The Ultimate Guide To Starting Your Digital Marketing Agency


Table of Contents

Table of Contents

With the billions of videos available online, you should consider how to start a digital marketing agency because having an online presence is no longer an option but a necessity.

Clearly, video content has become increasingly prevalent online, as evidenced by the massive volume of videos you can find online – from vloggers to big-name brands and businesses – videos have become the dominant format online.

In the United States alone, about 85% of internet users watch video content online and spend an average of six hours and 48 minutes viewing video content each week. Moreover, video content is outranking every other form of content by no less than 82% this year. 

Digital marketing: why do brands and businesses need it?

If you are considering starting your own digital marketing agency, there are others besides you. However, despite many companies offering digital marketing services, there is still a great need for more internet marketing solutions to meet the needs of businesses.

It’s not hard to understand why people spend billions of hours watching videos and watching them daily. 

However, it is more than just the opportunity to tap into a vast, robust market; it is also about the benefits that will make a big difference to you. 

There can be no doubt at this point that digital marketing has become the key to success for businesses in almost every industry in the last few years. 

Despite this, it can be challenging to become a dominant online force as it requires mastering numerous tools, methods, and strategies to succeed.

It’s no surprise that many businesses have already decided to hire the services of a digital marketing agency because they know the expertise required to navigate the digital space. The demand for these services will continue to increase in the coming years.

According to a high-profile survey conducted among businesses, no less than 90% of the respondents said they would expand their digital marketing coverage or increase their investment in digital marketing over the coming year.

The reasoning is simple: a skilled digital marketer can deliver the goods, knows how to boost success, and will find a way to outperform the competition.

Brands and businesses are finding that the benefits of digital marketing are enough to convince them that it’s a worthwhile endeavor. Digital marketing is the next step for creative and entrepreneurial adventurers.

In 2022, it is estimated that digital market spending will reach $375 billion, which is more than twice what it was in 2018. So, if you are looking to dip your toes in this promising field, you’ll want to find out how to get started. 

This blog provides you with the information you need to understand digital marketing, plus how to start and run a digital marketing agency – from scratch.

Discover how to break into the marketing world, watch those revenues, and discover what it takes to become a successful digital marketer. 

What is a digital marketing agency?

Digital marketing is a general term involving using electronic devices or online channels to promote a brand, business, individual, or organization. 

Any marketing campaign that appears on computer screens, electronic billboards, televisions, or mobile devices falls under digital marketing.

Digital marketing usually involves two channels – online and offline marketing channels.

Online Marketing Channels

Social Media Marketing

Search Engine Optimization

Website Marketing

Pay Per Click Advertising

Email Marketing

Affiliate Marketing

Video Marketing

Mobile Marketing

Content Marketing

Internet Marketing

Offline Marketing Channels

Radio Marketing

SMS Marketing

TV Marketing

Digital or Electronic Billboard Marketing

It is crucial to remember that a digital marketing agency may focus on one or more of the disciplines mentioned above or on all of them. Still, the key is to focus on what you know about so that your clients and prospects receive the most effective services possible.

There is no doubt that if your marketing agency grows, you can hire a good team of experts in digital marketing. However, if you are starting out, you will have little experience or money to spend, then it is vital to learn how to accomplish these tasks on your own.

In fact, this is a critical success factor that you cannot ignore. To have a successful business, you need to minimize your costs and dependency on others during the early stages.

You must get hands-on experience with the various aspects of digital marketing to decide what works well (both financially and in terms of attracting clients) and where you need help in the future.

It is always best to learn the theory and best practices from established experts for mastering a skill and keep practicing a lot after you have learned the idea.

The digital marketing field is convenient, and to be successful, you need more than knowing the basics. You have to gain the necessary experience by practicing the craft day after day.

An 11-Step Guide On How To Start a Digital Marketing Agency From Scratch 

Familiarize yourself with the trade

You should audit your skills before you start, educate yourself on the subject, and get to know everything you can about digital marketing for agencies before you begin. 

It has been said that some of the world’s most successful people never cease to learn. Some online courses and resources from top institutions will help you develop your digital skills and advance your career. 

Therefore, you should invest your time and money in learning as much as possible. In addition, you’ll need to be familiar with the industry in general to make informed decisions.

You’ll need to understand the concepts you’ll need to understand: PPC (pay-per-click marketing), SEO (search engine optimization), email marketing campaigns, and creating online marketing funnels. 

You will also want to be familiar with graphic design and content marketing. 

