The term advertising agency in Mobile, Alabama has come to include a variety of agencies that offer services much broader than just advertising. Many have made a move to narrow their focus to digital, whether it is by choice or market-driven factors. Whether you are looking for the right ad agency or digital agency in Mobile, Alabama, it can be a tricky decision. There are several factors to take into consideration and it can be time consuming to vet every agency. In this blog post, we will review areas where an agency might specialize so you can make a more informed decision when you pick your next agency partner.
While all ad agencies should be creative, some are more creative in their approach than others. Some take an approach that has an edge while others play it safe. Neither approach is right or wrong, but some brands are a better fit for one than the other. For instance, it is difficult for a hospital to take an edgy, humorous approach to such a serious category. On the flip side, if you are marketing to millennialls, a run-of-the-mill safe play may not garner the attention you're looking for. Some agencies really push the envelope on the creative, and if that's the type of work you are looking for, then you'll want to examine an agency's portfolio closely.
Website Design & Development (Small Business)
Most agencies these days build websites. If you are in the market for a website specifically, then you will want to make sure you pick an agency that specializes in building websites. For most small businesses, the website is typically brochure-ware, meaning that the website has the standard content you would find in a brochure. On the back-end of this type of site, there isn't much technology so the development is fairly simple. You may even end up using some sort of template-based design. For this type of website, you will want to identify agencies that fit your budget. A small business website can cost anywhere from $1,000 up to $10,000 depending on the content and functionality.
Website Design & Development (SMB–Enterprise)
Larger businesses build websites that operate as a business within a business, converting visitors into quality leads, gathering consumer data, converting sales or subscriptions, or providing software as a service (SaaS). For websites of this scale, you will want to partner with an agency that has more resources and experience with building larger digital properties. These sites typically will include some sort of maintenance retainer as there is usually either content or updates that will be added over time. At Mighty, we utilize a growth-driven design approach, meaning that we build and launch in sprints, so your website is continuously growing and optimizing—just like your business. Websites of this scale can vary greatly due to scope of functionality. You can be looking at $20,000 upwards of $500,000 for an enterprise ecommerce website. That may sound high, but you must first consider the value being generated from these websites in terms of sales and life-time value (LTV) of customers generated. To put it into perspective, many of your favorite shopping sites cost millions to build and maintain. There is a lot of discussion around requirements and technology that happens before any quote is provided.
While many agencies may offer writing of press releases or PR management, you are really best to hire an agency who specializes in this area. This is because these agencies have built long relationships with key contacts and they know how to get the right stories in front of them. They also know what the media outlets respond to, so they will help you craft your story to optimize the chances of it getting picked up. Additionally, these agencies offer event management and crisis management, so they can help you through the good times and the bad. Most agencies know that PR is not their strong suit, so they will partner with a good PR agency. This means you don't have to worry about hiring one or the other, hire both because they will play nice together.
Nearly every agency you talk to will offer social media content creation and management. Some agency are better at the content than others. Most of the time it is going to come down to budget, but the agencies that specialize in social media know how to scale the content creation and generate quality assets faster. Most of the traditional ad agencies approach social media similar to tradition content such as television or print, and while the content may be great, you just can't achieve the necessary frequency and turn around time needed for a reasonable budget.
This is probably one of the most specialized skillsets. There are not many agencies that offer these services or have the technology in place to implement this type of strategy. Inbound marketing is very similar to content marketing except that inbound provides tools to not just attract traffic but convert that traffic into sales leads and ultimately track those leads from visitor to customer. You have the ability to see exactly where your customers are coming from online down to the ad you ran on Facebook, and you can tell exactly what the ROI is of every digital dollar you are spending.
Identifying which bucket an agency falls into isn't the easiest thing to pick out at first glance. Typically, the best approach is to just point blank ask an agency what is the one thing they enjoy most. Make them narrow their answer down to one thing and then you'll have your answer. In most cases, if you are not working with a large budget, you'll need an agency that is well-versed in multiple areas. Try to find the agency whose skillset matches up closest to the core needs you have in your marketing or advertising strategy.
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