This guide is for small business owners that for one reason or another, have struggled to keep up with current digital trends and are now realising that to remain competitive, they need to start investing in digital marketing.
At indigoRiver, we have had plenty of experience dealing with small businesses, both old and new, each with their own marketing histories. We also have many employees that have worked for small businesses in the past and we felt it important to share our knowledge to help small business owners take their first steps in the right direction.
Here are all the reasons why we believe creative, marketing and advertising agencies are best for small businesses.
More bang for your buck
Agencies have a team of professionals ready to help you meet your goals, and while they aren’t cheap, it is certainly more cost effective than building your own in-house team. You could hire a single marketing manager, and while you will certainly get a better hourly rate, you will still have to fork out tens of thousands of pounds per year or more in wages. Freelancers and agencies will charge higher hourly rates but agencies have more accountability, which will provide you with greater flexibility.
Strength in numbers
At an agency, you will have a team full of specialists at your disposal, especially if you are working with a full-service agency! The combined skills and expertise of each team member will help to formulate the best possible marketing and advertising strategy, and produce brilliant deliverables such as websites, apps and artwork for print. An in-house marketing manager may have proven success for other companies, however you don’t know what you don’t know, and issues are likely to arise that they are unable to resolve without additional training. Freelance designers and marketers will likely have a network of other freelancers that can help them, however you will have no control over the skill level of these freelancers.
Ready for anything
Agencies spend a lot of money to have access to the best tools and software to help them produce effective results. You don’t have to worry about paying monthly or annual licence fees for Photoshop, illustrator, shutter stock, majestic SEO, SEM rush, Hotjar and other various project management, time tracking and reporting tools, as this will already be covered in your monthly retainer or project quote. Freelancers will also be covering these costs themselves, and as the number of clients they are working with is smaller, this may lead to additional costs.
You don’t know what you don’t know
You can learn from an agency. An agency will be transparent about the tactics, tools and channels they are using and can help you to self-manage by understanding performance data and how to use this information to improve strategies moving forward. With an agency, you can learn SEO best practices, how to structure and refine PPC campaigns, how to produce outstanding content and more. Working with an agency also prevents you from succumbing to groupthink, as they will challenge your ideas and vice versa.
Continuity & dependability
At an agency, there will always be a team of people working on your website, which means that if anyone leaves the agency or goes on holiday, there will always be others around to pass the baton. In-house roles will be able to hand over providing that a replacement can be found in time and free lancers will also have to be replaced, following the terms of a contract. Trying to get a new employee or free lancer to take over will have its challenges, as you will effectively be stating again. It is also likely that login details and passwords can become lost when an employee leaves, meaning that accounts must either be reclaimed or abandoned. This will not happen in an agency, as many people will be able to find this information for you.
Of course, as with all things in life, working with agencies also has its down sides. The greatest issue facing your company, will be finding an advertising, creative or marketing agency that truly gets you, understands your industry and will work harmoniously along side you. They will have many other clients that they are working with, meaning at times you may find that your business is not their priority.
We avoid these hurdles by putting in time at the beginning of the relationship to understand everything there is to know about your business, your goals, your customers, competitors, challenges, concerns and everything in between. We set your expectations from day one by planning your projects and campaigns in great detail and allowing for unforeseen delays, to ensure you get what you want, when you want.
Here at indigoRiver, we are transparent about everything we do, and would be delighted to have to opportunity to show you what we are capable of. If you have concerns that your current agency, or feel that our advice was helpful to you, we would love to hear from you. All you need to do is give us a call on 01527 757010 or fill out the form on our contact page and we will get back to you pronto!
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