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How To Run A Winning Digital Marketing Agency

How To Run A Winning Digital Marketing Agency

The explosion of digital marketing over the last decade has enabled and inspired many people to become “digital marketers.” (Many of these people have the experience and skills, but sadly many do not.) This trend means that more and more people are creating digital marketing agencies. Agencies fall into all sorts of different boxes, including local SEO, paid media and creative.

Running a successful digital marketing agency isn’t as simple as setting up an office or virtual working space and hoping the work rolls in. Whether you’re a long-running agency trying to rank among the best in the business or a brand new startup, here are some tips on how you can run a successful digital marketing agency.

Treat your agency like you would a client

When trying to win over clients and bring in more business, your own brand can be your best sales pitch — and the most valuable asset you have. If your agency’s digital presence is superb, clients will be reassured that you have the knowledge and the skills needed to take their own presence to that level. However, if you neglect your own agency’s presence and branding (even if it’s because you’re busy focusing on client work), you could find that it acts as a deterrent for new business.

Create a Winning Digital Marketing Agency
Create a Winning Digital Marketing Agency

Stay two steps ahead

The world of digital moves fast and you can’t afford to lag — even for a second. Innovation is vital and you must always be looking at least two steps ahead. You must constantly reassess and rethink each of your business processes to try and improve them. You also need to keep up with the latest digital marketing strategies and trends and decide if those strategies are implementable in your agency. You have to keep up with the latest strategies, digital marketing tools and processes – that’s how you stay ahead of the curve and position yourself as an agency that is firmly looking towards the future.

Neil Patel has three great tips for developing innovative campaigns:

  • Create a great product or service
  • Test and tweak different forms of online marketing
  • Make sure you use multi-variant landing page and test to maximize your conversions.

(Source: Marketo)

Be a leader, not a follower

The beauty of digital marketing is that there’s no magic recipe for a perfect campaign or amazing results – otherwise, everyone would be doing it and there’d be no competition. As an agency, you should always strive to be an industry leader, trying new things and delivering something exciting to your clients. You don’t want to offer them a one-size-fits-all proposition that they could get at almost any other agency they stumble across. Rather than following what other rival agencies do, become the standard-setter — the example that other agencies seek to emulate.

Dig deep into data

The amount of data we generate every day is colossal – and every bit of it can be useful for a digital marketing agency. Employ staff who can read and respond to this data appropriately, and make it a key part of your strategy in every area. Data offers amazing insight into everything from how well a social post performs to what’s preventing website visitors from converting. Leverage the data you’re collecting, figure out new ways to collect more and use these insights to power your decision-making.

Let clients know you’re invested in their success

Some of your clients may have used other digital marketing agencies before they found yours. They may be jaded from the experience, with expectations fairly low. Some of your clients may be totally new to the world of digital marketing, and your agency is their first experience of outsourcing their marketing.

Whatever circumstances your clients are in, go the extra mile to show them how invested you are in their success. Be as open and transparent as you possible. Schedule weekly catch-ups to provide valuable updates and see if you can get ahead of any other problems they might be facing. You’ll likely have account managers assigned to each client, but as the agency owner, it makes a world of difference if you reach out to clients personally every now and then. These gestures show commitment – and they’ll also provide some much-needed goodwill if –as they occasionally do — things go awry.


We've found Bright Local to be able to fill any gaps we have from using other platforms. Definitely recommend!
Marie Werhan
Columbus, OH

Make the agency a happy place for employees

Digital marketing can be a high-pressure industry, with tough deadlines and goals that can be the difference between success and failure for a client. It’s easy to see how employees could become worn-out or disillusioned. That’s why you, as the manager or owner of the agency, must go above and beyond to make your agency a great place to work. Happy employees are more likely to deliver work at a higher standard. The atmosphere you create in the workspace will also spill over to your clients. If they sense the agency isn’t a great place to work, they may not feel confident about passing more business your way. Concentrate on keeping staff morale high and reap the many rewards of this approach.

Let us know what you think

What one piece of advice has helped you on the path to creating a successful agency? Which habits and practices are most useful? Share your experiences with us in the comments.

Sherry Bonelli
About the author
Sherry is the former Local Search Evangelist at BrightLocal. She led BrightLocal's Research and Content programs and championed the needs of their SEO Agency and SMB customers. Having worked in digital marketing since 1998, Sherry has a Master’s Degree in Internet Marketing along with numerous digital marketing certifications.