Digital Marketing, What's In a Name Creatives, Hyderabad

Digital Marketing Agency: 7 questions every brand owner wants to ask in 2019

So, before we give you a little background about us, we thought it’s best to let you know what will you learn by the end of this comprehensive blog post about the 7 key Digital Marketing questions, every brand owner wants to ask. Before we move ahead, we guarantee that this is the only and the most comprehensive blog you’ll need to read as a brand owner this year. It’s a detailed one. So, only if you’re serious about the activities of your Digital Marketing Agency for your brand, read on. Here’s a list of questions we’ll answer in this post:

1. What has changed about Digital Marketing in 2019?

2. Why should I choose a full-service Digital Marketing agency?

3. How to identify the difference between right and wrong strategy by a Digital Marketing Agency?

4. When to make a switch from my current Digital Marketing Agency?

5. How long should I continue my Digital Marketing activities?

6. How to make optimum utilisation of every penny I spend on online marketing?

7. What’s the fine print I should know about Search Engine Optimisation (SEO), Search Engine Marketing (SEM) & Social Media Marketing (SMM)?

Well, before we begin, here’s a little background of ours.

We are What’s In a Name (WIN), a full-service Advertising & Digital Marketing Agency in Hyderabad. Incepted in the year 2010, we have built quite a few Regional & National brands from scratch. We’ve been equally recognised and awarded for our Branding and Digital Marketing capabilities, regionally & nationally. We’re one of the very few Advertising Agencies to be Google Partners.

We’d started as a Print Advertising Agency; we’ve worked our way up to add Digital Marketing to our repertoire of services. It took us a couple of years to complete this transformation. So, unlike most other agencies, it was not an overnight change. And through the process, we made sure we understood the subject and delivered measurable results. 

To know more about us, you can click here.

1. What has changed about Digital Marketing in 2019?

Well, simply put, we’d say; a lot.

But there’s more than meets the eye. The recent updates across various properties of Google; read Google AdWords, Search Engine Result Pages (SERP), Google MyBusiness, Google Analytics, et al. 

There are tons of changes in every property of Google since last year. And that will undoubtedly impact every Digital Strategy.

Google MyBusiness

Unfortunately, most business owners don’t realise the importance of maintaining good hygiene across their MyBusiness Pages. Well, this includes Google Maps and a whole lot of stuff. 

It is a single dashboard that you can use to communicate with Google about your “physical” business location. Everything, from sharing the exact pin location, phone number, and information matters. It is a crucial snippet that pops up in every search we make on Google. It is also called a “Snack Pack” or “Local Listing” in the Digital World.

And that’s not all. 

You can also share some posts the way you do on other Social Media Channels like Facebook, Instagram, etc. Plus, some specific offers that you’d like to share with your customers. So, there’s a lot of stuff you can do there.

Infographic on Google MyBusiness. Digital Marketing Agency in Hyderabad.
Infographic Credit: Social Media Today

Google Analytics

Last year saw Google giving a complete make-over to the UI of the Dashboard. And it looks pretty cool. But it’s not just all good looks here. It does a lot more stuff too.

The unique search box, allows you to ask some direct questions like “What is my average page load time?” And this is to help the rapidly growing “Voice Search”.

Now you’d ask how does the speed of your page matter?

Well, thanks to the fresh updates by Google, it’s one of the top three ranking factors. Let’s assume your SEO (more on this later), is pretty similar to your competitor’s across various metrics. So, Google will by default show the fastest loading site higher. Speed could, at times, even beat websites with good SEO. 

SERP (Search Engine Result Pages)

SERP, as the name suggests, is nothing but the results that Search Engines throw the moment you type a query. One of the significant changes from last year, that’s likely to get crazier this year, is the inclusion of separate ranks of your website on PC and Mobile, for a particular Keyword or Key-phrase.

So, if you type “Best 3-star hotels in Hyderabad”, and see that your brand is ranking “Number 3” on PC, it could rank “Number 8”, or 20, or beyond 100 on mobile. So, the work of a Digital Marketing Agency doubles up. We need to maintain rankings across devices.

As per a statistical report in Statista, currently, India has around 420 million Mobile Internet Users, and this number is likely to increase by another 100 million Mobile Internet Users by 2023. 

So, it’s high time we begin to think mobile-first. Something that Google has been advocating for a while too.

Apart from all this, content still remains the king. The only difference is that the focus is now primarily on original, interesting content only. Gone are the days when stuffing excessive content would guarantee a top result on the search engine result pages. Though some website might still enjoy the results of the old strategy. They will soon be pushed behind by new, better content. It’s just a matter of time.

Backlinks are still important. But silly, irrelevant back links will do more harm than ever before.

Finally, the most important metric is the speed of your website; the speed of loading a page. If it’s not under 3 seconds, you’ve got reasons to worry. Of course, this varies from industry to industry and device to device.

