What You Should Know & Do Before Contacting a Digital Marketing Agency
There is lots of information about how to research a digital marketing agency and what questions to ask during the process. But there are actually some things you should do for your business on your end even before you contact a marketing agency. These things will make the process of branding and marketing your business a lot easier.
First, research your target audience and figure out who the buyer personas are within that audience. You need to figure out your audience demographics (age, gender, marital status, race, ethnicity, income, education, job title/occupation, etc.), and psychographics (prospective buyer profiles based on their personality, interests, activities, behavior patterns, attitudes, opinions, lifestyles, values, motivations, and goals etc.), which will help you flesh out your buyer personas. These personas are semi-fictional depictions of your ideal buyer based on both market research and real information about your current customers.
When crafting your buyer persona(s), include a mix of both customer demographics and psychographics. You can even make a distinction between your ideal personas (the people you want to target) and "negative" personas (people you don't want to target for whatever reason, such as their unlikeliness to buy from you in the first place or remain a customer).
Buyer personas will help you better understand both your current buyers and prospective buyers, which will provide a great foundation and solid insight for your business. The more detailed each buyer persona is, the easier it will be to craft relevant content and messaging, decide what areas to spend your time on, manage product development, and allow for unity in messaging and branding throughout your organization. Consequently, your business will be able to draw in the most valuable and relevant visitors, leads, and clientele/customers.
If you don't yet have products or services available, you might want to hire a market research company and have them do preliminary research to figure out who your target audience is most likely to be.
Next, if your business is in an industry with its own jargon that industry outsiders aren't aware of and you don't already have a content marketing or brand style guide, create a language guide detailing what words to use (as well as what words NOT to use). This will help whoever is writing your content, particularly if they aren't that knowledgeable about your industry. The language guide can eventually evolve into a full-on brand style guide or content marketing style guide with detailed standards about what grammar and tone should be used, as well as logo usage, colors and other visuals to use.
You should also already have an idea of what you want your business to accomplish with its marketing (outside of the aforementioned buyer personas and language), but be flexible. A digital marketing agency won't be able to act in your best interest without input from your business. But be reasonable about what can actually be done. Understand that some aspects of your marketing campaign will need to be repeatedly adjusted over time in order to see what works best and get the best possible results. A well-performing marketing campaign rarely happens overnight.
As long as you understand that digital marketing is a collaborative effort of equal proportions between a digital marketing team and your business, you can play your part effectively. Follow through with these tasks and expectations, and you'll make things a lot easier for your business and whatever digital marketing team you choose to work with.
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