Putting the Power of a Full-Service Marketing Agency in Your Hands

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Marketing your business in the heart of Cleveland can seem overwhelming. From everything to managing your social media accounts, to editing video and photos, to researching what wording you should be using on your website can easily overburden a business owner, you have a business to run after all. Marketing often takes a back seat for multiple entrepreneurs, and that can be extremely detrimental down the line for your prospects. Cleveland is filled with hard working graphic artists, video editors, and SEO experts working at dedicated agencies ready to work so why not take advantage of an already organized group of experts? Here is what you can expect when you hire a marketing firm here in Cleveland.

Achieving growth with marketing is tedious, like working out or exercising; you must do a little bit every day for a while before you see that six pack. Posting photos to Facebook and running ads on Google might not return immediate results, but you must get your name and business out there. The first time someone bench presses in the gym they are not listing 450 pounds, they start light. Having a dedicated marketing agency makes utilizing those avenues easier, that way you do not have to spend hours posting on social media or filming an event. Let’s say you want to update your logo, instead of finding a graphic artist or two, getting their rates, and comparing their work, more than likely your marketing agency will have dedicated graphic artists who specialize in crafting logos and will have the job done quicker than you in between your day-to-day business.

Expertise and Experience

Do you know a professional web developer? How about an SEO specialist? Do you have a videographer on staff to film in a community center here in Cleveland? Probably not. Having a marketing agency in your back pocket makes all those tasks much more manageable. Let us say you have an issue with a broken link on your website. All you must do is send an email to your marketing agency and they will call their designated web developer and have it done by the end of day. Sometimes businesses in Cleveland will hire a resolute person to do their marketing, but it often takes multiple people with varying skills to keep up with all the distinct aspects of marketing.

Marketing agencies have pipelines and points of contact in place for their clients. A huge part of our job at Acclaim is to put out fires when they arise, and we have a resolute staff ready to always go. Recently, a client of ours had a spur-of-the-moment meeting with investors from Belgium and they needed an installation video made for a product they were trying to pitch to them. We called our video guy, and we went over to Massillon, Ohio and filmed everything and then edited a video together in 10 hours for them to show their prospective investors.

Having people available is only half the battle though, they need to be up to date as well. There is a level of continuous learning that happens when you have a dedicated staff. A small business might be paying one person to manage their marketing, but are they up to date on their video editing, graphic design, blog writing, social media cross-posting, Canva, or a myriad of other tools, programs, and services? Probably not. That is no fault of theirs, it is just multiple vastly different things requiring effort and dedication to stay up to date on it all.

A laptop displaying marketing data

Comprehensive Marketing Services

Disclaimer: Acclaim does everything we are about to mention and more for a monthly retainer and bill by the hour. Various kinds of marketing agencies approach things very differently, that is not necessarily good or bad, it depends on your needs as a business.

Not every agency is a “full-service” marketing firm, in fact many agencies have specialized areas they focus on and sell those services at a premium rate. Take video production for instance, at Acclaim we have a unique ability to head out and film anywhere in northeast Ohio at the drop of a hat. We advertise our video production as an integral factor with our clients, but not every agency can offer that kind of service. Here is a small sample of services a marketing agency might offer:

When an agency advertises themselves as “Full-Service” it means they either have staff available and working on projects actively, full-time or contractors, and can deliver services in every facet of marketing. It can be hard for your business to oversee all of this, and not just in Cleveland but everywhere. Having all these services under one roof is much more cohesive and can quickly deliver results.

Not all marketing agencies reside in Cleveland either, as some firms may have digital services offered out of Colorado or Nevada. It is important to recognize the value of having a local agency over a non-local one. Do not even get us started on offshore marketing agencies and the myriads of problems with translation errors or language barriers. It is immensely helpful for you as a business owner to sit down in a conference room with your marketing agency and tell them exactly what you are looking for and what you want to accomplish.

Lastly, the integration of teams who have worked together for a period can practically ensure consistency. Our video guy collaborates daily with our graphic artists and 3D designers, and the communication they have had in the past really expedites their process. They remember the projects they have worked on together; they remember the designs used on that brochure they made; they remember the focus of that campaign last year. Do not rule out how helpful it can be having an entire agency working together in your favor.

Papers showing graphs and data about marketing.

Cost Effective Strategies

Hiring contractors can be a messy affair for a business owner, we have been there before. The amount of money a small business owner in Cleveland might spend looking, debating, hiring, meeting with, and collaborating with a contractor five to six times over for a specific project is much more expensive than hiring a firm with all those active players under one umbrella. You might disagree and prefer the frugal approach to managing the workload of coordination, but you will lose out on your own time with hiring individual contractors for a marketing campaign.

