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The following article was provided by Neil Patel.
Digital marketing covers everything from SEO and content marketing to email campaigns, social media strategy, and video marketing too.
With new digital marketing companies popping up left and right offering a bit of everything (and truly speaking to no one), it’s no surprise you’re having a hard time finding the right one.
The best thing to do is narrow down your options by bypassing those digital marketing companies trying to do too many things at once.
Why? Because true highly-niched experts are the best way to get the results you want (and deserve) for your business.
But, it’s not always easy to find those experts when you need them.
So, I put together a list of the top digital marketing companies who genuinely excel at what they do to help you find the right fit for your business depending on what you need.
Then, we’re going to talk about what makes them great and what to expect when working with them.
Let’s get started!
The 6 top digital marketing companies in the world
Digital marketing can be done from anywhere in the world.
So, it doesn’t matter if you’re living in New York and want to work with a company in Houston. Or living in London interested in an advertising specialist in Australia.
All this freedom does make it difficult to narrow down your choices.
But this list is a great place to start.
1. Neil Patel Digital — Best for content marketing and SEO
Let’s face it — consistent content creation and effective content marketing are the banes of a lot of business’s existence.
Pair that with constantly evolving search engine algorithms and you have a recipe for burnout and frustration (on top of your every-day to-do’s).
Thankfully there’s an easier way than staying on top of it on your own.
Neil Patel Digital was built by marketers — not bankers — interested in disrupting the way brands (and their target audience) think about the content they create, publish, and promote.
We’ve helped businesses like Facebook, Intuit, and Google, as well as small to medium-sized businesses, disrupt their industries with our holistic and authentic approach to content creation and search engine optimization.
From research to execution to promotion and ongoing optimization, we know a thing or two (or twenty) about helping your brand create the best content for the right people… and putting it in front of them as well.
Your business deserves to be heard and there’s no one more dedicated to making that happen than our team of professional experts equipped with my world-class digital marketing strategies.
Plus, with seven offices around the world, our team is here for you when you need us.
2. Cubicle Ninjas — Best for brand design and app/website development
You can have the best ideas and products in the world but without a brand that portrays your story and core values, you’re going to have a hard time connecting with your audience.
But cohesive brand design goes beyond the basics of graphic design best practices and Googling for free information until your eyes gloss over.
That’s where an experienced specialist comes in and saves the day.
Cubicle Ninjas uses a strategic combination of design and technology to develop innovative, inspiring, and one-of-a-kind branding design paired with the mobile apps and websites brands need to stand out in our online world.
They’ve designed high-end customer experiences for companies like Red Bull, Microsoft, IBM, and Hilton but they also work with smaller boutique brands as well.
Cubicle Ninjas believe the best brands encompass visual, written, and interactive elements to create a cohesive customer experience through every stage of their journey from casual visitors to loyal repeat customers.
Their client-proven process works for businesses and projects of all sizes interested in developing a brand and creative assets that help them tell their story.
3. Storm Brain — Best for advertising and social media marketing
Social media seemingly changes by the second.
It feels impossible to keep up with new platforms, updated policies, and ever-changing social media marketing techniques on top of running your business.
But thankfully, you don’t have to.
Storm Brain is a digital marketing company specializing in effective advertising campaigns and social media marketing that helps brands of all sizes generate more leads, build brand ambassadors, and make more money with a strong focus on ROI.
They’ve worked with some big names like Zillow, Ford, and Citi Bank but they also work with smaller brands in a wide variety of industries.
Storm Brain focuses on planning, creating, and executing both paid and organic social media campaigns that help your audience connect with your brand across social media channels.
However, they specialize in Facebook and paid social media advertising.
Their four-step strategic approach centers around your target audience and capitalizes on paid media, owned media, and earned media to ensure your brand is in front of the right people.
4. Mad Mind — Best for eCommerce development and product branding
As a product-based business, you have different marketing roadblocks than service-based or blogging-based businesses.
And there are a lot of other branding elements coming into play as well.
Thankfully, Mad Mind is here to help.
They’re a creative digital marketing studio for both large and small eCommerce brands looking to develop cohesive branding from their website design down to the smallest details of their product packaging.
Brands like Lyft and Sony Music trust Mad Mind to help them create an impactful brand, attract the right people, and turn them into lifelong paying customers.
Furthermore, they’ve been featured on Shark Tank, The Los Angeles Times, and Vogue.
From WordPress, WooCommerce, and Shopify development to custom websites and thoughtful eCommerce branding, their team of “marketing geniuses” delivers powerful results and dynamic marketing strategies you can leverage for years to come.
5. Pop Video — Best for video and visual content marketing
Video and visual content marketing are booming right now.
But it’s no secret planning, creating, and producing videos feels overwhelming and downright difficult, to say the least.
The good news is… you don’t have to do it all yourself.
Pop Video specializes in doing the heavy lifting (read: video creation, execution, repurposing, editing, etc.) for you.
They know your audience expects more than one-off videos and other types of visual content. And they also believe your business deserves better, as well. They don’t call themselves a “lean, mean, content-generating machine” for nothing.
Pop Video has partnered with hundreds of brands including Phillips 66, Academy Sports + Outdoors, and Mattress Firm to revolutionize the way their audiences consume and interact with digital content.
However, they don’t just produce great videos.
6. Action Rocket — Best for email marketing and design
There’s a reason 93% of B2B brands use email to distribute the content they create — it works.
But starting your email list and growing it into a database of raving fans and customers isn’t easy. Most businesses know this and do everything they can to avoid it like the plague.
