Whether to find an agency or join the industry, know the critical elements of digital marketing.
If you are asking what is digital marketing, it will be because of either circumstance:
You have started a business or company, found a need for a website or an online platform, and your research has led you to come across the keyword “digital marketing.” Maybe digital marketing agencies are emailing you about this; and/or digital marketing is popping up around your internet browser in paid advertisement form; or
Digital marketing sounds cool, and you want to join the industry. You think being a digital marketer is a gateway or your ticket to build a career and make money online.
Know what digital marketing means:
To make Wikipedia technical, precise and yet boring definition more exciting, digital marketing consists of:
Digital marketing came to prominence in the early 2000s as online activity and time spent online exponentially grew (digital wellbeing and addiction is another topic). Think about it, at its core, marketing means placing a product or service where its target market is likely to be. People spending gigantice time online, browsing the net, social media sites incentivized developing and maturing a whole host of tracking software to monitor people’s online activity. This was and is packaged into it information usable for marketers, and bam, digital marketing is born!
I know a lot of ethical questions and issues here, but that is a big topic for a few volumes of books. Our two words about it here are, at V Digital Marketing, we are conscious of digital addiction and have it and at the forefront of our minds in every campaign.
In a nutshell, any online exposure you give to a said brand, service or product, whether direct or indirect, is by definition digital marketing
Finding a reliable digital marketing agency is not easy and can be pretty challenging. There is quite a bit of smoke out there, and agencies tend to shy away from accountability and transparency. On first contact, even the top digital marketing agencies in New Zealand tend to:
Talk to you about a whole host of technical jargon designed to scare instead of informing;
Send a proposal that’s more of a marketing brochure than a planned step by step strategy on how they going run your SEO campaign, develop your website, manage Google Ads etc
Propose a huge cost estimate that is totally out of touch with a small-to-medium size business budget. If you do the math, it ends up costing you $250 to $400 an hour. What’s aggravating further is that there is little transparency. Often you don’t get timesheets at the end of the month for the actual time spent. You sign expensive deals designed to show little transparency.
There are some good digital marketing companies as well
But to be fair, not all agencies are like this – shout out to our fellow competitor Web8 who are honestly fair, transparent, and reasonable people.
Signs of reliable and competent digital marketing agencies are:
Transparency – they tell you off the bat, we charge this $X an hour, this is an estimated time needed for your SEO campaign per month, and we provide timesheets for actual time spent. The total monthly cost can be reduced or adjusted by promotions or a good will discount.
Clear proposal – their proposal give you a step-by-step guide, and technical literature relevant to you. For example, for an SEO campaign, the proposal should cover:
How many keyword your digital marketing agency will target for you and why?
Where your competitors rank for the relevant keywords
Keyword list how the competitive and trend score for each keyword
Flexible – for projects like web design, often the website needs to be iterated many more times outside the two- or three-weeks’ time it takes to complete a website. This is especially the case for SMEs where brand identity, logo and products are still developing and maturing. Your digital marketing company should expect for you to know exact brief on day one. Web design is a creative process, and a digital marketing agency should not limit the changes you can make to a certain number. Obviously, there are instances where clients can be unreasonable, but in essence, the agency you hire should be empathetic and understanding of where you are with your business.
Online reviews of digital marketing companies – this sounds super obvious, but it is a little obscure. Huge digital marketing agencies have big clients with substantial advertising budgets. For big companies, hiring a digital marketing agency is a check box exercise. So you can’t necessarily infer trust and competency from a digital marketing agency by judging the size of their clients and how many they have. If you’re an SME, look for local reviews. Plenty of small local clients can be a good sign.
How to find the best service
There are a million articles online about how to find the best service for anything. However, we recommend speaking to at least five digital marketing agencies to sound out the industry.
