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7 Questions to Ask Before Hiring an Edmonton Marketing Company

Whether you’re looking for innovative ways to enhance your existing marketing plan or you’re trying to get your marketing strategy up and running, an Edmonton marketing company can provide you with invaluable advantages. There is no shortage of digital marketing agencies, so how do you identify the best marketing company for your needs? Here are seven questions you should be asking before hiring an Edmonton Marketing Company.

7 Questions to Ask Before You Hire an Edmonton Marketing Company

1. Who Will Manage My Account and Execute the Work?

One of the first questions you should ask when evaluating the best Edmonton marketing company is who will manage your account and who will execute the work. While some agencies have an in-house team with decades of experience to manage the marketing, less reputable agencies will simply outsource a contract to “offshore” workers. Look for a company that performs the work themselves. You will get more consistency and much better results from people who actually know your local situation.

2. How Do We Compare to Your Other Clients Regarding Budget and Production Requirements?

Some business owners don’t feel comfortable with their business being the smallest or largest client for an Edmonton marketing company in terms of production requirements and marketing budget. Small business owners worry that they may not receive the same level of customer service that larger agency clients receive.

At Digital Marketing Company, we value every business and provide the same level of service to small businesses with a limited marketing budget and large businesses requiring web analytics, web development, content management, SEO services, and more.

Besides feeling comfortable with the level of customer service you’ll receive, make sure the agency you choose has the technical skills and tools in place to execute the projects you anticipate needing. Regardless of the size of projects you anticipate, take the time during your initial consultation to understand a potential agency’s processes to manage ongoing client relationships and fulfill all your current and future needs as your business continues to grow.

3. What Strategy and Planning Exercises Are Necessary to Get Up to Speed?

Once you’ve found the best marketing company in Edmonton, you’ll need to spend some time cultivating a relationship with your new marketing partner. Make sure you understand what type of communication the agency expects from you, how work will be managed, what the approval process is like, and what to expect regarding standard onboarding timelines and deliverables. The most reputable agencies will have a clear, articulable process in place to quickly get both the client and agency teams up to speed.

Before the onboarding process, make sure the agency’s team that will be handling your account has the necessary knowledge to help your business increase its market share within its industry. The knowledge the team should have includes familiarity with benchmarking and key performance indicators for your industry, as well as advertising and marketing strategies that speak to your buyer personas.

4. What Processes Are in Place for Client Communication and Collaboration?

One of the biggest red flags that a digital marketing agency is not right for you is they don’t have a solid standard operating procedure in place for how the agency manages communication and collaboration with the client. You are investing your hard-earned money into this new business relationship. You should be confident that your money is going into real work rather than administration and project management. No digital marketing agency worth your money will allocate over 10% of your budget for project management.

The best digital marketing agency has implemented solid processes and platforms to manage client communication, collaboration, reporting, billing, and project management. This means valuable time and money are not wasted on managing client relationships and business operations. Therefore, it allows for far more time to be spent actually getting work done.

How sophisticated a set-up an agency demonstrates in these non-core areas is often a great indication of their level of expertise in handling clients of your size and necessities. Before picking the best digital marketing agency, you should understand and feel confident in that agency’s procedures for setting timelines, completing projects, collecting feedback, analyzing results, and continuing to develop optimization.

5. What Are You Looking for in a Client?

Every agency has a different idea of what makes a good or bad client. To determine if you are a good fit for the agency and if the agency is a good fit for you, ask them what they are looking for in a potential client. Follow up by asking what they see as red flags when evaluating a potential client. Interviewing a potential agency is much like interviewing a new hire. The culture and organizational fit of the potential agency must be compatible with your business values and methods. This ensures your working relationship is smooth and enjoyable for both parties.

6. Which KPIs Do You Find to Be the Most Important? How Do You Report Progress?

Monthly marketing analytics reports can be incredibly frustrating if you don’t find them relevant to your business. Even worse, they may be presented as so many numbers that you can’t draw a single reasonable conclusion from the reports. Analysis should be presented in a manner that is easy to understand. Moreover, it should be clear how and why certain metrics are being measured.

For example, what does an increase in social media follows, and website traffic actually mean for your business? Are these increases large enough to justify what you are spending on paid ad impressions? The marketing agency you work with should report their results in black and white numbers that stakeholders outside the marketing department can understand easily. The reports should explain changes to qualified leads, paying customers, and increases in revenue.

If your potential agency is truly sales oriented, it will focus on reporting the number of leads generated, the quality of the leads, statistics on how the leads flowed through each sales funnel stage, the number of new customers each month and how effective the marketing tactics implemented are in generating traffic, leads and customers.

7. What Can I Expect During the First 90 Days?

One of the most compelling benefits of working with a reputable Edmonton marketing company is you can truly hit the ground running. You don’t need to spend valuable hours writing job descriptions, recruiting, onboarding, and training new hires. You have a dedicated team with years of experience implementing digital marketing plans for businesses of your size in your industry.

When evaluating the quality of a digital marketing agency, ask what the first 90 days of collaboration will look like. Ideally, they can tell you precisely what needs to be done to drive early results and when those deliverables should be executed. If the list of potential to-dos far exceeds the work that can actually be executed, there is a strong chance that the agency will take great strides to forge a long-term working relationship rather than simply taking direction and delivering only your specific requests.

Contact the Best Digital Marketing Company Today

If you don’t currently have a marketing plan in place, or you’re not satisfied with the performance of your current marketing plan, a digital marketing agency can be invaluable. The best Edmonton Marketing Company has results-driven strategies, performs their own work, knows how to achieve maximum visibility for your brand, and offers one-on-one consulting. If you’re ready to take your business to the next level, contact Digital Marketing Company based in Calgary, Alberta today to discover what we can do for you.

