Let’s face it, online marketing is here to stay. As a business owner, you cannot do without online marketing if you hope to succeed in a world where millions of people are now using digital platforms to search for goods and services besides interacting with friends and family. The digital world has become the number one source of information and news about the latest brands, products, and services. However, creating and maintaining a strong online presence in a fiercely competitive digital world is becoming more challenging by the day, especially in vibrant markets such as Singapore. To stay ahead of the competition, you will need a lot more than just a website and social media profiles. If the task gets too daunting, the fact is that you will need the help of an online marketing agency to succeed.
So what exactly does an online marketing agency do? In most cases, the primary function of such an agency is to help you achieve three main things:
- Enhance your company’s online presence
- Assist you with your market research activities
- Integrate your online platforms and social profiles into your overall marketing strategy.
An online marketing agency achieves the three abovementioned objectives through a multitude of avenues which include the following:
- Website design and optimization - This involves designing and developing websites that are optimized for both visitors and search engines. Most online marketing initiatives start with a website which is the online face of your business. It is, therefore, advisable to let a professional online marketing agency handle your web design tasks to ensure you get the best results.
- Content creation and optimization - In a competitive country like Singapore whereby brands are constantly competing for consumers’ attention, having an effective and up-to-date content marketing strategy is key. An online marketing agency ensures that you get the most engaging, relevant and keyword rich content that will not only drive traffic to your social media pages and website thereby leading to increased conversions.
- Market research - An online marketing agency conducts research on current and upcoming trends in the market on behalf of its clients. Every business owner wishes to know what is happening on the ground, what kind of opinions customers have about products and services, and which products are selling. Online marketing agencies can conduct research and compile data that clients can use to shape their campaigns to fit the existing market conditions.
- App development - The world has gone mobile and apps are constantly being created alongside websites. An online marketing agency will help design and develop the best app for your business to increase your engagement with existing and potential customers.
- Search engine marketing - This consists of search engine optimization (SEO) and paid search through platforms such as AdWords. SEO consists of increasing a website’s organic rank over a period of time and is more of a mid term strategy. Paid search on the other hand displays your ad almost instantaneously on top of organic results through a pay-per-click (PPC) model, and is more of a short term strategy. Search engine marketing (SEM) as a whole is a core service for most online marketing agencies.
- Social media marketing - Creating and maintaining effective social media profiles can make a big difference between the success and failure of your campaigns. An online marketing agency will be able to help with maintaining your social media profiles to constantly engage audiences. If social media ads are used, they will leverage on the wide variety of demographic options to raise awareness of your social media profiles and/or drive traffic to your website.
- Branding - An online marketing agency can also develop your brand identity and raise its awareness on a wide variety of digital platforms that range from search to social media and display ads on third party websites.
- Placement of online ads - The paid ads game can be pretty complicated if you are unfamiliar with the platforms available. Online marketing agencies that have been in the paid ads game long enough know how and where they can place banners or paid search ads to get you an optimal return on investment (ROI).
- Tracking and reporting performance of marketing campaigns - A business that operates without accurate tracking and reporting systems is like a person shooting darts in the dark. If you do not know where the bullseye is located, how are you going to take aim? The same applies for any marketing initiative; having the appropriate tools, technology, and skills to measure every single variable of digital campaigns are of absolute importance.
While many companies may not actually need all of the above services, every full service online marketing agency in Singapore or elsewhere in the world serves its clients with a majority of these services and plenty more according to the unique needs of its clients. Should you go ahead with hiring one, it is equally important to remember that nobody knows your company or brand better than you do; so as you delegate your online marketing needs to the agency, be sure to stay updated on the progress being made to ensure that you get the best value for money. As marketing can be an expensive venture that involves many variables, you certainly do not want to complicate it any further. Hence, it could be a better idea to engage the services of an online marketing agency and get assured returns rather than trying things out on your own.