How to Stand Out From the Crowd as a Digital Marketing Agency

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With the popularity of digital marketing agencies increasing, it can be difficult to distinguish your company from the competition. But standing out as a unique company is extremely important if you want to attract new clients. If you find yourself stuck in a rut and not sure how to make your brand stand out from the crowd, or if you’re a new company just starting out and looking to form a client base, consider some of the following strategies to improve the visibility and popularity of your digital marketing business.

Use content marketing and establish a niche.
One way to stand out is to bypass the popular topics for content that your competitors are most likely publishing in favor of specialized content that is different from what’s already out there, and more tailored to your business. First, you’ll need to learn about the market that you’re in and identify your target audience. Look at your competition, learn from their successes and failures, and think about what you have to offer people that they can’t get anywhere else.

Related: 5 Strategies for Creating Epic Content Marketing on a Tight Budget

Try to get yourself into a niche industry that makes your business different. It’s not a bad idea to choose a niche that others seem to be failing at. But if that doesn’t work, and you have to provide the same services as everyone else, try to focus on one or two areas at which to excel. This strategy should be reflected in the content that you’re publishing. Don’t just produce the same blog articles and videos that everyone else is creating; use content as an opportunity to distinguish yourself from the competition, and highlight the areas that make your company special. Once you’ve written some popular content pieces, read this article for tips on how to capitalize on your success.

Create a unique and engaging pitch.
Your sales pitch is usually a customer’s first impression of your business, so it’s important to spend some time working on this area. Again, it’s good to see what your competition is pitching so that you can make sure to set your brand apart. When creating a pitch, figure out what your customers need, and incorporate a solution to their problems into your slogan. Create a well-thought-out plan that explains in detail how your services will ensure business success. Be prepared to provide that pitch again and again in a variety of different formats — email, in person, social media, etc.

The pitch is what you use to both draw people in and keep them there, so it should be a major part of your brand. Amend this pitch a little for each new client so that it best fits their needs. You shouldn’t use a “one size fits all” approach. It’s better to alienate some groups of potential customers in order to serve others better than it is to try to please everyone and not do it well. The HubSpot blog suggests asking yourself the following questions and incorporating the answers into your pitch:

What do we do? What services or channels do we know best?
Who do we do it for? What consumer groups do we understand?
How do we do it? How do our values and beliefs change the way we work?
Why do we do it? What is our shared purpose?

Don’t forget about data.
Regardless of whether you’re trying to make your business stand out, you need to show that you’re a credible expert on your subject matter in order to find and keep clients. On the plus side, this could be a way to set yourself apart from the competition if credibility is not something that they’re focused on. Data is a great way to show credibility. Incorporate marketing data into your pitch, into your content and anywhere else it might be appropriate.

TapClicks suggests using data to show how your marketing strategy works — both successes and failures — how you personalize user experiences and how your strategy drives sales. Make sure the data you’re sharing is relevant and accessible so you don’t alienate potential clients with an overwhelming amount of numbers, but definitely rely on data to prove you know what you’re doing.

Related: 5 Reasons Why Digital Content Is Going to Be The Next Big Thing

Get back into old-fashioned advertising.
Advertise in person, in print, online, at events, etc. Network anywhere you can. You can also give current clients an incentive to network for you, like 10 percent off if they refer a new client. Consider teaching classes or speaking at events. You’ll need to be creative about how you get the word out about your business. Keep in mind you have a ton of competition, so advertising is not an area you want to slack on, especially if other digital marketing agencies are out there dominating your network. Most likely you’ll connect with a ton of new people, so be sure to follow up with all of them. There’s a good chance you won’t get a ton of responses, and even less people will actually sign up as clients, so it’s important to follow up with all leads. Also, make sure you’re visible online. Don’t ignore SEO. You should be using keywords and incorporating links into the content that you publish so your business ranks well on Google.

Incorporate interactive content.
Interactive content is a new trend that seems to be a lot more successful than regular, static content. According to Outgrow, interactive content drives 70 percent more conversions than static. Interactive content is things like quizzes, calculators, polls and surveys, interactive infographics — anything that gets people engaged in learning as opposed to blog posts they read or videos they watch. One of the reasons live videos are so popular is that people have the opportunity to watch and ask questions and receive responses in real time.

There’s a reason why people are always online taking Buzzfeed quizzes to find out what their pizza preference means for their love life. They like to participate, and they like to have fun while getting answers. And in some cases they don’t seem to care about how genuine those answers are. I’m not suggesting you put out a bunch of fake quizzes — you definitely want your interactive content to be relevant and valuable. Outgrow suggests adding calculators for cost, ROI, marketing diagnostics, etc. Just try to think of ways to get people involved in your information.

Not sure where to start? Check out this article from Entrepreneur.com on how to engage people with interactive content.

