6 Things to Avoid When Hiring a Marketing Agency

... for a local business

For anyone who’s not an expert in this field, marketing strategies, SEO or social media can be like a maze. If that’s the case, navigating through it can get super difficult sometimes. However, that’s okay! Marketing agencies exist exactly for that reason — to help business owners and entrepreneurs efficiently use their business’s potential in the name of marketing. Naturally, you want your business to grow. You decided that it’s time for you or your firm to start working with a marketing agency. Good for you! But where do you start? How can you make sure that you choose the right one? There are so many questions that might seem tricky, but this list of things you should avoid will answer the most crucial ones.

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1. Research, research, research

All of us have been there- Not knowing what to do and what to look for in a field that we don’t really know that much about yet. It can feel that way in this kind of situation, as well. Of course, your choice needs to be wise because you are aiming for good results. Nobody ever hired a marketing agency thinking it wouldn’t be a gain. Spend your time looking through the internet. Don’t just go for the first link that pops up on Google because that’s usually not the right one. There’s a difference between organic and paid search results. Once you find an agency that catches your eye, don’t only go through their website. Look for customer reviews, use platforms like Quora to find information, read their blog if they have it, maybe even talk to someone they already work with or have worked with. Not doing your research could seriously hurt your progress. Learn more about them and make sure they offer exactly what your business needs.

2. All that glitters is not gold

Almost everybody has heard this saying and let’s just say it applies in marketing as well. “No marketing agency is perfect.” There isn’t any special key to SEO, Facebook Ads, emailing or any other marketing channel, that only they understand. Do they promise you’ll have “super fast results”? All the offers that seem way too good to be true ARE most likely too good to be true. Making your marketing strategies work is a process that takes some time. No agency can offer “the secret” to efficient marketing because there is no secret. Every business needs a different strategy and that’s a fact. Your marketing agency has to be the one that can do the most for your business specifically. They should be eager to learn about it and then work with it based on the business’s character.

3. Don’t go for the cheap

When it comes to buying things, it’s not a rule that choosing the cheap product is always a bad idea. But with marketing? Absolutely. You get what you pay for and it usually doesn’t work the other way round. If you find an agency that’s very cheap next to the other ones and offers amazing results and attractive service, but doesn’t have anything to prove it with, run away. These things don’t just happen. They most likely use black-hat techniques that could do more harm than good to your business and might get you penalized. It’s definitely better to pay for quality instead of going the way that looks easiest at first, but it almost always gets more complicated later.

4. Don’t pass on asking questions

Once you choose an agency and reach out to them, don’t hesitate to ask questions. Yes, it seems obvious, but this is actually a common mistake that many people do. Maybe they feel like they should know the answer, and asking about things they don’t understand could make them look like an amateur, but there’s nothing wrong with not knowing the answers. Be curious. You want these people to help your business prosper. You should know who you’re dealing with, just like they need to know as much about your work as possible. Before you come to the first meeting or do the first call, prepare your questions and everything you want to know.

5. Why stay local?

Your business may be local, but that doesn’t mean the marketing agency has to be too. Being good at the job and being from your city has nothing to do with each other. I’m not saying that your local marketing agency can’t be the best one for you, but if there aren’t any around that can meet your goals, don’t worry. The great thing about “online” is that it’s reachable from everywhere. Of course, face-to-face communication is precious and it’s certainly better if you can do it that way, but it shouldn’t limit you. Choosing your online marketing agency doesn’t depend on meeting in person. You can arrange a video call, write emails and use many different tools (like Google Sheets or Cyfe) that make the work easier.

6. Is the result worth the price?

It’s not necessary to know the exact amount of money you’ll be spending on online marketing, but you definitely need a clear budget before working with an agency. Services of most agencies are expensive, so that’s something you should think about before you engage with one of them. Going for an agency that’s too expensive isn’t the best choice, because businesses simply have to manage their budgets in order to thrive. On the other hand, hiring a marketing agency for their low price can cost you much more in the end. Quality takes time and time costs money. If you decide to work with an agency, make sure the price/ performance ratio meets your expectations.

Nobody can give you the exact guide to choosing a marketing agency to work with because every business is different and every business has specific priorities. First, you have to know what these are and then find the agency that can work with your priorities best. Think of everything you want to accomplish by collaborating with the agency. If your vision is clear, searching for your perfect marketing agency gets much easier. Don’t be discouraged if it takes a while because the result will be worth it.

