Another year has flown by! As we near the end of 2021, you may be looking toward 2022 and starting to think about your marketing plans. No doubt you’re also considering how your business can best reach the growing masses of online customers.
Consumer habits have changed massively since the onset of the pandemic. According to the 2021 European E-commerce Report, there was a 10% rise in e-commerce business in 2020. Bringing the value of e-commerce to €757 billion.
With this leap in online consumers, there has never been a more important time to invest in digital. Like any other investment type, there are important factors to consider before taking the plunge.
Consideration #1: Do you have the time?
As a business owner, you are no doubt busy with a million and one things to do. Our Cork digital marketing clients tell us they wear many hats and work long hours. When it comes to digital marketing planning, time is an important asset that you must have available. Before putting on your digital marketing hat, consider do you really think you will find the time? Digital marketing involves learning, planning, and continuously implementing digital marketing campaigns.
There are many different elements used for successful digital marketing, from SEO and digital advertising to email and social. In the ePresence digital marketing Cork office, we work with owners and marketing managers to help take the pressure off. Helping them by managing one or all of these essential digital marketing tools.
SEO is an element of digital marketing that we find is most often outsourced. Many marketing professionals are tasked with managing campaigns, creating and scheduling social media content, and sending promotional emails. With so many tasks to complete, it’s easy to see why SEO is sometimes left behind. SEO takes time and consistent activity, something a marketing manager doesn’t always have time for.
It’s important to be conscious of how much time you have available and know when to outsource to an agency.
Consideration #2: Do you have the expertise?
There’s a reason that digital marketing agencies divide their team by skillset. The aim is to maximise each person’s area of expertise for the benefit of our clients. Even the most experienced in-house digital marketing professional will struggle to be an expert in everything.
There is so much to juggle in digital marketing – SEO, paid search advertising, social media management and more. You might find that there are some parts of the digital marketing puzzle that you are better at. Perhaps there are parts that you simply prefer more than others. If this is the case for you, don’t let your marketing suffer. Get a digital marketing agency to help.
Consideration #3: Are you getting ROI from your current agency?
How do you measure your return on investment from your digital marketing agency? Every business’s needs are different but expectations rarely are. When you outsource a task, you want to want to know it is worth it.
You may already be working with an agency or freelancer but feel unsure about what return you are getting. Or, perhaps you are unclear on how realistic your expectations are in balance with your budget. When working with a digital marketing agency, Cork businesses are advised to look out for the following.
A good agency will send a report at least once a month. That report should clearly demonstrate the ongoing digital marketing activities and results. If all is going well then the results in the report should tally with a rise in business growth. Though this won’t happen overnight, if you are still not seeing growth after some time it suggests something’s not working.
Equally as important as a report from your agency is the invitation for feedback. At ePresence, we regularly check in with our clients for their thoughts. We want to be sure that they are happy with the results and that their expectations are being met.
Even the strongest strategy needs to allow for changes and updates. Digital marketing is an ever-evolving area of marketing that requires a flexible approach. What works this year won’t necessarily work next year. Sometimes methods need to be updated monthly depending on algorithm updates and business needs.
If your agency’s approach never seems to change then it might be time to move on. A digital marketing strategy should be built around your business needs and not the outdated know-how of an agency.
Reports that come from your agency might be monthly but they should be checking your campaigns at least weekly. Regular check-ins are when opportunities are spotted. Expect a good agency to call you with ideas out of the blue.
When you are working with an agency, their actions should tell you that they value your business. New ideas don’t always have to be acted on but they do show that you are top of mind.
We find that having a team member from our Cork digital marketing office designated to each client helps communications. Not only that, but they have the expertise of the whole team behind them. At ePresence, we pool our knowledge, so every team member is familiar with every client. Every client can expect the same high level of care from any member of the team. Communicating well internally increases the creation of ideas and opens up avenues through expertise.
When we have an active campaign running, we encourage our clients to get in touch with questions. We proactively check in with every client as campaigns evolve and when we have new insights to share.
Working with an agency you should feel that they are always up to date and on top of things. If you are left with the impression that you are chasing them, it may be time to change agencies.
Consideration #4: Cost
When you are putting together your goals for your 2022 marketing plan, consider the cost of achieving them. If you don’t already have a marketer on your team and plan to do it yourself, what is the value of your time?
This is often overlooked in business and not considered as part of the overall costs. However, when you are spending time on digital marketing, something else is left undone elsewhere in your business. Your time is valuable and should be included in your planning and budget estimations.
You might instead consider employing a full-time marketer for all of your digital marketing needs. However, hiring a digital marketing agency can be a much more cost-effective way to scale up your digital marketing efforts.
For less than the cost of a graduate-level salary, you can tap into the expertise of an agency team. You will also forgo the learning curve and time loss that comes with hiring in-house. An agency team already has expertise in a range of digital marketing areas. Letting you focus on the rest of your business in the knowledge that your budget is being used effectively.
Do you need assistance with your digital marketing plans for 2022? Get in touch today to request a free consultation with a member of the ePresence team.
Declan Clancy is an enthusiastic, results oriented and creative Digital Marketer with 9 years hands on experience across digital channels.
In his last role as Group Digital Marketing Manager for Trigon Hotels, Declan was responsible for the ecommerce strategy and implementation for their 3 hotels. While at Trigon Hotels, Declan won Best use of Twitter for a Large Business at the Cork Digital Marketing Awards for his work for Cork International Hotel.