Consider using pricing to set yourself apart.
When all else fails, use pricing to differentiate yourself from the competition. Again, this requires you to do research into your competitors to find out what services they’re offering and for what price. You don’t necessarily have to be a lot cheaper; you just need to be different. Consider offering services in a bundle or package at a discounted rate if there are things that people often pay for together. Offer a money back guarantee. Incorporate performance-based pricing. Or, just be completely transparent about your prices and post them on your website, on social media and on any print materials. You’d be surprised how many companies won’t divulge pricing information until after you’ve already agreed to meet with them.

Related: To Grow Your Business, You Need to Handcraft Your Experience With Early Customers

Hopefully you’ve picked up some good tips on how to make your digital marketing agency stand out from the crowd. Can you think of any other ways to make sure your business shines in this competitive market?

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How to get your bosses onboard your digital marketing plan

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“Digital transformation is not about having a Facebook account, it is about changing the way you talk within an organisation,” said Nicco Tan, vice-president, relationship marketing and social media, Genting Malaysia.

According to Tan, understanding the company vision and strategic plan is crucial in getting your bosses on board. Tan himself spent his first 60 days sitting with his bosses trying to understand their vision, how they saw the resort and their product evolving before trying to convince them of his ideas. He said:

If you don’t align yourself with the company vision, no matter how fantastic your idea is, the answer will always be a no.
The next step is transliterating these visions into breakthrough goals and then translating these goals into a digital plan. According to Tan, it is important to not only base the digital plan on the vision and business goals, but also look at it from a digital standpoint.

Agreeing with him is Veneesa Sinsua, group digital marketing, Asia at Ramsay Sime Darby Health Care. Voicing similar concerns at a recent Digital Marketing Malaysia conference, Sinsua explained her challenges in getting the hospital folks on board the digital transformation track.

In the case of Ramsay Sime Darby Health Care, Sinsua explained that her team had to explain to every doctor how SEO worked and why that was important in how they were being found online. This also included showing doctors and members of the management how social media platforms were primary in shooting traffic to the hospital’s website.

“Once they were convinced, they were more willing to help,” Sinsua added.

Meanwhile Mellissa Lee, head of GetResponse Malaysia said that a lot of time, people think that automation is going to replace their jobs in the near future and there will be no need for marketing executives anymore.

But this is not true. In fact, what automation does is it provide marketers with relevant actionable data, so marketers can track your audiences from the time they first interact with your brand, and through the different stages of the buying cycle.

“It helps you understand more about where people come from, what their interests are. And what automation does is that it provides you with more time to develop other areas of the business,” she added.

Get the other departments on board

The next hurdle a digital marketer may face in a traditional organisation might be getting other departments on board. This is because other departments may have their own agendas and KPIs to meet. According to Genting’s Tan, the solution to this would be getting everyone involved.

“If you want people to accept a behaviour or use the technology required in the organisation’s digital transformation, you need to understand that it is driven by some form of intention. This can be done through setting the right performance and effort expectations,” Tan explained.

To set the right performance expectancy, the digital marketer needs to convince other departments that the digital tool in question would be able to increase productivity and their performance – leading to bonuses.
“Cutting down work hours is also of value. Tell them that adopting these digital strategies can enhance their jobs, and tell them right away,” Tan said.

The next thing is setting the right expectations when it comes to effort of adoption. This can be done by assuring the relevant departments that the technology is easily adoptable into their existing routines,

“It’s always about ease of use – if the person perceives it to not be easy to use then it fails,” Tan added.

Social influence is also key to getting the majority to adopt the new digital strategies and technologies associated with it. Tan is of the view that members of an organisation respond to peer pressure because they are social beings.

“If they feel like they are being left out in the workplace, they are more likely to adopt new technologies to keep up,” he added.

However, all of this would not come without the right facilitating conditions, which provides the rules and structures required to create the right digital-friendly environment. Tan highlighted the importance of giving employees the right tools and access.

“While it is important to have a social media policy for guidance, don’t be too strict as it may restrict exploration across different groups,” Tan said.

Brands also need to recognise that the level of adoption may be different for different groups of employees. With younger employees, being given space to explore new digital tools is sufficient. However, with older groups with slower rates of adoption, the approach needs to be different.

“Invest time in teaching them and also consider creating a manual for them to follow,” Tan said.

It is also important to convince a lot of the senior management that automation doesn’t make things mechanical, which is a fear many older marketers face.

Content is king, distribution is queen

Having a content and distribution plan is also essential. Before deciding on content that is professionally made or one that is user generated, brands need to think about how this can be combined together in the storytelling process, Tan said. Sharing the view Sean Ter, regional strategy director, Innity who said that if content is king, distribution certainly is queen.

“Without distribution, content are just words sitting on a page that no one reads. If no one views the content, the value content brings will not be achieved. Hence, distribution is queen and she wears the pants,” Ter said, adding that in the digital space, every brand is now a publisher.

