How to Promote Your Digital Marketing Agency: 4 Growth Strategies

As online advertisers, we do our best to drive outstanding results for our client accounts. We use the latest and greatest tech available, review reports to find incremental wins, and always test new features that could be game-changers. We’re great stewards of our client accounts.

But what’s the old saying, “The cobbler’s children have no shoes?”

That applies to tons of marketing agencies I’ve encountered, especially the small to mid-sized agencies. When was the last time you worked on marketing or advertising for your own firm? We so often get bogged down with working in our businesses that we forget to work on our businesses. Myself included.

In today’s post, I want to run through some ideas to make sure your agency is set up for success in attracting clients.


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How to promote your digital marketing agency

There’s rarely a time when you’re not worried about getting new clients. That makes sense. You can’t grow without booking new business, and you could fall behind if you don’t replace churning clients.

How to promote you digital marketing agency - graph showing top challenges for agencies.

Getting new clients is a top challenge for most agencies.

Focus on these four growth tactics to ease your anxiety and consistently book new business.

Build a strong website

No matter what avenues you pursue to attract new clients, you’ll always need a strong website to ensure you can convert folks from interested visitors to customers. This is likely where they’ll learn the most about you, your team, your abilities, and how you can help them, so make sure it hits all the highlights.

Think of your website as the remarketing portion of the buyer funnel. We’ll attract them in the next section, but you should build remarketing lists ahead of time to capture all potential customers.

Although all agencies are unique and want to highlight themselves differently, here are a few things to include on your site:

  • Easy conversion options: This should be a no-brainer, but if you’re going to send people to a website, make sure they can convert. This could be a form fill, a phone call, a service purchase, or scheduling a meeting. It’s the dealer’s choice, really. We don’t let our clients get away without strong calls to action, so why should you?
  • Overview of services: Every marketing agency is different. Some specialize in one area, and others are jacks of all trades. Which are you? Highlight all of your services on your site so your potential customers know how you can help them grow their business.
  • Case studies: Personally, I don’t love case studies, but that’s a personal rant. Many agencies use case studies to attract potential clients, and many prospects like to see proof of success in their work. Including these can be an easy way to convince someone of your expertise and warm the lead a little before they even reach out.
  • Digestible language: This one is a personal pet peeve of mine. So often, when I visit an agency’s website (or almost any tech solution anymore), I find that the entire thing is filled with industry jargon. Do you use proprietary software and machine learning to 10x your ROAS and send your results to the moon? Cool. So does everyone else. But also, your customers likely don’t know what most of that means. That’s why they’re not in advertising and need your services. Keep it simple. Explain how you’ll impact their business and keep the jargon out of it.
  • Show off your accolades: If you’ve been successful, show it off. Did you recently win an industry award? That goes on the site. Do you have killer customer reviews? That also goes on the site. Your website is the one and only place where you control what is said about you. Put your best foot forward and show off why you’re so awesome.

Now that you have a strong website that people can engage with after learning about you, it’s time to start attracting new users—the prospecting portion, if you will. Here, I have two main categories to focus on.

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Grow your thought leadership

First, no one will know if you’re an expert at something unless you prove it by sharing your thoughts, experiments, and findings. Even if public speaking isn’t your thing, there are tons of ways to start showing off a little and making a name for yourself as an expert in any field.

I know it might sound counterintuitive, but the more knowledge you give away, the more people want to work with you. Don’t worry; it surprised me too.

I used to think, “But if I give away all my secrets, then won’t people just do it themselves?” Some prospects will. And while that stings a little, there’s a good lesson to be learned here: if someone will take your ideas and do it themselves, they likely won’t be a great client anyway.

Great clients trust in your expertise and work with you to see good results. They don’t try to minimize your impact on their business by doing it themselves. Additionally, if someone’s business is going really well, they likely don’t have time to do it themselves. You’re now an integral extension of their team that helps them stay busy in their business while you work on it.

So, with all of that out of the way, here are some ideas to get you started sharing your thought leadership.

Write engaging content in various forms

The easiest way to get started with thought leadership is just to write. Everyone can write a blog post, whether it’s on a personal site, your agency site, or as a guest blogger. The same is true for ebooks or longer-form content like an industry report or guide.

Write about best practices, wins you’ve had, frustrations, or your strategies. Find a niche that works for you and stick to it. There are tons of tools out there to help you get started with ideas, so do some quick Google searches and see what you can come up with.

Speak at industry events

Whether you focus on PPC, SEO, CRO, or some other alphabet soup, look up the shows in your industry and start pitching to them. In my experience, they’re always looking for fresh faces with new ideas, so don’t be shy about throwing all your ideas at them.

Start a podcast

Who doesn’t have a podcast nowadays? It seems like there are tons out there, and you might think, “I’m too late to the game.” Well, surprise again: you’re not. You don’t have to have a huge audience to see success and expand your customer base.

How can you differentiate yourself? Do you want to focus on Google Ads or highlight landing page tests that worked or didn’t work? Great! What about advertising in your specific industry or location? Also great. Find what works best for you and make it happen.

