What is a digital marketing agency? And why do you need one

Knowing what a digital marketing agency does and how they can help your brand will allow you to understand what you’re looking for. Many companies turn to a digital marketing agency for help with a digital marketing strategy to increase online visibility. Hiring a digital marketing agency for your own business can help you to compete with other companies who may be employing experts to help them.

More than 80% of consumers research products online before making a purchase, and 5.6 billion searches are conducted every day. With so many customers now online, it’s imperative to make sure your brand is visible online throughout the full customer journey.

If you’re thinking of using digital marketing to drive traffic to your website and increase sales for your business, you may be thinking about enlisting the help of a digital marketing agency. However, you might be wondering: Why use a digital marketing agency? 

We’re here to help you see exactly how a digital marketing agency can help and how to know what you should be looking for. ‍Read on to find out more. 

What is a digital marketing agency? 

A digital marketing agency provides a range of businesses with professional services to help them improve their reach and results through their digital marketing activities. 

Digital marketing services include:

  • Paid Search: Running paid ads on platforms such as Google Ads and social media. 
  • Social Media marketing: Managing and growing your presence on social media platforms. 
  • SEO (search engine optimisation): Improving your website’s visibility on search engines like Google. 
  • Content Marketing: Creating and distributing valuable content to attract and engage your target audience. 
  • Display Marketing
  • Web design: Building and optimising websites for better user experience and conversion rates. 
  • Email marketing: Sending targeted email campaigns to nurture leads and retain customers. 

Unlike traditional marketing agencies, digital marketing agencies focus solely on digital marketing strategies, leveraging the power of the internet to reach and engage potential customers. 

One key difference between digital marketing and traditional marketing is that there is no guesswork involved in knowing what works and what doesn’t. Strategies can be continually tested and tracked to determine which is more effective, and results can be monitored to provide insights on return on investment.

What does a digital marketing agency do?

A digital marketing agency will work with your business to learn about your customers and goals. The agency will then implement a variety of strategies and online marketing tools to help you meet those goals and promote your products and services online.

A good digital marketing agency offers more than just basic tasks, such as writing and publishing posts for your social media accounts or producing and publishing a blog for your website every month. They will take care of results-based marketing that is measurable and provides ROI for your business. The agency you choose should also create the strategy behind the activities, track the progress of your campaigns, advise you on what is and isn’t working and provide regular reports.

Why do you need a digital marketing agency? What are the benefits? 

Hiring a digital marketing agency can provide a range of benefits for your business: 

  • Experience and expertise: Agencies bring a wealth of knowledge and experience because they have worked with a range of clients and industries. They stay updated with the latest trends and best practices in digital marketing. 
  • Advanced tools and technologies: Agencies have access to cutting-edge tools and software that can enhance your marketing efforts, providing insights and analytics that are often not available to in-house teams. 
  • Cost-effectiveness: Building an in-house team with the same level of expertise can be costly. Agencies offer a more affordable solution, allowing you to tap into a team of experts without the higher overheads. 
  • Focus on your core business: Partnering with an agency allows you to focus on your core business operations while they handle your marketing needs, leading to better efficiency and productivity. 
  • Improved ROI: When done properly, your strategy should provide a steady and reliable return on investment. Your agency should constantly test and rework your strategy so that it continues to boost ROI and improve overall efficiency. 
  • Drive sales-ready leads: Working with an agency will allow you to reach the right customers at the right time at the right point in your sales funnel to generate sales-ready leads. Depending on the activities you're running, these activities should be designed to move leads from the top of your sales funnel to the bottom. Not only that, it should help you to implement a high-quality lead generation strategy for your business. 
  • Grow your online presence: Over 75% of people are shopping online every month – your customers are online so you need to be online too. Working with an agency will help to grow your brand’s online presence and expand your reach online. 
  • Grow your business: A digital marketing agency can take over your digital marketing from top to bottom and analyse your brand’s needs to create an effective strategy that will deliver the best ROI. A focus on data and specific targeting will help you build a better idea of who your target buyers are, who are often much more specific than the audience you are currently targeting.