Echoing similar sentiments on distribution was Hedvig Lyche, global strategy director of King Content Singapore. She however was of the view that one should have their own land to display their works of content on rather than work on “rented” property. But of course, if you are with limited budget, working with a partner with an established platform can be the better move, she said.

And ultimately, tracking is everything.

“Tracking and analytics is also crucial when it comes to starting out in the digital journey. This should also follow with small tests and iterations,” said Ter.

Not having trackers is unforgivable – you are just wasting money. Everything can be tracked now, especially when it comes to digital.

5 Steps to Digital Marketing Success


1. Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

Everyone knows how important search engine optimization (SEO) is to a successful digital marketing campaign. If you want to sell more, however, you need to make sure your SEO strategy can effectively boost your website to the top of a search engine results page.

Your site’s search engine rank can mean the difference between selling a new car and losing a sale to your competitor. The higher you get your website to rank, the greater the number of opportunities you have to sell more cars.

Optimizing your website’s copy and targeting the right keywords are ways to increase your search ranking.


2. Content marketing

Content marketing is one of the biggest trends in digital marketing for one simple reason: It works.

A successful content marketing strategy will help you provide the answers to the questions shoppers have in the form of blog posts, vehicle reviews, premium content, and more.

Consumers won’t be the only ones benefiting from a great content marketing strategy, however. When you give potential buyers educational copy that helps them find what they want or service they need, you position yourself as a knowledgeable thought leader.

Consumers that see you as a thought leader trust in your leadership, and are more likely to choose you over the competition to buy their goods.

3. Lead nurturing

Oftentimes, the people who read your educational content may not be ready to buy just yet. You don’t want to miss the opportunity to sell to them when they’re ready, however. This is where lead nurturing can help.

Lead nurturing allows you to maximize your consumer database by sending automated emails to prospective customers. Having a larger database of potential buyers gives you more chances to sell goods to new customers, and increase overall profits.

Plus, sending lead-nurturing emails will keep your company on prospective buyers’ radar. So, when they’re ready to buy, there’s a better chance that they’ll take their business to you.


4. Conversion rate optimization (CRO)

Conversion rate optimization (CRO) is a new, extremely beneficial digital marketing trend that gives companies a more effective and innovative way to increase website visitors, conversions, and sales.

CRO allows you to learn more about your website visitors by using detailed tests that show how customers interact with your site. These tests can also help you improve your website so you can sell more.

For example, if a certain page isn’t performing as well as you’d like, you can test a few design changes to see if you can improve it. If the modifications increase visitor traffic or conversions, apply them to the permanent site to boost your chances of selling more cars.


5. Display advertising

You can have the most optimized and well-designed site in the industry, but none of that will matter if you’re not marketing your site to where your target audience is. That’s why digital advertising is so important.

Facebook Ads and display ads put your company in front of your target audience at the right place and time, so they’re more likely to buy from you rather than the competition. These ads can also put you in front of a new audience so you can attract more customers in your local area.

And because a digital advertising strategy is integrated, all the specials and sales you feature on your website will also appear on the Facebook Ads and display ads.

4 industries getting the most ROI from digital marketing

Every company needs to market itself digitally, but some sectors are more suited for social media marketing than others. In today’s technology driven world, relationships and networks get built via social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter. Companies understand the need to make their presence felt in the digital space and hence you’ll find brands from all possible sectors leaving their footprints in the online world. But in the midst of all this marketing, companies from some sectors score better than others. Here’s a list of five industries that are getting high ROI from their endeavors at digital marketing.

Health industry

When your health is in distress, the first thing you’re most likely to do is to check the internet for more information on your symptoms. While nothing can take away from the importance of doctors, people still prefer to go online first because the internet is more easily accessible as compared to doctors. It is for this reason that so many healthcare organisations put their money and efforts behind a good digital marketing campaign. From a strong social media presence to a good website, the health sector realises that a strategic approach is of paramount importance to bring in patients.

Entertainment industry

Entertainment companies make use of social media to share all kinds of information like trailers, photos, behind-the-scenes looks, live videos, and so much more. With the help of strategic marketing, these companies push their users to go for a movie, record an episode offline, and the likes. By coupling user’s personal information available on social media with in-depth analytics, companies are now able to promote specific entertainment products to targeted demographics.

Food industry

When it comes to food, people are emotionally and fiercely connected to the items they love to eat and the brands that produce those food items. Cashing in on the digital marketing trend, food companies have designed entire campaigns that revolve around mouth-watering images of food that lead to a high degree of customer engagement. Speaking to Entrepreneur, Mat Siltala, President of Avalaunch Media, says, “The food industry is no longer dependent on boring recipe cards, or words in a book. Consumers now go online, they check out social feeds and watch amazing videos that share in just a few seconds how to prepare almost anything you can imagine.

