Businesses leave no stone unturned when it comes to establishing a solid online presence. They know that in this era, conquering the digital frontier is no longer an option but a necessity.
At least 60% of small businesses use digital marketing to build their online presence. Not only that, but 76% of consumers look for a company's online presence before deciding to buy the products or services they offer.
These staggering numbers present an enticing opportunity for entrepreneurs and marketers alike to capitalize on this growing industry.
With the digital marketing arena seemingly saturated with experts, you might wonder if there's room for one more. Fear not. We will explore key steps on how to start a digital marketing company from scratch.
Table of contents:
- What services does a digital marketing company provide?
- How to start a digital marketing company in 7 steps
- Making your digital marketing company stand out
- Tools you need to run a digital marketing company
What services does a digital marketing company provide?
A robust and professional digital company is a driving force behind a business’s success in the digital realm. It equips the business with a wide array of tools and strategies to achieve tangible results.
Before we get into how to start a digital marketing company, let’s explore exactly what services a digital marketing company provides to the client.
At the core of any successful digital marketing campaign lies a well-thought-out strategy. Digital marketing companies are experts at crafting customized plans that align with a client's goals. They analyze market trends, target audience behavior, and competition to create a roadmap for success.
Search engine optimization (SEO)
Achieving a high ranking on search engine results pages (SERPs) is crucial for online visibility. Digital marketing companies employ SEO techniques to improve a website's organic search ranking, including on-page optimization, content creation, and backlink building.
Content is king in the digital world. It might sound like an overused or even an old-school adage. But, it remains an undeniable truth that shapes the very foundation of online success.
These companies produce and distribute high-quality content, including blog posts, articles, explainer videos, and infographics, to engage and inform the target audience. Content marketing boosts brand authority and enhances SEO efforts.
Digital marketing agencies also help businesses create and curate content, manage social media profiles, gain followers and engage with them, and even run paid advertising campaigns to drive brand awareness and engagement.
It goes beyond the creation and performance of digital marketing, though. A digital marketing company also monitors campaigns, analyzes performance metrics, and provides comprehensive reports to clients. This data-driven approach allows for informed decision-making and ongoing optimization.
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How to start a digital marketing company in 7 steps
Now that you know what you should, at least, bring to the table, let's break down how you can start and thrive in the exhilarating world of digital marketing entrepreneurship.
Starting your very own digital marketing company is a journey that begins with a vision and unfolds through careful planning, strategic thinking, and relentless dedication.
Here are the essential steps on how to start a digital marketing company that not only takes off successfully but also thrives in the competitive and ever-evolving digital landscape.
1. Conduct market research
First thing first. Make sure you understand the digital marketing landscape before you dive headfirst into starting your own digital marketing company.
You can do this by conducting a market research. A well-planned and well-executed market research can make other next steps a lot easier. You will know digital marketing agencies operating in your niche.
This way, you will know how to differentiate your company, develop unique selling points, and create strategies to outperform your competitors. At the end of the day, it’s essential to understand the industry, your competitors, the potential clients you target, and even what is recently trending.
While conducting market research can seem like a backbreaking task, there are tons of tools you can leverage to make the whole process less painful and more streamlined. Equip yourself with the robust agency tools and technologies required to navigate this dynamic landscape effectively.
2. Develop a business plan
Just like any other type of business, your digital marketing company should build upon a well-developed business plan. Include your goals, origins, mission, vision, and core values. Highlight what sets your company apart from competitors and the niche or industry you plan to focus on.
Along with all of it, assemble a strong team of experts in various areas of digital marketing. They will be the backbone of your digital marketing company, responsible for delivering exceptional results to your clients.
Here are some key roles to consider when building your digital marketing dream team:
- SEO Specialist
- SEO Copywriter
- Content Creator
- Social Media Manager
- Analytics and Data Analyst
- Client Relations Manager
3. Choose your niche
You might think that casting a wide net and offering digital marketing services to every type of business would be the quickest path to success.
However, if you choose to only specialize in a particular niche, you can develop deep expertise in that industry's nuances and challenges.
This knowledge allows you to craft highly tailored strategies that resonate with your target audience. Clients are more likely to trust and hire experts who understand their specific needs.
For example, if you have a background in healthcare and a passion for wellness, specializing in healthcare digital marketing could be a strategic choice. Focus targeting exclusively on healthcare providers, clinics, or medical product companies.
You can leverage your industry knowledge to craft highly effective marketing strategies tailored to the unique needs and regulations of the healthcare sector.
4. Define your service
When you know everything there is to know about your digital marketing service, potential clients can tell that you’re, indeed, an expert. They can rely on you whenever they have questions about your service from A to Z. As a result of this kind of expertise, they’ll be more likely to believe you when you tell them that your service is the best fit for their needs.
Meanwhile, if you aren’t completely knowledgeable about the minutiae of your service and how they relate to others in your field, you won’t have the answers to all of their questions.
By all means, clearly defined services set clear expectations for your clients. They will know what to anticipate when they hire your digital marketing company. Over time, this helps you and your team avoid misunderstandings and potential conflicts.