As every type of marketing requires different skills, the first step in establishing a digital marketing agency is to determine your strengths and weaknesses and how you can fill any skill gaps in your agency.

Having experience in managing PPC campaigns, it makes sense to offer this service to clients if you have expertise in this field. 

However, running PPC campaigns has many abilities and skills you need to consider before getting started.

You may need to create landing pages or images for your ads. There are also things to remember, such as writing ad copy.

Also, consider specializing in a particular service that occasionally makes you stand out. 

Ad Management on Google or Facebook is a highly competitive market, and it must be challenging to break into. 

Consider offering an ad management service in emerging platforms such as TikTok, where you can establish yourself more easily than on established platforms like Facebook.

It is only possible to fill in the gaps in your skills if you are trained in these areas. How will you do that? How can you gain these skills, for instance, by taking an online digital marketing course? Can you hire freelancers to take care of tasks on your behalf? It is essential to understand this in advance so you can define the specific services you will offer to your clients.

Moreover, there is also the issue of what will happen if a client asks your company to provide them with a service that you do not currently offer.

If you turn down a client, they may look elsewhere for services. 

You may accomplish this by using white-label services or freelancers in this case. For example, suppose you were starting out your company and wanted to minimize the costs of your video marketing collaterals and materials. You could commission a video editing service to do all your work without breaking the bank.

Check out our blog if you are interested in knowing more about the benefits of outsourcing your video editing materials.

It’s also important to remember that you will need skills to run a business. Do you have any experience in the field of sales, for example? What about payroll and taxes, and how will you manage them? There will be a lot of work, or you will have to hire an outside contractor to help you with the job.

Having understood all of that, the next step will be finding your market niche.

The market research process

Market research is crucial because it lets you get closer to the customer. 

Researching the market allows you to know what your clients are thinking, what problems they are experiencing, and what solutions they wish they had at their disposal. 

You can improve your digital and internet marketing solutions and services by utilizing these insights. 

Researching the market consistently can also have an impact on your revenue in a positive way. 

You can use market research to discover the following things about your potential clients through it:

Before they make a purchase, where do they research products or services they intend to purchase?

Regarding support and answers, which of your competitors is your potential client most likely to turn to?

What are some current trends in your industry and with your customers?

What is the target market for your company, and what are the needs of this market?

How do you determine how your target audience converts and purchases your products?

By answering these questions, you can improve your services and tailor marketing content more effectively to the target audience you are trying to reach.

Choose a niche

You must identify your niche to stand out in today’s digital marketing world. 

Then, you can narrow down your potential audience to those interested in your product or service. 

Finding a niche for small businesses is critical if you want to generate a steady source of income, establish a loyal audience, and build a more focused company. 

It would be best if you had a solid market niche to establish a loyal customer base. A stable market niche ensures that specific customers are more likely to choose your company over your competition when buying your products. 

Establishing a niche for your product and brand allows clients to identify you and will ensure that your offer meets their needs. 

A smaller target audience allows you to focus on the quality of your customer service and establish a long-lasting relationship with your customers, allowing you to focus on customer satisfaction. 

Minimizing competition – A niche market allows you to stand out from companies seeking to target the mass market by focusing on a specific need. Instead of competing with big names, you can focus on providing a high-quality product and service that is superior to those of the big names. 

Cost-savings- Identifying your specific customer group can significantly reduce your small business marketing, advertising, and promotional costs. In contrast to spending your promotional resources on broader promotional efforts, you will instead be able to run targeted advertisements and campaigns that address the specific needs of your audience. 

As well as creating a better rapport with your audience and building a more personal relationship with them, niche marketing is also a great way to get to know them. 

Evidence of expertise – To establish yourself as a thought leader and expert in a particular field, you need to identify a niche in your business rather than providing another generic service or product that is not unique and cannot be found elsewhere. 

Expertise is critical to standing out from the competition, attracting relevant customers, and establishing trust with existing customers. 

Niche marketing can boost profits – It is possible to charge higher rates for products and services in a niche market because you are specialized in that field. A new industry sector can be highly profitable if there is a favorable ratio between supply and demand, especially for those who pioneer a new industry sector. 

Research your competitors

Knowing how you will rank against your competitors when starting any business is vital. In addition, researching your competitors will provide you with an opportunity to gain an understanding of how to surpass them in the future.

To do a competitor analysis, you’ll need to use the exact keywords that your business would use online to conduct the research. Then, identify about 10-15 of your competitors who you would like to compete against. 

The first thing you need to do once you have identified your competitors is to find out how they are monetizing (acquiring their income). After that, you will be able to find out what their methods are and what is working for them. 