7 Ways Businesses Can Get the Most From Their Digital Marketing Agencies

Are you getting what you really need from your relationship with your digital marketers? Digital marketing agencies exist to make your life easier, but they can do their job best when you’re working together efficiently. And when your digital marketers are working efficiently, they’re a big part of improving your brand reputation and growing your bottom line.

7 Ways to Get the Most From Digital Marketing Agencies

1. Know What You’re Expecting Them to Do

When you sit down to talk to digital marketing agencies, don’t speak in generalities. Having only vague goals, like “get some more social media likes” or being unsure of how your digital goals are related to your long-term business goals, keeps your marketing agency from helping you effectively. As you discuss strategy, expect a good marketing company to ask you specific questions as they nail down exactly what you want them to accomplish.

Some Examples

If one of your goals is to increase the number of followers you have on your social media accounts, good digital marketing agencies will immediately want to know why. Are you hoping to find new customers? Do you want to use social media as a way to deepen your relationship with your existing customers? Are you just trying to increase brand awareness? Your specific goals will determine what your marketing agency can do for you.

Maybe you know you need to be producing more and better blog posts, but again, why? Do you need them to drive traffic to your site? Are you hoping your blog will be a source for lead generation as people sign up for updates? The more specific you can be, the more you empower your digital marketers to generate the results you’re looking for.

2. Be Completely Honest

Good digital marketing agencies have seen it all: the good, the bad, and the ugly. You can’t surprise them with a failed strategy you’re a little embarrassed about or a public relations snafu you’re hoping no one remembers. But if you aren’t upfront from the beginning, you’re really only wasting your own time and money.

Don’t force your digital marketing partner to reinvent the wheel and stumble over marketing techniques that you already know don’t work for you. Be sure they know about any major public relations issues so they can protect you and find ways to bury it so you can move forward. And always be honest about the challenges facing your company.

3. Try Not to Micromanage

Few things are harder on a professional than when someone without much experience insists on grabbing the reins at every turn. You’ve probably experienced this with your own clients or customers, from the person who’s sure their low-resolution image will print perfectly on a giant flyer to the one who wastes half the day of your roofing project telling you how to do your job.

Of course, you should be involved with your digital marketing partner, and at every step, and your needs and goals are paramount. But you’re hiring marketers because they bring expertise to the table that you’re lacking. Let them do the job you’ve hired them to do.

How to Manage Without Micromanaging

Whenever you’re unsure of why your agency is trying a specific approach, don’t hesitate to ask. Great digital marketers can explain their strategies clearly. But remember that they’re professionals who know what they’re doing, and once you have a plan in play, it’s usually best to stick to it unless there’s a compelling reason to divert. Think of your marketing partners as you would a team within your own company. The best team leaders are the ones who clearly lay out the goals, choose the right people for the job, and then inspire and empower them to do what they do best.

4. Be Realistic About What Will Happen

Some digital marketing agencies are quick to make pie-in-the-sky promises about how quickly they can double your revenue or triple the number of Facebook followers you have. If the promises sound too good to be true, they probably are, and the companies who make them tend to view you as just another notch in their belt or number of dollars in the bank.

It takes time to build a great website and make it fully functional. It takes time for Google’s algorithms to notice your changes and give you the bump in rankings you need. It takes time to grab attention on social media. Trust the company that clearly views their relationship with you as a partnership and wants to work with you to steadily grow your business so everyone benefits.

5. Be On Time and Demand the Same of Them

When you’ve got meetings scheduled with your digital marketers, don’t skip them. They’re crucially important, and you shouldn’t work with any agency that doesn’t also treat them that way. But being on time also means producing necessary materials when they’re needed.

Some things the agency wants from you might seem like really low priorities in the bustle of the hectic workday, but those photos or bios of your managers or the graphics of your logo are important. Until you send them to your marketers, you can’t get that change to your website, that press release, or that updated business listing that will improve your brand reputation and generate more leads.

6. Let Them Know When Things Change

Remember that your marketing partners aren’t sharing the office with you. They won’t know you’ve developed a new product or made a major update to one of your services unless you tell them. If you make a new key hire or open a branch office across town, they need to know fast so they can update the necessary business listings as well as your website.

In the digital age, every second counts. If someone else tells a story about you or one of your people before you can get the story out there, then they control the narrative. By keeping your digital marketing partners in the loop, you can stay in control of your image and reputation online.

7. Be Open to Integration

One of the biggest reasons companies struggle to get the online reputation they want or generate the traffic they need is that they’ve siloed all their digital channels instead of treating them as a contiguous whole. While Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and your own website do need different things and require their own strategies, they should be integrated with your business and controlled by one, over-arching strategy.

If that’s been your habit up until now, expect your digital marketers to ask about bringing them all together and incorporating your social media accounts into the very fabric of your business. Be open to this. You probably contacted the agency because you needed help with your digital marketing, so let them bring their expertise to bear.

Get the Most From Your Digital Marketing Agency

At Digital Marketing Collective, we work hard to get to know you so we can all benefit. Our goal is nothing less than helping you grow your business and revenue by using our expertise to take advantage of everything digital marketing can do. Contact Digital Marketing Collective today to get started getting the most from your digital marketing agency.

Get Noticed! The Power of Hiring an Amazing Digital Media Agency

Are you looking to power up your social media presence? Would you like to have the ability to know every time someone mentions your business on the internet? Do you dream of a perfectly designed website that will dazzle your prospects? At DM Collective in Calgary, Alberta, we can give you all of these things and show you the true power of partnering with a digital media agency: more customers.

What Is a Digital Media Agency?

