Tag Archive | "Agency"

Will Swayne: How Agency Owners Can Use Their Skills To Start New Side Companies

 [ Download MP3 | Transcript | iTunes | Soundcloud | Raw RSS ] All the way back in 2005, Will Swayne appeared on my podcast as my first ever interview guest. Before then I’d only done short solo episodes. Will had started a direct response internet marketing company called MarketingResults.com.au, and we talked for 20 […]

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SearchCap: Digital agency survey & more

Below is what happened in search today, as reported on Search Engine Land and from other places across the web.



Please visit Search Engine Land for the full article.


Search Engine Land: News & Info About SEO, PPC, SEM, Search Engines & Search Marketing

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SearchCap: Bing fact checking, Google mobile tips & Bing agency awards

Below is what happened in search today, as reported on Search Engine Land and from other places across the web.

The post SearchCap: Bing fact checking, Google mobile tips & Bing agency awards appeared first on Search Engine Land.



Please visit Search Engine Land for the full article.


Search Engine Land: News & Info About SEO, PPC, SEM, Search Engines & Search Marketing

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Spark Foundry takes home Bing’s 2017 Agency of the Year & Innovator of the Year awards

Hosted by the Daily Show’s Trevor Noah, Bing’s 2017 Agency Awards event celebrated “the practice of search” by recognizing key executives and agencies.

The post Spark Foundry takes home Bing’s 2017 Agency of the Year & Innovator of the Year awards appeared first on Search Engine Land.



Please visit Search Engine Land for the full article.


Search Engine Land: News & Info About SEO, PPC, SEM, Search Engines & Search Marketing

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SearchCap: AMP data, agency relationships & hip hop Doodles

Below is what happened in search today, as reported on Search Engine Land and from other places across the web.

The post SearchCap: AMP data, agency relationships & hip hop Doodles appeared first on Search Engine Land.



Please visit Search Engine Land for the full article.


Search Engine Land: News & Info About SEO, PPC, SEM, Search Engines & Search Marketing

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7 Tips in Choosing the Right Digital Marketing Agency

Digital marketing might have already passed its peak and is currently on the downslide. In the future, it’s likely that robots and machine-learning will dominate the advertising sphere, which would make human intervention almost irrelevant.

Nevertheless, it appears as if its death is greatly exaggerated—in the near future at least. The rise of e-commerce, as brick and mortar stores are closing at a rapid pace, does highlight the need to hire a digital marketing agency to drive traffic to your site, and more importantly, convert this traffic into sales.

You might say, “I can do this myself. How hard can that be?” This has to be one of the most common phrases uttered by businesses before quickly realizing their mistake when their self-initiated marketing strategy goes down in flames.

If you do decide to hire a digital marketing agency, here are seven tips in choosing one:

1. Narrow Down Your Goals  

It’s going to be hard to craft a focused digital marketing campaign when you don’t know what your targets are. Do you have a specific amount of monthly traffic in mind? Do you want to land among the top results in search engine pages? Do you want a data report to determine where you are in your industry? It’s important that the digital marketing agency is able to provide you with all of these options.

2. Don’t Get Too Hung Up on Price

Sure, price is definitely going to be a factor when hiring somebody to handle your marketing campaign, especially if you are on a tight budget. But this should not be a deal-breaker. Avoid making the mistake of hiring somebody because they are the cheapest when they bring little value to the table.

3. Look for Someone You Understand

 If you walk out more confused than when you walked in, it’s time to walk away and never look back. Be wary of
agencies that can’t give you straight answers to simple questions, or try to regale you with technical terms and jargon without really explaining anything.

4. Don’t Forget the Expert

Executives like to talk to fellow execs, and that’s understandable. During meetings, you are likely going to talk to the top honchos of the digital marketing agency. But really, they are not going to be the ones who will do the heavy lifting. Try to find the one who will be assigned to your account and deal with that person directly.

5. Vet, Vet, Vet

Always take their word at face value. When you hire your employees, you always ask for their CVs and conduct extensive background checks. It’s the same with digital marketers who have to prove their capability to handle your account. Ask for references and talk to those clients personally. Would they recommend the company to you?

6. Look Forward to the Future

 You have to grow with the digital marketing agency. Be straightforward with each other in the effort to boost your numbers. You need somebody who will think of your company as a showcase of their best practices, and not just a means to earn a profit. If the agency doesn’t return calls immediately, you could be down the totem pole in terms of their priority.

7. Check Your Ego

 Some executives and supervisors are too proud to admit their ignorance. If you can’t understand what the digital marketing agency is saying, just ask. If you want something done but you’re not sure how to do it, collaborate.­ The success of the marketing campaign should not be the sole responsibility of the third-party provider. This is your business and you, more than anybody out there, has the biggest stake in the outcome.

