If you own a business, you know that marketing can be a necessary evil. On top of having to do your work you have to worry about how you will stand out from other businesses. Do you need a website? How are you using social media? Should you advertise in the newspaper, on TV or on the radio? But does it have to be difficult?
The good news is that marketing doesn’t have to be painful. There are several different types of agencies out there that can help you develop a marketing plan.
Many communities have organizations specializing in helping small businesses through free or low-cost consultations. They often offer to help build your website or show you how to build your own and provide information on the various advertising avenues you can take. But how do you decide what you can (or should) do yourself or who to go with if you aren’t a DIY-er?
‘Budget’ is the most common answer to that question. How much do you have in the bank to spend on promoting yourself or your business? If you are going to do-it-yourself, do you know all the components to be successful?
It is at this point when you must ask yourself, ‘Why would someone use my business instead of doing it themselves?’ Hopefully, the answer is that you are the expert in your field and that what you have to offer is valuable. That is the same for marketing. While you may have an idea of how to market your business, there are professionals who assist businesses everyday and most know what they are doing.
You will find web design companies that strictly build websites, manage, and host them for you. There are production houses and even television stations that will produce promotional videos and commercials for you. Radio stations will also provide production when you purchase airtime. Freelance writers can help you with writing an annual report, or informational piece for you to distribute at fairs and special events. Design houses will provide layout and liaise with printers for your brochures, business cards, and newspaper advertising as well. There are a lot of agencies to choose from when you are looking to expand your reach in the community.
If you are lucky enough to work with a full-service agency, you have the ability to work with a team that is dedicated to your entire brand, not just the one piece of the marketing pie you need from them –a video, a print ad, or a website. Instead, they are looking at the whole picture of your business – creating a marketing plan based on your audience and your needs that they can design and produce as well. They can help you decide if you need tv, how you should use social media, and whether or not radio can help drive your business. Once that is developed, a full-service agency can then manage the creative for all pieces – video, print, web, communications, events, and news media. You will also find that you may spend much less with a full-service agency than by piecing your marketing together with various individual entities. Your full-service agency won’t have to spend time recreating previously completed work, or try to make one thing match another. It can be much more time efficient as well.
A full-service agency is looking to create a long-term relationship with you and your business. If they do right by you, each and every time, then they know you will continue to use them and refer friends and colleagues.
It does come down to who you are comfortable with and how you choose to work though. If piece-meal is what you like, then you can go to any of the agencies mentioned above and get a taste for what they have to offer. The bottom line is that you must be comfortable with the agency you work for and trust that they are working with you on making your business a marketing success.
The quality of your product, customer service, and follow through with your own clients are up to you.
Article submitted by ErieMultimedia, located in Erie, Pennsylvania.
ErieMultimedia is a full-service agency looking to provide you with integrated plans to meet your unique business needs.
ErieMultimedia works with you to understand your business and provide our expert guidance to ensure a successful outcome for your website, marketing campaign, media event, or video.
With the ability to provide all of these services in-house, you save time and money working with us. You also get consistency. Branding a message, a product, or a business requires attention that we can give you through each of our services.
cc image unaltered Michael Righi.