💡Want to know more about the benefits of working with a digital marketing agency? Read our blog: What are the benefits of working with a Sheffield-based digital marketing agency? 

Common challenges with digital marketing agencies and how to overcome them 

Not all businesses see the results they were hoping for or were promised when working with a digital marketing agency. 

Here are some of the common challenges we’ve seen our clients face when working with agencies in the past and how to overcome them: 

Lack of clear goals 

Ensure you set clear, measurable goals from the outset. This will help the agency understand your expectations and tailor their strategies accordingly. If you don’t set these goals, the relationship will be very difficult, and you will often feel frustrated with the agency for not helping you achieve your business goals. This can then make the investment feel like a waste of money. 

Poor communication 

Regular communication between you and your agency is key. Establish a schedule for updates and reports to stay informed about your strategy's progress and results. It should be easy to reach someone at the agency, and you should ideally have a dedicated account manager who can let you know how your strategy is performing and what improvements need to be made to help you achieve your goals. 

You also need to ensure that you can communicate with your agency when they have a question or query or are trying to talk to you about new strategies they can use to improve your results.

Be open to their suggestions and work together to drive results for your business. 

Selecting the wrong agency 

Take your time to research and choose an agency that aligns with your business needs and values. Look for reviews, testimonials, and case studies to gauge their effectiveness. 

You’ll likely be working closely with the agency you choose to drive your business growth, so it’s important that you feel comfortable with them and trust them to help you achieve your goals.

Lack of transparency 

If your agency is not transparent about its strategies or results, this is a massive red flag. A good agency should be able to tell you exactly what is and isn’t working so you can work together to tweak your strategy and ensure it continues to drive results. 

Stagnant results

If your marketing efforts are not continuously improving, it might be time to find a new partner. 

If you’re currently facing any of these challenges with your current agency, it might be time to start shopping around for a new partner. 

What to look out for when choosing a digital marketing agency

When looking for a digital marketing agency, there are a few considerations to make to ensure they’re the right agency for your business and to make sure you get the best results from your activities.


Before agreeing to work with an agency, meet up with the team and gauge their character. Are they a good fit for you and your team? It’s important to have a good relationship with the agency you choose, so this is important to consider. Can this agency be trusted to care about your business and not share sensitive information with your competitors?

If you want to know more about them, ask to speak to previous customers who can give you their opinion and experience of working with the agency.

Willing to meet regularly

A good agency should have time to meet with you regularly to discuss the results and next steps in your strategy. A sign that they will dedicate time to optimising your activities and getting to know your business and customers is that they will be willing to meet regularly.

Define clear goals

At the start of your relationship, your agency should discuss your goals and objectives with you and set the goals both you and they want to achieve. This shows that they have standards for your success and will help you to set realistic goals based on your budget and objectives.

Easy to communicate with

If it’s hard to get a meeting with the team at your agency or they’re slow to respond, this could be a sign of what it might be like to work with. To be successful, open communication is important so make sure you choose an agency that is willing to communicate openly and regularly with you.

📚If you’d like to know more about choosing the right digital marketing agency for your business, take a look at our blog: Checklist: Key agency criteria when looking to outsource SME digital marketing. 

Is a digital marketing agency right for your business?

Before getting in touch with a digital marketing agency, it’s important to think about what you need from them. Then, when you have your first meeting, it is easier for them to think of the best strategy for you and provide you with a proposal. Think about whether you need help with SEO, PPC, social media or all of them and then evaluate the skills within your business to determine whether an agency could benefit your business.

Key takeaways 

A digital marketing agency can be a game changer for medium-sized businesses looking to grow their online presence and achieve better marketing results. By partnering with a reliable and experienced agency, you can leverage their expertise and resources to drive business growth and stay ahead of your competition. 

Ready to take your digital marketing to the next level? Why not request a free digital marketing audit and learn more about how you can achieve your business goals with a digital marketing agency. 

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Blog written by

Amy Ward