What Is A Marketing Agency? (And What They Do)

Last updated


Daniel Wade


July 28, 2022

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Are you wondering where to invest all your marketing funds for the most considerable impact? Well, numerous businesses usually consult marketing agencies for this answer.

Unlike before, companies need to have an online presence since this is where most of the customers are. Surprisingly, despite having this crucial information, only 50% or less of global small businesses have an online presence.

For many businesses trying to forge a solid online presence, it is usually alluring to try and do it themselves. Nonetheless, by hiring digital marketing agencies, companies can reap more from their distinctive marketing budgets. So, what exactly is a digital marketing agency, and what is their role?

Suppose you are thinking of hiring a digital agency to bolster your marketing campaign. In that case, you must first understand what a digital agency is, what services they offer, and the numerous benefits they can provide your company when you hire their services.

In this guide, you will find out what digital marketing is all about, what digital marketing agencies are, what they do. What's more, you will learn some useful tips on choosing the best marketing agency to help your business reap tremendous results from your marketing agency.

Let's get started.


Table of contents

What is a Digital Marketing Agency?

Before we delve into what marketing agencies are and what they offer, it is vital that we first define what a marketing agency is. Also known as a marketing company/firm, a marketing agency is a different marketing firm that helps businesses define, implement, and effectively manage their marketing strategies to accomplish their unique business and marketing goals.

Now that you know what a marketing agency is, let's learn what exactly these agencies offer your business. Below is a straightforward outline of what a digital agency provides:

  • Digital Agencies Create and identify effective marketing strategies that maximize results and ROI (return on investment)
  • Digital marketing firms Implement marketing campaigns and proper management of marketing plans for customers.
  • Assess and Appraise marketing results through continuous monitoring of marketing initiatives and using user-specific information to boost campaign results.

Is a Marketing Firm the same as a Marketing Agency?

If your business invests in marketing, then you have already come across various firms that brand themselves as 'marketing firms' or 'marketing agencies.' Although this may come off as somewhat confusing, the surprising thing is that they both represent the same thing. In simple terms, they both define a company that works with various businesses or organizations to create, plan, manage, and implement marketing campaigns.

What Does a Digital Marketing Agency Do?

Typically, digital marketing agencies are experts in the online marketing field. These digital agencies understand the best practices, industry trends, and the most effective strategies and tools essential for digital marketing success. Here are the specific roles that digital marketing agencies play in helping businesses achieve their marketing goals:

Help your website receive more Organic Traffic

The objective of a digital marketing plan is to generate significant organic traffic (traffic from users who browse your website online through search engines) to a business website. The marketing experts in digital marketing agencies understand the details of search engine algorithms, inbound marketing, and customer journeys.

When you hire a digital marketing firm, their primary role is to increase the organic traffic to your website/ the number of individuals visiting your website. Ideally, your website will subsequently attract more leads, albeit a significantly lower cost. Additionally, besides increasing traffic, they ensure that the leads you receive are quality leads, meaning that the users browsing your page are more likely to purchase.

Help generate sales-ready leads

Digital marketers working with digital firms have relevant and adequate knowledge and skills to understand your business, objectives, marketing goals, target audience, and sales funnel. They also understand various inbound marketing strategies like social media marketing, content marketing, search engine optimization (SEO), and web design. How is this important?

Typically, different inbound marketing policies are more efficient when it comes to digital marketing than others, primarily based on your o=marketing goals. For instance, various marketing strategies work better in your sales funnel, depending on where your leads are within your specific sales funnel.

By hiring a professional digital marketing firm, you will benefit from receiving the correct message, delivered adequately through the proper medium, and at the appropriate time to all your leads within your specific sales funnel. Furthermore, these agencies will help your business generate ideal and sales-ready leads by expertly moving your leads from the top to the bottom of your sales funnel.

Help broaden your overall brand reach

In this era, most clients are usually the online-a fact that both you and all digital marketing agencies understand. Since these digital marketing expert firms specialize in establishing solid online relationships with clients and promoting brands online, they are the ideal professionals to help you expand your brand's overall online reach.

Working with a professional digital agency will ensure that your website gets better visibility online from buyer-persona development on a keyword search through their resources. Hiring digital agencies to manage your social media marketing will help your brand gain a significant online presence on multiple social media platforms.

Improve your digital marketing strategy from top to bottom

An ideal digital marketing agency for your business should complement your company's marketing team. Ideally, it works as an extension of your marketing team. This means that whatever your internal marketing team lacks or whichever shortages they experience in terms of time and expert digital marketing information, the digital agency you hire will partner with your team to address it effectively.

Help identify and eradicate weaknesses in your digital marketing strategy

Digital marketing agencies are designed to complement and improve your current digital marketing policies. For instance, if you have a relatively small marketing team, you are probably short on experts to effectively propel your marketing campaign.

This means that you may have limited professionals to handle your public relations, SEO, social media, and email marketing, as well as your web design. Fortunately, by enlisting the services of a digital marketing agency, you can simultaneously handle all these roles without increasing your digital marketing budget.

Different Types of Marketing Agencies and the Services Offered

There are seven types of digital marketing agencies available. While some specialize in one particular field, others offer a wide array of services. The vital factor you should always remember is that your business's best agency depends on your unique digital marketing needs, budget, and preferred marketing approach.

Here is a detailed overview of each of the seven digital marketing agencies:

1.  Full-Service Digital Marketing Agency

These digital marketing agencies are characteristically larger than most traditional agencies and offer a broad list of digital marketing services. Full-service agencies are usually ideal for start-ups and small businesses with relatively small sales and internal marketing teams.

Nonetheless, they are also great resources for larger firms with more extensive marketing and sales teams. This is because they help free-up time for sales and marketing managers and other employees to focus their attention on ensuring other business areas run more effectively.

Some of the services that Full-list agencies offer include:

  • Social media advertising and social media management
  • SEO
  • Web design and development
  • Content marketing
  • PPC
  • Website maintenance
  • Review management
  • Email marketing
  • CRO

And much more!

2.  Digital Marketing Agencies

Unlike full-list agencies, digital marketing firms focus on digital marketing activities and provide relatively fewer services than the former. Ideally, these agencies don't offer services like advertising, PR, or even traditional marketing.

3.  SEO Digital Companies

As the name suggests, these are unique digital marketing firms whose speciality is search engine optimization (SEO). Their role is to help businesses with their websites, website content, and higher ranking on search engine results. Some of the services they commonly offer include:

  • Website and blog content creation
  • Website audits
  • Keyword research
  • Assessing clients' website metadata quality (title tags, URL, meta descriptions, etc.)
  • Backlink audits
  • link building
  • Video description optimization

SEO digital agencies usually incorporate multiple and diverse website developers and data analytics tools such as SEO Moz, Google Search Console, Google Analytics, and SEMRush to create effective marketing campaigns. These agencies help you adopt best SEO practices, such as ensuring your website complies with the ever-changing Google search algorithm.

4.  PPC (Digital Ad) Agency

Paid advertising or Paid search is another practical approach for generating organic website traffic. Unlike free (organic) traffic, paid traffic entails spending money to bid on ad placement and keywords on search results. Generally, digital ads may appear on social media channels, websites, and search result pages (SERPs).

PPC agencies understand the best ways to generate attention-capturing, keyword-packed ads that follow the best practices appropriate to the specific digital platforms where the ads appear. Some of the standard services these agencies provide include Twitter, Instagram, YoutTube, Facebook ad creation and distribution, and the creation and maintenance of Google Ads Manager accounts.

5.  Social Media Agency

Synonymous to the name, this type of digital agency offers clients professional social media marketing services. Ideally, social media firms are experts in helping companies generate user-specific content regularly as well as manage their social media content and platforms. Moreover, it would help if you had these agencies when you want to create social media ads on your various social media platforms like Instagram and Facebook and fully maximize results from your social media.

The best social media companies will usually also offer you customer interaction-related services like how to respond and react appropriately on your social platforms. They also aid in influencer outreach for affiliate marketing and cross-promotion.

6.  Website Agency or Website Design Agency

Website design social agencies mainly feature professional creative designers specializing in building customized websites for companies. The skilled web designers take charge of your website's feel, look, and functionality. Some of the standard services web agencies offer include image creation, research, user experience design, web hosting, and web development.

Suppose you want to create a new business website or rebrand and desire a unique website look. In that case, these digital designers can help transform your website's images, colors, fonts, and overall layout.

7.  Digital Marketing Consultant

This is a professional digital marketing expert and can usually be a digital marketing company or freelancing member. A digital marketing consultant has extensive digital marketing knowledge and can assist businesses in developing effective marketing strategies. Besides offering guidance on proper digital marketing policies, they may also recommend you to reliable marketing professionals to help you achieve maximum results from your digital marketing campaign.

Benefits of Hiring a Marketing Agency

For most businesses nowadays, investing in a unique marketing strategy is important to gain a competitive edge over the competition. If you want your business to cement its place as the to-go point for both your current customers and prospects, you must produce user-specific goods and services designed to suit their unique needs.

Hiring a professional marketer is one of the best ways you can ensure that your marketing campaign is accurate and productive. Besides this, here are a few more of the multiple advantages of working with a professional digital marketing firm:

1. Digital marketers help you identify result-driven policies

If you want to create a powerful online presence and benefit from your digital marketing efforts, you should invest in a digital marketing company. Professional marketing firms help you establish a predominant digital marketing plan that offers exceptional returns to your business.

A solid marketing campaign not only promotes your brand online but also helps you assess your client-base and identify the proper channels to

achieve positive results.

2. Marketing agencies offer proper management and implementation of marketing campaigns

If your business has limited marketing professionals and technology to launch and manage marketing campaigns, you need to hire a marketing agency. A digital marketing firm offers you unlimited access to marketing experts with the knowledge to guide you in the proper creation, launching, and management of your campaigns.

This allows you to focus on other fundamental roles in your business, resulting in better productivity. Ideally, they save you and your company valuable time and leverage their resources to promote your long-term business success.

3. Digital Marketing firms help you regularly monitor results and boost campaigns

Every marketing campaign needs continual optimization and monitoring to deliver expected results. When you enlist the expertise of a digital marketing firm, you benefit from continuous assessment and optimization of your marketing operations.

Various digital companies provide custom reporting allowing you to pinpoint how your marketing budget is spent. Better yet, in case of any dissatisfactions with a particular medium, these agencies can help you adjust and customize your channels and campaigns for better and maximum results,

How Much Does A Marketing Agency Cost?

Digital agency firms offer professional digital marketing services at varied prices. While several agencies usually bill a fixed rate for every project, others charge their services hourly. If you want to invest in a digital marketing agency, here is an overview of what you can expect, including the standard service fees:

  • Content marketing services: $0.05 - $0.30 per word
  • SEO services: average monthly charges range between $500 - $20,000 or more
  • Social media marketing services: average monthly charges between $250 - $10,000
  • PPC services: an average of between 5-20% of monthly ad spend
  • Email marketing services: average monthly fee ranges between $300 - $2500 per month
  • Website design services: $2500 - $100k

Tips To Help You Choose The Best Marketing Agency

Now that you understand what marketing agencies are and what they offer, you may wonder how you can choose the best marketing company for your business. Well, depending on the specific service you need, you can pick from an extensive list of digital marketing companies to work with. Nonetheless, when selecting your preferred marketing agency, you need to go for the best one on the market. Here are a useful few tips to help you choose an ideal digital agency for you

1. Identify the specific services the marketing agency offers

First, you need to research and identify what services the marketing agency you want offers. This will help you determine whether it is the proper fit for your needs. For instance, if you are looking for professionals to help redesign your site, and incorporate SEO services, then a full-list digital marketing firm is your best option. Spend adequate time to review several marketing companies and only choose the one that matches your objectives.

2. Compare different pricing

Similarly, you must also evaluate different agency service pricings to identify one that fits your marketing budget. While it is understandable why you might be tempted to go for 'cheap' services, you need to consider that you get what you pay for. A genuine marketing agency offers transparent pricing giving you an accurate budget for the costs you incur when you invest with them. Additionally, they leverage expertise and exclusive data to boost client ROI.

3. Location

Is the marketing company's location ideal for you? If you desire a continuous face-to-face interaction with your marketing firm, then your best choice is an agency located within your vicinity. Remember that several agencies have multiple locations, so ensure you find out if they have a branch near you. Moreover, many modern agencies now feature hi-tech virtual meet technology facilitating reliable, fast, and convenient interfacing with your team, notwithstanding your location.

4. Track-record and Results

Before you select a digital marketing company to hire, ensure that they have a proven track record of delivering exceptional results. Take time to evaluate a marketing agency's reviews, portfolio, and customer testimonials to gather adequate information and proof of the company's ability to deliver positive results.

If the marketing company doesn't have a published portfolio or regular reviews, consider this a warning sign. Ensure that the agency has a reputation for helping companies produce good results. After all, isn't their ability to deliver the reason you want their services?

5. Experience

Another important consideration when choosing a professional digital marketing agency is their experience in the field and overall industry. Despite many agencies branding themselves as 'Full-service' companies, several don't always live up to the label. Visit and assess their website, social media pages, reviews, and testimonials to ensure the agency is well-equipped to offer all the relevant services.

6. Customer Relationship and Communication

Lastly, when choosing a marketing agency to invest in, take some time to interact with their team. How do they respond to your questions? Are they warm, prompt, and knowledgeable? If not, then they are not the right choice. Interacting directly with a marketing agency's team will portray a clear picture of what you should expect from them when you partner up. Ideally, like with all other service providers, the experience should be satisfactorily good.

Which Is The Best Marketing Agency For You?

Not sure which is the best marketing agency for your digital marketing needs? Here is a useful guide to help you choose your best option. Despite the multiple numbers of digital marketing firm options available for you, you should select an all-inclusive agent for maximum results. A full-service option is a remarkable resource for all types of businesses. Why? Here are a few reasons why this is a great choice.

Streamlined campaign management

Full-service marketing companies are a comprehensive solution for everything, including PPC. Social media marketing, SEO, and web design. Investing in a full-service digital agency offers you unlimited access to diverse results, integrated solutions, and practical interfacing with users for better communication. Additionally, they help you streamline your marketing strategy, allowing you to manage your campaign within a single place easily.

Integrates strategies for maximum results

A full-service agency is useful for businesses that are looking to invest in several services. These agencies offer you unlimited access to industry experts in multiple marketing channels, meaning you enjoy combined resources for improved results. What's more, a full-service agency helps you quickly track and leverage marketing funds for better marketing policies that lead to the best ROI.

Is Cost-Effective

Lastly, full-service agencies save you both money and time. Better yet, top full-service digital agencies give discounts and offer comprehensive service packages for investing in several marketing services.

What Is A Marketing Agency? (And What They Do)


Daniel Wade

Daniel Wade

After working for multiple digital advertising agencies and managing hundreds of client accounts and spending millions of dollars via Google Ads, Facebook Ads, Native Ads and Direct Media Buying, I took things out on my own and started SparrowBoost. Now, my tight-knit team and I continue to get smarter and more efficient at running our own campaigns and we share our knowledge with you.

Learn more about SparrowBoost