Good thing you have another option.
Furthermore, they’ve worked with some huge names you may have heard of like QVC, Unicef, and American Express.
However, they also work with businesses of all sizes anywhere in the world.
Action Rocket offers courses, workshops, and training as well as world-class email campaign creation services so you can start leveraging one of the most effective forms of digital marketing for your business.
7 characteristics that make a great digital marketing company
Now you know my top recommendations.
So, let’s talk about what makes these digital marketing companies great and what to look for if none of the companies above match what you’re after. These are the key steps in how to pick the right digital marketing agency.
1. A great website and digital marketing strategy
Smart digital marketers understand the importance of having a well-designed website and an effective digital marketing strategy.
So, it makes sense to expect your digital marketing company to have both, especially if they offer web design or custom development services.
Take a look around their website, sign up for the email list, and peek at their social media profiles to make sure they’re practicing what they preach.
And if they’re not… move on to a digital marketing company that is.
2. An impressive portfolio
Agencies use their portfolio to show off their best work.
So, look through their published portfolio pieces to see examples of the types of work they produce for their clients.
This also gives you an idea of the types of clients they frequently work with.
Pay close attention to the style and quality of what they do and make sure it closely aligns with what you hope to get out of working with them.
Furthermore, look at the list of clients they have to see if you recognize any of the names.
If anything seems off or doesn’t fit what you’re looking for, move on to a digital marketing company that feels like a better fit for you and your business.
3. Aligned company culture and core values
It’s important to work with companies that value the same things and have a strong company culture you can appreciate to get the results you hope to achieve (without wanting to pull your hair out).
Do you prefer a creative and collaborative atmosphere or a more rigid and structured approach?
Look at the words, phrases, and photos they use on their website to get an idea of how they work and make sure it’s a good match to what you’re looking for.
Some digital marketing companies use humor and playfulness while others are more serious.
So, decide what type of experience you want to have and find a company that matches that.
Example: Would you use the word “disruptive” to describe your brand and vision?
4. A diverse team with appropriate specializations
It’s important to hire a digital marketing company with the right team that can deliver the results you’re hoping for.
If you’re looking for high-end brand design services, make sure they have an experienced team of designers to take on your project.
Or maybe you’re interested in a custom-coded website.
Check out that company’s team on their about page (if they have everyone listed there) or on LinkedIn to make sure they have an experienced designer and a coder or developer on staff.
5. Timely and effective communication
Strong communication is one of the most important parts of a fruitful and beneficial partnership between a company and its digital marketing company.
So, it’s important to consider their communication skills and overall customer service before hiring them.
You can do this by evaluating the responses you get and how long it takes for them to respond to your messages and questions before giving them any money.
This doesn’t always work but if they take weeks to respond to a simple question, consider moving on to someone else.
6. Realistic promises and proven results
Before scheduling a consultation or reaching out for more information, look through their website to make sure their promises are realistic.
Furthermore, look to see if you can find any data-driven case studies they have regarding the type of results they regularly produce for their clients.
If they’re promising unrealistic things and making outlandish claims on their website, that’s a huge red flag.
Why? Because this means they probably don’t understand how the industry works and they don’t have any actual client results to share.
7. Real-world client testimonials
93% of consumers turn to customer reviews and testimonials when deciding to buy something. They do this because it helps justify the expense and ensure they’re going to get what they pay for.
So, you should do the same.
Keep an eye out for detailed and honest customer reviews or testimonials to give you an insight into what working with the company is like.
If you can’t find any, they probably haven’t worked with many clients and they may be inexperienced.
Which… is fine if you’re on a budget. But it’s not fine if you’re looking for the best possible solution for your business.
What to expect from a great digital marketing company
Now you know what to look for, so let’s talk about what to expect when working or partnering with a digital marketing company.
The details of each phase look different for every business out there. But, the fundamentals remain the same regardless of the company you choose to work with.
Phase 1: discovery and research
The best digital marketing companies want to learn everything there is to know about your business from top to bottom.
This usually happens through a series of phone calls/zoom chats and detailed questionnaires so they can get to know you and what you’re looking for. They’ll also do a deep dive into your target market, audience, and competition.
Phase 2: developing a plan of action
Once they know who you are and what you’re looking for, they’ll work with you to develop a detailed timeline and plan of attack to get the job done well and on time.
Phase 3: executing the plan of attack
Once everyone agrees on the plan, it’s time to start executing.
Your digital marketing company will work through the process of creating and finalizing everything you both agreed to during phase 2.
This includes building infrastructure, creatives, ongoing strategies, and anything else you need to achieve the results you’re after. Again, this looks different for different types of projects and the company you’re working with.
Depending on the complexity of your project, this could take anywhere from a few days to several months (or even a few years depending on the type of partnership).
Phase 4: results and offboarding
After everything is complete, good digital marketing companies will walk you through the results and outcomes you achieved by working together.
From there, you’ll discuss the next steps and how to move forward on your own (or what happens next if your partnership isn’t over).
Digital marketing = long-term relationships and results
Investing in digital marketing is a huge step in the right direction for your business. But, these strategies don’t return results overnight and they generally tend to ramp up over time.
So, expect a long-term relationship with your digital marketing company.
The longer you work with them, the more fine-tuned they are to your needs, and the quicker they can get to work producing even better long-term results for you and your business.
So, whether you choose one of my top recommendations or scout out your own, use the tips and best practices we talked about to make a smart, educated decision… like the future of your business depends on it.
Because it does!
Have you worked with any digital marketing companies recently? How did it go and did you get the results you hoped for?
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