5. Build your portfolio
When you just started, building a portfolio may seem like a catch-22 situation.
Clients often want to see your past work to gauge your expertise and trustworthiness, but how can you showcase experience when you're just getting off the ground?
Create and manage your own digital marketing campaigns for personal projects or blogs. This serves as a live demonstration of your skills and your ability to drive results.
You can start a blog, optimize it for SEO, promote it on social media, and document the traffic and engagement growth in a case-study-like content. Outline the challenges, your strategies, the execution process, and the measurable outcomes. Include before-and-after data and charts.
6. Branding and identity
Your digital marketing company's branding is not just a logo or a color scheme; it's the essence of your business, conveying your values, personality, and the promise of value you bring to clients.
Start by defining your brand's core essence. What is your mission? Which values do you uphold? What unique qualities set your digital marketing company apart from the competition? Clarify your brand's personality and the emotions you want it to evoke.
Then, it would be much easier for you to choose the right business name, find your brand voice, invest in a well-built website, and create high-quality content.
7. Marketing and networking
While you aim to help market other businesses, you also need a robust marketing and networking strategy of your own to establish your digital marketing company in the industry.
To expand your network, attend digital marketing conferences, seminars, and webinars. These events provide opportunities to learn from industry leaders and establish your presence. Joint ventures, partnerships, and co-marketing efforts can also expand your reach.
If you want even more diverse collaboration opportunities, consider partnering with businesses from different niches within the same industry, such as explainer video companies, content agencies, content production firms, and more.
These cross-niche collaborations can bring fresh perspectives and innovative solutions to your digital marketing agency, enriching your offerings and extending your network even further.
Making your digital marketing company stand out
We just learned the 7 steps on how to start a digital marketing company. But, this means nothing when you're drowning in a sea of agencies vying for clients' attention.
Merely offering excellent services won't cut it. That’s why we include essential factors that can make your digital marketing agency stand out.
- Unique value proposition: Identify the unique strengths and qualities that make your agency distinct. Whether it's a niche specialization, innovative methodologies, or exceptional customer service, your UVP is what clients will remember.
- Exceptional client service: Go the extra mile to provide top-notch service. Responsive communication, personalized strategies, and a client-centric approach build trust and foster long-term relationships.
- Collaborate and partner: Collaborate with complementary businesses or influencers in your industry to expand your reach and offer comprehensive solutions to clients.
- Client-centric approach: Continuously listen to your clients' needs, adapt your strategies as necessary, and maintain an open line of communication to ensure their satisfaction.
- Keep an eye out on competitors: Stay informed about your competitors' strategies and offerings. Identify gaps in the market that your agency can fill.
Tools you need to run a digital marketing company
Running a digital marketing agency requires a combination of skills, software, and tools to effectively manage campaigns, analyze data, and communicate with clients.
There are a bunch of tools that can help you streamline all the back-breaking processes of running a digital marketing company. We’ve listed some essential ones below:
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Website audit tools
Website audit tools come in handy for analyzing websites and identifying issues, errors, and opportunities for improvement in your client’s websites. Using this tool, you know what you should do to help the client in the first place.
These tools automatically scan websites to assess factors like on-page SEO, technical performance, user experience, and security.
Some popular website audit tools include:
- Google Analytics
- Moz Pro
Project management software
With robust project management software, you can plan, execute, and track tasks and projects efficiently. It streamlines team collaboration, task allocation, and progress monitoring.
Most project management software out there provides you with task boards, calendars, Gantt charts, and reporting tools. Not only for internal teams only, you can also invite your client for online collaboration.
Here are some popular ones in the market today:
Digital marketing agencies often deal with mundane, repetitive tasks– which are not only time-consuming but also hinder the productivity of the team.
This is where workflow automation comes in. Workflow automation software can improve the efficiency of your digital marketing agencies by reducing manual work.
You might choose one of these:
- Jotform Enterprise
SEO agency tools
All-in-one SEO tools help you optimize the client’s websites and their content to rank higher in search engine results pages. They provide you with keyword research, on-page optimization, backlink analysis, and tracking performance.
Notable SEO agency tools include:
Social media management software
Social media management software allows you to schedule, monitor, and analyze social media posts and campaigns across multiple platforms. They make it effortless for you to come up with a consistent and well-organized posting schedule for the client.
No matter what social media platforms they use, you will be able to manage all of them from a single dashboard. This, in turn, helps you coordinate and track activities across various channels like TikTok, Twitter (X), Instagram, LinkedIn, and even Facebook without having to go back and forth between each platform.
You can also understand audience engagement, track key performance metrics, and maintain an effective online presence for your client’s business.
You may want to start with one of these:
- Sprout Social
Wrapping up: Get your digital marketing company off the ground
By now, you should have a pretty solid idea on how to start your digital marketing company.
Establishing a digital marketing company is so much more than a mere business venture; it can also be a testament to your vision and determination. Remember that success isn't solely measured by revenue or client numbers.
It's about the lasting impact you make, the relationships you nurture, and the transformative results you deliver for your clients.
When you’re ready to launch your digital marketing company, be sure to leverage the correct tools that ensure great client results.