2. Why should I choose a full-service Digital Marketing Agency?

As a brand owner, you’ve got a zillion things to tackle. And having some clue about the Digital Marketing or Marketing activities carried out by your Digital Marketing Agency, is a great thing. However, if you are investing more than a few minutes a day on this subject, you’re losing out on crucial time that can help you scale your business, better still, improvise your product or service.

There’s an old saying by William Bernbach, one of the legends of advertising from the 1950s, “A great Advertising Campaign will make a bad product fail faster.”

There are a lot of brands who consider having two different agencies for their brand. As there’s a dearth of a full-service Advertising & Digital Marketing Agency, brand owners think it’s best to opt for the best of both worlds, albeit differently.

If you’re going keep two legs in two boats, you’ll invest most of your time maintaining balance, and there will hardly be any time to make progress. Picture this, and you’ll understand what we’re saying.

And in most cases, this can be harmful to a brand. It should be considered only as a last resort. If you’ve got an excellent full-service agency, it will solve a lot of issues with you. Most importantly, your valuable time can be invested in a place where it matters the most – your business!

Finally, a full-service advertising & digital marketing agency will make sure that your brand tone and personality is standardised across various channels of communication – online and offline. It might sound simple, or unimportant. But this is complex. And if your current agency has nailed this for you, don’t disturb the composition. Focus on growing your business.

So, look for an agency where every single job is planned and executed end-to-end under one roof. Well, that’s the true meaning of “Full-service Agency”. Isn’t it?

3. How to identify the difference between right and wrong strategy of a Digital Marketing Agency?

Digital Marketing, compared to traditional advertising, is highly quantifiable. However, if your agency-to-be promises absurd numbers that sound too good to be true, you’ve got your answer. Listen to your inner voice. Don’t fall for that trap!

Like any business, or branding exercise, Digital Marketing is a difficult process too. So, it’s going to take some time. Have patience. 

A lot of agencies try to play foul on the biggest weakness of an entrepreneur – “cheaper costs”. Well, it is indeed possible to bring your digital marketing costs down. But then there’s a limit to that as well. If your agency begins to keep your advertising Demographics broad, it will be much cheaper to execute. But you’d be doing a big disservice to your brand.

“Get three quotes. Hire the Digital Marketing Agency that quotes the lowest.”

It is a mindset that could do more harm than good. 

It can be summed up in a saying, “Pennywise. Pound foolish.”

When an agency is chosen only because they are charging less, take a pause, and ask yourself. “When is the last time, I’d given a heavy discount on a good product of mine?” It would mostly be in cases of dead stock, an outdated model, or worse still, something that’s of poor quality.” 

Voila! You’ve got your answer there.

Cutting corners is a great thing. But cutting the right corners is an art. An agency will make or break all the millions you plan to invest in your brand’s marketing activities. So, you might win the battle by negotiating a “seemingly profitable deal”. But you’re certainly going to lose the War!

Finally, a lot of brand owners believe that not sharing the data of the final conversion/revenues from the leads with their agency is a smart move. Unfortunately, it’s not the right approach. 

Picture this. You share the exact data of the sales you’ve generated against each lead your agency has provided. That complete the circle for your agency. With this, they don’t just know which medium is working great for you; they can also determine what type of ad is working for your brand. And hence, they know where their strength lies. And they will work towards giving you better results.

Unfortunately, brand owners think that informing the agency of the success of their work will back-fire. The truth, however, is that NOT informing them about their success back-fires. The mindset that the moment an agency gets to know that their work is showing results, they might hike up their fee is pre-historic. Creative people crave appreciation; honest appreciation. They do have a dimension them that’s beyond money. And not hitting the right note there will only hamper your business.

4. When to make a switch from my current Digital Marketing Agency?

Simply put, never!

Well, the longer the association you have with your partner, the better the understanding. The amount of time you’ll need to spend on them will be way lesser. And that time of yours could be worth millions.

So, it’s not like the association should last forever. But if there’s not substantiate issue, it’s best to continue. A lot of brand owners, try to bring in their ego, and fool around with a good agency, in greed to exploit. 

Then there are others who are always “Window Shopping”. Or want to divide the work of their brand into more pieces than that of shattered glass. 

So, it’s a never-ending cycle.

The trick is… if you’ve got the right composition, don’t waste time tinkering with it. Just nurture it, water it, and let it blossom to give you results that you can’t even possibly imagine. 

Remember, if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.

5. How long should I continue my Digital Marketing Activities?

As long as you intend to keep your business alive. 

Well, they say that a business without promotion is like you winking at a girl in dark. Only you know what you’re doing.

Most business owners suffer from an ideology that once my business makes enough money, I’ll spend on Branding & Marketing activities. Unfortunately, it works the other way around.

So, once you begin to spend money on these activities, in the right way though, your business will begin to flourish. Your business will have more awareness. And that will in turn lead to more customers, over a period of time. The term “period of time” is crucial here. It all takes time.

