As many companies do not have their own marketing department, abd others do not have enough staff to provide them with a full range of marketing services, there comes the time when you need to contact a marketing agency. How exactly can it help? What services does it provide? We will tell you in detail about everything that the agency can offer and in which situations it is worth resorting to its help.
What are marketing services
The range of services provided by agencies is quite wide. What it includes:
1. Analytics. This is a fairly wide range of services, which includes market research, audience and competitors, search for new niches, as well as analytics of the business itself: its marketing strategy, the effectiveness of advertising communications, search for ways of development, etc. These services can be ordered separately or in a complex.
2. Development of a marketing strategy. The agency assumes all responsibilities for developing a promotion strategy: from analytics to drawing up a media plan. This service is suitable for small businesses if they do not have a full-time specialist, or if the company’s marketer does not have enough experience and resources to perform such a complex and complex task efficiently.
3. SEO and website management. SEO promotion includes a whole range of tools. One of the most important stages of SEO is working on the site, its technical characteristics, design and usability. All these works require deep specific knowledge, so this service is popular even among representatives of large businesses.
4. Conducting contextual advertising. Contextual advertising is ads that are shown to the user in the top positions of search engine results when he enters a key query. This is an effective tool for quickly increasing sales from a site that is in demand in both B2B and B2C segments.
5. SMM. It consists of maintaining pages in social networks and targeted advertising. To maintain the page, an audience analysis is carried out, recommendations on design are given and a content plan of publications is compiled. Targeted advertising is configured, evaluated, and adjusted. Now the audience of social networks is actively growing, so any business will be able to find its target audience there.
6. Display advertising. This is a banner ad aimed at reaching a wide audience. As a rule, it is aimed at increasing brand awareness.
7. Working with reputation. It can be divided into two directions: SERM and PR in the network. The purpose of SERM is to make sure that the user, entering the company name into the search engine, sees only positive reviews and articles. Although it is most often used in cases where the reputation has already been damaged, we recommend that you constantly work with reviews to prevent a threat to the company’s image. PR is aimed precisely at building and maintaining a reputation: forming a brand image and stable positive associations with it, increasing the perceived value of the brand, etc.
8. E-mail marketing. The name speaks for itself: specialists develop and implement an email marketing strategy. The main difficulty here is to build a stable automated system and develop a selling content plan so that subscribers open letters, read them and go to your resource. Another danger of email marketing is the possibility of falling under filters.
9. Video advertising. The agency can also take over all the work on creating video ads from concept formation and script writing to distribution.
10. Special Projects. These are unique advertising communications developed individually for each brand. They are aimed at engaging the consumer, generating interest in the product and native incentive to purchase. This type of promotion is most often used by representatives of medium and large businesses.
11. Business consulting. When a business stops growing and falls into stagnation, it can be difficult to identify the cause “from the inside”. Therefore, in order to conduct an objective assessment of the current situation, to highlight all the advantages and disadvantages of the company in the market, it is worth inviting an external specialist who will impartially conduct analytics and find new ways of business development.
Audit of advertising campaigns
Audit of advertising campaigns is a comprehensive verification of the correctness of the chosen advertising strategy.
These services can be ordered separately, but a more effective promotion model is an integrated approach when different communication channels complement each other. The results of such an advertising campaign are always higher.
In this article, we will analyze the entire range of marketing services using the example of a comprehensive campaign. This will give a visual representation of cooperation with the agency.
What you should do before launching an ad
Promotion always begins with an analysis of the specifics of the business and research of the target audience. These points are worked out in detail even during the creation of a marketing strategy, so we will only indicate what is included in the preliminary analysis.
The specifics of the advertising environment and the work of competitors are investigated. This is necessary, especially if you are entering a new market for yourself.
Information on past marketing strategies is being investigated. It is necessary to study the progress of past strategies, budget allocation, past mistakes.
Statistics on channels are checked. To do this, you need to get the accounts of all advertising cabinets and study the figures of previous launches. Additionally, you can check the profitability or unprofitability of advertisements.
The effectiveness is analyzed. Based on all the data received, we determine the effectiveness of advertising channels and decide where to launch an advertising campaign.
The ads themselves are also checked, whether they are correctly compiled, whether there is extra information in them, whether they correspond to the goods/ services offered.
The most important thing is to choose the right advertising channels and configure them in the right way.
SEO website promotion
As a rule, users first of all look for information about the right product through search engines and find what they need on the first or second page of the search results. At the same time, the greatest attention is paid to sites located in the first position, so to be in the TOP 3 of the issuance of Yandex and Google are extremely profitable.