In short, a digital media agency is your greatest ally when it comes to attracting new prospects. It is a company that specializes in understanding the most effective ways to market a business online. Part of the work of a digital media agency includes doing research and keeping up-to-date on the ever-changing landscape of technology and social media. Believe us, this task is a full-time job, and not one many business owners want to take on in addition to running their company.

Using its research and experience, a digital media agency can create a customized digital marketing strategy for you that will have you advertising on the platforms where you are most likely to reach people who want your services. It can design content for your website and social media that will appeal to your prospects. Importantly, it can work with the logic of search engines so that when people Google your services, your listings appear on the first page of the results.

Today, agencies that specialize in digital media provide the following services:

  • Website design
  • Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
  • Social media management
  • Reputation management
  • Web analytics
  • Digital advertising including Pay Per Click (PPC) listings
  • Listings for your business in popular online directories
  • Targeted email campaigns
  • Content management
  • Blog posts

The Power of Digital Marketing

The Numbers Tell All

Today, there are over 3 billion social media users. 78% of mobile searches for a business result in a sale. 88% of consumers choose a business based on its online reviews. These are just a few examples of the data that highlights the fact that digital marketing offers a huge growth opportunity for your business.

You Don’t Want to Miss Out

Falling behind on your digital marketing game is like saying goodbye to customers before they even reach your doors. Most people use search engines to find their goods and services. If they don’t locate your business, they will end up on someone else’s website and take their business to the competition. The visibility of your website and other listings in local search results is essential to your ability to attract customers.

New prospects are out there proactively looking for your services, but you need to have an online presence to get noticed. Once they have found you, you need to impress them with attractive visuals and engaging content to win their business.

8 Ways Partnering With a Digital Media Agency Can Help Grow Your Business

1. It Will Help You Attract New Leads

With all the ways to measure success on the internet these days, from the number of followers you have to your ranking in online directories, it is easy to forget that the whole point of building an online presence is to make more sales. An agency that specializes in digital media can help you develop your online presence strategically, so that the money and time you invest result in dollars, not just likes and comments.

2. It Will Increase Your Online Visibility

There are several ways in which a digital media agency can make your business more visible online. First, if you don’t already have a website and profiles on the key social media platforms, it can help you create them. Second, it can identify which online directories people look through when they need your services. Third, it can boost your Search Engine Optimization (SEO). Having high SEO means that search engines will display your business on the first page of results when people search for relevant terms.

3. It Can Help You Make a Good First Impression

Most prospects will take a good look at your website, your social media, and your online reviews long before they meet you or visit your physical place of business. You wouldn’t leave your storefront unkempt, and it’s equally important to maintain an attractive presence online.

4. It Can Improve the Aesthetics of Your Digital Marketing

Part of making a good first impression includes using high-quality visuals and a pleasing layout for your website and your social media profiles. If you are not a design expert, no worries! Your agency can help you with the aesthetic component of your marketing.

5. It Can Help You Create Attractive, Relevant Content

Beyond aesthetics, the content you post needs to be interesting, entertaining, informative, and relevant to the needs of your prospects. Content can be anything from a Youtube video in which you explain your expertise to an Instagram photo of your team conducting business to a blog post in which you discuss a trending topic in your industry. Your agency can help you strategize what content to post and where to post it.

6. It Can Help You Understand and Manage Your Brand’s Reputation

Reputation management refers to being aware of how your brand is perceived and taking actions to ensure that prospects see it in a positive light. Your agency can help you track when and where your business is mentioned anywhere on the internet. It can also give you notifications about online reviews, so that you can respond to them as soon as possible.

For more information on reputation management, check out our blog post below:

7. It Can Identify Tools to Help You Understand Where Your Marketing Efforts Are Paying Off

One of the best things the internet has to offer your business is consumer data. By using web analytics, a digital media agency can help you identify which demographics are most likely to buy your services. From there, you can target these demographics in your campaigns.

As your marketing efforts develop, your agency can help you track how many people responded to your listings, and which campaigns led to the most sales. With this information, you can tweak your strategy to be even more effective.

8. It Can Help You Communicate With Customers Over Channels They Prefer

Reaching out to customers in certain ways can be awkward. For example, most people don’t want to be interrupted by a phone call during dinner. In the digital age, many people prefer to communicate over online channels, such as Facebook Messenger and email. Your agency can help you design effective email campaigns that will promote your services. It can also help you use the most popular apps to enrich your current business relationships.

For more information on the benefits of working with an agency that specializes in digital media, read our blog post here:

Partnering for Powerful Growth

A digital media agency is a great resource when it comes to outsourcing your marketing in a way that will be cost-effective and extremely successful. We can help you take advantage of all the potential the internet has to offer. Contact DM Collective in Calgary, Alberta, for more information on our services. We look forward to making your business shine online.

10 Characteristics of a Top-Tier Marketing Agency

Marketing is an important aspect of business development. Unless you run a monopolistic business, you are likely to need the services of a marketing agency sooner or later. Due to the demand for marketing services, there are hundreds if not thousands of marketing agencies ready and willing to create awareness for your brand. However, as with many things in life, marketing agencies are not created equal. While some are good at what they do, others promise what they cannot deliver. To help you identify a top-tier marketing agency, here are 10 characteristics to look out for:

10 Characteristics of a Top-Tier Marketing Agency

1. Good Communication

You cannot convince people to buy a product or a service without strong communication skills. Whether it is through traditional or digital marketing, good communication enables you to present your business to potential customers in an appealing and convincing manner. A top-tier marketing agency communicates its ideas coherently to you and to your target audience. If you find yourself struggling to understand the message coming from the agency, that might be a red flag you should not ignore.