Another big misconception we’ve got about our spends on any marketing activity is that if it’s not generating enough business, it’s not good. Well, there are tones of factors that determine whether a potential customer decides to give his details to you in the form of a lead or not. In cases of an e-commerce platform, there are varied other reasons why a potential customer would choose to buy from you.

It’s not always about the efforts by your Digital Marketing Agency. For all you know, you keep changing your agencies thinking, they are unable to crack this for you. And pretty late in the game you get to know that the issue is with your product, price, service, etc. It also depends on how your audience perceives your brand. And whether they find it valuable or not. 

For example, a brand like Coca Cola, doesn’t promote themselves thinking that every time you see one of their commercials, you’ll immediately buy a bottle of coke. That’s something they’d love though.

So, it’s a process. It’s called brand recall. It’s a slow and steady process of promoting or advertising your brand across various channels, thereby building a strong brand image. All this needs to team up with a good product or service though.

So, in most scenarios, business owners tend to forget the “intangible” brand-building impact their Agency’s marketing and advertising efforts will have. So, it’s not always about sales. And not about instant sales for sure. The journey of a customer is pretty long from the time they see your ad, to the time they repeatedly see your ad, to the time the slowly build a connection and an affinity with your brand, to the time see your ad again, and then have a recall, and finally make a purchase. So, you ought to be patient.

Remember, if your product or service is good, the only marketing effort, online or offline, that goes waste is the one that’s not consistent!

6. How to make optimum utilisation of every penny I spend on online marketing?

Firstly, make a comprehensive list of products/services that are highly profitable for you. Apart from this, focus on basics, and stuff that’s influenced by season, event, time-of-day, geographic location, and other such factors, etc. 

Share these details with your Digital Marketing Agency. Also, tell them openly about the challenges, draw-backs, points-of-differentiation, etc. An agency is like a doctor. The more the information you share with them, the better the results/treatment you can expect.

Next, don’t go for just vanity stuff.

For instance, a lot of people know that “content is king”. 

There was a time when the more the number of pages you’ve got on your website, the better the prospects of it ranking higher. The more the number of blogs you write, the higher the chances of it dominating the search results for you.

Now, some part of this still holds good though. But Google is highly focused on content that’s unique, original, interesting, and solves the customers’ problem.

So, there could be a website that posts a new crappy blog every other day, and then there’s one that publishes an excellent blog just once a week. There’s a good chance that the latter will rank higher. So, though there’s some emphasis on quantity, quality is still a more important factor. 

It leads us to those who want to upload 30 posts a month on their various Social Media Channels. Worse still, those who wish to post multiple times in a day. Well, there’s a Science behind posting. There’s also some common-sense needed.

A lot of Social Media Channels consider “over posting” as spam. Plus, when you upload content on your Social Channels and don’t spend a penny on promoting it, you and your family are the only ones who’re going to consume it. 

Did someone say vanity?

Bang on!

So, upload three posts a week or 4 posts a month. But make sure they’re all promoted. 

Now that doesn’t mean the organic reach is a myth. Or stuff doesn’t go viral. It certainly does.

But that’s for few rare pages and brands. 

7. What’s the fine print I should know about Search Engine Optimisation (SEO), Search Engine Marketing (SEM) & Social Media Marketing (SMM)?

Oh! It could be a good subject for another blog post. But we’ll try to answer this in brief.

Every channel comes with its pros and cons. Just because your friends are getting good results on Instagram, doesn’t mean you will too.

Let your agency do some research on this. Have some faith in them. Assist them with all the information about your business.

Search Engine Marketing is a long-term commitment. If you think, you’ll get someone on board for a few months, reach a good rank for various keywords or key phrases, and then you’re mistaken.

What most people know about Social Media is just half knowledge. It seems pretty easy. People think they can boost a post on their own, and avoid the expense of a Professional or an Agency. Well, just because someone roughly knows how the gears of car work, doesn’t mean they can be good drivers; rather safe drivers. Isn’t it?

It’s a similar scenario. To have half-baked information about boosting a post is one thing. To have complete in-depth knowledge about the subject is another. 

There’s way too much that goes behind the scenes in Social Media. It’s Science. It needs thinking. It needs experience, it needs common sense. It needs business understanding. Most importantly, one needs to be updated with the ever-changing landscape of Social Media. A good Agency can help you make the most of it.

Search Engine Marketing or SEM, on the other hand, is way beyond Social Media Marketing. It has infinite permutations and combinations. It’s an ocean. And it’s changing rapidly too. If one doesn’t keep themselves abreast with all the updates and changes, they might lose the game.

Also, most of your Digital Marketing activities will have an impact on each other. For instance, your Social Media Engagement does have an affect on your Brand. It is thereby impacting your SEO. 

Bonus Tip:

In our day-to-day business activities, at times, we forget who we’re working for. The end customer who pays to buy your product or service is, and will always remain, the hero of every story. So, stop making your Marketing activities centred around you unless you want to end up being your only customer! 

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