SEO is a tool that allows you to bring a website to the TOP of search results.
What it includes:
1. Setting up the services. This includes order forms, personal accounts, registration – everything should work correctly. If something does not work correctly, the SEO specialist corrects it, or draws up a technical specification to eliminate the error to the programmer.
2. Analysis and revision of the main page. It examines how informative the main page is, and also gives an answer to the question: “Does it encourage further action?”. After that, the specialist gives recommendations on how to finalize the page.
3. Working with content. The texts on the site should be informative, understandable to the user and contain keywords.
Keywords are phrases that the user enters in Google, when looking for a particular product/service. Sites whose pages contain these phrases have a greater chance of reaching the top of the search results.
After the analysis, the SEO expert either refines the texts, or, if they do not match the queries at all, writes them again.
4. Development of navigation and site structure. The user should easily navigate the site and immediately understand where he can find the information he is interested in. For this purpose, a convenient website structure is being developed. It includes a logical breakdown of the site by sections and subsections, as well as navigation through the menu.
There are usability standards according to which the user should get to any section in no more than 3 clicks. Otherwise, the client may become tired of the search, and then he will simply go to the competitors.
5. Study of user behavior. It is analyzed that users are interested in the site, which sections they monitor actively. Based on this data, the site is being improved.
6. Site loading speed. If the site loads slowly, visitors will leave it and the rejection rate will increase. An SEO specialist is looking for ways to speed up the download process.
7. Adaptability. Now more than half of the traffic on the Internet comes from mobile devices, so the site should be adapted to work on smartphones.
8. Cross-browser compatibility. The site should be displayed the same way in any browser.
9. Internal linking. It checks whether there are no broken links inside the site, whether they all lead to the right pages. All errors are eliminated.
10. Usefulness. The site should have unique and useful information, without over-optimized and empty texts, for which the site may lose search traffic.
Also, in order for SEO promotion to be as effective as possible, it is recommended to conduct a technical audit before starting it.
Technical audit is a comprehensive review of the workflow and technical solutions of the campaign. During the technical audit, it is checked:
- indexing the site that potential customers will go to. You can give indexing instructions to search robots using a file robots.txt in the root directory of the site;
- site map (file .xml)
- documentation (brandbook, customer documents on the website),
- the current state of advertising campaigns is evaluated.
In a sense, a technical audit is an assessment of forces, a check of all capabilities and resources before the main battle. If the technical audit demonstrates the lack of development of the marketing strategy, errors in the site code and indexing – this is submitted for verification.
Contextual advertising is an ad that a user sees when he enters a thematic query into a search engine.
Example of contextual advertising in Google screenshot, example of contextual advertising
The demonstration of contextual advertising is based on the principle of auctions. Advertisers, when setting up an advertising campaign, bet on how much they are willing to pay for displaying an ad for a specific key query. When the user enters this query into the search engine, an auction takes place, where the advertiser who offered the highest price wins. All this happens in a split second.
Contextual advertising is based on correctly identifying the target audience, keeping the optimal cost of the transition and immediately directing the client to the page of the desired site.
Let’s take a closer look at how contextual advertising is configured.
It all starts with Google Ads. Advertising campaigns inside it should be clearly structured and have clear names, and ads should be logically divided into groups by keywords.
What you should pay attention to when working with contextual advertising
Segmentation. The campaign can be search, retargeting-oriented and distributed on the advertising network. Each type of campaign has its own characteristics, so they cannot be combined. Separate ads must be created for each type and special settings must be set.
Geotargeting. Even if the company operates throughout the country and delivers to all regions, it is impossible to advertise to the whole country. Firstly, the behavior of consumers in different regions differs significantly, so you need to create ads based on their preferences. Secondly, the rates for the biggest cities are significantly higher than the rates for towns and remote areas. So, if an advertiser makes an average bid for the country, his ads are highly likely not to be shown in the capitals.
Daily budget. Indicate how much you are willing to spend per day on advertising. Otherwise, the entire monthly budget can evaporate in a couple of days.
The quality of keyword selection. The advertising campaign begins with the collection of keywords that the user enters to search for some product. For example, a person can type “buy a car”, “buy car” or “car buy” into a search engine. In practice, there may be many more such requests. The specialist should collect the most complete set of key phrases in order to reach as large a percentage of the interested audience as possible.