2. Great Staff

A top-tier marketing company should have a team of enthusiastic and passionate personnel. Team members should be proficient in several areas and should work together like a well-oiled machine in complementary roles. Each member should be confident in the skills and abilities of the other members. For example, if you are talking to the company’s designer, he or she must be confident in the company’s copywriter’ s ability to deliver a compelling piece of writing to match a good art. The staff of a good agency should be proficient in sales, creative designs, copywriting, data analysis and more.

3. Problem-Solving Skills

Almost every marketing campaign faces some challenges during the planning process or during implementation. While some of these challenges are expected, others arise out of the blue. The mark of a top-tier marketing company is not its ability to avoid such challenges, but rather its ingenuity in overcoming challenges as they arise without compromising on quality or missing agreed deadlines. An average marketing company tries as much as possible to avoid difficulties, and when this fails, their campaigns are most likely to stall and eventually fail.

4. Creativity

Creativity is a major characteristic of top-tier marketing firms. Marketers who are good at their jobs often color outside the lines and are always bursting with fresh ideas. They are willing and ready to push the boundaries to deliver a marketing campaign that makes your brand stand out among your competitors. When not setting the trends, a good marketing firm is always alert to emerging trends and adjusts accordingly to match the demands of the market.

You do not want to spend your money on an agency that is always playing catch up. If their ideas do not impress you, it is unlikely they will impress your target audience.

5. Good Executors

In addition to being creative, a top-tier marketing agency should also be a great executor. Having creative ideas on paper and in presentations will not do much for your brand if the agency cannot implement them. A top-notch marketing firm has tried-and-true systems to help them execute the ideas they present to their clients during a pitch. They also ensure that the execution of these ideas happen within the agreed timeframe.

A poorly executed marketing campaign can ruin the good reputation of your brand. For example, a marketing firm can use influencers whose personalities, values and ideologies contradict those represented by your brand. This is likely to draw negative attention and reflects badly on your brand.

6. Data-Driven

Men lie; women lie; but numbers never do. Any marketing agency worth its name must use big data to run its marketing campaign. Data allows you to target specific audiences that are likely to spend their money on your product or service. Mastery of data enables a marketing firm to understand your target audience, which helps them tailor relevant marketing campaigns.

 Data analysis also allows a marketing company to measure the effectiveness and success of their strategies by establishing sales conversion generated from their campaigns. Data also helps you to strengthen your brand by showing you all the areas that need improvements.

7. Strong Online Presence

You cannot rely on a marketing agency that does not market itself. The website and social media pages of top-notch marketing firms are always up to date. They also rank higher on search engines and have a huge social media impact. A significantly high number of followers across various social media platforms is a good indication of a reliable marketing company. Another thing that separates a top-tier marketing agency from its peers is the ability to influence trending topics on social media platforms.

8. Focus on Story-Telling and Content Creation

Everyone loves a good story. A good story becomes a great story when told in an appealing, exciting and captivating manner. Effective and successful marketing campaigns rely heavily on good content creation. A top-tier marketing firm invests in experienced content creators who come up with catchy premium content that helps your brand to attract, convert, and retain customers. Story-telling humanizes your brand giving it a unique personality that your customers can identify with.

Relevant content presented appealingly gives you a competitive edge over your competitors. The content should change at each stage of marketing and on each social media platform to remain relevant.

9. Continuous Learners

The marketing industry is always evolving and advancing. What works today might not work tomorrow. Top-tier marketing firms spend a significant amount of resources in professional development for their staff. Marketing professional spend money and time reading, researching, networking ad learning new skills. There is always something new to learn. Marketing firms that are continuous learners stay ahead of their competition by offering their clients access to the latest and most effective innovations to drive their businesses forward.

10. Transparency

Business is all about money. Some marketing agencies have been in the spotlight for various reasons, including outsourcing important tasks to cheap contractors, offering kickbacks to media companies and engaging in fraudulent advertising. After dealing with such agencies, a brand rarely gets value for their money and sometimes ends up with a negative public image. A top-tier marketing firm promotes transparency in the following ways:

  • They show interest in your goals and expectations
  • They give you a clear and brief contract that clearly outlines the terms and agreements
  • They are open about their strategies and tactics
  • They work towards your long-term goals instead of offering you quick fixes

Work With the Best

Effective marketing campaigns will boost traffic and improve your sales. While you may be a great entrepreneur, marketing might not be your strong suit, or you just might not have time to run a business and handle marketing at the same time. We’ve compiled a list of some characteristics to look out for before settling on a marketing agency that will drive your business forward. When you want to work with a company that has all these characteristics and more, contact DM Collective in Calgary, Alberta for top-tier marketing services.

5 Things You Should Be Able to Expect From a Full Service Digital Marketing Agency

Technology has become the heart of the modern business world, and it is important for every company to have a healthy online presence. Nothing evolves faster than technology, and with new strategies, social platforms, and advertising techniques emerging every day, it is very difficult for a business owner to keep up. A strong partnership with a full service digital marketing agency is as important to a business as the professionals they rely on for legal or accounting advice. In this article, we will discuss five things you can expect from your full service digital marketing agency.

5 Services of a Full Service Digital Marketing Agency

Making a business decision is easy when you only have a handful of options to choose from. In the old days of marketing, businesses could choose between print, television, or radio advertising. Today, however, there are so many advertising options that the choice can become paralyzing. Digital marketing goes beyond advertising and engages concepts like customer engagement, brand loyalty, online reputation management, and more. If you aren’t careful, it’s easy to get lost in the woods and spend far more time and energy on digital marketing than you will ever recuperate from the results of your expense and labor.

A full service digital marketing agency is your guide to the confusing landscape of online marketing. They make it their job to keep up with the newest innovations and trends, so you don’t have to do inefficient, time-consuming research. They know how to manage your online presence using proven methods that will save you money and get results. Your full service digital marketing agency partners with you and gives you the means to achieve your objectives with the best return on your marketing investment. Here are some ways they can help.

