As long as we’ve had things to sell, advertising agencies have been there to help. They provide dedicated specialists in creativity, production, and execution, so you don’t have to worry about spending your valuable time on it. Advertising agencies come with market research to help define your target audience. They collaborate with you from beginning to end to make sure they present your ideas and your message. Valuable marketing will highlight a company’s competitive advantages.
A good marketing agency will assist a business in creating relationships with prospects and turning many into satisfied customers. Most marketing agencies have or collaborate with a media agency to help with production. Creating a campaign idea is only step one for releasing an advertisement, and you want to make sure to work with a company that produces high-quality content. The number one form of content on the internet now is video content, and video marketing is the most effective way to get your name out there. If you choose to create a marketing video, it is vital to find a media agency who can give you the high-quality video you need to stand out.
Many advertising agencies offer similar services and provide work samples of previous clients, but one of the most important characteristics is location. You need a local marketing agency that specializes in local business marketing! Who knows your area better than the people living, working, and breathing in that area? Plus, you have the added benefit of working with them in person instead of through emails and conference calls.
So, what kinds of services do marketing agencies offer?
Marketing for Restaurants
Restaurants are one of the most challenging industries. To succeed, you not only have to compete against every other restaurant, but you also have to convince customers to leave their houses in the first place! To do that, you have to answer the question: How are you different?
Customers have dozens of options. The different styles of cuisine and atmospheres are limitless, and everyone is competing. Your goal is to find out what makes your restaurant unique and present it to the most potential customers you can.
Luckily there are plenty of options to help those customers find you. Coupons, Groupons, flyers, and word of mouth are common and useful, but social media is rapidly becoming your best option. The rise of social media gave us affordable and straightforward platforms for brand marketing, but without any guidance or expertise, you could be throwing darts blindly and hoping for the best.
Local marketing agencies thrive on restaurant marketing. They know the area, have the necessary resources, and provide the creative know-how to take the work off your plate and let you do what you do best, take care of your customers.
Local Business Promotion
Location is everything for most businesses. From restaurants to boutiques to veterinarians, businesses need exposure in their neighborhood. Whether you’re just opening the doors or you want to show off a new product, you will get a much better turnout from customers in your vicinity so that they will be your most reliable market.
One of the most overlooked ways to promote your business in your community is by joining the Chamber of Commerce. Chamber meetings give you the chance to meet other business owners in the area and market your business directly to some of the community’s leaders. Remember to bring brand merchandise or coupons! You want them to remember you and if possible, pass around your name to their customers.
Local marketing agencies can help there too. Anyone can print a business card off a website today, but to truly grab someone’s attention, you need a creative design and a quality product. Let the team handle the coupon and flyer designs so that you can focus on networking.
Real business is done face-to-face, but that doesn’t mean leads are just going to walk through the door. You need to utilize online tools to broaden your reach and set yourself above your competition when customers are searching for your services. The most important service is Search Engine Optimization, otherwise known as SEO.
Search Engine Optimization
You have probably heard the term SEO, but what do you know about it? Yes, being on the first page of Google is important, but how do you get there? The answer is extremely complicated. Between keywords, algorithms, metadata, CTRs, etc., it’s overwhelming. SEO is done in almost a different language.
But, advertising agencies speak this language. In Raleigh, this means finding a marketing agency that knows the median age is 32-33 years old. It means knowing which ZIP codes are more likely to use which social media sites. Local marketing agencies have to bring an intimate knowledge of the city and the surrounding areas to know how to reach the customers you need.
Websites for Lead Generation
One way to capture those potential customers is through a lead generation site. More simply put, it is a webpage where customers learn about your product and respond to a call to action. For example, a lead generation sites might have “call to learn more” or “show this coupon for 20% off” in an attempt to drive traffic to you. Lead generation sites are usually on the other end of an online advertisement. It’s the online equivalent of going door-to-door and handing out flyers.
That’s great for a neighborhood restaurant, but what if you have a product you want to market across the country?
