I am still always amazed by the sheer number of supposed digital marketing firms that continue to pitch their clients on ancient techniques that have been shown to not work over and over again. Here is a bit of advice to any potential businesses looking to work with a digital marketing agency: if all they tell you is how they are going to build you X number of links over X amount of time, run for the hills has fast as you can.
In today’s complex search world, businesses cannot afford to put all their advertising dollars into a single basket. Granted, link building is a vital component of search, but it is not everything.
Key Components to Any Digital Marketing Strategy
A wise man once told me that if your house is built on shaky ground, it is doomed to collapse. This is especially true in SEO. If you do not have the ground work set within the code structure of your site and the relevancy of the content you are providing, all other portions of your SEO strategy will suffer.
Remember Google’s mantra: “Content is King.” Content and content relevancy have always been a key factor in getting a site to rank. Make sure that any digital marketing agency thoroughly explains what channels to which your content is going to be pushed and that these channels target your key demographics.
Long gone are the days of getting thousands of links to build a site’s rankings. With Google’s Penguin updates, the game has changed, and we need to adapt to those changes. As a business owner, you need to stop being so concerned with the volume of links coming into your site and rather focus more on the quality of the links you are getting. Make sure that your digital agency has a systematic approach for creating links through citations and creditable sources.
Brand Awareness & Local Marketing
It doesn’t matter if your business is a national or local brand—awareness and local search need to be part of the arsenal used in your digital marketing strategy. The way your company is displayed online and where it is displayed is paramount to building an effective campaign. Make sure that your agency takes into account your key demographic audience and that it is a factor in your local or branding campaigns.
I hate to break it to anyone who still thinks social media is a fad, but you are wrong. Social media is here to stay and is becoming more powerful every day. It should now be considered a key component to any digital strategy. From creating communities of customers, spreading industry related news, or simply getting customer feedback and reviews, it is imperative to ensure that any social campaign reflect your company’s principals and standards on a regular basis.
Blogging & Video
A vital part of any overall digital marketing strategy, blogging and online video marketing should not be overlooked. This is a key way to get your message out to your customer in a personal and professional manner. Aside from content delivery, blogging and video marketing should be a key component for relevant outreach to other communities, cross promotions, and driving people back to your site.
Analytics & Research
All efficient digital marketing strategies should begin and end with analytics and research. In the beginning, you will need to know how to penetrate your market and to which channels your key demographics will respond. After a campaign is launched, constant review of analytics is essential to make sure that every aspect of your digital marketing campaign is hitting on all cylinders.
When hiring a digital marketing agency, you need to sit down and make sure that all the areas listed above are part of the total marketing approach. If you speak to someone who does not cover these basic points, politely thank them for their time and call someone else.