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The SEM agency is dying (and what to do about it)

Search engine marketing is an ever-changing field, and columnist David Rodnitzky warns that agencies that fail to adapt will be left out in the cold.

The post The SEM agency is dying (and what to do about it) appeared first on Search Engine Land.



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4 Signs That You Belong at a Digital Marketing Agency

digital marketing agency career

Think back to when you were a child, teenager or young adult. When someone asked you “What do you want to be?”, how did you respond? Scientist, superhero, actor or rockstar may come to mind for many of you.

When I was younger, I always knew that I wanted to do something creative. As a child I drove my parents crazy coming up with new ways to create art, often out of things that weren’t art supplies. It didn’t matter if I was sewing clothes for my dolls or painting a “masterpiece”, I loved art.

Fortunately, I have been able to find a career that has allowed me to hone and develop my creative side, in a way that can be measured. I’ve worked many “jobs” but have never found any position as satisfying as working at Toprank Online Marketing. I get to work with a group of incredibly talented people that are constantly pushing me to be better.

Working at a digital marketing agency isn’t a fit for everyone. However, once you’ve been bitten by the agency bug, you’re hooked. If any of the signs below resonate with you, chances are you might be a fit for agency life.

#1 – You Like a Fast-Paced Environment

Working at a digital agency offers the opportunity to work with many types of clients, all at different stages in their digital marketing journey.

A good digital agency (and the employees that work there) are agile and can adapt to client needs. When clients determine that their priorities shift, that often means that yours shift as well.

If you embrace the challenge, you will be able to show significant value to your clients and colleagues by adapting to their needs while still following a set of digital marketing best practices.

#2 – You Crave Collaboration

Have you ever been stuck on a project or had an idea on the tip of your tongue but just couldn’t communicate it effectively?

One of the benefits of working at a digital agency is that you’re surrounded by other marketing minds that can help you through the process. You are fortunate to have a team of people that have been through similar experiences and can come together to help you brainstorm content ideas or help determine why client programs aren’t performing as well as you would like them to.

At the end of the day, you have a group of people that you can rely on to help you come up with the best solution to help your clients be successful.

#3 – You Are Creative Person

What do Account Managers, Copywriters, Social Media Strategists and SEO Specialists all have in common? They are all creative problem solvers.

At a digital marketing agency, all members of the team are enabled to take a creative approach to solving problems for clients, and internal team members. There are also opportunities to take a creative approach to any service area, no matter your position.

Always remember that adhering to best practices doesn’t mean that you’re limited in how you approach content marketing topics, tactics and ideas.

#4 – You’re Obsessed With Learning

If you think you know everything there is to know, chances are that working at an agency might not be right for you.

Successful digital marketers are always on the hunt for new ideas that can improve how they deliver results. No matter how much you know, there are always opportunities to learn from other intelligent marketers.

You can self-educate by keeping a pulse on relevant resources, meeting with internal team members and attending industry events to keep up with the quickly evolving digital landscape.

Currently On the Hunt for the RIGHT Agency?

If you think that the signs above describe you, you are likely a fit for agency life. Now comes the daunting task of finding an agency with the the right culture, pace and offering for you.

TopRank Marketing is currently searching for some new marketing mavericks to join our smart, creative and results driven digital marketing agency. Click on any of the positions below to see if they might be right for you:

Content Marketing Lead: Do you love the idea of taking a concept from research all the way through social amplification to reach a wider audience? Are you a stickler for grammar, spelling, and attention to detail? If so, explore the details of this position.

SEO Copywriter: Like being the ultimate seeker in a game of hide-and-seek, this person would help our clients’ content get found by paying attention to the details that make a difference. Does that sound like you?

Account Manager: For this position, leadership, digital marketing creativity, organization and problem solving skills are second nature right along with the ability to provide both strategic direction and development of tactical marketing plans for clients. Success in this position means being comfortable providing guidance and consulting to the Fortune 500 companies we serve as well as TopRank Marketing team members.

Associate Account Manager: The perfect person for this position is looking to make a difference for our clients. In working side-by-side with our Account Managers, you will help shape our clients’ programs by developing communications strategies and managing tactical plans for an integrated and measurable mix of tactics.

For a complete list of our current openings, visit our Careers page.

Maybe you’re not looking for a digital marketing position, but would like to have a team like TopRank Marketing in your back pocket. If so, we’d love to chat! Contact us to see if we may be a fit for your organization.