Post on social media

Many moons ago, I got my first job in PPC right out of college. After an upstart period, I wanted to level up my skills. At that time, the best place to go was Twitter (now X, but I’m too old to call it that). Within a pretty short period of time, Matt Umbro started the first #ppcchat, and that really had a world of impact on my career.

How to promote you digital marketing agency - PPC chat post on X (formerly twitter)

Use #PPCchat on X to connect with other agency professionals.

I met so many people and learned new tactics, but I also started building out an entire timeline of posts that showed off my expertise at that time. More than once, potential clients reached out because they were trying to find an answer to a problem, and my X feed was the solution.

We all know that social media algorithms pay attention to our behaviors on other sites. So, if a business owner is looking for marketing services and they hit up the Instagram Explore page, it might not be a bad idea to have an Instagram feed full of helpful marketing nuggets for them to find.

Submit for industry awards

Remember those accolades I told you to show off on your website? Well, you have to submit to industry award shows to win an industry award. They don’t just hand them out. Do some quick searching and see if there are awards for your specific industry or niche of services and apply to them. Then, if you happen to be good enough (and lucky enough) to win one, shout it out on your site!

Choose the right thought leadership topics

One last tip for this section before we jump into the next focal area. Make sure your thought leadership focuses on things you actually like doing.

If you don’t like Facebook Ads, you probably shouldn’t write blogs or make a podcast about Facebook Ads, even if there’s tons of potential traffic and interest around those terms. Remember, you’re trying to articulate your expertise in an effort to generate new business. If you’re shouting from the rooftops how good you are at Facebook, then you’re going to generate new Facebook clients. Don’t promote the aspects of your services that you don’t enjoy doing!

Build and leverage your networks

The previous section focused on promoting “what you know,” but this section is about growing and leveraging “who you know.”

I mentioned getting started in #ppcchat early on. While that was helpful for client acquisition, it was 100 times as powerful for building out my network. I met folks there that have had immeasurable impacts on my life. Through this network, I found new jobs and a new business partner, made inroads to speaking at industry events, wrote for multiple industry publications, made friends all over the world, and so much more. How can you leverage your network to help market your agency?

Partner with non-competing agencies

Even if you fit into the jack-of-all-trades category, there’s likely a company out there that works with the same types of clients you want to work with and that you could partner with.

An easy example is a PPC firm partnering with an SEO shop. You two likely have a similar book of business, but your disciplines are complementary, not competitive. Finding a partner agency is a great way to build both of your shops. You can trade client referrals and work together on projects. Not only will you generate new business, but you’ll also deliver well-rounded results for your clients.

Consider referral fees

I say “consider” on this one because some folks really love referral fees while others do not. In my mind, both make sense.

How to promote you digital marketing agency - graph of top sources of clients.

Referrals are by far the largest source of new clients.

Referral fees are an amount of money (or a benefit) you give to someone who refers you to new clients. The added incentive to share your name can get you into conversations you might not otherwise have. I find these work well for people who may or may not have worked with you directly before, and they can be great to offer your employees as well.

On the other hand, many people think referral fees create an inauthentic recommendation. If they’re getting paid for suggesting that brand, or if the agency has to offer referral fees for new accounts, they might not be that great. These folks want the business to deliver great results to get the recommendation, not pay them.

The thing is, there’s no right or wrong answer on this one. Some people have very strong beliefs one way or the other, but neither is inherently better than the other, and each approach can work.

Collect customer reviews

Similar to the industry awards on your site, you can’t share customer reviews until you get customer reviews. There are lots of software tools out there that can help you do this, but I’ve also found a quick email can do the trick. Don’t overcomplicate it.

This first-hand account of working with you is great for your site and also helps to strengthen the relationship with the client giving the review. Similar to the folks who want to refer out based on great work, customer reviews can give prospective clients an insider’s opinion on your agency and help them decide if they should choose you or another shop.

Deliver amazing results

The last piece is a bit of a cheat, but I think it deserves its own section because it fuels all the others. If you deliver great results, you’ll drive more business in one way or another.

If you’re seeing great client results:

  • Share it on your website: Show off the awesome case studies you’re seeing and build a compelling case for how you can help other businesses do the same.
  • Write, present, or talk about it: Write a guest blog for an industry publication that reaches a lot of folks. Submit a speaking proposal around your work and highlight your strategies at industry events. Start a podcast that discusses your approaches to the work and how you’re hitting client KPIs.
  • Ask for referrals: Your clients will be so pleased that they’ll be happy to write you customer reviews and refer you to anyone looking for marketing help, whether you’ve paid a referral fee or not.

Use these tactics to promote your digital marketing agency

Delivering great results for clients is hugely important, as evidenced by my last point. But if you’re only thinking about the health of your client’s businesses, who is thinking about the health of yours?

Spend some time developing plans to expand your business. First, ensure you have a solid website for people to land on. Then, share your expertise and leverage your network to attract users to that site and eventually onto your client list.

Here are several more resources you can use to get new clients and maximize revenue for your agency:

The post How to Promote Your Digital Marketing Agency: 4 Growth Strategies appeared first on WordStream.

April 29, 2024

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