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Would You Rather: 6 Ways to Tell if Your Digital Marketing Agency is the Right Fit

Today’s increasingly competitive landscape requires that marketers focus on activities that will have the biggest impact in order to capture and keep the attention of potential customers. With over 200 million people utilizing ad blocking technology, it’s clear that an integrated digital marketing strategy has to be implemented in order to reach target customers.

To develop and execute a successful marketing program, many brands large and small  look to digital marketing agencies to help guide their strategy and execution to maximize the impact of their efforts. However, as most of you have discovered at some point, those agency relationships don’t always work out as you anticipate. Once the wooing stage has passed, you may find that you have more work and results aren’t meeting expectations.

Part of the issue is that you may not be exactly sure what you’re looking for in an agency partner. To help you on this journey, we’ve outlined some key characteristics that you should look for in an agency partner, as well as a way for you to select what preferences are most important to you. We all know the “Would you Rather” game where as hard as it may be, you have to pick one option that stands out to you the most. There are no right or wrong answers, simply your preferences that can be used to determine if your agency is meeting your needs.

#1 – Integrity

An essential part of any business (or personal) relationship is that it is built on a foundation of trust. A lack of trust makes for a shaky foundation that lead to miscommunication and ultimately end the relationship.

You have to expect that your agency will share the good news, and the tough news with you in a way that helps you make decisions to evolve your approach to digital marketing. As it relates to your agency relationship, which situation would you prefer?

Note: There is a poll embedded within this post, please visit the site to participate in this post’s poll.

#2 – Stellar Communication

Good communication isn’t just based on frequency, it’s also the type of communication that can have an impact (positively or negatively) on your relationship.

We have found that each of our clients will have a slightly different preference for how, when and what we communicate but at the core it’s all the same: make sure that all essential information is shared in a timely manner. What is your communication preference?

Note: There is a poll embedded within this post, please visit the site to participate in this post’s poll.

#3 – Understanding

Time needs to be invested by your agency  in order to understand your marketing needs, preferences, brand voice and more. Additionally, there will be times that you’re working under a series of tight deadlines, spending time in meetings or are otherwise preoccupied. And it’s important that your agency be understanding of these different factors and work with you to help make sure things stay on track.

In working with different agencies, you may find that some strictly stay on course with the  timeline while others want to experiment based on the overall performance of the program. Which is more important to you?

Note: There is a poll embedded within this post, please visit the site to participate in this post’s poll.

#4 – Creativity

There are so many opportunities to be creative with your marketing, no matter what industry you’re in. Everything from marketing strategy to content direction and asset design all play a part in the creativity of a program.

Because of the sheer amount of competition for the attention of your customers, finding creative ways to stand-out in a sea of brands is no longer a luxury, it’s a necessity. When it comes to creativity, what is your preference?

Note: There is a poll embedded within this post, please visit the site to participate in this post’s poll.

#5 – Focus on Results

This one might seem like a no-brainer, but you’d be surprised! In the same way that you as marketers are held to a series of goals and business objectives to show success, your agency should be held at the same (or a higher) standard.

While it’s true that many factors will impact the success of your marketing and there will be times where results ebb and flow, a steady focus on results and the ability to correct the course when needed is incredibly important. When you look at the nature of your business and how you’d like to see your marketing perform, which situation below is more attractive?

Note: There is a poll embedded within this post, please visit the site to participate in this post’s poll.

#6 – Striving for Excellence

Working with an agency that constantly strives to innovate and get you the most bang for your marketing buck might not be a fit for everyone. What? How could that be?

When you work with an agency partner that strives for excellence, that means that they will likely push boundaries and the status quo which is sometimes out of your comfort zone. While these partners should absolutely maintain professionalism at all times, there may be some difficult conversations that you need to have. In the grand scheme of things, what does excellence mean to you?

Note: There is a poll embedded within this post, please visit the site to participate in this post’s poll.

Would You Rather…

My hope is that you may have learned something about your marketing preferences that you didn’t know before. The next step in your journey is to assess your current solution and see if your agency is helping you reach your goals, or not hitting the mark.

If you find that your current digital marketing agency is not aligned with your needs, we’d love to chat! Contact TopRank Marketing today for a consultation about your marketing priorities.

 


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The post Would You Rather: 6 Ways to Tell if Your Digital Marketing Agency is the Right Fit appeared first on Online Marketing Blog – TopRank®.

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About Daniel Rodgers

A lot of news that you will not see in the paper. A lot of technology that is coming out that will not see in the paper.

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Interactive Content Marketing: Why B2B Marketers Should Take Their Content from Boring to Bold

Why B2B Marketers Should Consider Interactive Content

Why B2B Marketers Should Consider Interactive Content

Show of hands, B2B marketers: How many of you know which Hogwarts house you belong in? Or which Disney princess best represents your personality and relationship ambitions?

via GIPHY

Don’t be shy. I’m a Gryffindor wizard through and through—and apparently, I’m more of a Jasmine than an Ariel. And I know all this thanks to the rise of interactive content.

From quirky quizzes to ROI calculators to guided eBooks, interactive content is a rising content marketing star. BuzzFeed is perhaps the most prolific example, creating dozens of quizzes each week that are making their way into social feeds and search results. (And almost all users reportedly finish them).