You have an in-house marketer and a person who is halfway decent with search engine optimization (SEO), but you need a website developed from the ground up. Your SEO person is going to be working with whoever you find on Upwork to build a site. Has Kyle ever helped produce a website before? No? Well, you are going to have to pay him to learn a little bit before putting his feet to the fire. Meanwhile, if you take a fifteen-minute Zoom call with an agency and ask them to draw up a site map and start developing a website you will have fifty percent of your new website done in a week. Kyle might be incredible, but he cannot compete with an agency’s in-house developer who made the website for five other businesses around Shaker Heights.

Hiring an agency also lets you and your team focus on your own business. You are out there selling, making calls, sending order forms, and unloading trucks. The more time you take away from the necessities of your business the more money you will spend ultimately. This is why, sometimes, it is much more dependable and cheaper to hire out an agency with a monthly retainer who will actively update your website for SEO and create a video for you occasionally. Outsourcing a marketing effort can save your business tons of time and money, and it is much more scalable. A marketing agency will have a better idea of the scope of a project. Imagine you want to completely change your website, update your brand guidelines, change your logo, and create an overview video of your newly refreshed business. Do not look at Kyle, he has no idea how long that will take or what equipment he needs.

A videographer films using an expensive camera.

Access to Advanced Tools

How long have you had a subscription to Adobe Creative Cloud Suite? How many websites have you set up on GoDaddy.com? Is your computer able to manage some pretty intense graphic design programs? Do you only have your phone to take a video or photo?

If the answer to those questions is “no” or “I don’t know” then you do not have the infrastructure for more advanced marketing campaigns. Setting up an in-house marketing department takes an investment in equipment and services, and this might be out of range for many business owners reading this right now. You might be sending a few emails here an there from your Gmail account, but if you’re going to start sending emails to 500+ people regularly every month you need an email automation platform and maybe a lead scoring system, and that can run up to a thousand dollars a month by itself.

Working with a marketing agency will spare you on those costs as they are undoubtedly using professional cameras for photography, a beefy computer for design, and more than likely have subscriptions to multiple service platforms in place already. These tools and services not only make the content they produce higher quality, but the data-driven science behind SEO, website tracking, and lead-scoring will be much more accurate coming from a marketing agency with a team running those things already.

Leveraging a marketing agency for their skills and technology will save you tons of time and money overall. We advertise our video production capabilities at Acclaim and one of our cameras, the Sony FX3, is just under three thousand dollars, so maybe think before you jump into investing in equipment for projects like that. It is much more feasible to rely on an agency that has built up equipment, and the proficient use of said equipment, eventually. However, we will say investing in a powerful computer is a promising idea no matter who you are or what business you run. Most everything is done on a computer nowadays, marketing or not, you should upgrade.

An iPad and notebook displaying marketing data and flow charts.

Creative and Strategic Innovation

A marketing agency might have seen a thing or two around these parts. Cleveland has been a bustling city for decades, and having a firm who has experienced the culture can work in your favor. Marketing agencies can bring a fresh pair of eyes to your vision and recommend things that have, or have not, worked in the past.

An agency will be far ahead of a small business in strategic planning as well. Imagine you run into a crisis in your video creation, let us say one of the people who gave an interview in the video you made turns out to be a criminal, how do you oversee that? A marketing agency will know how to pull the videos, edit them, and exclude the person, issue an apology (or not depending on the situation) and move forward with the proper message.

Now, putting all this information together we can see that a marketing agency will have more advanced equipment and programs, accurate consumer data, and experience in plans changing or handling crises during a campaign. We are not saying you could not manage that, but we think it would more than affect your business if the owner was juggling all these factors plus their business. Just make sure to judge where you are at, how much you could afford, and if you could juggle the added weight a marketing agency could alleviate.

Deciding if an Agency is Right for You

In the end, it will be a business-by-business decision to hire a marketing agency. Just to recap here are the benefits of using a marketing agency to compliment your business:

  • They will have more experience.
  • Agencies often have better equipment and access to useful services.
  • Their workers are often up to date on using specialized programs.
  • They operate with cohesiveness between their in-house team.
  • They can offer guidance on campaigns with lessons from the past.
  • They will save you time.
  • Agencies will have fresh ideas you may not have considered.

Think about it, because we understand the price of hiring an agency might scare you at first, but the time it will save you and the money you won’t have to spend on equipment you then have to learn can be a blessing for a small business or non-profit. Reach out to us anytime to discuss what marketing agencies can do for your business right here in Cleveland.