If you’re reading this, I assume you’re either in the web agency game or know someone who is. Launching a successful web agency is no easy feat, and it takes a lot of work to ensure you’re making the right choices for growth and sustainability. If you’re looking to take the plunge, read on for some advice on how to do it effectively and professionally.
1. Hire Experts
The first and most crucial step to securing your place in the online marketing world is to hire experts. You won’t make it far if you don’t have the talent to back you up. Hiring people with marketing experience is obviously essential; however, so is having developers on board who can build your products and platforms. When it comes to growth, your developers will become your sales team while your marketing team grows your audience. Marketing and development are two sides of the same coin, and if your team isn’t perfectly balanced, you’ll never reach your full potential. Don’t get me wrong; you don’t need to have a marketing expert running your entire agency, but you should at least have someone on staff who can assist you in digital marketing.
2. Choose Your Platform
Depending on your expertise and the size of your agency, you’ll need to determine what platform you’ll use to market your products. If you’re a web developer who also happens to be a marketer, you may decide to use a combination of the two. Platform choice is not an easy one, and you need to make sure that the one you decide on is a fit for your agency’s purpose. Choosing the right tool for the job can be a challenge, especially since many platforms offer similar services. It may be worth the effort to seek out a specialized agency that can assist you with your platform selection process. Your platform choice will dictate your strategy and the types of content you produce (i.e., blogs, case studies, videos, etc.). While you’ll always need content to attract and retain customers, your platform choice influences which keywords you’re going to search for and the format you’ll use to present your content (i.e., rich media or text-based). Once you’ve made your selection, take some time to familiarize yourself with the unique features and benefits of your chosen platform.
3. Build A Reliable Brand
To secure your agency’s long-term viability, you’ll need to build a reliable brand. When a potential customer or client discovers your agency’s name, it should already have a positive association; however, you’ll also need to ensure that your brand is search-engine optimized so that when people type in keywords related to your product or service, you’re the first result that comes up.
Having a strong brand is essential, but developing a brand strategy that will help you reach your objectives is even more crucial. It’s important to note that no two brands are the same, and what may resonate with one group of people may bore or annoy another. This is why it’s crucial to develop a strategy that will help you reach your target audience. In an ever-changing world, your brand’s identity must remain flexible enough to represent your agency’s ever-evolving goals and achievements, while still maintaining its distinctiveness. Your brand’s identity can be expressed in many ways, including;
- Logo and website design
- Branded content: Case studies, white papers, blog posts, and more
- Videos and images associated with your brand (i.e., your agency’s Instagram account)
- Social media accounts
- Email marketing campaigns
- Product packaging and labeling
- Appointment cards and correspondence
- And much more
The above list is just a small fraction of the items we consider when developing a brand strategy. Creating a brand strategy that’s as comprehensive as possible will ensure your agency doesn’t get lost in the shuffle in an ever-changing world. Remember, no two brands are the same, and what may work for one business may not work for another. By having a solid foundation established with a comprehensive brand strategy, you’ll be well-positioned to effectively reach your target audience and expand your agency’s presence.
4. Craft A Marketing Plan
Crafting a marketing plan that’s as comprehensive as possible is essential to securing your place in the online marketing world. Your marketing plan will serve as the roadmap to guide your agency’s various marketing activities. It can be a bit cumbersome to constantly re-invent the wheel, so to speak, especially if you’re a small business trying to establish yourself in a saturated market. That’s why it’s important to develop a marketing plan that’s been proven to work for businesses like yours. Having a plan that’s been tested and proven to grow a business can be the key to securing consistent, sustainable results.
To that end, I recommend taking a step back and identifying the key performance indicators that will allow you to determine your agency’s success. For example, do you want your agency to be financially stable in the long-term? How about acquiring new customers? Or, perhaps you’d like to see your current customer base grow? Identifying key performance indicators will help you set SMART (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, and Timely) goals that can be tracked and measured.
Setting measurable goals is a key tenet of the SMART method, and it’s a must for any marketer who’s serious about boosting their agency’s performance. When developing your plan, it’s important to make sure that the goals you set are attainable and realistic. If you want to see significant results from your marketing efforts, set realistic goals that are within your agency’s ability to achieve. Vague, sweeping goal statements set for the distant future may keep you motivated, but they may also sabotage your efforts if they’re not grounded in reality. Setting too high a goal can also be a disheartening experience, especially if you don’t reach it. It’s important to note that there is no wrong answer when it comes to setting a goal. It just depends on you and what you believe will cause your agency to flourish.
5. Customize For Different Devices
If you’re reading this, I assume you’re either a web developer or have one on staff. If not, maybe it’s time to consider growing a web agency inhouse. One of the primary reasons many businesses fail to reach their full potential is due to a lack of adequate resources. Having a custom-made (or at least well-designed) website is only the beginning. Once you have a functional, mobile-optimized website, it’s time to take it a step further and make it look and feel like a masterpiece. With great content and the right design, you can turn any plain ol’ website into an attractive, functional one.
Creating a mobile-optimized website is relatively easy, but ensuring that your chosen web host is up to speed and able to provide the necessary services to make your site look and feel phenomenal takes a bit more effort. Ensuring that your site is properly configured to take advantage of all the various mobile devices (i.e., desktop, tablet, and smartphone) is vital to reaching your target audience on all platforms.
6. Measure The Success of Your Marketing Efforts
To determine your agency’s success in marketing, it’s important to track the results of your efforts. Without tracking this data, it’s difficult to accurately assess the effectiveness of your various campaigns. Without a clear picture of what’s working and what isn’t, it’s difficult to determine what changes need to be made. Measuring the success of your efforts can be difficult, especially if you’re managing a project without a clear end point. Setting a benchmark for measuring your agency’s success is essential, and while it may be difficult to determine where you started and how far you’ve come, at least you’ll have a clear picture of where you’re headed.
This brings me to my next point.
7. Use Software To Maximize Your Results
While it’s important to stay abreast of marketing trends and best practices, it’s also important to utilize software to make your life simpler and more productive. It’s a rare occasion when I meet a marketer who doesn’t use digital marketing software to some extent, and for good reason; it’s practically impossible to stay on top of the game without using some sort of tool to help you. It may be worth the investment to seek out a marketing tool that’s specifically designed for web agencies.