Filling your sales funnel to the top means ensuring that your digital marketing agency stands out distinctly from the crowd. A mix of the right marketing techniques, precise branding, and sticking to a specific niche will go a long way.
Learning to stand out from all of the other agencies to attract and convert new clients into long term customers is a looming challenge for all business-to-business organisations, but the digital marketing industry has transformed into a much more fiercely competitive market in the recent times and is feeling this challenge a lot more than most other businesses.
Whether your firm deals in web design, social media, SEO, PPC or content marketing, or email, you’ll have new competitors shooting up like mushrooms left, right and center. At the same time, there is a group of clients that are constantly growing, whose defining mode of operation is leaving agencies and trying to bring some features of their digital marketing needs in-house.
Here we look at some things every consultant and agency can try to do so that they can stand out from the rest of the crowd.
Find A Suitable Niche
It can be quite challenging to figure out what exactly separates one agency from another, with their respective websites containing very little information about what they do and what distinguishes them; most of them have generic written profiles about “who we are” and “what we do”.
To make it clear to the client and show them what really sets your firm apart from the others, Dave Chaffey, who is the editor at marketing advice website Smart Insights, recommends a tunnel-like approach to marketing in the content generation business:
“Agencies need to cut through the crowd by using a different approach to their competitors. I think content marketing that surrounds your area of expertise is a great way to achieve that”
Instead of utilising your company blog to write about the same old tips or the same tired industry news that every other digital agency also puts up on their wall, try to think about what content that only you could create that people just can’t source from anywhere else.
“It may be that the subject you specialise in is layered on top of the industry you specialise in, and that is layered on top of your locality.”
A niche that other agencies are in as well is not that big of a problem if you keep your focus on trying to cater to a different industry, or organisations with different scales, or simply a different geographic location. Very often, this by itself can be a good enough difference to ensure that your firm and your content stand out from the rest.
Of course, it’s not only the issue of the different services that are on offer that separates one agency from their competitors, but there’s also the pressing matter of longstanding credibility – the ability of a firm to answer a client’s question along the lines of ‘what makes you an expert in this field?’ with a clean and spotless track record.
Obviously, different clients are on the lookout for different qualities, and they may express the desire to gauge your credibility in different ways. For instance, some may want to know what awards your firm has won; others will inquire about who your current clients are and whether you have worked with similar organisations that they themselves have worked on.
In addition, some will be much more inquisitive in learning what qualifications you yourself hold and your personal experience in the industry. If you put together enough of these interactions with the clients together, you may begin seeing the path your firm could take to appear credible. You may also end up having a solid and clear picture of your unique selling points and what your firm could offer that is different from other firms.
Decent branding gives your firm a bigger opportunity and leverage to separate yourself from other players operating in your domain or industry. Small business consultant, Kathy Ennis, explains in further detail about what this means:
“The branding of the organisation needs to be the first point of contact. It is the process of creating that differentiation point between you and somebody who does something very similar to what you do”
In many ways, it is actually the values, identity, ethos, work culture, and the operating principles of your organisation that you are selling to potential customers, going much farther than the choice of the colour palette and logos that your firm adopts for some random project.
In fact, the people who are working for any business are actually the main point of distinction – and that needs to be clear and explicitly stated for your future prospective clients to see on the firm website, in your social media presence and the firm’s content marketing.
Every firm is different. That is both a good thing in itself and bad as well. It’s good because there’s a diversity that they offer to the industry in terms of service, experience, and the niche, and there are enough firms to satisfy almost every demand. It becomes a bad thing when these firms fail to correctly and appropriately convey these differences to the prospective clients, and the clients think that they are all the same.
As a firm owner, it’s up to you to properly find a way to convince your clients why your firm is the one they need and the above tips should surely help you on that quest.