2023 Guide for Digital Agencies [Updated]
After a tumultuous 2020, digital agencies have thrived in 2021. In fact, the number of digital agencies increased by 13.7% between 2020 and 2021. Businesses of all sizes are leveraging digital agencies to accelerate their marketing efforts and acquire customers more cost-effectively. With acquisition channels like SEO, PPC, email marketing and more, companies have limitless opportunities to market to their ideal customers and increase their customer base.
Digital agencies are taking advantage of the demand for marketing services and they are using numerous tools and platforms to better serve their customers. With tools like CRMs and SaaS products, productivity for digital agencies are at all-time highs.
It’s vital for digital agencies to be aware of trends that will impact the market in the near future. In this post, we will discuss how digital agencies can improve their performance in 2023 along with what specific tools they can use to improve their own business in addition to their clients’ businesses.
What is considered a digital agency?
A digital agency is a marketing/advertising agency that handles the marketing operations for a business. Instead of building a marketing team in-house, businesses opt to work with proven digital agencies to do their marketing. This is often much more cost-effective than recruiting, hiring and training an in-house marketing team.
Examples of digital agencies include SEO agencies, PPC agencies, web design agencies and video production agencies. Typically, most companies will work with an agency that is specialized in a few marketing channels and focus on improving their lead generation and marketing processes.
2023 Trends in digital marketing and agencies:
- Mobile Commerce
- Omnichannel Marketing
- No-click searches
Chatbots are one of the best tools to start automating your marketing operations. Adding a chatbot to your site can help automate a lot of the initial conversation between your agency and prospective clients.
This can help your lead nurturing efforts significantly and you can triage the requests so only important inquiries reach your agency. Additionally, since chatbots work 24/7, you’ll capture more leads and you can respond via email when you return during your normal work hours.
Digital agencies that work with customers in retail and ecommerce must adapt to the phenomenon of mobile commerce. In fact, nearly 54% of all ecommerce comes directly from mobile commerce.
With the majority of ecommerce coming from mobile commerce, digital agencies have to optimize their marketing efforts for mobile users. This means all of the marketing, design, etc. has to prioritize mobile users. This will have a direct impact on leads, conversions and sales for the clients of digital agencies.
Omnichannel marketing is another key trend that agencies need to leverage for their clients. Omnichannel marketing empowers businesses to promote their products and services across multiple channels, devices and platforms.
This helps increase their customer reach and establishes the business’ brand in addition to making their advertising more effective. More specifically, digital agencies should help prioritize which channels to pursue for their clients and double down on the most important channels.
For example, if your digital agency has an e-commerce client, the channels you should be primarily focusing on are SEO, PPC, email marketing and optimizing for mobile users. These channels make up the lion’s share of how e-commerce customers are acquired, so it makes sense to primarily focus on those channels.
Over the last few years, the demand for personalization in marketing has increased dramatically and this trend will continue in 2023. The majority of consumers today are used to personalization in marketing and digital agencies need to ensure their marketing and messaging is personalized to their customers.
Personalization encompasses numerous aspects of marketing; this includes email marketing, in-app experiences, video marketing and more. There are a variety of CRMs and other tools digital agencies can use to improve their personalization. This will help increase customer engagement, boost conversions and ultimately sales
No click searches
No click searches or zero-click searches refer to Google’s feature where they feature an answer or solution at the top of the search results. This ultimately leads to significantly reduced clicks for websites that have a relevant blog or page on the topic.
This is very important to be familiar with because it will impact your SEO efforts. Many digital agencies use keyword research tools and without understanding how no click searches work, they can be a victim and get no clicks to their content. This impacts some niches more than others, it’s important to review how no click searches will impact your site and your clients’ sites.
Platforms for Digital Marketing in 2023:
- SaaS Platforms
- CRM Platforms
- CMS Platforms
One of the most exciting platforms for digital marketing agencies are SaaS platforms. SaaS platforms were one of the highlights of 2021 and their dominance will continue into 2023 and beyond. With SaaS products, many of the previously manual and time-consuming tasks are automated easily.
Digital agencies have leveraged SaaS platforms to automate many administrative tasks internally and for customers. Whether it’s screen sharing for digital agencies with CrankWheel or video editing with Clipchamp, there’s a SaaS product that exists for almost any agency need.
CRM platforms serve as the backbone of customer relationships for digital agencies. Digital agencies and their clients have numerous customers and CRMs help automate many repetitive tasks like customer support, marketing tasks and more.
