It’s more important than ever for any business to beef up its digital marketing. The problem is, it’s not easy. It’s difficult to learn about every digital marketing tool and channel out there. And once you do, it’s even more difficult to choose which are worth allocating time and money towards. Plus, there is always more that you can do, leaving many business owners stressed out and overwhelmed. Indeed, website design, eCommerce platforms, product images and descriptions, social media ads, content marketing, SEO tools, email marketing, search engine advertising, and video creation are just a handful of the ways that retail businesses should be using with their digital marketing strategies.
Luckily for you, however, there are digital marketing agencies that can help your business succeed. And they can cater to exactly what your store needs. Below, we’ll look at how to select the right digital marketing agency for your retail business.
Why Digital Marketing for Retail Is Important
The amount of people online grows every year. And the amount of time the average person is spending online is growing even more sharply. 77% of Americans are online every day, including 26% who say they’re online nearly all day long.
Not only are consumers online much more often, but the marketing reach can be much more targeted. More traditional forms of marketing were much more simple: reach a massive audience and hope for just a small conversion rate. More modern forms of digital marketing allow businesses to reach a smaller, but more targeted audience. This keeps your costs down and your conversion rates high.
Finally, you can track the data from beginning to end. This allows you to tweak your content and audience in ways that will make your marketing strategy more efficient in the future. Additionally, it will help you manage your budget by giving you your return on investment (ROI) for each campaign.
Reasons It Might Be Worth Hiring a Digital Marketing Agency
The field of digital marketing is changing incredibly rapidly. No business owner has time to keep up with the most recent trends, new platforms, and powerful tools.
What’s more, an incredible amount of traffic is generated through Google searches. In fact, nearly two-thirds of all internet traffic begins at a search engine. And the vast majority of that (90%) is from Google.
Increasing your digital marketing presence can open up your business for incredible growth. Even hiring an expensive agency is worth it if your growth surpasses the costs of the services. Look for companies that have a proven record of great ROI on various marketing channels.
The Types of Marketing That Agencies Can Help Your Retail Business With
There is a wide range of services available to businesses looking to increase their digital advertising. While we don’t have time to cover all of them, let’s consider some of the most common services that retailers look for from an agency.
1. Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
SEO is all about anticipating what your customer will ask a search engine and then getting your articles or landing pages to rank highly for those terms. Sounds simple, but it’s vastly nuanced. Google considers over 200 unique factors when determining each page rank. And they edit their algorithm 500-600 times each year.
For a more in-depth look at how SEO works, check out our guide to SEO for retailers.
2. Google Adwords
Simply put, this is just paying for SEO. Businesses can pay Google to have their page pop up first on a search result. Of course, it will come with a label indicating that it’s a paid ad, but it will still be at the top of the page. Google structures its rates around the quality of the page. If you have a successful page that already does well, your Adwords rates will lessen. Again, a digital marketing agency will optimize your budget and monitor your ROI to ensure successful campaigns.
3. Social Media Ads
It’s hard enough to keep up with your posts and audience engagement on various social media channels. It’s unlikely you have time to manage some of the finer details. Paid advertising on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, etc. allow you to target ads based on interests, geographical location, job, age, life events, and even status updates. But it’s also important to consider alternative marketing strategies to social media.
YouTube advertising can also be catered to certain audiences just like social media marketing. And the streaming service reaches an incredible number of people, especially younger consumers. Plus, video marketing reaches an engaged audience, making it a marketing avenue with a proven ROI. YouTube videos also directly improve your SEO. But again, few small businesses have the time, skills, and resources to put together quality videos. Digital marketers can keep your channel professional and active for a fair price.
A more traditional form of digital marketing, email marketing is perhaps the easiest and most surefire investment of this bunch. The hardest part is building your list. Some basic services can help with your platform, template, and segmentation, but marketing agencies can build bigger lists faster, getting many more conversions for your business.
Ask the Right Questions About Your Digital Marketing Needs
1. Determine what your marketing needs will be
Will you need a website overhaul? Paid advertising? Detailed analytics? What can you and your current team manage and what should be done by an outside agency?
2. Figure out your budget
You must determine what you can spend up front, as well as how much you’re able to spend in light of your potential ROI. It’s hard to determine exactly how much everything will cost, so be as flexible as your budget allows you to be.
3. Look at the agency’s website, too
If they’re going to be running your digital marketing, they should have a great website, social media channels, and keyword ranking.
4. Determine which metrics are important for your retail business and what your overall goals are
Are you concerned with the average time spent on your site, the total page views, the number of unique visitors, click-through rates, or bounce rates, to name a few? Make sure you have your priorities listed so that you can get the right marketing agency.
5. Ask the agency exactly how they plan to help your business achieve the goals
Look for detailed and in-depth responses to your questions. An agency should come to the discussion prepared and able to respond to your unique needs. It also shows that you expect complete transparency throughout the whole process.
6. Decide which tasks will be completed in-house and which will be outsourced
Many companies have a marketing team that writes the majority of the content, while a digital agency directs them what content to write. Others outsource everything.
7. Consider their company attitude and mission
You’ll be working with this group of people for a large amount of time. So it’s important that you have common goals and good rapport. Getting off to a good start as a team is critical for future success.
How to Measure the Success of Your Digital Advertising Agency
Remember that big changes do not happen overnight. Implementing new marketing channels and making some big changes might not realize results for months or even years.
After you’ve done all of your initial research in the agency and feel confident that they’re a good fit, make sure that you’re comfortable with their overall process.
Marketing strategies can vary from business to business, but they should be following a basic template:
- Research and determine a basic plan
- Get more in-depth with your brand and business
- Determine specific plans and strategies
- Execute and track results
- A./B test, adapt and adjust to the outcome
Make sure that you set up a clean system of communication throughout so that you can feel confident that you’re getting a great service throughout the process. But also trust that the agency knows what they’re doing. You did the preliminary research, so listen to their suggestions and trust their expertise.
Get the Right POS System for Analyzing Digital Marketing Campaigns
Your digital marketing is just one operation out of many that keep your business running successfully. We’ve written a lot about how our retailers can improve their marketing strategies. Our retail POS software is built to help you analyze the success of marketing campaigns. It’s easy to produce detailed, specific reports that show you what worked and what didn’t. And we’re here to walk you through each step of the way so that you’re getting the only the very best.
Here are a few other marketing guides, too: