How Can Digital Marketing Agencies Close Big Companies?
The success of most digital marketing agencies come from the realization of one important factor – there is no single recipe to successfully winning new businesses. These agencies have become successful due to amalgamation of a variety of factors. Companies work hard for years to perfect a method of winning new clients which includes a lot of practice, patience, planning and focus. However, there are a few things that companies can do to ensure they are one step closer to winning bigger clients.
A lot of companies have started to prefer smaller agencies or boutique firms because they often get value for their money as well as personalised attention which larger firms cannot afford to do. Hence, the opportunity for smaller firms is growing as well.
However to ensure that you are able to generate leads from relevant clients and are able to effectively close the business deal – here are few tips that will help –
Be Active on LinkedIn
LinkedIn is the biggest professional social media network and is an excellent place to market your agency. Almost every company has its own page on LinkedIn where they share various things such as their work, about their employees, thought leadership pieces etc. all in an effort to build a brand around themselves and also to connect with prospective customers or clients. According to Reachforce, over 44% of business to business marketers have generated leads only through LinkedIn. In comparison, only 39% have been able to generate leads through Facebook and only over 30% have been able to do so via Twitter.
Thus LinkedIn is a great place to market yourself and build a network. This network will also be helpful in generating new leads. The best way to leverage LinkedIn to generate leads is to research on relevant groups and contribute to slowly get your brand in front of prospects. It is also helpful to search for potential clients, connect with them and send them a message with a well written pitch. It is important to remember and share relevant content so that you can attract the right kind of clients.
While maintaining a favourable online image is important, it is equally important for your agency to have a real presence. Talking over emails or messages never matches up to face to face communication. Attending small industry events or conferences is very important to build connections with other industry professionals. Pitching your company at these events or seminars to like-minded industry counterparts is a great way to spread word about your brand and services. It always pays off to send a few of your team members to various events to exchange business cards and pleasantries.
Another great networking tool is to speak yourself at various industry specific seminars or conferences. Or better yet, you could organise a small scale one yourself. This will help solidify your position as a though leader as well as position your company as a leader in its field. This will eventually help you in building contacts that will be fruitful for you in the long run.
Build Your References
Having a solid pool of referral network is imperative for any service agency. You need to have a connection with others such that they would be happy to refer someone to you for your services.
One of the biggest source of references is your clients itself – both present and past clients. Clients usually will know other people who might require the same services and if they are happy with your work they would be likely to suggest you to others. Hence, keeping your client in the good books will prove to be very beneficial.
Another good source of references are other agencies and partners. For example if you are a digital agency, then it is a good idea to build references with a PR agency, media buying agency etc. These are not your direct competition and they would be sure to refer their clients to you if they require digital services. It is also a good idea to have a good network with your direct competition because they may refer clients who they are unable to accommodate. Sometimes even their bad clients can be a dream client for you. Hence having a network of people who can refer people to you is very important.
According to Demand Metric, content marketing generates 3 times as many leads as traditional outbound marketing, but costs 62% less. Seeing that content marketing is doing so well, a lot of companies are taking the effort to produce unique, original and relevant content. However, for lead generation to actually happen through content marketing, brands should act as publishers and not advertisers.
To create meaningful content it is necessary to address all the stages of the sales funnel namely – awareness, education, and validation. Therefore it’s good to have a healthy mix of blogs, guides, whitepapers, webinars, industry info and testimonials and references.
Your content should also be promoted because you will be able to generate leads only if people read the content. Social media is the best way to promote your content as well as participating in forums and discussions. This will help people find you as well as position you as a thought leader.
While there are many ways to attract new and big clients none of them is as important as the work you do. There is general perception that a smaller agency is more creative and hands on as compared to larger agencies because they do not have the corporate policies, management and rules that are said to inhibit creativity. Use this perception to your advantage. Ensure to showcase your creativity when you meet with a client or when you approach a client because new and out of the box ideas are always appreciated.
Clients appreciate agencies that have a great body of work and who showcase it. This need not be considered as boasting but as an assurance to the client that your agency is capable of creative work. This is often a major selling point for most agencies hence it is important to leverage on the same in order to be able to convert big clients.
Highlight Your Efficiency and Speed
At the end of the day, clients want agencies who can get word done in the stipulated time and do it well. Hence characteristics of efficiency and speed are very important. You may think that bigger agencies have an upper hand in this regard as they have a bigger budget, more manpower and access to more resource but they have their own debilitations which can slow down work for them and make them inefficient.
Clients usually have their own processes of rules, checkpoints and approvals and they don’t want partner agencies to add on to that. They prefer agencies who are quick and efficient and are able to respond quickly to dynamic scenarios. As an agency, capitalising on this factor can help you win new and big clients.
As a small or medium agency, you do not have the freedom to take on as many clients as you want as there are several factors involved. Which is why, you need to be selective on who you are picking. This process makes a client feel exclusive and already sets a good tone for the relationship between you two.
This also helps you focus on your few existing clients thus giving them the best of your services. Clients who are working with you will remember that you gave them specialised and personalised attention and might refer others to you. Secondly, this was you get to pick the clients that are right for your agency or what you want your agency to be known for. This ensures that you are working with someone who has similar ethics or values which will lead to a more flourishing relationship.
Customize Your Business Proposal
Most agencies have a one size fits all approach to business proposal. Big agencies usually find it easier to do that because they generally do not have time to customize proposals for each client. They receive a huge number of request for proposal and it just makes sense for them to follow a similar format for all.
This is an advantage for smaller agencies because they have the time to actually fully study the prospective client and give a customised and tailored approach to the clients based on their nature and needs. This kind of approach showcases that the agency has put in the effort to actually understand you and that they have a selective and team oriented approach.
Emphasize on Expertise
Most digital agencies have some sort of specialization that they are known for such as Search Engine Optimization, Web Designing, and Email Marketing etc. Most of the big agencies are a jack of all trades hence it is important to be the masters of a few.
If you feel that some service is your core offering which is also your best then it is important to highlight this fact and position yourself at the best at that. Selling this will help businesses realize that you are the go to person for that specific service. This will thus be a good point to capitalize on when you are trying for new businesses.
Focus on Value not Price
At the end of the day, everyone wants value delivered. Clients want some value added to their business through your services. As an agency that is potentially trying to woo a new business, it is always in your best interests to communicate value over price. Instead of saying “This is what X or Y service will cost you”, you must say “With our X service, you will see an increase in brand awareness and engagement.” First focus on value and only move on to the price if the client shows an inclination towards your service.
It is important for an agency to actively promote themselves and look for leads as well as to ensure that their core businesses are attractive. By taking these steps, agencies can ensure to target and win bigger clients for their roster.