Evaluating Your Online Marketing Needs – Choosing an Agency for an Enterprise Level Digital Marketing Campaign (Part 1 of 3)
Tuesday, November 24, 2015
Enterprise-level Internet marketing is a different animal than a local or small business campaign. It requires a different skill set, beyond the ability to crank out deliverables in the name of increasing your SEO footprint or optimizing content and code- the agency that serves an enterprise-level account needs to be able to interface with many different departments on the client side, provide reports that demonstrate measurable ROI, and look for creative solutions to work within existing limitations.
A Website is as Complicated as You Make It
Before you engage with a pro to build or rebuild your site, you should compose a list of bullet points of what you need it do, this will inform the design of the site as well as the navigation and the focus of keyword research. There are many differently structured sites on the web but in general they all need a home page, contact page, an about page, a blog, and then it diverges into products/services/information pages.
That’s where customization and plugins usually come in- most sites can be built very simply and in a very marketing/SEO-friendly way using an inexpensive WordPress solution. Taking payments, listing product pages, scheduling appointments, and any other type of advanced functionality is probably going to cost extra, and every job is going to be custom. A good Internet marketing agency will be able to propose a reasonable starting point for a project and then be able to scale up as initial proof of concept is validated. Any site without advanced functionality and needs only 4-5 pages can be inexpensively built in WordPress- if you’re willing to take the time to teach yourself to do it.
Trust your Instincts
There is literally an ocean of data and commentary to swim in when it comes to Internet Marketing and SEO; there seems to be almost as big “guru” industry as there is an actual internet marketing industry. In a gold rush, sell shovels, right?
There is a pretty typical pattern online on how marketing news/advice/updates spread throughout the internet- one of the big sites will write a think piece or “break” a piece of news like a new Panda update, then second tier blogs will scramble to provide a strategy to address said piece of news, another group will tell you why you shouldn’t adjust your strategy or address the news, and then a few months later a big site will put out a study that reflects why their strategy was the one that effectively countered Google’s change. Then some other piece of news comes out and the cycle starts again, with display advertising and membership/subscription fees scooping up profits for those in it along the way. The guru industry has a vested interest in keeping you anxious and confused and overwhelmed.
But at the heart of all this information, all these strategies, is…not a lot of useful information. For example, there were thousands and thousands of SEO and Internet Marketing articles written in 2015- a Google search for ‘internet marketing’ for articles from 2015 returns 797,000,000 results- and the very few concrete pieces of new, actionable advice boiled down to “build a responsive site and maybe move to https?” That’s it. There was very little new this year that made any impact bigger than those two things, if at all. The point is, there is a larger industry around explaining Internet Marketing than there actually is an industry providing services. You have to listen to your gut, put your budget where you can afford to, where it’s going to have a measurable impact of some sort on your ROI. There’s too much noise with the signal to try to listen to everyone. Part of the benefit of hiring an agency is that they have people on staff whose only job is to keep up with and research strategies. They will also have a portfolio of sites to glean data insight from, rather than one isolated property.
(Part 1 of 3)