Amazon is the world’s largest online marketplace. In spite of its size, Amazon does a fantastic job of promoting small businesses and giving you an avenue to sell your products through them. Just like Google, Amazon relies on SEO to decide what products show up on page one. Without going into much detail, this process is also very complicated. You need an Amazon SEO expert to help tailor your product detail pages to show results.
No matter what your product is or who your target market is, you need a strong social media presence if you don’t want to be left behind. This rule is even more critical in the Raleigh area due to the younger demographic.
Despite popular belief, a good social media presence doesn’t mean merely post pictures and announcements, and the whole world will see them. Every platform has tips and tricks to be more visible. From the keywords you use to the demographics you target, social media is much more complicated than meets the eye. Fortunately, local marketing agencies have social media marketers on staff to help run the show or at least point you in the right direction. Neglecting social media can be the difference between winning and losing a potential customer.
With the explosion of social media, video content now makes up 82% of all marketing content found on the internet. This is a staggering number, but it shows how vital video marketing is in today’s marketplace. Author note: would this be a good spot to refer people to the video marketing article to build value in that product? Marketing videos let us use a combination of different content styles like photographs, music, text, and even links to create an engaging and memorable advertisement.
For business owners, making a decent marketing video is a pipe dream. Think of the equipment you need: the cameras, microphones, actors, editing software, etc. The list goes on and on, and the chances are good that you don’t have those things handy. Rely on your marketing team to give you a promotional video you can take pride in. Trust the media agency to produce a video you can use across multiple platforms and appeal to a broad audience. The return on investment is incredible.
Of course, those are only a few examples of online tools. Online marketing is always changing. Choose a marketing team that knows how to change with it!
The best way to be recognized is a strong logo. Apple, Nike, Microsoft, McDonald’s, and Coca-Cola products are known all over the world because they have a memorable logo. Logo design is challenging to master. The goal of a logo is to simplify your brand down to an image that is memorable and recognizable.
Imagine you run Joe’s Automotive Repair and Collision Shop. Can you imagine printing all of that on a shirt or a hat? Of course not. That’s why logos exist. Now, imagine you have to design your logo to be as compelling and memorable as those worldwide companies we listed earlier. Try drawing it on a piece of paper. It’s very tough!
Use the expertise of the marketing agency to design and create your logo. It is the face of your company. Take your time and get it right!
Once the logo is right, your marketing team can get to work on a campaign to develop your brand. A brand strategy can cover everything from where to send a direct mail flyer to what kind of t-shirt to print your newly minted logo. A well-designed campaign will continuously work to bring you new customers and retain old customers. The marketing team is there to work with you to make that happen!
Charity Event Fundraisers
How great are charity events? If done right, you can bring in massive amounts of money and possibly create a constant stream of donations from memberships. There is just something special about hearing “the fourth annual…” in front of your event because you know it was successful enough in the past to continue.
But throwing a fundraiser and marketing for one are two entirely different concepts. If the Humane Society decides to put on a banquet to raise money for a shelter, the event itself is only half the battle. The other half is getting people to show up.
You need marketing help to make fundraising events work. You have to craft a message with a good call to action and entice people to come. You have to prove you have a worthy cause, but most importantly, you have to spread the word. With a mix of direct mail, social media campaigns, and video marketing, ad agencies give you the most organized and effective chance of bringing a large crowd.
Can I afford to do it?
The most common question asked about hiring a team of marketing professionals is whether or not it makes fiscal sense. That is understandable. You have a set budget to handle all things marketing, and you may think you can reach more people if you just do the work yourself and spend more on actual advertising. This is rarely the case.
Not only are marketing professionals more expedient and efficient, but they can also put your vision on paper better than you can. A hand-drawn flyer is the cheapest route to go, but ask yourself if you would respond better to that or two a colorful, well-designed flyer with a loud call to action. A local marketing agency can provide that to you and therefore, give you a higher return on investment.
The initial cost is no the only issue at hand. You have something more valuable than money, your time. You also have to look at the opportunity cost of trying to handle marketing by yourself. The more time you spend aimlessly trying to create a strong marketing campaign, the less time you have to run your business which hurts your bottom line even more.
The real question should be: Can I afford not to do it?