It is essential to understand that monetization can take many forms, such as:

Coaching, commissions, donations, etc.

Making money by selling digital or physical products

Advertising, lead generation, affiliate sales, and affiliate marketing

For each competitor, identify at least one method that can be used. 

Once you have determined how they monetize their content, then you can assess their content marketing strategy based on how they do it. For example, check out their blog posts, social media pages, and search engine optimization efforts. 

In terms of content, does the content come in podcasts, blogs, or videos? 

The next step to take is to take a look at how they communicate with their customers. Then you can decide whether or not you would like to use a similar content marketing strategy or a different one. 

Launch your website

Before you launch your website, keep in mind the content of your site and the competition in your field. Moreover, you will need to decide how to find clients for your business, which is another crucial decision. Finally, starting a website will need a domain name and hosting service. 

It is crucial to have a website if you want to have a presence online. It’s your online identity. In other words, it’s how people know you. 

An organization’s online presence is just as significant as its physical presence, such as having a physical office or a name that identifies an individual. 

There is a reason for this: the Internet has become a fundamental part of our everyday lives, and it won’t go away any time soon. You can do many things online, from making general shopping suggestions to buying, talking, or taking classes. 

As a professional, a website can significantly help you when it comes to connecting with clients. Likewise, a website can be a valuable tool for a company when doing business and connecting with customers.

You need to have a website to call yourself a digital marketing agency. Period.

Build a Portfolio

Free services are a great way to get reviews and name recognition when starting a digital marketing agency. When you gain the trust of your existing customers, you will be able to attract new ones. 

It is crucial to have the following elements in a portfolio:

Case studies with in-depth analysis

Snippets or headlines for the article

Testimonials from clients

Goals that the client would like to achieve shortly

You want to demonstrate to your audience that you can deliver results and will continue to do so. Ensure that your portfolio is ethical and honest and does not stretch the truth in any way. 

Establish a business model 

How you bill your client is entirely up to you, and you can use several options. Among the options available to you is being paid by the hour. This is especially useful when you have only one or a few short tasks. However, it can become a bit more challenging as you scale up your business. 

There are a few different pricing models, but a flat retainer is the most common. It is a monthly flat fee that is charged for the service. You will have to make sure that you have rules regarding what happens if a client leaves early or their needs grow.

The other pricing model is based on a percentage of spending. This way, you can ensure that your digital agency receives the proper compensation for your hard work. To find out which model will suit you the best, you can also look at our guide to find the best digital agency pricing model.

Create Your Market Collateral

Using marketing collateral as part of a marketing campaign is a strategy that has been introduced previously. However, the concept and execution are worth revisiting now and then to keep them fresh. 

As with most things, it’s not something that stays the same forever. 

Several factors affect how customers respond to marketing collateral, including business environments, new technologies, consumer trends, and how businesses use this material. 

There has never been a better time than right now to rewrite definitions, reevaluate best practices, and reassess the results of your efforts to ensure you’re maximizing them.

The purpose of marketing collateral in a business can vary depending on the goals and budgets of the organization. Still, most companies utilize this collateral as a tool for sales support.

As a result, they utilize it to spread awareness about an offering and drive its adoption. 

They must be able to attract and gain new, qualified leads through it. Moreover, they use it to support current customers, build brand loyalty, and win repeat business. 

This being said, marketing collateral isn’t just an asset to sales teams but also marketing teams. Many organizations also widely use it to achieve goals that have nothing to do with revenue generation. 

For example, let’s consider a company dealing with low employee morale, leading to lower productivity and growth. 

Marketing collateral could be used to promote new initiatives that are aimed at bettering workplace culture through the use of marketing collateral. For example, an organization undergoing a corporate rebrand might use marketing collateral to motivate employees to adopt their new brand identity and guidelines as part of the rebranding process. 

The truth of the matter is that marketing collateral has applications for every audience and every goal – the only thing you need to do is determine the type of marketing collateral you need.

Promote, Advertise and Establish A Social Media Presence 

To start a digital marketing agency from scratch, you must be on social media. You can set up an account on social media platforms for free, so why not take advantage of that and get started?

Creating organic leads, engaging with existing and potential customers, and turning your business into a global company allows you to benefit from organic lead generation. 

A marketing agency owner is an expert in elevating their clients’ brands, products, and services and designing growth strategies that will propel them to tremendous success.

However, these companies could use some support in promoting their digital marketing services. 

Once you introduce your agency to the marketplace, the challenging work begins. 