Auto industry

From slick magazine advertisements to flashy television commercials, marketing has always been an integral part of the auto industry. Lately, digital media has become the auto industry’s prime channel for reaching out to and engaging potential users. According to eMarketer, major auto companies are steadily increasing their digital spends with each passing year. In fact, it rose 22 percent from 2014 to 2015. By making use of targeted advertising, the auto industry is marketing directly to its potential consumers.
Digital marketing has taken the traditional advertising sector by storm as sales and traffic boost remarkably. If your company is not a part of the above sector, you can still get the most out of social media by having a solid campaign that speaks to your target audience.

5 Things That Have Always Worked For Digital Marketers, Until Now

The old Southern adage, “If you don’t like the weather, wait five minutes,” could certainly apply to the task of keeping pace in the world of digital marketing. Changes in trends and tactics shift quickly with the wind and, as digital marketers, the only way we can keep up is through innovation and information.
Here are five things that have always seemed to work for digital marketers but just don’t get the job done anymore. Let’s count them down.
5. Twitter.

The decline of Twitter as a tool for digital marketing hasn’t happened just yet. It’s still a fine resource for promoting your business and linking up with like-minded people, without being as distant or cold as LinkedIn or as informal and casual as Facebook. In fact, the way a digital marketer uses Twitter might be more the problem than the medium itself. Boring tweets, low engagement with followers and over-selling (or only selling) products can all lead to poor Twitter returns.
Related: 4 Marketing Lessons Entrepreneurs Can Learn From April the Giraffe
Twitter has gained further notoriety following the media frenzy regarding the personal account of President Donald Trump, which became his stump from which he communicated throughout his campaign. Twitter saw a dip in users going into 2016 but a quick spike during the campaign. Whether this spike can be directly attributed to Trump is unknown but it is certainly of interest to digital marketers knowing that more people than ever before are turning to Twitter for their information and, perhaps, future quotes from the president.
4. SEO technical tricks.

Anyone who has long worked in digital marketing fondly recalls the Wild West days of SEO. This may have only been six or so years ago, but it was a messy free-for-all of keyword stuffing, barrages of links and content with no images, videos or style. After the long awaited Panda Update, which augmented Google’s algorithms to tease out and penalize subpar or spammy content, and then the latest iteration of Penguin, which provides a similar service only more specific, things began to change for us in the industry.
Yes, it made it more difficult to get to the top of the search page, but only for companies that produced bad content. In fact, going forward, updates like Panda and Penguin will only help companies that are doing great creative work and working hard for their clients.
3. Coupon sites.

Initially, coupon sites were a great approach for many businesses struggling to get people through their digital doors. They often resulted in quick influxes of cash, especially during “shopping holidays,” and attracted many first time buyers or those shoppers who may have otherwise abandoned their carts. In fact, a 2010 study by Rice University suggested that Groupon codes were profitable for an astounding 66 percent of businesses!
Unfortunately, that same study also found that often times Groupon sales were cannibalized by existing customers instead of incentivizing new customers. Furthermore, many of the deals offered were tilted heavily in favor of the consumer, which can lead to profitability issues for the business in the long run.
Related: 3 of the Top Opportunities and Challenges for Digital Marketing in 2017
2. Fake Instagram followers.

Unlike the other items on this list, fake Instagram followers probably should have never worked in the first place. For one, it’s a bit dishonest but, more importantly, it provides no service to anyone but the person with the fake followers. Digital marketing companies are taken for a ride by a personality who they believe has a niche following that they can capitalize on. The consumer also suffers, as the product, which they may need or want, doesn’t effectively reach their feeds.
A couple of years ago, Instagram cleaned house and did a mass purge of all their fake accounts, and I’m sure they’re continuing to monitor the situation as best they can. Unfortunately, studies still find that 8 percent of accounts on Instagram are fake.
What can digital marketers do? Seek help spotting fake accounts, and find the right people to partner with for marketing purposes.
1. Batch and blast email campaigns.

Not long after the dawn of the internet era, batch-and-blast emails were some of the first marketing tactics to emerge from the primordial soup. It was fast and easy to dial up a boilerplate email, send it off to all of the subscribers on your listserv, sit back and watch the profits roll in.
These days, things are a little different.
For one, millennials can’t stand them. Yes, email is overwhelmingly the preferred method of communication for those vexing 20-somethings but they want to be catered to and decidedly not browbeaten by a deluge of marketing emails.
Looking forward, Pinterest, one of the fastest growing social media sites, shows what the future could hold for email marketing. Pinterest replaced batch-and-blast with emails that are completely tailored to the user. Using the myriads of data they are given, Pinterest is trying to customize the customer experience and, furthermore, create an emotional relationship with their users.