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Digital Agency Business Model: How to Acquire Clients?

When business owners hear about digital agencies, they may wonder if they can handle their marketing campaigns on their own. Indeed, some companies entrust their marketing strategies entirely to in-house marketing teams. 

However, the specialization of digital agencies in the field of digital marketing has led many businesses to opt for their services for various campaigns, including website development, social media management, and online advertising.

So, what is the digital agency business model, and how do they acquire clients? And what is the difference between a digital agency and a PR agency?

Understanding Digital Agencies

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Opening offices in Indonesia, global digital agency names such as Dentsu, Saatchi Performance, and Ogilvy may already be familiar to some people. For business owners who are focused on increasing their online presence, they choose to use branding services from similar agencies, especially with the wide range of local agency options available today.

In essence, a digital agency is a business that offers digital marketing services. They assist businesses in reaching customers online through various services, including:

  • Website design and development
  • Social media marketing
  • Search Engine Marketing (SEM) and Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
  • Email marketing
  • Pay-per-click (PPC) advertising
  • Content creation

As clients, businesses are free to determine the objectives or targets of the marketing campaigns they want to run, such as brand awareness for a new product, increasing sales, driving traffic to the website, boosting engagement on social media, or promoting new products or services.

Types of Digital Agencies

Different clients have different needs, with some aiming to dominate all digital marketing channels while others focus on specific channels. Consequently, digital agencies strive to accommodate various client needs and operate in different business models, including:

1. Full-Service

This type of digital agency offers comprehensive services and has a team of designers, creatives, analysts, and developers who cover all specializations, ranging from SEO, social media management, advertising, to web development.

Some examples of full-service digital agencies include Deloitte Digital, Accenture Interactive, and Ogilvy. 

2. Single-Channel

Single-channel digital agencies focus more on a specific channel within digital marketing. By concentrating on a single channel, these agencies can deliver optimal results and even dominate the chosen channel.

Although it’s rare for an agency to offer services for only one channel, some are known for their specialization in a specific channel. For instance, WordStream, AdVenture Media Group, and KlientBoost focus on PPC (pay-per-click) advertising.

3. Multi-Channel

Multi-channel digital agencies fall between the two aforementioned types. They are suitable for clients who need to run multiple complementary campaigns, such as SEO and web design or social media management and social media ads.

Some examples of agencies providing multi-channel services include iProspect, Wunderman Thompson, and Merkle.

Infographic Model Bisnis Digital Agency

Why Use the Services of a Digital Agency?

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People working in digital agencies have experience running campaigns across various marketing channels. They understand the target audience for different types of products and assist in monitoring campaign performance. By engaging their services, businesses can enjoy several benefits, including:

1. Budget Savings

The costs associated with hiring an in-house marketing team can quickly add up, including recruitment expenses, salaries, bonuses, allowances, training, and salary increases. Moreover, hiring a complete in-house team (SEO specialists, designers, content writers, social media specialists, etc.) can be expensive.

On the other hand, agencies set fixed costs from the beginning through contracts. By using agency services, clients only pay for the services they need and when they need them.

2. Experience across industries

Agencies have experiences working with numerous companies across various industries. They have gathered data and analytics from diverse target audiences.

As a result, digital agencies have a broader and deeper understanding of how each industry operates. They know what works and what doesn’t in various contexts. This experience enables them to design the most effective digital marketing strategies for specific companies.

3. Accessing inaccessible resources

Digital agencies have access to resources and technologies that clients may not be able to reach independently. They usually have access to advanced analytics tools, up-to-date software for marketing campaign automation, and specialized teams in various aspects of digital marketing. 

By using their services, clients can optimize marketing campaigns, analyze ad performance more effectively, and make data-driven decisions.

How Do Digital Agencies Acquire Clients?

Digital Agency Business Model How to Acquire Clients

In their efforts to attract clients, digital agencies follow several steps, as mentioned by SEMrush:

1. Choose the services to offer clients

The first step is to determine which services the agency wants to offer. As mentioned earlier, digital marketing channels consist of various types, and agencies can choose which areas to focus on and clarify the services they will provide.

2. Select a niche

Digital agency owners may reconsider being generalists. Being an “all-around” agency may not be the best choice to stand out among the already widespread digital agencies. By selecting a niche, agencies can narrow down their target audience, reducing intense competition. 

For example, specializing in influencer marketing allows the agency to focus on offering endorsement and product placement services.

3. Create a website

It would be peculiar for a digital marketing service provider not to be found online. Therefore, digital agencies must have a website for several reasons:

  • Showcasing their portfolio to potential clients.
  • Acting as the online “face” of the agency, representing the quality of their services.
  • Building trust and connecting with potential clients.
  • Collecting lead data through contact forms and live chat features.

Difference Between Digital Agencies and PR Agencies

Digital agencies and PR agencies are two distinct entities in the marketing world, with the following differences:

1. Focus and Approach

Digital agencies focus on digital marketing strategy and execution. They utilize online channels such as social media, online advertising platforms, search engines, and digital content to achieve marketing goals. 

On the other hand, PR agencies focus on building relationships with the media (media partnerships), press coverage, crisis management, and branding through traditional media such as press releases, open-source publications, and public activities.

2. Primary Objectives

The main objective of digital agencies is to increase online visibility, reach the target audience, and generate conversions or sales. 

PR agencies, on the other hand, aim to build a positive brand image, obtain favorable media coverage, manage brand reputation, and establish good relationships with the public and stakeholders.

3. Communication Channels

Digital agencies use communication channels such as websites, social media, email, and advertising to reach their target audience. 

PR agencies, on the other hand, focus on building relationships with journalists, editors, and the mass media through press releases, press conferences, and other activities to gain media coverage.

4. Success Metrics 

Digital agencies measure the success of campaigns based on digital metrics such as website visitors, conversion rates, social media engagement, and marketing ROI. 

PR agencies, on the other hand, focus on media coverage, the number of published articles, the quality of coverage, and the brand image built through media channels.

Digital agencies are valuable partners for clients looking to focus on developing their businesses online. They assist businesses in developing an online presence, reaching their target audience, and utilizing resources that may be difficult to access independently. 

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With an integrated approach and knowledge of digital trends, digital agencies allow clients to “hand over the reins” and await campaign performance reports at the end of the period.

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