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How to Choose the Right Online Channel for Your Business

The benefits of online marketing are: marketing perspective (obviously) which leads to customer engagement, building the brand, product discovery and all of these increase the amount of purchases. Online marketing can be done almost everywhere on the internet, so the question you may have is should you go for email, Facebook, Linkedin, Twitter or Bing? Is the “I don't know where to start” holding you back?


Most businesses have already begun to harness the unique features of social media marketing. These businesses spend as little as 6 hours per week and over 66% of businesses enjoy lead generation benefits with social media. So do not wait! A properly executed social media strategy can improve your business' search rankings, drive more website traffic and increase conversion rates. 


“Internet access has become vital for communication, obtaining information, job-searching, and participation in an ever-changing world economy. The United States, the fourth largest country (by land mass) in the world, is no exception. With over 312 million internet users as of 2018, it is one of the largest online markets worldwide” says Statista.com


It's obvious you are supposed to boost your business online, as well! So how do you find the best online channel for your business? 



Find out:

1) Who is your target audience? Do you know who you should have in mind as your ideal buyer? What are their needs, what do they desire, how and when they like to consume content, and through which channels? To answer these questions, it's extremely helpful to create buyer personas. The personas are developed based on a combination of customer behavior and your understanding of their motivations and challenges. In the process of creating these personas, you’ll gain valuable knowledge about your audience. You will discover the communication style that works for them, and the ways in which they like to consume content. Also, you can find out the ideal price they are most likely to pay for your product. Learn how to create your buyer persona.


2) What are your social media strategy objectives? Being able to link your social media channels to your strategy’s high level objectives is essential. If you can’t explain why or how a particular channel will help you achieve your goals, then it’s more than likely you shouldn’t use it. It would be a waste of time. Always remember that the purpose of your chosen social media channels is to support the achievement of your strategic goals.

3) What channels are the people from your target audience using? After you’ve set social media strategy objectives, you need to consider where your audience is interacting online. For instance, it could be deemed wasted effort if your largest customer segment is composed of retired people and you chose Tik Tok as your prime channel.  


Similarly, it may not be very effective to establish your brand on Facebook if you’re only targeting teenagers. The most effective social media strategies are informed by social media demographics. 


Use data-driven insights to ensure that your strategy, and the channels you choose, facilitate the most relevant, targeted approach possible. This will help increase the chance for conversions. 


To sum it up, when choosing your social media channels, always base your decisions on demographic data, don't just go with the flow of trends. 


Define: What kind of content do you want to create? This is a relevant question as there are a bunch of different content formats you can use – some of which will complement your business goals and brand identity, and some that won’t. Certain content formats will be more suited to particular social channels than others. 


At the end of the day, personas tell you where buyers prefer to get their information. Are they bookworms? Do they like to sink their teeth into 100-page guides, or do they prefer short, concise texts and easy graphics? This information will help you set the way you create your content for each persona and how your buyers will discover it. The same goes for your creatives. Some of the people won't watch a video, some will only respond to a colorful picture and some only to a call to action post. Create content that will engage your buyers more effectively. 


Don't stick to one channel!

As social media has become more integrated into daily life, people are starting to use more than just one network. According to Pew Research Center, more than one-half of adults have their profiles on various social platforms. Most of the brands also administer more than one channel.


If you haven’t yet chosen any channels, or you’d like to expand into other platforms, the Pew Research Center have conducted an analysis that outlines the key demographics for a number of social media platforms. 


Let's talk about the most common channels, so you have some ideas when picking the right ones for your business.


Demography 

Facebook -  very common! 72% of adult internet users and 62% of the entire adult population. 70% of Facebook users visit the platform daily.

Pinterest - It's growing! It's mostly used by women. 31% of adult internet users and 26% of the entire adult population. 27% of Pinterest users use the site daily. 

Instagram - online women are more likely to use Instagram than online men (31% vs. 24%) and 28% of internet users. 59% of users visit the platform daily.

Linkedin - 25% of adult internet users. And 41% of LinkedIn users earn a salary over $75,000! LinkedIn is the only major social media platform for which usage rates are higher among 30- to 49-year-olds than among 18- to 29-year-olds. 22% of daily users. 

Twitter - 23% of all internet users. Internet users living in urban areas are more likely than their suburban or rural counterparts to use Twitter. Twitter is more popular among younger adults — 30% of online adults under 50 use Twitter, compared with 11% of online adults ages 50 and older. 38% of those on Twitter use the site daily.


Are you interested in more information about the demographic of the channels? Check this analysis.