1. Reputation Management

In the modern marketplace, it’s critical to pay attention to what customers and the general public are saying about your brand. A viral news story can create tremendous exposure, which can have a tremendous effect on a company.

However, a negative viral news story can cause irreparable damage. It is important for all businesses to take an interest in what is being said online so they can boost positive stories and smooth out negative ones. How a business interacts with customers online can quickly turn a negative press event into a positive one.

Businesses must also endeavor to have a strong, positive presence on review sites and in search engines. Recent studies have shown that customers perceive online reviews with nearly the same confidence as they perceive personal recommendations. It is important for every brand to have a presence where potential customers are looking, and to ensure that all the information listed about their business is accurate and fair. Click here for more information on an effective online reputation management strategy.

2. Brand Exposure

Traditional marketing always operated on the philosophy of achieving the highest visibility possible. However, that concept is expensive and outdated. Digital marketing understands that overall visibility isn’t as important as ensuring your brand has a good presence in the places where potential customers or clients are most likely to conglomerate.

Digital marketing is able to design their strategies for brand exposure with surgical precision by using the tremendous amount of customer data that is available. This results in exposure that is more effective and less expensive.

3. Dashboard Reporting

One of the main problems businesses have with their digital marketing strategy is simply getting organized. Even a basic digital marketing strategy requires the use of multiple social media platforms, all of which require their own passwords. Although different platforms are often similar, many of them have slightly different mechanisms and features that can take time to master. The availability and quality of analytical reports also fluctuate over different platforms.

A successful digital marketing strategy needs to have a maximum amount of impact with a minimal time obligation. Another problem with business social media accounts is that they can sap productivity by pulling your employees away from business-related tasks. With a full service digital marketing agency, you will be able to combine all the aspects of your digital marketing strategy under a single dashboard that will give you a comprehensive, instant snapshot from the moment you log in. You can also elect to have actionable reports sent as emails or text messages.

4. Results-Driven Strategies

Intuition is a powerful factor in business, but there is no substitute for hard data. Most people are aware of the analytical tools that are available through social media and advertising platforms, but it takes an expert to harness the full power of all that data.

A full service digital marketing agency will show you how to use smart tools to evaluate the effectiveness of all your marketing campaigns. Not only will you be able to asses the campaigns themselves—you’ll be able to separate and pay attention to individual components of each campaign.

It is tempting to stick with a strategy that has proven to be effective in the past, but with results-driven strategies, you can refine and improve every component of everything you do. You’ll be able to make decisions based on how people truly responded to your campaigns instead of relying on third-party assessments or interpretations. The more you study and get to know your customer base through analytical data, the more you can refine your company to provide the services that are most in-demand.

5. One on One Consulting

One common complaint about the technological age is that although it is more convenient, it has become far more impersonal. A superior full service digital marketing agency will pride itself on superior communication and be available for one-on-one consulting. You should think of your digital marketing agency as a partner that will help you achieve the overall objectives of your company. It is important to establish a strong relationship from the beginning with a good communication structure and a clear concept of purpose.

Some components of your digital marketing strategy need to be shared with everyone who is an employee of your brand. Always remember that any online interaction involving an individual who represents your company will contribute to the online perception of your brand. It is important that everyone who represents your brand understands expected conduct for both professional and personal online conduct. Click here to learn more about the benefits of local support from your digital marketing agency.

Efficient, Inexpensive, and Effective Digital Marketing

An online presence is no longer enough to be competitive in the ever-evolving modern business world. If you don’t ensure that your brand or business has a healthy presence on the right platforms, then the money you spend on marketing could result in a sunken cost. A full service digital marketing agency can dedicate all its resources to staying up to date with current technological and marketing trends to ensure that your business is taking advantage of the most effective strategies available.

Full service digital marketing agencies take the guesswork out of marketing and allow you to focus on the considerable obligations of running a successful business. With a superior return on investment, and access to a team of professionals with your best interests in mind, a full service digital marketing agency is the key to earning and maintaining a strong market share for your brand. Contact DM Collective to discuss how partnering with a full service digital marketing agency can propel your brand to greater profitability.

What Is Brand Reputation Protection? 6 Things You Need to Know

The internet can be a battleground, and your business needs a superhero to protect it against inaccurate information, competitors, and other nefarious forces. In a bygone era, you could rely on a commitment to good business practices to ensure a positive relationship with the public. In the modern digital marketplace, it is important to implement a variety of strategies for brand reputation protection.

What Is Brand Reputation Protection?

It has never been easier for a business to target and interact directly with potential customers. Gone are the days of the anonymous comments box where businesses could receive suggestions and complaints out of public view. Today, customers use social media to offer praise or vent their displeasure.

The unwritten rule is that even if customers leave a complaint on their personal social media account, they secretly expect the brand will hear their objection and respond accordingly. This unvoiced expectation creates a need for all businesses to implement an online reputation management strategy.

Brand reputation protection allows business owners to monitor the online discussion over their service, brand, or product. All businesses hope to be the focus of a positive viral media story, which can provide a staggering level of brand visibility. However, it is equally important to protect against negative viral media attention that can cause irreparable brand damage. Brand reputation protection gives business owners the power to influence the online discussion about their brand and provide course corrections when necessary.

6 Things to Know

1. It Should Prevent Inaccurate Listings

One of the first things you need to ensure is that any online listings that reference your brand have accurate information. It is easy to ensure the listings are accurate on pages you control.

However, there are many listings that harvest and copy information from third party sites. If these listings are inaccurate, or your business hours change, they could lead to customer frustration. Frustrated customers often leave negative reviews, which can severely damage your online reputation.