The prominent platforms that many agencies use include Salesforce, Zapier, Hubspot and a few others. These platforms make it easy for digital agencies to keep personal relationships with customers while automating time-consuming tasks for employees. In 2023, expect more CRM platforms to hit the market and automate specific tasks for digital agencies and their clients.
Content management platforms still remain an integral part of digital marketing. Digital marketing agencies rely heavily on content management systems like HubSpot or WordPress to create, edit and publish content easily. These platforms allow digital agencies to create and edit content without needing any technical knowledge.
A vast majority of agencies use big companies like Hubspot and WordPress to do their content management, but there is a rise in custom content management systems amongst agencies. You can add content, videos and anything else needed to market and sell your services.
You can add sales videos for cold email marketing, infographics and any other type of content with CMS platforms. Custom content management platforms allow agencies to personalize their content management and this will be a growing trend in 2023.
Best growth tips for Digital Agencies in 2023
- Provide more value to existing customers
- Invest in content marketing
Digital marketing agencies can leverage several best practices to accelerate their growth. Generally, a digital agency grows in two ways: acquiring more customers and upselling their existing customers. These growth tips will help you improve these two factors in growing your digital agencies:
Provide more value to existing customers
The first step of growth is retaining your existing clients. You cannot grow your agency if you have high customer churn. This increases your cost of acquisition and undermines your growth efforts.
In addition to providing excellent service for your existing customers, you can help by offering adjacent services that your customers need. For example, if your agency is primarily an SEO agency, you can help your clients with capturing traffic and building an email list for them. This is an additional service you can offer and it would improve the value of your services significantly.
Invest in content marketing
Content marketing is one of the best long-term marketing strategies to grow your digital agency. With a good content marketing strategy, you can target keywords that your target clients are searching for and build a brand as a domain expert.
Content marketing includes social media marketing, SEO-focused content, creating videos, etc. It’s best for your agency to focus on one content marketing channel and focus on it.
For example, if you focused on SEO, you can write blog content around what your customers are searching for. By writing valuable content that answers search queries, you can rank high on Google’s results and get hundreds of organic visitors each month just for one blog post.
You can use keyword research services to help you target low competition keywords, so you can rank faster on Google. Doing this for a number of blog posts can result in getting thousands of organic visitors to your website for years. This is a great strategy to get organic leads and customers for your agency.
Networking with other high-performing agencies is a great way to grow your business. There are many free resources online to find communities of digital agency owners and you can build your own network by providing value in those communities.
Examples of places you can find digital agency owners include Twitter, Facebook Groups, Reddit and private Slack channels. These communities are places where agency owners share how they grow their businesses, different problems they are facing and refer leads to one another. Exploring these online communities in addition to real-life events is a great way to grow your network and ultimately grow your agency.
Top performance tips for Digital Agencies in 2023
- Audit your time
- Delegate and automate
- Niche Down
As agencies head into 2023, there are several best practices you can implement to improve the performance of your agency. These performance tips will help improve your team’s productivity in addition to helping you generate more revenue. Some of the best agency performance tips include:
Audit your time
The first step in improving your agency’s performance is to acknowledge what your agency currently focuses on. An audit of how you and your employees spend your time on a given day will highlight many inefficiencies in your performance. This can be done easily by just creating an excel spreadsheet and jotting down what was done in a given hour.
By the time you’ve finished auditing your day, you’ll realize how much time you focused on real work and how much time was wasted. This practice is free and it can be the most insightful way to improve your performance.
Delegate and automate
In addition to auditing your time, delegating and automating manual tasks is the best way to get more time back for you and your employees. Most agencies spend hours each day on frivolous tasks that do not generate revenue for the business and reduce the energy of the team. Identifying and delegating these tasks is crucial to improving your performance.
Even if the task is important (e.g. invoicing), you can use digital marketing agency software and other tools to automate it. This will help free up more time and help you focus on activities like sales and marketing that will directly impact your bottom line.
Many digital agencies offer a “buffet” of digital marketing services. A single agency can offer PPC, content marketing, web design, SEO and many other services. Although this sounds good on paper, it generally ends up in mediocre results for most clients. Instead of offering generic services, you can market custom services to a particular audience and charge more for your services.
For example, if your main service is web design, you can position your agency as a B2B web design agency. This helps you target a more lucrative audience and you can net more revenue with less work and fewer clients. A good rule of thumb to niche down is to niche down 1-2 levels from where you’re currently at.
This is a brief introduction into how digital agencies can flourish and grow in 2023. To learn how you can use SaaS products like CrankWheel to improve your agency’s productivity, try CrankWheel for free here.