You know you need a digital marketing agency to help you generate leads, attract customers, manage your social media pages, write and send your emails, write your blog posts and secure backlinks on high-authority websites.
But you aren’t sure whether you want to hire a local digital marketing agency or go with another company that's not in your backyard. While there are numerous considerations to weigh when choosing which marketing agency to work with, working with a local agency has several advantages.
Here are four benefits of hiring a local digital marketing agency to handle your marketing needs.
1. You can communicate more effectively
When you work remotely with a digital marketing agency, you have fewer (if any) opportunities to meet face to face. Because of this, you might sometimes feel like something has been "lost in translation" and you aren't communicating effectively. You may become frustrated trying to get a point across or be misunderstood by (or misunderstand) the partners at your agency.
When you work with a local agency, you can meet in person as needed. You can both put in valuable facetime, clear up any misunderstandings that may have occurred and efficiently explain your visions to one another. You can bond and figure out how to push your business forward by working together.
Another upside is that you and your local digital marketing agency are in the same time zone. Both you and your marketing agency partners start work at 9 a.m., eat lunch around 1 p.m. and finish up at 6 p.m. You take the same holidays off and know when you’re going to be online and offline.
If you’re on the east coast, you may need to wait for your west coast partners to wake up before you get things done. If you’re in the U.S. and your partners are in the United Kingdom, you’re going to take different holidays off. Processes might go slower, leaving you feeling frustrated and stuck. You can move quicker and be on the same page if your agency is local.
2. They understand a local audience
If you run a locally based business, like a retail store in the middle of downtown Dallas or a restaurant with locations around Plano, Texas, you’re best served by a local digital marketing agency in Dallas, Plano or the area at large, since they understand the demographic you want to attract. They also know the local lingo, the most popular spots in town, what key influencers you need to reach in your area and how to frame targeted ads on Google and social media sites.
If you don’t use a local digital marketing agency, you could end up with a branding or marketing disaster. Though it’s an extreme example, GM faced a branding challenge when they introduced the Buick LaCrosse to Canada. In French, “LaCrosse” is derogatory slang, so Buick quickly changed the name of the vehicle to the Buick Allure. According to branding consultant Ira Bachrach, these types of branding mishaps happen frequently.
Perhaps if Buick had used a Canadian marketing agency for that launch, they would not have had to scramble to change the car's embarrassing name.
You may not be as big as Buick, but you could still face backlash or embarrassment if you don’t get your branding right the first time around. When you debut a new product or service, you want to be known for all the amazing things you do — not the missteps you take.
3. They're aware of local challenges and opportunities
A local business doesn’t only know your audience, they're also aware of the challenges that you may be facing. People outside of Malibu or Paradise, California, that weren’t experiencing the wildfires in November of 2018 didn’t know what was really going on on the ground.
Individuals who don’t live in Austin during SXSW haven't experienced the excitement that takes over the town and the plethora of professional opportunities that occur in Austin every spring. West coasters can’t comprehend how cold it gets on the east coast, and how snow days and rainy afternoons may set companies back.
When local issues prevent you from fulfilling your daily responsibilities, or when you need to step out of the office to network at a festival or convention that’s in town, your digital marketing agency will understand. They may even be able to help solve some of your challenges because they’ve been through this with other clients and already have some local solutions.
They might be able to attend events with you and maximize your opportunities by networking and connecting with people on your behalf. Staying local will help you go beyond your potential during the good times and navigate the more challenging times you have to face.
4. You know their clients
When you hire an out-of-town agency, you don’t necessarily personally know any of their clients. You may not have even heard of their clients. With a local digital marketing agency, you can ask the agency’s current and past clients about their experience and find out whether it’s been positive or negative.
If there are any issues with the agency, you can gain insight on why those things are occurring and how to solve them. Essentially, you’re not alone.
You can also collaborate on campaigns with other clients to maximize your agency’s relationships. For instance, if your agency works with a tequila brand and you own a bar, the agency can forge that connection so that you both benefit. If they work with a local client that has a bigger following than you, they might be able to connect you with that client so you can be mentored and find ideas on how to grow.
After all, you’re in it together when you all live in the same place. As small business owners trying to survive and serve your neighbors with the best products and services possible, you’re on the same team, and that kind of camaraderie can be valuable for your company.
Finding a Local Digital Marketing Agency
If you’re ready to find a local digital marketing agency, start by looking at reviews online, gathering intel from their clients, making sure they have the expertise you need and seeing if their prices align with your budget. Be thorough with your research and make sure your company values align. Remember, the agency you choose will hopefully be a long-term partner to help you reach, and surpass, your marketing goals for years to come.