Digital reputation experts use smart tools to scour the internet in search of incomplete or inaccurate data. With the regular demands of a business, you don’t have time to search the internet for listings to verify their accuracy. Smart tools help provide business owners with the peace of mind that they will not be subject to a negative online response because of an inaccurate third party listing that they didn’t even know existed.

2. It Involves Cultivating Positive Reviews

Recent studies have concluded that potential customers give nearly the same credibility to online reviews as they do to recommendations from friends and acquaintances. Many people search for a business and make their final choice based on the star rating and the number of reviews that turn up in the search. Therefore, it is important for all brands to develop a positive presence on review sites.

One star reviews can be very damaging to your brand’s online presence, but there are some things businesses can do to minimize the negative effect. Businesses can request the removal of obviously illegitimate reviews, but this can be a time-consuming process. A better response is to bury negative reviews with promotions that lead to a proliferation of positive reviews. Your digital marketing expert can help ensure that all review pages have positive reviews that will help make your business a more attractive choice for potential customers.

3. It Uses Smart Tools

A single person, or even a team of people, cannot monitor the whole Internet in search of conversations that relate to your brand. Scrolling through thousands of pages of data would be time consuming and inefficient. However, it’s very important that you know what is being said about your brand so that you can respond appropriately and make sure the conversation remains positive.

Modern smart tools can effectively monitor the internet and provide you with simple, actionable reports to a single dashboard, email, or even text messages. The sooner you respond to a trending issue, the better chance you have of converting a potentially negative discussion into something positive for your business. Time is critical for brand reputation protection, and you should consider every mention of your brand as an opportunity to demonstrate your commitment to superior customer service.

4. It Involves Proper Training for Employees

Things can get out of control quickly on the internet, and it’s important that everyone involved with your business has a strong foundation in professional online etiquette. All businesses should regard online interactions with the same importance and with the same expectations for professionalism that they have for employee interactions with customers in their place of business.

Every employee represents your business and has an influence on the online perception of your brand. This applies both to your employees when they are interacting with the public from a business social media account and when they make posts on their private social media pages. Your digital marketing expert can help you design and implement workshops so you and all your employees know expectations for online interactions that will protect your brand’s reputation.

5. You Must Keep Up-to-Date With New Trends

Brand reputation protection is as important to your business as your legal or accounting team. You don’t have to be a digital marketing expert to understand that technology evolves quickly. Marketing tactics that were effective as little as six months ago become obsolete and represent a sunk cost if your business cannot adapt and implement new strategies. Keeping up to date with modern techniques, tools, and methods is a full-time job that requires the diligence of an expert.

Many businesses attempt to handle their brand reputation protection in house, but this is an inefficient and ineffective strategy. Employees do not have time to research digital marketing trends and implement them while they perform their other duties. The result is that your business will be slow to learn and implement new strategies. Building a relationship with a professional digital marketing team helps ensure you will have access to the most dynamic strategies.

6. It’s the Best Return on Your Investment

Brand reputation management is like a shield that helps ensure your business will not be caught off guard by a negative viral media story. The information you receive from your brand reputation practices can also be used to magnify the effectiveness of your marketing strategies.

The more you know about how potential clients respond to your services and your advertisements, the more you can adapt your business to suit the needs of your clients. With targeted marketing and smart tools, you can apply statistical analysis to ensure you get the most out of every marketing dollar you spend.

Take Control of Your Brand

The internet evolves fast, and if you don’t have a knowledgeable expert on your side, you and your business can quickly fall behind. The internet has enormous power both to elevate your business to new levels of profitability, or to bring it crashing down.

Disregarding brand reputation protection can also leave you vulnerable to smear campaigns from unscrupulous competitors. In the lawless wasteland of the internet, it’s important to have a protector on your side. Contact the experts at DM Collective today to discover how to take your brand to the next level.

Online Reputation Management Strategy: 6 Tips for Improving Your Reputation Quickly

The majority of business is already done online, and your online presence will only become more important in the future. The internet puts the power back in the consumers’ hands. Not only can everyone tell the world about their experience with each business, more and more consumers are checking reviews before they even set foot inside the business. Today, every business needs a strong online reputation management strategy.

The technological world evolves quickly, and to ensure the greatest profitability, businesses need to develop a relationship with a diligent and knowledgeable digital marketing expert who keeps up with all the new trends. Read on to discover six tips for improving your online reputation quickly.

Why Online Reputation Is Crucial

Many customers consider a Google review to be as trustworthy as a personal recommendation, so businesses have to monitor their online reputation. Any good online reputation management strategy is complex and multifaceted. Your business has to have a professional-looking online presence, and you and your employees must be trained to interact with customers appropriately when you are online.

Finally, you need a system to monitor relevant online discussions and provide you with convenient, actionable reports. Online reputation management strategy is in a constant state of evolution, and you must be able to implement new tactics and abandon old ones or risk falling behind competitors. Here are some important tips to consider.

6 Tips for Online Reputation Management Strategy

1. Don’t Try to Do It Alone

Many businesses make the mistake of attempting to handle their online reputation management strategy in-house. Running a business poses a unique set of challenges, and your reputation management strategy can be too much to add to an already demanding work schedule.

Reputation management is as important to the health of your business as your legal representation or your contracted accountant. Just because an employee is social media savvy does not mean they are qualified to handle your fundamental online reputation strategy. A business that assigns online reputation management to its employees often sees an increase of hours wasted on social media with no benefit to the reputation of the business.

Without a knowledgeable strategy, these individuals often use ineffective marketing tactics and often fail to obtain an accurate overall picture. The result is that decision-makers in the business do not have the information when they need it, and the money spent is ultimately thrown away.