 

 

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© Online Marketing Blog – TopRank®, 2015. |
4 Signs That You Belong at a Digital Marketing Agency | http://www.toprankblog.com

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Find the Right Content Marketing Agency for a Happily Ever After

content marketing agency happily ever after

Heartfelt vows. First dances. Sparkler send-offs. Nothing says happily ever after quite like a romantic wedding. When it comes to finding “the one,” weddings beautifully illustrate the success of two people making a perfect match.

When you’re looking for love and the match is right, you just know. It might be the way your personalities meld, how you never run out of things to talk about, or the ease you feel when you’re with your Prince (or Princess) Charming.

Finding the right content marketing agency is a lot like finding your perfect match. From choosing a content partner that measures up to your dream list of qualities, to ensuring the agency really is who/what it claims to be, marketers are looking for a relationship that’s going to last. However 32% of marketers say they are challenged with finding trained content marketing professionals in 2015, which is over three times greater than the number of marketers who cited it as a problem in 2014.

You can’t just trust your content marketing efforts to anybody – it takes the right kind of partner. You’re looking for someone who will get to know you, be loyal to you, and go the extra mile for you.

As the Biebs would say, “I just need somebody to love.” Looking for a content marketing agency to love? Fall for the right one by following these 5 pieces of expert matchmaking advice:

#1 – Create Your Dream List

What type of agency is going to be the best fit for you? Know exactly what you’re looking for by sitting down and defining everything you’re looking for in your content marketing agency match.

Maybe you’re ready to take your company blog to the next level and are looking for strategic support to ensure that content speaks to your audience at the right stage in their buying cycle, and can be found for the right keywords. Perhaps you’re interested in generating leads via eBook or digital asset creation. Or maybe you’re about to launch a new product and are looking for a strategic partner to recommend the right digital tactics to promote the product launch.

If so, you’re looking for someone who:

  • Has experience writing for your industry
  • Can tie outcomes to business KPIs
  • Understands how to create a content marketing strategy
  • Knows how to optimize content for search engines
  • Responds to communication within 24 hours
  • Can write, publish, and promote the content

Whatever qualities, skills, and objectives are most important for you to find in a content marketing agency, you’ll be much more likely to find a just-right fit by creating that thorough list as a starting point.

Also consider what’s most important. Is their location a factor? Do you need a short-term or long-term partner? What about budget? Mark items that you cannot compromise on – and know which items would be a bonus if you found them in a partner.

#2 – Scope Out Your Options

Wouldn’t it be nice if there was a Tinder for content marketing agencies? Set your preferences, and start swiping!

Thankfully the Internet offers a wide variety of excellent resources for finding content marketing agencies. Start with a simple Google search along the lines of the following:

Also consider who you already know. Do any of your business colleagues use agencies with whom they have a great relationship?

#3 – See What Their Friends Are Saying

Once you’ve found a couple potential matches, do your homework and snoop a little on your top contenders. Are the agency’s online reviews positive? Search client testimonials on their website to learn about stories of success, the agency’s best qualities, and what their clients love about them.

On a larger level, you want to find an agency that is well-regarded in the marketing world. Look for someone that is not only providing content marketing services, but is actively creating thought leadership through speaking engagements, publishing articles on timely topics, and sharing resources with the marketing communities. A little Googling and some social media stalking should be enough to confirm that they really have the expertise they say they have.

#4 – Look for Someone Who Makes Conversation Easy

Communication is the key to a strong and mutually beneficial relationship. When you begin to contact potential agencies, pay attention to how easy (or difficult) it is to communicate with them. From emails to phone calls to client meetings, you want to find a content marketing agency that will communicate clearly and convey important information in a way you can understand. Also, you want to make sure they will sound and look good in case your boss ever joins your meetings.

In your initial interactions with agency prospects, ensure that communication is going to be positive.

  • Do they respond to emails with professionalism?
  • Are they easy to talk to on the phone?
  • Is their expertise clear?
  • Do they speak marketing lingo?
  • Overall, are they attentive, responsive, and friendly?

#5 – Don’t Rush Into Things

Here’s where the matchmaking metaphor falls down – you won’t “date” your content marketing agency as extensively as you would finding the right person to spend your life with. However, the process for finding the right match should still be thorough. This isn’t a relationship you want to fumble!

A content marketing agency that’s a perfect match will offer exactly what you most value on your must-have list, be highly esteemed by their “friends”, and make it easy to do business with. Take your time to do the research process right and you’ll reap the rewards with the happily ever after that will follow.

Are we your happily ever after? Let’s find out! Start by telling us a little about yourself and your business when you contact TopRank Online Marketing.

