be quite a challenge. Let’s break the industry down into different players based on the budgets they work with.

Top Tier

Many of the major advertising agencies have digital agencies, often multiple agencies.

In some cases global revenues are in the hundreds of millions but they often do not separate out digital work. Top tier agencies can handle the most complex of digital builds. They often do not take projects worth less than 100k GBP and daily rates often exceed 1,200 GBP per day.

Second Tier

According to New Media Age, in 2008 there were 17 standalone digital agencies in the UK with billables of more than 4m GBP. The second tier of digital agencies have billables of between 2-4m GBP. Leading agencies in this tier often aspire to blue-chip projects while engaging in high-profile media websites to generate a higher profile. They often develop specialist technology skills or sector knowledge, such as e-commerce, booking technology or database management but will often rely on outside companies to provide them with specialist skills. Daily rates average around 900 GBP per day.

Third Tier

Third Tier digital agencies often take web and design work from their local area. Aspiring companies in this tier will often specialise in a sector (travel, music, motoring etc) and rely heavily on the design pedigree or relative inexpensive entry point. With billables of less than 2m GBP, many are boutique agencies. A select few have strong ambitions to move into Second Tier. Some strike it lucky with a big client win, some specialise in marketing or highly technical projects. Day rates vary but are often more than 600 GBP.

Don’t simply choose a top tier agency if you don’t require their full set of services and could receive the same services from a second tier agency at a much lower rate. You also wouldn’t want to use a second tier agency in order to save money if you require extensive services that they don’t generally offer, thus putting them in the situation of having to employ extra staff to cover all your needs. This would increase time to completion as well as the daily rate making the project just as expensive as, or even more expensive, than running it through a top tier agency.

Some other factors to take into consideration when choosing an agency are:

  • Client lists – What kind of clients do they have and how do these compare to you. If you find your company is fairly similar to the ones that have worked with a particular agency, then perhaps they would be a good option to contact.
  • Experience – What kind of skills and experience does the agency have? How long has it been doing business? A company that has been around for many years and has grown over the years at the same or faster pace than the industry would be one worthy of consideration.
  • Previous projects – Have a look at what kind of work the agency has done in the past. Keep in mind what your requirements are and try to find an agency that has delivered projects with similar criteria.
  • Awards – There are a multitude of organisations that present awards across various categories to digital agencies delivering outstanding projects. Agencies that have received awards from reputable organisations are proud of their work and eager to take on new projects.
  • Agency culture – Once you have spoken to a few agencies and examined their profiles, select one that has a culture similar or compatible with yours. Working with an agency you get along with will go a long way in helping fulfil the project objectives on time and on budget.

Here are several ways to locate digital agencies in case you were wondering:

One way is by submitting tenders on various tender sites requesting submissions for proposals from agencies. You can also consult directories such as New Media Age and conduct searches on the internet. If there are sites that you aspire to be like, find out who designed them and add them to your shortlist.

Once you’ve selected your agency, the real fun starts. In the next post we will consider how to set out a clear project brief and objectives. This is a vital part of working with a digital agency successfully and will prevent much confusion and delay later on in the project if done right.

Is There a Need For a Digital Agency?

Studies have revealed that more and more people are turning to the Internet to know about the products available. The number of advertisements appearing online has increased and the number of people going online has increased. In fact, now it has overtaken the number of people going to print media and television to know about various products. Such being the case, now it is for the entrepreneurs to guard the quality of their website and make it more appealing. This is the reason why more and more entrepreneurs are hiring the services of web designers. But, the concept of a digital agency has been floated only recently. But its importance is growing and now it recognized as an essential mechanism for proper advertisement and sales.

Role of a digital marketing agency:

The fundamental duty of a digital agency is to design a website that is most appealing and it should enhance genuine site visits. So, the designer should use the right keyword along with the right design. He must understand the business, the product and its end use. Thereafter the agency has to make a good layout and then design the web site. The agency must make enough provisions for future expansions. A digital agency plays the role of a web designer, web developer and also does online marketing. So, the agency must have competence in all these three segments of the business.

Helps the search engine:

In the absence of a digital agency, the advertiser had to separately coordinate the work of three different agencies viz., web designer, web developer and online marketing firm. In the process of coordinating with these three different agencies, the manager would have lost thread and that leads to improper working. Now, all these three segments being vested with one agency viz., the digital agency, the manager’s job will become easy because all that he has to do is to coordinate with one agency.

Be cautious before engaging a digital agency:

The advertiser should engage an agency that does not let him down or rush through a design and convince him to accept it. Proper spade work is expected from the agency and it must be available for future changes. The advertiser needs to be advised about the use of effective keywords too. Before engaging the services of the digital agency, the entrepreneur should make independent enquiries with other advertisers and he must satisfy himself that the agency can deliver the goods.

Is it wise to appoint a digital agency?

It is certainly wise to appoint the agency. But, of course it depends on the size of the business. A fairly large business will always find it appropriate to appoint a digital agency because that reduces the overall costs for the enterprise. This is because in the absence of the digital agencies, the firm would have employed a web designer, web developer and another agency for marketing. In fact, the day is not far off when the Digital agencies will begin to play a vital role in search engine marketing.