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A Shopper's Guide to Digital Marketing

The Purpose of this Guide is to Provide You with the Information You Need to Choose the Right Digital Firm for Your Organization.


So Many Services - Which Ones Do I Really Need?

The Short List of Digital Services


  • Search Engine Optimization or SEO - On and Offsite

    • Onsite SEO - Any Service that enhances the Visitor's Experience and Results in More Engagement, Leads, or Sales measured by the percentage of visitors that converted. Conversion Optimization.
      ...They are going to get more sales from your existing traffic.

    • Offsite SEO - Any Service that enhances the way your site is viewed or listed and ranked by Search Engines.
      ....Increase Relevant Traffic, or Get People to Your Website that are Interested in Your Services or Products.


  • Search Engine Marketing - A.K.A. Pay Per Click, Pay Per View, Adwords, SEM, PPC, Bing Ads, FaceBook Ads
    Actively target people who are interested in your service and serve text, video, or picture ads in an effort to Get Visitors to Your Site or Increase Your Brand Awareness.

    • Pay Per Click - Text Ads and/or Display, Picture, or Product Ads.
      Targets individuals that have Demonstrated the Intention to Purchase or Secure Your Product or Service.
      They Typed in "Your Service + Location" or "Your Product For Sale".
      The additional modifiers, in this case "Location" or "For Sale" are referred to as Transactional Extensions.
      Potential clients can demonstrate the intention to buy by displaying patterns of behavior, researching similar products and services, or simply by being in the right demographic.


    • Pay Per View - Generally Display and Video. Make people aware of Your Company Brand and Logo, Your Product or Services, or Other Message that Indirectly Benefits the Viewer or Your Organization.


  • Tracking, Statistics, and Analysis - Analytics, Reporting, Stats, KPI, ROI, Google Tag Manager, Click Through Rate, and Bounce Rate are just a few common terms.
    The goal is to collect data and report, measure, interpret, and/or make decisions.
     How many people clicked your ad?
    How long did people stay on your site?
    Did they submit a lead or make a purchase?


    • Collecting Data - The most powerful and comprehensive tool for this job in today's market is the Google Tag Manager and Google Analytics. Both are Free! There are others to be sure, but they are either limited in scope, difficult to implement, or have a premium price tag.
      Today's Tracking Tools are capable of tracking every website interaction including individual mouse movements and clicks to purchases and phone calls, then attributing that information back to the source.
      Answering the most important question of all,
      Where's the money coming from?
      Immediately followed by the second most important question,
      How do we make more?


    • Reporting and Interpreting Data - Programs can point you to the KPI's or Key Performance Indicators, but it is still beneficial to have a human in the loop to diagnose the less obvious problems that arise.
      Empathy is the number 1 tool here, did we catch people at the right moment?
      Did we show them the right information?
      Is something on the site causing a bad reaction?
      Are the Right People on the site?
      Does someone else have a better deal?
      Did we make the right impression?


    • Most of these Reports and KPI's are meant for the SEO's and SEM's to analyze for better performance.
      If you have these services the only statistic you should have to concern yourself with is the bottom line!


    • If your marketing team is not tracking, reporting, or analyzing, they are either guessing or simply aren't concerned about improving the bottom line or performance at any level. (With Long Experience there are basics to cover but eventually the data will be needed)


  • Content Marketing - Blogs, Posts, Guides, & Info. Posting articles and information that attracts visitors. For best results the content should be relevant in some way to your product or service.

    This guide is an example of content marketing and the primary goal is to help and inform consumers while the secondary goal is to make potential consumers of Digital Marketing aware of Another Lead.
    Content Marketing does not have a very high direct sales percentage, but it still generates revenue and promotes your organization. This can lead to more sales on down the road.
    If your product is content then this is the most powerful tool to get visitors and views which translate into Ad Revenue in return for ads on your website.


  • Social Media Engagement - This is the Newest Addition and can be compared to content marketing in terms of sales and benefits.
    Engagement can generate revenue, or raise brand awareness and trust.
    Social Media is also an area where you can give back to or interact with the community.
    At Another Lead, for example, we love helping small businesses. So we go to the small business communities and give free specific digital advice, evaluating websites and answering questions as best we can.



Survival of the Fittest


  • Digital Marketing is Competitive

    • Just like Musical Chairs Someone Will Be Left Without a Seat! - If you have 10 superb, conversion optimized websites and 9 potential customers, at least one of those superb, conversion optimized websites is not going to convert.

    • References & Results - Prior to any agreement the digital marketing company in question should be able to provide proof in the form of tracked results and references to back those results in an area at least as competitive as yours.
      Methods and models that work in Upstate New York probably won't cut the mustard in Manhattan.



About Digital Marketing Agencies


  • Not all agencies are cut from the same cloth

    • Large Digital Marketing Agencies - Bulk marketing agencies usually employ some type of template or cookie cutter, tend to be non-competitive (they probably have the contract for your competition across the street too), and your rarely able to get in touch with experienced personnel.
      They will, however, apply all of that knowledge and expertise into their website and digital presence in order to sell you the service.
      Unless you're big enough to command respect this may not be the best option.


    • Medium Sized Agencies - Small enough to Cater to Established Businesses yet still have enough muscle to perform on larger contracts. Despite the Agility, these companies can still apply cookie cutter techniques and be non-competitive.


    • Smaller Firms & The Web Dude - Surprisingly these firms and individuals can be geared to take on major challenges. The web is a place where small companies and individuals can compete on the global market and carve a niche. Watch out for excessive outsourcing, lack of enthusiasm, lack of references. Still this is probably a startup company's best bet. The right individual can out compete any size firm with the right techniques.


    • Digital Marketing Agencies in General - It all comes down to who sets the policy.
      Are they in it strictly for profit?
      Are they interested in providing state of the art, groundbreaking results?
      Regardless, their response will always be the latter.
      By staying current on Digital Techniques you will be able to determine this simply by the services they offer.
      You can also ask if they grant exclusivity in your area for your product or service.
      If they reply for a fee, then they are not competitive. But they will take your money to simply not pick up your competition.



The Digital Marketing Shopper's Quick List


  • 10 Things You Shouldn't Do or the Digital Dont's

    • Do Not Hire a Company that Solicits or Cold Calls. Do they have a problem getting business?


    • Do Not Hire Spammers that Claim to be SEO's. Unless You Plan on Spamming for Business Of Course.


    • Do Not Hire an SEO Company Claiming to Be Google


    • Do Not Hire a Non-Competitive Marketing Company


    • Do Not Hire a Company that Does Not Track Results


    • Do Not Hire a Company with No References


    • Do Not Pay for Services You Don't Need


    • Do Not Over Pay for Services, Paying More Money Does Not Guarantee Results


    • Do Not Hire a Company with Too Many Accounts Per Person


    • Do Not Take a Digital Marketing Company's Word For It When It Comes to Their Digital Marketing


How refreshing, Information with no ads, popups, email requests, calls to action, and very few shameless plugs (2 Examples...).
We hope this information was helpful, if we've left anything out, or if you have any comments please submit them to the site administrator below. They will be posted as they're approved.

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