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© Online Marketing Blog – TopRank®, 2015. |
Find the Right Content Marketing Agency for a Happily Ever After | http://www.toprankblog.com

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The Key to a Successful Digital Marketing Agency and Client Relationship

digital marketing agency client success

Digital Marketing success is more dynamic than ever and companies embracing everything from content marketing to predictive analytics seek outside help for strategy, implementation and consulting. However, it takes a lot more than savvy sales pitches, charismatic account management and smart creative to make a client and agency relationship work.

We’ve been in the thick of the digital marketing world at TopRank Online Marketing for nearly 14 years and I’m happy to say our biggest growth so far in 2015 has come from client retention and program expansion. Thanks to an incredibly talented team, we’ve delivered great results for clients and have weathered numerous changes in the industry and within client organizations.

There are no shortcuts to great client agency relationships though and at BMA15 I attended a presentation offering some really useful advice:

According to Robin and Steve Beohler of Mercer Island Group, there are 4 reasons clients change agencies:

  1. Client side leadership change
  2. Troubled business results from the engagement
  3. Strained relationships between those involved
  4. Agency performance perceived as sub-par

Not all of these areas are controllable, but some are.

Chemistry and capabilities both need to be a fit for a successful client / agency relationship.

What many digital marketing agencies miss is in the on-boarding process – in terms of the business and the culture. What are the expectations, communications preferences and what does the end of the day look like? Clarity on these from the start as well as continued attention is essential.

What are the causes of most digital marketing agency and client issues?

Partners often view the relationship differently. According to research presented at BMA15 by the Beohlers, in 2/3 of the relationships, views of the relationship are very different. How different?

Agencies with the strongest reviews from clients were characterized by:
Top service, strategy, creative capabilities.
Lead strength: SERVICE.

Agencies with weak reviews:
Service was the biggest issue 100%.
Strategy and creative issues 63%.

Clients that received strong reviews:
9 out of 10 agencies cited that the partnership was strong.
Client guidance (client gave great briefings and feedback) and knowledge were also strong.

Clients that received weak reviews:
Guidance from the client was the biggest issue.
Alignment of the client to the agency, followed by client’s processes (mostly approval) were also problematic.

According to a new report, Enhancing Client Agency Relationships (PDF), released by the ANA:

  • Clients and agencies don’t agree on the quality of agency briefings. Not one agency reported receiving excellent briefings.
  • Only 2% of agencies strongly agree that the client approval process works well.

So, how can digital marketing agencies and the clients that hire them improve?

The most important thing is to put the relationship first. How people feel about the others they work with is paramount. Focus on building strong relationships and make sure people feel valued.

Also recommended was to do client / agency 360’s to collect ongoing feedback and conduct routine relationship enhancement sessions.

Deep feedback during these sessions is important, because clients aren’t always direct. Sometimes agencies don’t “hear” what the client is actually telling them.

Early warning systems are critical: pick up on early warnings and get the straight scoop information. Develop a way to capture deep, qualitative feedback on what’s really important – relationships and program results.

When things are going good, the ‘importance’ scores on relationships are low. But when things aren’t going well, everything is important.

It’s essential to invest in the processes of managing expectations and the relationship. There are significant costs to change agencies for both clients and the agency:

Client Costs:

  • Added expense
  • Distraction from other work
  • Work interruption
  • Reputation hit

Agency Costs:

  • Lowers revenue
  • Staff risk
  • Growth plan interrupted
  • Reputation hit

There are positive impacts from doing client / agency relationship 360’s. For clients, sharing and capturing feedback fuels business growth, better creative, strategy and service from the digital marketing agency.

For agencies, a relationship check can contribute to business growth, referrals, references, profitability, and reduced churn.

Overall, marketing agencies need to be more strategic in how they manage relationships with clients. Look beyond the day to day of tactics and program management to the bigger picture of how the client agency partnership has mutual impact.

Improving relationships is not all on the shoulders of agencies. A few things most clients who hire digital marketing agencies can do to improve both the relationship and the performance of their investment include:

  • Improve guidance – give better briefs and clearer feedback
  • Internally aligned creative feedback (reduce disconnected junior staff approval vs. the actual decision maker)
  • Streamline the approval process

It takes more than smart consulting to make a digital marketing client and agency relationship work. Without a healthy understanding of expectations and clear communications, all that smart consulting goes to waste if it never gets implemented. Invest in both high performing consulting and an understanding of expectations to make the client / agency relationship work.

Agencies that focus on service as well as strategy and consulting will be more valuable to the companies that hire them. Clients that provide excellent briefs and that can streamline review/approval processes will get a much better return on the digital marketing agency investment.

Great relationships drive great work. Great work drives great business results.

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© Online Marketing Blog – TopRank®, 2015. |
The Key to a Successful Digital Marketing Agency and Client Relationship | http://www.toprankblog.com

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