But why should B2B marketers consider adding interactive content to their mix?

Because B2B is often pegged as bland and boring. And in a crowded content market, not to mention the fact that buyers' content preferences are turning increasingly visual, interactive content is the next evolution.

But if that doesn't convince you, read on for a few more reasons why its time for B2B to embrace interactive content.

#1 – Interactive content is more engaging than static content—for the long-term.

Interactive content may seem a little gimmicky for some marketers—especially those in the B2B space. But the vast majority of marketers who use interactive content agree that it not only grabs attention, but can also hold that attention beyond that initial view.

In fact, according to the Content Marketing Institute (CMI) and Ion Interactive 2017 Interactive Content Study:

  • 87% of marketers agree that interactive content grabs the attention of the reader more effectively than static content
  • 77% of marketers agree that interactive content has reusable value, resulting in repeat visitors and multiple exposures
  • 73% of marketers agree that interactive content, when combined with other more traditional content marketing tactics, enhances message retention among their audiences.

So, if you’re aiming for awareness, engagement, and attention, interactive content holds incredible potential. But I’d also add that this is only true if you deliver quality, relevant content in an interactive format.

As my colleague Josh Nite points out: “[Interactive content is] absolutely designed to grab attention. But if your content provides value—if it’s worth paying attention to—interactive elements can help you bring in an audience.”

[bctt tweet="#InteractiveContent is absolutely designed to grab attention. But if your content provides value—if it’s worth paying attention to—interactive elements can help you bring in an audience. - @NiteWrites" username="toprank"]

#2 – Interactive content can differentiate you from your competitors.

Content has always been a foundational element of B2B marketing. Buyers don’t make hard and fast decisions. Instead, they do their research, weigh their options, and have multiple engagements with sales reps before they sign on the dotted line. Interactive content can help you make an impression and stand out in a crowed, competitive content landscape.

In addition, according to the aforementioned report, just 46% of marketers report using interactive content right now—which was flat year-over-year. And if history is any indicator, I’d wager that interactive content adoption among B2B marketers is far lower since the industry is typically slower to adopt new tactics.

But that won’t always be the case. Harnessing the opportunity right now has the potential to differentiate your B2B brand from the competition early on, showcasing your commitment to innovation.

For example, Prophix, a leading provider of corporate performance management (CPM) software solutions in the FP&A industry, wanted to drive awareness in a unique way around its report on the evolution of financial planning and analysis, as well as its solutions.

By repurposing its original research and adding influencer perspectives, we created an interactive quiz to help empower their audience to "crush" their jobs to succeed now and into the future.

Prophix Crush It Interactive Quiz

This anchor asset, which was promoted using a supporting mix of blog content, social amplification, email, and more, saw a view rate 6-times higher than the benchmark for a similar resource. In addition, the page where it lived garnered 3-times the average share rate. This unique approach to interactive influencer content made Prophix stand out from the competition and deliver a great resource that performed.

#3 – Interactive tools can provide you with exclusive data and analytics.

Savvy marketers are driven by data insights. And many of the interactive content tools you’d leverage for an asset come with their own analytics dashboards, allowing you to get near real-time data on how your audience is interacting and absorbing your content.

For example, Ceros, an interactive content software that simplifies the creation process, provides all the basic KPIs such as visitors, opens, and pageviews, as well as engagement metrics like time spent and interaction clicks. But they also track inbound referrals, social shares, video plays, and outbound link clicks.

Oh, and that data is viewable in its Analytics Dashboard within second of it happening.

Ceros Interactive Content Tool

While traditional analytics platforms and the data within them is invaluable, from my perspective, this more niche data can help uncover some insights that can help you refine your asset on the fly or consider how to improve other content types moving forward.

#4 – Interactive content can drive results at every stage of the funnel.

From educating buyers to creating customer loyalty, interactive content can serve a purpose (and drive results) at every stage of the funnel. Interactive content users report using the tactic for lead generation, lead nurturing, customer retention, and the list goes on.

And interactive is especially powerful, when combined with other tried-and-true content marketing tactics.

To help promote the Influencer Marketing 2.0 report based on research conducted by Traackr, Altimeter Group and TopRank Marketing, we partnered with interactive content platform Ceros to produce an Influence 2.0 interactive infographic.

Influence 2.0

The infographic was promoted via blog posts, social channels, email, and through the influencers that contributed. With calls to action embedded within the interactive infographic, this content succeeded at attracting over 1,700 prospective customers to download the full report with a 43% conversion rate.

What Opportunity Does Interactive Content Hold for Your B2B Brand?

Interactive content is here to stay. But the real opportunity doesn’t lay in the interactivity itself. The real value creation is in the excitement or connection that you can make with your audience, as well as the potential to hold their attention for long enough to engrain your message or inspire action.

[bctt tweet="The real opportunity with #interactivecontent doesn’t lay in the interactivity itself. The real value creation is in the excitement or connection that you can make with your audience. - @CaitlinMBurgess" username="toprank"]

So, B2B marketers. If you’re ready to break away from boring and drive better engagement, interactive content deserves your consideration.

How can you leverage interactive content? Check out our post featuring five ways of making marketing magic with interactive content.

The post Interactive Content Marketing: Why B2B Marketers Should Take Their Content from Boring to Bold appeared first on Online Marketing Blog - TopRank®.

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