Before we can begin to answer this question, we need to make sure that one thing is clear: what is digital marketing?
Digital marketing is an umbrella term that encompasses all kind of activity which takes place online to promote your brand, or to drive sales. Any company wanting to reach out to an audience nowadays, needs to have a digital presence.
The world has gone digital, and traditional marketing methods are no longer as effective and efficient as in previous years; and the more time passes, the more this becomes more evident.
Nowadays, everyone is on their phones, thanks to the introduction and constant development of smart phones; when just a few years ago, much of the activity done online was carried out through laptops and stand-alone computers.
Today, it’s all about being able to type in two words in a search engine to get an immediate answer.
Need to know the nearest take-out to you? Google it.
Need to know where you can go to buy yourself a new dress for an upcoming wedding? Google it.
Everything you need is just one click away.
So, are you a click away from people finding you? Well it all depends on how good your online presence is, and this does not just concern one factor, but multiple factors.
From the quality and ranking of your website, to your social media game, to your budget control on paid advertising.
Now to handle all these different channels, there are two ways how you can go about it.
• You can either hire a full service digital marketing agency, or
• You can hire multiple niche agencies.
But the question is, which is the better option?
In order to answer this question, we need to look at what the two different kinds of methodologies can offer.
Hiring Multiple Niche Agencies
What is a Niche Agency?
As the term implies, a niche agency is one that focuses solely on one area.
For example, one agency will be able to handle your website design and development, another one your search engine optimisation and search engine marketing, another one your content writing… and lest we forget the social media part which can get even more complicated.
Some niche agencies, will solely focus on one platform, and not on social media on the whole. Therefore you can have an agency that handles your Twitter account, another one focusing on your Instagram account and yet another for your Facebook account.
Specification is important however, when a company’s needs is not limited to one or two areas, but is open to many different ones, this will prove to be difficult. You would need to be in contact with all the agencies, and remember – there is no communication in between.
For instance, a business’ Instagram account would be handled by one agency, and the Facebook page will be handled by another agency. Now, while this might reap benefits in terms of specification and personalisation, on the other hand it might suffer consistency and continuation.
What do we mean by this?
Easy! Should you wish to promote an upcoming event or product, if one agency is in charge of handling both accounts, as well as other channels and the website itself, this product or event can be easily promoted across all channels simultaneously, with channels also crossing over each other, for example: sharing an Instagram post on Facebook.
On the other hand, with niche agencies, sharing is confined to that one particular channel; and with regards to consistency, it will be your job and duty to advise each and every company to post about that particular product or event on their respective channels.
Now, one post here and there is one thing; but if you are the kind of company where you need to be in constant communication with your agency, providing them with content or requesting particular work to be done, then managing different agencies at once might not be the ideal option for you.
Not to mention, making sure that your brand voice matches across all these different channels! While niche agencies will be very well-versed in how they should address the audience of a particular social media network, on the other hand, you risk that your brand’s voice varies from one channel to another.
Social media aside, imagine having your website designed by one agency but have the content writing and search engine optimisation done by another agency.
First off, there are way too many people having access to your website. This is not a very ideal situation – what if something were to happen, where would you start? Second of all, website design and development plays a crucial role in SEO – and so, changes to the website can either help or hinder SEO.
In a full service digital marketing agency, this would prove to be no problem at all, for the departments are in easy communication with each other; however when you cross agencies, it is an entirely different story. In this case, you would need several employees to be responsible for keeping in contact and create communication between them.
Therefore, the bottom line is that, unless your business rides most especially on one particular aspect of online presence, then you are better off considering hiring a full service digital marketing agency.
Hiring a Full Service Digital Marketing Agency
What is a full service digital marketing agency?
A full service digital marketing agency is one that manages all aspects of a company’s online presence. This kind of agency would have different departments that focus on one area, for example a department for design, website development, content writing, social media management, SEO and SEM.
Thus, the agency’s aim is to come up with a holistic strategy for a company, whereby they define their KPI, and evaluate how each and every department can help in the accomplishment of this end goal.
For example, a start-up company would first need an eye-catching, user and mobile-friendly design for a website which would be handled by the UX and design team, then the website would move into development, whilst preparations are underway in the SEO and content writing departments, as well as the SEM department.
The social media channels following suit, with the strategy kickstarting in coordination with the other departments.
Hence, the “full service” is exactly what it entails. A holistic strategy, that consists of these sub-strategies according to the area. Your company would benefit from:
• A UX and design strategy
• A content strategy
• An SEO strategy
• An SEM strategy
• A Social Media strategy
… and the best part is that you get all this in one place. No hassle. No stress.
Niche or Full Service Digital Agency?
Needless to say, only you can see what is best for your company, and the first step you need to take to make this decision, is to sit down and think carefully about what your company goals are.
What is your top priority? What kind of business are you? What would a business like yours need to create a digital presence?
Of course, niche agencies are nice for a reason – they live and breathe their specific area of work. If 90% of your audience lives on one particular network, say Facebook, then in that case hiring a niche agency might work well for you.
If you want your brand however, to go viral, be present and accessible across multiple channels at the same time, whether it is through organic or paid search, through email marketing or different social media platforms, then your best option would be a full service digital agency.
This will not only guarantee a wide online presence, but it also ensures a smooth operation and constant communication between the digital agency and your business.
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