Negative keywords. Sometimes users add a keyword to a keyword phrase that completely changes the meaning of the query. For example, “Buy a sewing machine” or “Buy a used car”. A dealership that sells only new cars is no longer interested in such requests. To prevent ads from being shown on them, you need to add the words “sewing” and “used” to the list of negative keywords. The more complete this list is, the better the advertising will work.
The presence of a keyword in the title. This way the user will immediately understand that you are offering exactly what he is looking for.
The presence of extensions in ads. Extensions are understood as additional ad elements, such as phone number, sitelinks, callouts, product prices, etc. They make the ad more noticeable and larger in size. Along with this, the clickability also increases.
Google Analytics and UTM tags. All these are tools for tracking the effectiveness of advertising. Without them, it is impossible to get data to improve the effectiveness of the campaign.
Targeted advertising and SMM
Nowadays, many people prefer to advance through social media. Firstly, the audience of social media is constantly growing, so that every advertiser can find their customers there. Secondly, social media seems to many to be a magic pill that can attract crowds of buyers without requiring special investments. As a rule, this approach leads to disappointment and rejection of this tool. The truth is that social media can really help a business significantly, but for this they need to be seriously and constantly engaged.
How agencies work with SMM
First of all, a detailed analysis of the business and the current state of social networks is carried out. It includes:
Target audience analysis. Different social networks are dominated by different groups of the population, so before you start promoting, you should find out where your target audience lives, how much time they spend on networks, what content they are interested in, etc.
Business and product analysis. Unfortunately, not all products are suitable for promotion in social networks. For example, in the B2B segment, they should be used only as an auxiliary tool for maintaining communication with customers. Also, not all sites are equally good for a particular product.
Social media management strategy analysis. Social networks will not work as efficiently as possible if there is no single SMM strategy. It includes a complete development plan for all presence networks, a content plan, a schedule for posting posts, as well as statistical data.
Checking the content of publications. In addition to the content, we also check their frequency, the content of advertisements and the time of displaying advertisements.
Audience loyalty analysis. Here it is important for us to understand how responsive our audience from social networks is, how actively they participate in contests, leave comments, answer questionnaires.
Feedback quality evaluation. Working with comments on social networks is important both from the point of view of SMM quality and from the point of view of working on reputation. In many areas of business, the speed of response to comments depends on whether the user becomes your client or not.
User engagement evaluation. Here we need to determine how many people go to the site from social networks, and what affects this indicator.
After that, the SMM specialist makes recommendations for improving the account or is fully engaged in its management.
What is included in the comprehensive management of social media
Development of a unified visual style. Your profile should reflect the essence, the personality of the brand. To do this, the specialist develops a visual style in accordance with which the community header and posts will be designed. This style should be reflected in all social networks. If you already have a corporate identity and a brandbook, then a specialist will adapt it to use in social networks.
The design of the community header. It includes the nickname, avatar, cover and description of the community/page. The name of the public must match the name of the organization. It will be easier to find you this way. A logo, a brand hero (mascot) or an image reflecting the essence of your activity can be used as an avatar. The cover should also reflect the company’s activities. The description should contain all the basic information about the company: here is who we are, what we do, where we are located, how to contact us, why you should choose us, etc.
Content plan development. Based on the analysis carried out, the SMM specialist draws up a schedule for the publication of posts with a detailed description of the topic of each publication, visual material and text. In some cases, he also creates all the materials: takes photos, shoots videos and writes texts.
Launch and support of a targeted advertising campaign. Targeted advertising is advertising on social networks that is shown to a specific target segment of users. Based on analytics, the marketer develops a plan for conducting targeted advertising: estimates the budget, the optimal duration of the campaign and develops advertising materials. Targeting takes place in several stages. First of all, the entire target audience of the brand is divided into segments that differ in their characteristics. As a rule, the main criteria for segmentation are gender, age, marital status and interests of users. After that, the most suitable advertising materials are developed for each segment and an advertising campaign is set up. Further, after receiving the results, it is being finalized. For example, you can exclude segments of the target audience that did not respond to the ad.
If the company has already launched targeted advertising, it is recommended to conduct an audit before launching a new one.
First of all, we need to identify inefficient ad formats and ad groups. To do this, we use a comparison of percentage and quantitative indicators:
- Campaign cost (past and current)
- Percentage and volume of conversions
- Ad Groups
- Audience Types
From all this, hypotheses are formed for optimizing ads for which the testing can be carried out. This is not all the information that can be considered while choosing a marketing campaign for a business. We will have a look at more methods used by marketing managers in the second part of this article.