2. Focus on Results-Driven Tactics

A professional consultant will allow you to capitalize on results-driven tactics that are much more affordable than traditional strategies. Ever-evolving smart tools allow businesses to scan the internet and harvest information. This information is then interpreted and supplied in the form of an actionable report that shows up as a text message or email.

This format allows business owners to get a quick glimpse of their online reputation while they’re having their coffee in the morning and alerts them immediately when they must take action. Smart monitoring and marketing tools are much more efficient than traditional strategies.

Smart tools allow you to target potential clients so you can focus on the specific individuals who are most likely to be interested in your goods and services. Businesses often discover that when they switch to an online reputation management company, they see dramatic savings and improved effectiveness over traditional marketing efforts.

3. Monitor the Discussion

With smart reports, you can see what people are saying the moment they say it. The days of the anonymous customer suggestion box have long since passed. Today, when customers have a complaint, they are much more likely to post about it on social media with the hope and assumption that the criticism will get back to the business.

If you never see a social media complaint, you are unable to correct the situation, and it reflects poorly on your business. With smart reports, you can be assured of receiving notifications whenever there is a problem. This allows you to turn a potentially negative situation into a positive for your company.

Potential customers observe how a company interacts with online complaints, and if you conduct yourself well, you can earn the trust of new clients even if the initial complaint was unfair or unreasonable. Capitalizing on opportunities for social media interaction between a business and its clients is one of the best and most affordable ways to improve online reputation.

4. Assure Correct Information

One of the most vital components of an effective online reputation management strategy is also the simplest. It is important that every online listing regarding your business shows the correct information. Unfortunately, may web services copy their information from preexisting sources.

If a listing is incorrect, or your information changes, the incorrect information could proliferate throughout the web. If customers obtain bad information and arrive at your business when it’s closed, the result could be an unfair, negative review.

Smart monitoring tools will help you stay on top of all your listings to ensure that your customers always have the right information. The more you can do to eliminate the possibility of bad reviews, the better it is for your online reputation.

5. Bury Negative Reviews

Many individuals report that when they are looking for goods and services, their research goes no farther than the star rating of a business. No business is invulnerable to receiving a few one-star reviews from unfortunate customer interactions that may or may not have anything to do with the level of service provided.

You can manage a few one-star reviews, and they won’t hurt your business provided it’s clear that those reviews are an aberration. When a one-star review is clearly fake, you have the option to report those reviews to the host site. This will initiate a review and, if you’re lucky, the review will be taken down.

However, a more proactive tactic is to ensure you have plenty of five-star reviews to offset any negative comments. You can use in-store and digital promotions to cultivate five-star reviews, so your star rating remains healthy even after you receive a few unfair comments.

6. Have Clear Expectations for Employees

Everyone who works for your business will reflect on your business. Your employees have to understand the effect they can have on the reputation of your business both when they are working as employees and when they interact online in their spare time.

You can’t over-emphasize how detrimental an inappropriate online interaction with a customer can be. A discourteous response from a social media account linked to your business has the potential to go viral and cause enormous damage to your online reputation.

It’s important that you have a clear and courteous conversation with your employees so that they understand what is expected of them in their online interactions. Workshops and regular refresher courses are also encouraged. It is always better to prevent an online reputation crisis and develop employees who are assets.

Improve Your Online Reputation Quickly

The internet can be very intimidating, and it’s often unfair. The good news that it is possible to improve your online reputation quickly and affordably by following these and other sound reputation management tactics. If you would like to develop a relationship with a customer-first company that focuses on online reputation management strategy, contact DM Collective today.

Edmonton Marketing: 6 Trends for 2020

The marketing world moves faster every year, bringing new trends with each change of the calendar. If you’re part of the digital marketplace, you’re one of countless businesses competing for space in an evolving battleground. Many companies are turning to full-service digital marketing agencies to handle their online presence. We’re DM Collective, a digital marketing collective based in Calgary and serving the Alberta metro area.

How We Can Help

We specialize in services including SEO, web design, digital advertising, social media management, and developing a comprehensive online presence.

The Edmonton marketing world in 2020 is a competitive place, and every business needs a detailed strategy to stand out. DM Collective in Calgary, Alberta is ready to deliver digital marketing services for your company. Read on to discover everything you need to know about the top Edmonton marketing trends of 2020.

Edmonton Marketing: 6 Trends for 2020

Greater Advertiser Targeting

The days of putting out a large blast of ads hoping to get views on a popular social media platform are behind you thanks to advertising micro-targeting. Studies show that most people disregard ads that aren’t relevant to their interests, so companies are getting better at researching their target audience.

Once a business knows who is most likely to be interested in their product, they know where to advertise and what approach to take. One of the most effective advertising techniques is to not let your audience know they’re seeing an ad.

How It Works

People search out great content on the internet, and many of the most effective ads are designed to look like content. Sponsored articles on blogs relevant to your customer base’s interests are a great way to raise awareness and attention.

Studies show that while a majority of readers ignore ads, tailored messages and relevant content boost purchase rates to over one-third. Algorithms are making it easier to ensure your customer base only sees the ads they’re likely to act on.

Automation Is the Future

Great customer service used to mean having on-staff agents for interaction with potential and existing customers, fielding questions and responding to complaints. This was effective, but not time and cost-efficient for growing companies. That’s why many companies in the Edmonton marketing field are turning to chatbots and other automated systems.

How They Work

Chatbots are pre-programmed software with hundreds of answers to commonly asked questions for your business. Studies show that most customer service queries fall in a few categories, making it easy to process and resolve many questions without the help of a human behind the computer screen.

For questions without a response in the chatbot, the program will refer the person to call back during business hours or connect them to someone on staff.

The ideal chatbot is courteous but businesslike, cutting down on the chatter and awkwardness that can sometimes come with talking to a customer service representative. They can also be programmed in multiple languages to account for the market’s growing diversity.