Many agencies make a big fuss about being local and locally owned and having all their personal in New Zealand. This is something we’re guilty of advertising as well. But know this, digital marketing squarely falls in the self-taught category. There are many talented web designers and SEO specialists located in other countries that can offer just as much, if not more, value to your business. Conversely, many local specialists are lazy and want to charge you hundreds of dollars per hour for little work.
By definition, the digital marketing industry is not limited by borders. So leverage the reach and pay for talent, not geography.
How much will it cost
Cost of the services depends on the type of service. As discussed above, digital marketing mainly consists of web design, search engine marketing and online advertising. There are different acronyms and terminologies for each of these terms but this precises. The precing, in New Zealand at least, is as follows:
Web design – a website for an SME will likely be developed on either WordPress or Shopify.
For a service-based business, a website can cost anything between $950 to $4000. This is for a sing page to the 15-page website and does not include graphics support. For a point of reference, we charge $1980 for a website showcasing a company’s services.
For an e-commerce business, a website will cost between $5000 and $15000. I know this is a pretty broad brush but this is the state of pricing in New Zealand.
SEO Pricing – This is where it gets tricky and exciting because there is no standard pricing. The range is between $400 and $1500 a month for a tiny little SME. Add on like content writing is all extra. At V Digital Marketing, we charge $115 per hour and usually target five keywords a month for a client to start with. We don’t start with more keywords because Google’s algoruthing pick up similarities and automatically rank a webstite for other keywords related to the targeted keywords. So why waste our client money. This takes anything between 5 to 10 hours a month for the first three months, and then it substantially takes less time, costing far less for the client from month four onwards.
Online advertising – This covers Google Ads and Facebook ads. Digital Marketing agencies typically only charge management for this ranging between 20% and 40%.
is it good idea to become a digital marketer in NZ
You are joining the industry for the wrong reason if you become a digital marketer because you think it is a virgin industry ripe with potential clients. Digital marketing was a virgin industry in the late 2000s. Since then, a lot of companies have entered the market, and the competition is entrenched. Think about it; the digital marketing industry has all the hallmarks of competition quickly flooding it:
Barriers to entry are low;
Plenty of online quality courses that teach the ins and outs. You can find these courses of sites like Uudemy and Skillshare;
Plenty of free quality source to nurture you learning from the structure course – there so many youtube channels as a testament to this point
Plenty of talented digital marketers offshore who can go toe to toe and even surpass local companies and agencies
But the above points could just be used as easily for reasons to join the industry and become a digital marketer. The main question you should ask is whether you can bring value to your target markets’ businesses and companies above what the competition is already offering? This is the question we asked ourselves on day one. We saw a niche in the digital marketing industry, and we’re all super interested in the online game. We saw that:
Small-to-medium size businesses need digital marketing, even if they are aware of it. The for digital marketing has exacerbated with Covid.
Our competitors either charge excessive amounts or are hard to reach and have communication issues. Neither of which are very SME friendly. SMEs need a transparent marketing consultant who charges fees that are fair, easily explainable and reachable all the time. It makes sense that SMEs need digital marketing the most, and yet the industry is adjusted for large companies who already have plenty of brand exposure.
There are so many online courses and resources for digital marketing that are fun, structured and jam-packed with pro tips. Of particular mentions, check out udemy.com or skillshare.com, and search for digital marketing. You want to focus your search on the following areas:
Search Engine Optimziation
Social media management
Social media marketing
Digital marketing is exciting and scary. If you like business and want to take an idea and evolve it into a product and reach the most comprehensive target market possible, you need to be well-versed in digital marketing. There are billions of dollars of online transactions and even more browsers surfing the net.
Even if clients and customers are old fashioned, they most likely prefer their business of choice to have a dignified online presence. Customers trust companies and businesses who have:
An organized website;
A modest level of online ads filling popping up into their customers feeds (not so much as to risk customer fatigue, though);
A social media and directory accounts that link to the business’s website and vice versa; and
Who appears in the first few pages of a Google search.
Unless you are a prestigious law firm, a doctor or something similar, referrals only get ambitious business so far.