This is a guest post by Cary Leibowitz, a digital marketing professional and SEO specialist who has recently worked with Billykirk, LG, Krups, 5WPR, 12oz Prophet, tortoise and blonde, and various other clients.
Nearly a decade ago, online marketing agencies focused on just one thing: search engine optimization.
As every professional should know, “SEO” at the time consisted of simply creating website content with a lot of keywords, fixing on-page coding, alt tags and descriptions, and building backlinks. Since then, ever-changing search algorithms, social media, and a more generally savvy consumer base have given rise to specialized PR firms, media buying agencies, and more. Digital marketing has grown beyond the basics of SEO to enter a realm dominated by great PR, content promotion, digital brand awareness, and consumer confidence.
Marketing agencies cannot simply offer one of these services any more, because businesses looking for proposals expect to be greeted by all-inclusive marketing plans. In other words, be prepared to expand your offerings or partner with other agencies that do.
Integration of Marketing: Why Are Consumers Demanding More?
The vast amount of information online ensure that, with a few simple clicks of a mouse, savvy users can determine what it really takes to promote their businesses successfully. While they likely don’t have the time to do it themselves or even learn how each technique works, they expect one firm to do it all for them.
These expectations have led them to demand more from the agencies they hire, and agencies that previously specialized in search engine marketing must branch out into public relations because PR plays a major role in the success or failure of a business — and its visibility in search results.
The bottom line: Consumers and businesses demand a symbiotic marketing plan that focuses on driving maximum ROI for their clients. Clients – whether they need traditional ads to boost organic search queries for their targeted terms or a Facebook Ad spend to increase signups for a local event — are savvier now than in the past.
And they’re seeking more.
PR, SEO, and Social Media Go Hand in Hand
Recent changes made to search algorithms ensure that both social media and public relations play key roles in determining search rankings — and while business owners may not know how to implement a full digital marketing strategy, they definitely know what constitutes such a strategy.
Integration of these techniques under one agency name will greatly benefit individual firms which can more effectively create relevant, engaging and successful marketing campaigns when controlling each aspect of the process.
Because PR has evolved so much in the last decade as well, even firms that only offer “traditional” services will at some point have no choice but to play in the digital sandbox.
Integration is near, and firms that fail to master all things digital may as well send pitches via snail mail.
Don’t Fall Behind the Big Players
The need for a more affordable option is the primary reason that single service marketing firms either need to partner up or hire an in-house specialist to cover each of their weak points.
Many of the larger firms in the United States have branched out and now cover nearly all aspects of marketing. For a smaller agency, this can be a very risky and costly venture, especially when hiring in-house staff.
The two best current options for a small to mid-sized firm are to partner up or train current staff.
In the next segment of Marketing Integration Apocalypse I will explore which segment of digital, your team should approach first. Remember that all tactics do not deliver the same ROI.
Cary Leibowitz is a digital marketing professional based out of Staten Island, New York City. Cary specializes in SEO, Reputation Management, Brand Building and Boosting Brand Sales through Organic Search.