Sales & Marketing Tech

What Does a Digital Marketing Agency Do?

By | 6 min read | Published

Hiring an agency could be a business boon or a costly mistake. Read on to find out.

A little help can go a long way in promoting a business, and deciding whether that means hiring more employees or bringing in outside resources often brings about more questions than answers.

Hiring a digital marketing agency to support your business could be the right move… or it could be a costly mistake. Fully understanding what a digital agency does and how it can be helpful is of the utmost importance when deciding to partner with one.

If you’re a marketing leader or business owner who’s just reached the point where leveraging marketing agencies might be a good idea, this article is for you. We’ll share what a digital marketing agency is, the benefits of utilizing a digital agency, and the business functions that stand to be impacted by hiring one.

What is a digital marketing agency?

A digital marketing agency is an organization typically composed of several marketing functions within one entity. They exist to aid businesses in areas of inbound marketing such as search engine marketing (SEM), influencer marketing and social media or marketing efforts like paid advertising, paid media, lead generation, and overall digital marketing strategy. This help can come in the form of strategic collaboration or direct involvement in the completion of tasks.

What are the benefits of leveraging a digital marketing agency?

Whether it’s an all-encompassing digital marketing company, a content marketing agency executing daily tasks, or a strategic partner offering expertise as your business scales, good digital marketing agencies offer many benefits over doing everything in house. Let’s dive into some of the more common ones.

Saving time and money

The first—and perhaps most impactful—benefit of hiring the right digital marketing agency is the time and money you save in the long run. With an agency you can bundle different digital marketing services together on top of the potential savings from hiring less full-time employees to complete the same tasks.

It’s also convenient to work with one team rather than multiple from both a time-saving and strategic perspective. This leads to less information sharing, less liaising with separate groups, and the ability to count on your agency to share necessary information about your account amongst themselves.

Providing strategic expertise

As the saying goes, two heads are better than one. With an agency on your side, you gain access to expert knowledge in areas of marketing that you may not have amongst your own employees. This strategic expertise can serve as a complement to your own staff’s knowledge or—even better—it can exist in areas that you’re lacking.

Aside from expert knowledge, having a third party to collate information and keep track of your marketing strategy as time goes on keeps things organized and efficient. In practice, this means more people taking notes during critical meetings, more people coming up with ideas, and more accountability in the execution of your online marketing activities.

Helping with the completion of marketing tasks

Speaking of marketing activities, one of the more tangible benefits of using a digital marketing service is having more people to help complete daily tasks e.g. social media marketing, content creation, SEO services, and paid advertising management, etc.

Not only does this save your staff time, but it also offers a different perspective on creative aspects such as copywriting. Whether your content team takes the first pass before sending it to your agency for review or vice versa, a streamlined process of content creation, feedback, and execution can be incredibly helpful as your business grows.

Offering objective feedback

Lastly, bringing in an outside team allows you to gain an objective perspective on your business’ marketing efforts. It can be easy to get caught up in how you’re used to doing things, and having a gut check from someone that isn’t personally invested can be invaluable.

Outside perspective coupled with the overlapping expertise we discussed earlier is a recipe for more effective planning and strategic thinking. Both of which lead to better results and an increase in your online marketing ROI.

Functions impacted by a digital marketing agency

Marketing

The main business area that stands to be affected by a digital marketing agency is marketing. From daily operations to long-term strategy, having an engaged agency partner will impact your efforts in a variety of ways based on how you choose to leverage them.

Here are some of the specific activities an agency might help with:

  • Content creation
  • Identifying affiliate marketing opportunities
  • Offering feedback on creative assets
  • Developing content such as blogs and white papers
  • Monitoring competitors’ marketing activities
  • Identifying affiliate marketing opportunities
  • Managing marketing automation tools
  • Prepping marketing campaign activities for events, product launches, etc.
Pro tip
When choosing a digital marketing agency, it’s crucial to understand the needs of your business from a task-oriented perspective. Make a list of the things you need help with and align those with the expertise of potential agencies during the selection process.

Communications

Aside from core marketing activities, communications functions like social media and public relations (PR) are also common areas an agency can help manage. Centering around how your business communicates with the public and the image you present, these tasks often go hand in hand with marketing functions.

  • Collating online conversations around your brand via social listening tools
  • Brainstorming social media content ideas
  • Alerting you of brand mentions in online publications
  • Strategizing public-facing communication tactics, including triaging PR events
  • Drafting preliminary messaging
Pro tip
Enlisting an agency for help with communications means being in lockstep with them on your strategy and the tone you want to get across when messaging potential customers. This is made easier if they’re involved in conversations around strategy and equipped with the latest information on the public-facing facets of your business.

Capterra tools & tips: Is hiring a digital marketing agency right for my small business?

If your business has reached a stage of maturity where you have more on your plate than your employees can reasonably handle, bringing in outside help may be the answer for you. Start by using the following decision framework to consider the functions you’d like help with, asking yourself questions such as [1]:

An example of a decision framework you can use to determine if it's right to hire an agency

If you answered “yes” to more questions than you answered “no” to, consider hiring more personnel to fill the need. Otherwise, outsourcing to an agency is the right answer for you.

Interested in learning more about navigating the challenges of marketing your business? Keep an eye on the Capterra blog, and start with the resources below:


Sources

1. Ignition Guide to Selecting and Onboarding an Agency, Gartner


Looking for Marketing Automation software? Check out Capterra's list of the best Marketing Automation software solutions.

About the Author

Gary Froniewski

Gary Froniewski

Gary Froniewski is a Content Writer at Capterra, covering all things digital marketing, with a focus on emerging trends in experiential marketing. A recipient of multiple AMD Spotlight Awards for flagship product launch campaigns, he has a wealth of experience creating compelling copy to support Fortune 500 companies and small businesses alike. In his spare time he loves to enjoy food experiences, play tennis and disc golf, and explore nature in his home base of Austin, TX.

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