Studies show that growth-related challenges were a top concern for digital ad agencies in 2021, and the digital marketing landscape looks just as crowded and competitive in 2022. 

So knowing how to attract a steady pipeline of clients is essential, so take note and never forget these key points to communicate to maximize your online visibility and win clients;

Solid management

The ability to capitalize on leads requires the development of documented procedures and processes that are implemented and documented. Ideally, your staff should be trained to follow repeatable steps to engage potential clients as soon as they enter your pipeline and move them through the process as efficiently as possible.

Capacity excess

If you plan to close a bunch of new businesses, you need to make sure that your company can handle the additional workload before you do so. A good rule of thumb is that your team members should be busy 70-90% of the time for their production-level staff and 60-80% for their account management staff. 

Research-based positioning

Knowing what you do best is the key to success. Market analysis and research are required to obtain this kind of knowledge. First, your niche should be identified once you’ve solidified it. Then, show others why you’re the best person to solve the problems you’ve identified.

Appropriate pricing

A high price may lead to the client choosing a better bargain due to overpricing. On the other hand, if you underprice your services, potential customers may wonder why you think your services are worth less than the services of your competitors. 

To succeed in your market, you need to identify the sweet spot in your market, and you might catch the attention of those looking for the best service or product at the best price.

Goals and vision

Getting where you want to go starts with knowing where you want to end up in the first place. By spending quality time setting your team’s vision and goals, you will be able to provide them with clear parameters. 

In addition, you will be able to allocate your resources more efficiently.

Finding The Right Business Partners

Choosing the right marketing partner for your company can be a challenging decision. Unfortunately, some people feel that for their organizations to comply with this option, they are forced to accept a compromise.

There is good news: If you find a suitable partner that is the right match for you and your company, you will never have to worry about settling. 

You can achieve your goals as long as you appropriately vet your prospects and choose a team that is committed to assisting you in your growth.

The trickiest part of all of this is figuring out where to start. First, consider what you need in a marketing partner before you start your search, and then focus on those places to begin your search. 

Is it essential to have someone on your side who has stellar social media skills, or do you need someone who is a powerhouse PPC provider, or do you need both? In that case, start exploring those social platforms that will be most valuable to your business by digging deeper into them. 

Make sure you do not only look for agency prospects but also look for brands that interest you. Please list what they do well and what is working for them. 

In addition, try searching GoogleTM for marketing services you need and see what AdWords links you come across. 

If you like what a marketing company is doing on social media or through PPC to promote their brand or the brand of another brand you admire, you’ll also like what they can do for yours.

A good old-fashioned word-of-mouth recommendation is another avenue worth considering if you want to find the best service. Don’t be afraid to ask around. What are the chances you have friends or family at other organizations who also use the services of marketing agencies? 

Take the time to talk to them and find out what they think. Then, you can expand the reach of those word-of-mouth conversations by asking for recommendations on LinkedIn (assuming your network is of a decent size). 

It would be best to cast a giant net to get an enormous response. 84% of consumers indeed look to the Internet before making a purchase. Still, it never hurts to get recommendations from other individuals before you start stalking the web for information about the products that interest you.

Generating Leads 

If you would like to generate leads for your business, there are many ways to go about it, but it can be difficult when starting, so do not lose heart. A clear idea about your target customer is the first step in generating leads.

Once you have identified your target customer, the best thing you can do is start your own Youtube channel and use it as a lead generation tool. 

Make sure you publish video content regularly on YouTube to generate leads with the help of helpful content. Case studies, hot marketing topics, how-to’s, and client reviews are a few ideas to consider for publishing. 

What kind of articles performs better on your blog than others? Have you noticed any differences between your articles? Check out the title of the articles.

The best way to determine which title performs better is to conduct an A/B test on different labels. It is always possible for you to change out articles for blog posts at any time. 

It is also possible to do affiliate marketing as another method of marketing. Partnering with affiliates will allow you to expand your network and find potential customers as you develop your network.

Cold emails are also an option, but you have to be careful with this method so that you do not come across as spam. 

It is essential to research each company before reaching out to them and to craft an email that relates to their needs. When you’re first starting, and your budget is limited, this is the perfect choice for you. 

Moreover, you should also keep in mind that if your agency is going to generate leads for other companies somehow, you need to know how to generate those leads effectively.

The more you market yourself, the easier it will be for your customers to do so, and this will allow you to have a case study to show to potential clients.

The best way to run your agency operations more efficiently is by implementing an agency management solution in your system before things get complicated, especially if you consider everything mentioned above and start generating leads now. 

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