Ask yourself: What is my product/ service? Who is the ideal buyer? Where are they? What content do they like?


Once you know who you are targeting, it's easy to find out which channel or channels to use. 


Also, you can adjust your content to that channel as well as to the audience you are talking to. Once you know who you are talking to, focus on your target audience’s needs and preferences. Your created personas will help you understand your audience’s concerns, preferences, and goals. When you know these, you are able to create content your buyers will find engaging, relevant, entertaining and valuable. Personas help you determine that very sort of content you will need.


Remember:

Because you already know who you are talking to, set the tone, style, and delivery strategies for your content according to your personas. For example, some buyers respond best to a friendly, conversational voice, with some jokes and questions, while others trust a more formal tone and serious negotiation. By creating your personas, you’ll determine the best tone and style for your content. You can even target the topics you should be writing about for each persona. 


Don't try to manage every single channel out there. It will be exhausting, chaotic, time consuming and, most likely, your audience is probably not active on every channel. Pick two to three of them, that are most suitable for your buyer, aka marketing persona, and stick to them. Manage them continuously, engage with people! Plan your posts, represent your brand identity, and track important metrics! When you're ready to manage your growing community, check out this article.

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10 Best Tips to Get More Followers on Instagram

Do you run your Instagram account, but see it is not as successful as other businesses' profiles? 


Building up a community on Instagram is really difficult and it takes a long time to gain followers who are engaging with your content. To find your followers, it is crucial to maintain content that is relevant, entertaining, consistent and frequent. Once you master this, you can start to build a larger following of Instagram users for your profile.


So what can you do to get more followers?


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How to Create a Facebook Business Page

This is a short guidance on how to create your business page. As mentioned in the article about facebook formats, the business page is sort of a profile of your business. Once it is set up, you can post any promotion, funny story, new opening hours or whatever you find relevant there.

Creating the page itself is not difficult. You only need your Facebook profile. In the upper bar on your profile, find the button “Create” and select “Page”. Choose “business or brand” and then enter all the needed info.

You will be asked for the page name, your business address (it does not have to be shown to anyone), your profile picture, as well as the cover picture. As you can see in the picture below.

Facebook business page
4 Easy Steps to Get Started

When you enter all the information, you can start building the content of the page and then start inviting people. In the upper bar you can go, for example, to your inbox to check your messages, in the Insights section you can see how posts and the page perform overall, and in the publishing tools, you can schedule your posts as we explained in the previous article about community management.

Facebook Business Page
Newly Created Facebook Business Page

If there is a specific action you want the visitors of your page to make, you can add a button for “Shop now”, “Contact us”, “Download game/app”, and plenty of other options. It is handy and makes the page look professional.

Facebook Page Button
Adding Facebook Page Button

It is very easy to add any piece of content to your business page, but sometimes it is confusing to switch between your profile and the page. Lots of entrepreneurs struggle with posting personal things on their business page and vice versa :). Don’t forget to switch between profile and page! On your mobile phone you can find your page on your hamburger menu. On the desktop, you can switch to it in the upper bar by clicking the little arrow.


Manage Facebook business Pages
Find the Facebook Pages You Manage

Creating a page is not a big deal, right? To use the whole potential of Facebook for businesses, you should create a business manager account, as well as, an ad account to be able to run your paid ad campaigns. Regarding Facebook advertising, you can find complex info in our e-book!


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How to Market Real Estate on Social Media

One of the main problems of real estate agents, is getting listings. To make it work, you shouldn’t just focus on your website. Social media and the online world, overall, could be a marvelous extension of the brand you present yourself as offline. If you take advantage of its options, you’ll reach more people, build trust and most importantly - sell.


Here are a few things you should know about social media marketing for real estate. 


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5 Common Online Marketing Mistakes That Entrepreneurs Make

Do you want to squeeze more out of online marketing? That's always a good idea. Bear in mind these faults so your effort will not come in vain.

Avoid these 5 things that Entrepreneurs Make
Avoid these 5 things
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7 Key Reasons Why Your Facebook Ads Don't Convert

We have all been there- investing into an ad that simply does not convert! We spend hours trying to figure out where the pain point lies and NOT being able to get it right… Your goal, as a business owner or marketer, is to get the most out of the investment that you put into any marketing campaign, right? Marketers call it the ROAS – return on ad spend. We are lucky to cooperate with many businesses that continually generate revenue on Facebook and, thus, grow their business. Thanks to this valuable data, we are able to bring you the 7 Key Reasons Why Your Facebook Ads Don't Convert. Let's dive in!


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