A digital agency is a business who takes on the responsibility of establishing and maintaining your online presence. Most digital agencies will offer services which include, optimising your website, increasing your organic rank, managing your PPC campaigns, collecting and analysing your data as well as other services. But the same questions are still getting asked; Is it worth hiring a digital agency? If so, how much should I pay?
To answer these questions, we need to consider“return on investment” (ROI). By definition, ROI, is a performance measure which is used to assess the efficiency of the money you have invested. It measures the financial value an investment returns, against the total value of the investment. This metric is what’s key in identifying whether a digital agency is value for money.
Below are 5 reasons why hiring a digital agency is value for money
1. Saves you time and resources
For a business, time is quite literally, money. There is nothing more frustrating than not having enough of it, and so the first direct return on investment you’d be getting, is the freeing of your time and resources.
Digital marketing isn’t a one-time job. It requires constant work and refinement in order to be successful in the long term. So, by hiring an agency, you can delegate the time and resources of your business and employees elsewhere.
2. Hiring an in-house team works out to be more expensive
While it may appear cheaper to hire an in-house marketing team, the reality is quite the contrary. Most will believe that because an in-house employee spends every day in the office, working a dedicated number of hours a week, that it works out to be greater value for money. However, if you were to hire staff to take care of your digital needs, you would have to invest in an entire digital team who obtain a range of skills, which is both hard to find and expensive.
Then there’s the issue of recruitment and training. This process is guaranteed to incur a hefty number of fees, and plays a significant factor when calculating your ROI. Investopedia carried out a study, and learned that the true cost of an in-house employee is 1.5 to 3 times their salary when taking things like benefits, bonuses and insurance into account. The study also found that on average it takes a “typical mid-level manager” over 6 months to start showing a positive ROI.
These are all issues that won’t occur when hiring a digital agency. In regards to cost, even though agencies will usually charge a relatively large monthly retainer, the cost is transparent and encompasses all the services they offer within it. This means that costs remain consistent, and make it easier to assess your ROI.
Secondly, an agency will already have the knowledge and expertise to get straight to work without any training required. Not only does this save you money, but it also means you get an immediate ROI.
3. More leads with a higher chance of conversion
Digital agencies will offer a variety of services, however most will have the objective to both increase traffic coming into your website, as well as increasing the number of returning customers. The aim is not to just bring anyone to your website, but to target demographics that are more likely to be converted into a customer, which is all based on analytical research.
Despite what some agencies may tell you, none can guarantee sales. What an agency can do, however, is increase the chances of converting a visitor into a lead. A digital agency achieves this by understanding the metrics a business uses to measure their success, and then optimising the website and digital strategy accordingly.
So, what you’re paying for, essentially, is an influx of leads that have been targeted using technical and behavioural research, which should (if the strategy is right) increase the number of conversions on your website.
4. Analytics implementation can streamline your spending
With digital marketing becoming more commonly used, the competition is greater than it has ever been. This has resulted in it becoming harder to stand out, and many businesses have resorted to increasing their marketing budget in order to remain competitive. This has caused managers to be more concerned with their data, and interpreting it in a way to provide insights that can help improve their digital strategy.
An agency that specialises in Analytics, can not only help generate more traffic for your website, but also provide you valuable judgment into the behaviour of your visitors. Analytics can tell you which parts of your website people are responding well to, and which areas need work, which allows you to adjust your budget allocation and invest your resources into the areas that are required.
Analytics also allows you to understand your target audience in a way no other tool can. Having this information means your marketing spend can become streamlined to focus only on consumers most likely to buy your product rather than targeting a broad demographic of people.
Overall, the insights provided by Analytics help prevent a wastage of spending. Rather than coming up with theories as to why you may not be performing as well as you expected, and then aimlessly spending to resolve these issues, your data provides you with the answers to enhance your ROI.
5. Less money is wasted on PPC campaigns
Pay-per-click (PPC) advertising has become one of the most popular forms of online marketing within the industry. Using PPC, you are charged only when an individual clicks on your ad, which basically means you are paying for visitors to come on to your website.
When it comes to PPC campaigns, Google AdWords control over 60% of the market making it comfortably the most used platform for paid online advertising. By the end of 2015, over £8.6 billion had been spent on online advertising, and this figure has continued to rise.
However, the actual bid is only half of the strategy. Google ranks an ad on two variables: The bid itself and the ad’s “quality score”. Your quality score takes into account how user friendly the landing page of the ad is, as well as how relevant the content on that page is to the ad. Having a higher quality score enables you to pay less per-click whilst still ranking. In order to achieve a high quality score, an understanding of Google’s algorithm is required, in addition to having the technical expertise to fulfil the criteria.
Although, this doesn’t mean anyone can use it to get results, there is an art to it. A successful PPC campaign requires extensive keyword research, as well as constant refinement. A digital agency can utilise Analytics data to understand why a campaign might not be performing well, and then take the steps necessary to optimise this process.
Pay-per-click advertising is more expensive than it’s ever been, making it more important to have experts taking care of your campaigns, to minimise costs and maximise returns.
If you’re an online business in 2017, Digital marketing is a must. Whether you decide to take on a digital agency, or hire an in-house team will depend on your budget, objectives and strategy. However, if you do decide working with an agency is the way forward, then it is vital they take the time out to understand your business and its goals, in order to streamline your digital strategy with your company vision.