Running a digital agency may seem overwhelming. After all, you’re dealing with an ever-evolving digital landscape. Your hands are rarely empty and you don’t seem to run out of things to do. This sounds like a good problem but it also makes you think: Will I ever have enough time to develop and fine-tune a digital agency marketing plan?
This may sound cliché but as they say, if you fail to plan, you plan to fail. The words “marketing plan” might seem intimidating, but once you have this in place, you’ll get a sense of what needs to be done to make sure your digital agency is set up for success.
What’s the secret?
Linh Podetti, founder of Outsourcing Angel, has gone through heaps of digital wins as well as mishaps when she started her first digital marketing agency 10 years back. She has since built multiple 6 and 7-figure profitable agencies. There’s no complex formula involved here. According to Linh, all she did was to build a virtual team and her business just started to take off.
In this video, Linh shares her 5-step guide on developing a perfect marketing plan for your digital agency and outlines how your team of virtual assistants can help you achieve this.
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Step 1: Create a story
As marketing guru Seth Godin puts it, “Marketing is no longer about the stuff you make, but the stories you tell.” It’s not about how amazing your product or service is. According to Linh, the landscape of marketing has become more about capturing the hearts and minds of people through powerful and compelling storytelling.
How can you tell a powerful and compelling story? Linh recommends figuring out what story you want to tell this 2019 and find out ways on how you’re going to tell it. You can explore different digital forms in your storytelling, the most popular of which are videos. Your virtual staff can create compelling videos using free or low-cost online tools and publish them on platforms where your target audience is most active.
Step 2: Create a marketing schedule
Linh’s advice to budding digital agencies is to be proactive with your marketing instead of being reactive. Create a marketing schedule template or use an online tool/software and pre-plan your topics and campaigns 2 to 3 months in advance.
If you’re working with a virtual assistant or staff, you can use a Google Sheet and outline the days and months to be filled with topic ideas and content to be published on your websites, social media pages or other digital marketing platforms. Then share the sheets with everyone in your team so every single member of your marketing team is in line with your company’s objectives and message. Also, make sure that your website, social media channels, emails and other platforms are consistent and promoting the same message. If you would like a template of the master marketing schedule that we use at Outsourcing Angel, click here to download a copy: Marketing Plan Template.
Linh recommends that you focus your time on content ideas and creatives and leave your team to execute your plan. If you have local staff, maximise their time by enlisting the help of a virtual assistant to take charge of low-value tasks like editing and creating content, as well as scheduling posts.
Step 3: Look at the latest trends
Trends drive a digital business. The best approach is to embrace trends rather than be afraid of them. Linh’s advice is to get comfortable with digital trends and look out for what you can take advantage of this year. To learn what the biggest trends in 2019 is, watch Digital Media Agency Trends in 2019, where Linh shares her predictions on what you need to look out for.
An important ingredient to a successful marketing plan is to incorporate the following trends in your marketing plan. This will help you stay relevant and become a valuable resource to your target audience. If you are serving clients in a particular industry, get your team to research on your client’s industry. This will help you get updated and in front of your client’s industry trends.
Step 4: Analyse your target audience
One of the first things to look at in 2019: Are you going after the right audience? Digital agencies are notorious for trying to be everything to everyone. It is understandable to want to reach as many people as you can but this can be problematic in the long run. The solution: find a niche. Linh stresses that you need to “Analyse who your best clients are and decide to niche deeper.”
Outsourcing Angel used to provide virtual assistants to small businesses. But recently, the company decided to focus on agencies given Linh and her co-founder’s experiences in running their own agencies in the past. By analysing their ideal target audience, Linh’s team was able to design a marketing plan that focuses on adding value to agencies. You can do this by taking advantage of the new year to reevaluate your target audience and determine who your ideal customers are. By creating a niche, you will be able to cater your marketing plan towards helping them.
Step 5: Build a team
Sometimes, agency owners are so wrapped up in doing marketing for their clients that they forget about their own marketing. Does it seem like you don’t have time to market your own business? This is where your virtual staff comes in. If you invest in building a team to help you manage your own marketing as well as handle more client work, the only result you will get is more profit for your agency.
A marketing plan may look like a huge pile of work but the good thing about it is that you don’t have to do this all by yourself. In order to execute your marketing plan properly, you will need a fast, reliable and skillful team. The best part? It doesn’t have to be expensive. You can hire a virtual assistant from overseas at an hourly rate for a fraction of the price of hiring a local employee.
Whatever marketing plan you come up with, remember that your strategy is nothing but a flat piece of paper (or digitised document) without anyone to take action on them. So at the start of the year, prioritise building a virtual team to make sure that your digital agency is in full throttle throughout 2019.
VA Writer: Jamie S. Ayque
VA Position: Digital Marketer