4 Services Your Agency Should Offer (But Didn’t 3 Years Ago)

With every new platform or marketing tactic (looking at you, Facebook Live), marketers are expected to automatically be experts. The digital landscape is constantly evolving and, with it, so are the services expected from an agency. Clients have more media channels than ever, with new ones being added every year. All of these channels represent potential opportunities, but this also means a lot of content creation is needed. Your clients expect access to the latest technologies, to be kept up to date on popular trends and offered efficient solutions for maximizing each dollar spent on all channels. Below are four digital marketing services that agencies should be offering—and what to do if you’re not.

1. Instagram Support

With more than 400 million active users and growing (half of which are millennials and Gen Zs between the ages of 16 to 34 years old), Instagram provides brands an opportunity to engage with their fans, cultivate a sense of community and advertise services and products.

As an agency, you should be able to:

  • Create a content calendar and strategy for your client to follow
  • Manage your client’s account for them (transparently and collaboratively)
  • Offer Instagram ad support
Brian Razzaque, SocialToaster, Inc.
Brian Razzaque, CEO, SocialToaster, Inc.

Instagram made community management and support even easier with recent updates. Brands can now add and switch between multiple accounts without having to log out and log in every time. Whether your agency or client is managing the account, be cautious about giving out access to brand accounts and ensure those who do have access are trained in community management, as well as in your brand voice and community guidelines. Switching between personal and professional accounts is easier, but content for each outlet should be separate.

Instagram support for clients will soon be crucial, as more brand-specific accounts are created for different niches and markets. For brands who do not have the manpower to develop content for and manage multiple accounts, create a brand-centric account that focuses on the overall brand. For brands that have audiences for multiple niche markets, encourage them to have Instagram accounts across all of their departments and niches to target specific audiences and create more product and brand awareness. Don’t forget to staff up and stay integrated across accounts!

2. Social Shopping

Social media is driving more and more retail traffic for brands, and Facebook is currently responsible for an average 85% of all e-commerce orders. With more users over the age of 55 joining Facebook, direct your clients to expand their focus and target older demographics.

Pinterest is also cashing in with “buy buttons” that allow users to purchase directly from the social media site. Amazon and eBay also now feature Facebook and Twitter buttons that allow users to share purchases with their friends and followers.

“Likes” and comments can go a long way towards keeping a client happy, clients really want to see sales. With e-commerce orders averaging between $30–$60 and growing, your agency must be up to date on the tools available (such as Pinterest for Business or Facebook Business Manager) and tactics (such as gamification or split testing ads), and start to convert some of those memes you’re posting into actual dollars.

When social media and sales teams come together, communication is key. Stay in sync throughout all efforts and timelines to ensure unified messaging and execution.

3. Video

By 2019, more than 75% of internet traffic will be comprised of video content, with YouTube currently averaging over four billion views per day. Just imagine how many views the site will have in the future. One video can be distributed on a variety of different platforms:

  • Uploaded to your client’s YouTube channel
  • Featured on your client’s home page and a product page
  • Shared on social media sites

Your clients need an agency that can produce video content (or have a trusted partner who can). Some projects might need a full-blown production department and hi-tech equipment, but if budget is a factor, don’t underestimate what can be accomplished with a GoPro, selfie stick and steady hand. Videos on social media don’t always require professional quality or big budgets. Platforms such as Snapchat, Vine and Instagram allow brands to show personality while dabbling in video. Remember, anyone can become a director with a concept and smartphone.

4. Influencer Programs

Influencers are generally people who created their own brands on social media and built such strong followings, especially with younger users, they impact the decisions and opinions of other consumers. Consumers trust these influencers.

Influencer programs have quickly become a new form of media outreach, sandwiching the space between true earned media and advertorials. Don’t be afraid of this space! Influencer programs can go a long way toward creating positive customer experiences while organically promoting your client’s brand. Don’t shy from expanding your definition of influencers, either. While there are plenty of social media stars to engage, don’t forget peer endorsements from friends and communities, too.

Influencers do require some level of compensation or incentive depending on their audience size. According to a report published by GroupHigh, 42% of influencers say they charge brands between $200 and $500 per post, on average.

Build out your network of influencers, or find a trusted partner, to ensure you have the right influencer for each opportunity. When working with influencers be sure to:

  • Research the influencer and their audience. Not every influencer is right for every brand, so make sure your mission and messaging are similar. Be clear about expectations and details when discussing your campaign.
  • Negotiate with the influencer. Influencer engagement prices and marketing rates aren’t set in stone. Be respectful and prepared when evaluating and discussing terms. Keep your budget and the size of the influencer’s audience in mind, especially when negotiating with multiple influencers.
  • Be personal and professional to create a successful partnership. Remember your brand and influencer have the same goal: to connect and engage with their audience.
  • Don’t count out non-traditional influencers. Family, friends and peers may not have celebrity-size followings, but they do have influence and, in some cases, are more trusted—which can lead to higher return. Tap into them for added engagement.

Brian Razzaque is Founder and CEO of SocialToaster, Inc., an enterprise-level fan engagement and loyalty rewards platform provider.  @razzaque @socialtoaster