Digital marketing packages are almost always a sign of a bad digital marketing company.
The market your business competes in is unique. The socioeconomic realities of your customers are different than those of businesses just like yours in other geographic markets. The businesses your digital marketing will be competing against will vary tremendously from one market to another.
It is virtually impossible to package digital marketing that will work given your company’s specific circumstances.
Despite this, agencies offering digital marketing packages to small businesses are quite common. Unlike companies serving mid-market or enterprise clients, the decision makers at small businesses are rarely trained in digital marketing, and as a result, end up paying for services that do not move the needle for their business.
Avoid wasting resources by spending money on predetermined digital marketing packages and the empty promises offered by the sales people pitching them.
This article will outline what you should be looking for instead of digital marketing packages. By the end, you’ll understand why we do not offer digital marketing packages and why we develop digital marketing plans that require a set number of hours each month (and charge for our time).
83% of companies report that their digital marketing efforts result in reaching their goals. Tailoring the right digital marketing plan to your company could add your firm to that list.
You don’t need digital marketing packages; you need a digital marketing plan
Digital marketing packages usually look something like this:
|The Aggressive Plan||100 keyword phrases targeted|
2 blogs per month
1 social media post per week
|The Conqueror Plan||200 keyword phrases targeted|
4 blogs per month
3 social media post per week
|The Dominator Plan||400 keyword phrases targeted|
8 blogs per month
6 social media post per week
The problem with the kinds of digital marketing packages is that they do not take into consideration your market; often, they won’t even take into consideration your industry.
For example, a digital marketing package offering both social media management and SEO could make sense for a local gym, but would almost certainly not make sense for a personal injury attorney (think about it, who would want to follow a personal injury law firm on Instagram?)
The simple fact that the digital marketing salesperson is offering you a preset package of digital marketing services belies the fact that they haven’t looked at your business, your competition, or your industry.
There is no way to know what digital marketing services a business will benefit from without doing a deep-dive into the business and its competitors’ digital marketing.
Less savvy business owners may not realize this, ultimately wasting thousands of dollars in resources that could have otherwise provided a return on investment.
Want you should be looking for instead of digital marketing packages
Don’t Deal with Salespeople. Only Deal with Digital Marketers.
To start, you should be having a consultation with a digital marketing strategist, not a salesperson. Salespeople rarely have the insights that can only be acquired through actual client work experience.
Ask about some of the campaigns the person is working on. If he or she is not actively working on campaigns, run.
Your Digital Marketing Strategist Should Ask Lots of Questions
Assuming you are interfacing with an actual practitioner and not a salesperson, they should begin by asking about what your digital marketing goals are.
Is your goal to increase sales? Brand recognition? What are you hoping to get out of your digital marketing campaign?
The strategist should also be asking about what you have done in the past. What has been successful? What has not been successful?
A skilled digital marketer will want to know about your unique value proposition and your positioning. Are you a low-cost provider? What differentiates you from your competitors? Why do your customers choose you versus a competitor?
All in all, you should get the feeling that your digital marketing lead has a solid grasp on who your customer is, why they buy from you, and how they make a purchase decision. Only then will he or she be able to propose a digital marketing plan and marketing mix.
You will quickly realize how it would be impossible to create a digital marketing package that delivers results. The answers you give to each one of these questions will determine what channels you should be focused on and the tactics that are most likely to work given each one of those channels.
Web Design Packages: What to Watch Out For
There are several large companies that sell web design packages as a part of the digital marketing packages they offer.
They often have some sort of “setup fee” that serves as a commission to the person making the sale, plus some sort of monthly fee ranging from $199-$499.
These websites are almost always generic templates.
They do not take into consideration anything about your company’s unique value proposition. They look exactly like hundreds of other websites (websites your customers may be visiting).
Worst of all, you do not own it.
If anything were to go wrong with the relationship you have with this digital marketing company, you will be likely presented with a buyout option in order for you to keep your website. Over the lifetime of your business, you will have spent many times more than you would have had you hired a company to build a custom website.
Communication is often an issue. In order to maximize profits, these websites are usually built in Pakistan, India, or the Philippines. This does not mean that they are necessarily bad, but communication will be extremely difficult, given the time zone differences and difficulties with the language. If you have any specific requirements, speaking to the person working on your website will not be an option.
SEO: Impossible to Package
Of all the digital marketing channels, SEO is the one that lends itself to packaging the least.
It is entirely likely that several of the activities you would be paying for given an SEO package will not help your websites search engine rankings.
Digital marketing packages that include X number of blogs per month “for SEO” rarely take into consideration whether blogging will help with your marketing goals in the first place.
Are you in the kind of industry where people have lots of questions about the problems you solve?
If this is the case, blogging may help.
For example, a family law attorney may write a series of blogs that answer the legal questions parents have about child custody. As people are researching their legal issues online, they may decide to reach out to the attorney since she’s demonstrated that she understands the problem they have and is able to help.
If you are a local mover, writing blogs is unlikely to do anything to get you moving leads.
The SEO strategist you are working with will need to help you determine whether blog writing, also known as content marketing, will be likely to get you in front of the customers you want.
This is not something that can be prepackaged.
Social Media Packages: How to Avoid Wasting Money
Many digital marketing packages include a trifecta of services: web design, SEO, and social media. Rarely is any consideration given to the role of each in your customer’s buying process.
Social media is often the biggest offender.
Now, social media will be the one that looks the most like a package. Your agreement should outline how many posts a week are expected, how success is measured, how many meetings you will have each month, etc.
But before you get involved with social media marketing, be sure that it is a part of your customers’ buyer’s journey.
Social media is best used to engage in dialogue with customers. Social media advertising can also be extremely effective when done correctly, though the effectiveness can wildly vary from industry to industry and product to product.
Just to be sure that this dialogue is something your customers are interested in having with you. It is highly unlikely that a strong social media presence will help a gutter cleaner; in fact, it’s a fool’s errand to even try to build a social media following for such a business.
Just because “everyone is on social media” doesn’t mean that you need to concentrate your marketing efforts there.
Generic digital marketing solutions will not work
Your business is unique. The process your customers go through from becoming aware of a need to purchase from you is unique. The marketing mix used to guide your customers along that process must be unique as well.
No digital marketing package will properly align with your customer’s buyers journey and you would be best served by avoiding them.
Instead, look for a digital marketing partner that will take the time to understand your business, understand your customer, and tailor a plan that best fits you, your needs, and your budget.