The Growing Mobile Marketplace

Many older companies started their digital marketing strategy when the desktop was king and are finding themselves left behind due to an old website. Over half of customers now surf the internet and make their purchases on mobile devices, making a mobile-friendly website essential. Part of any 2020 digital marketing strategy should include making sure all parts of your website are mobile-friendly.

What It Involves

A mobile-friendly website should have easy-to-read text with buttons that are responsive and set apart from other functions. The landing page should have minimal features and guide people visually to the points you want them to focus on. This includes the purchase link and any other key content or informational links.

Many companies are also communicating more through mobile. If you have a private messaging system for customer service, many companies are using WhatsApp, WeChat, or Facebook Messenger for easy communication.

Personalization Is Key

Using algorithms to study the behavior of potential customers is a popular and occasionally controversial technique to target likely buyers. The centralization of internet use among a network of major websites owned by tech conglomerates allows companies to collect data on those customers’ search history and social media activity.

This allows major ad networks like Google, Facebook, and Twitter to create personalized advertising outputs for each of their visitors. While some platforms have courted controversy for selling user data to outside customers, the majority use this technique effectively to advertise partner products to interested parties.

How It Works

A popular example is showing advertising for attractions in a certain city after a visitor has searched for hotels in that area. Rolling out an ad campaign with Twitter or Google is worth the investment because, thanks to their algorithm, you get thousands of tailored ad campaigns.

Changes In SEO

Search engine optimization is one of the oldest techniques in digital marketing, but it’s evolved significantly since the early days that focused on keyword use. Combining search engine data with individual customer profiles allows the algorithms to boost results for websites that viewers are likely to be most interested in.

Microtargeting is a way to let more than one site get the benefit of being the top hit. Google and other search engines have become savvier at separating real search engine optimization from attempts to game the system. That’s why it’s especially important for clients in the Edmonton marketing field to have a solid strategy. Many agencies boast of their SEO strategy, but too many still rely on discredited techniques that could get your ranking penalized by Google.

Transparency and Trust

Customers are becoming savvier by the day, and one of the biggest things they’re demanding from tech companies is greater disclosure on how their data is used. It’s easy for a company to switch things up after a failed marketing pitch, but it’s less easy to rebuild trust.

That’s why the most effective digital marketing companies are being more upfront with their strategy and how they approach customers. Having a full-service digital marketing agency like DM Collective handling your strategy is a good move because you have experts in digital ethics at your disposal.

How It Works

When you work with us, you get access to a full suite of the top statistical tools and you have the authority to decide what is released to the public. Greater communication with the public about your marketing strategy makes it easy to establish your core values with the customer and open yourself up to constructive suggestions.

Let DM Collective Conquer the Edmonton Marketing Field for Your Company

Staying current in the fast-paced world of Edmonton marketing is critical to keeping ahead of your competition. No matter what field of business you’re in, you’re competing for a slot in the crowded digital marketplace and one smart move can send you to the head of the pack. That’s why many top businesses are turning to the experts in the field.

Contact us at DM Collective in Calgary, Alberta today. We’re serving clients in the Alberta metro area and beyond with full-service digital marketing support, including one-on-one consulting and a centralized dashboard for all your functions.

4 Signs It’s Time to Rethink Your Online Reputation Management Strategy

Your online reputation determines how you’re viewed by consumers and can make a big difference to your bottom line. To keep brand equity high, you have to protect your reputation from emerging threats, act quickly to resolve a crisis, and (should the worst happen) have a plan in place to rebuild your online reputation. The question? Is your online reputation management strategy working for you?

4 Signs Your Online Reputation Management Strategy Needs to Change

You Aren’t Actively Working on Social Media

If your reputation management strategy doesn’t include a proactive investment in social media, it’s time to rethink. It’s not enough to just manage bad reviews and remain passive. It’s definitely important to monitor sites like Yelp and TripAdvisor for local Calgary reviews that reference your company; but social media gives you the opportunity to go a step beyond simply responding.

These are platforms where you can control how you’re viewed by controlling what you post. Wendy’s is a great example of a brand that has embraced a particular social media presence on Twitter and run with it. Competitors got in too late and have found themselves dragging behind. They don’t have the same strong, easily defined presence on Twitter, and they often end up simply mimicking what Wendy’s is doing (and looking a little sad in the process).

You Aren’t Aggressively Monitoring Your Reputation

There’s more to reputation management than just looking for bad reviews, though these are certainly important to find and address. You also need to be proactive about blog posts, negative links on sites that search engines find spammy, and negative returns when someone searches for you online.

Many people will have their first experience with you via Google search results, so it’s not just important that your own website rank highly: you also need to get rid of negative third-party references that might pop up. Don’t dismiss these just because they’re from a third party. They can strongly influence how people feel about you.

You Don’t Have a Response Plan

A negative review is going to come. You can bet your money on this. You can monitor all you like, but what happens when you find a problem? Are you waiting until you find an issue before you decide how to respond?

Everything goes much more smoothly when you have a plan. Think through some of the important questions before a crisis happens. For example, who responds to negative comments in your company? How do you decide which comments merit a response and which do not? What Calgary, Canadian, or world issues (if any) do you want to take a public stand on, and who is responsible for making those decisions?

You Don’t Respond Quickly

Speed is of the essence when you’re trying to manage a bad situation. When someone complains about you online, it’s only a matter of moments before their closest friends and followers respond. Give it an hour or two and the issue may have gone at least locally viral.

Most people complain because they’re having a moment of anger or frustration and need to let it out. If you respond quickly, with professionalism and sympathy, you have an excellent chance of turning a negative interaction into a positive one. At the least, you’ll say something important about who you are by noticing and responding with restraint. The complainer might not notice, but others will, and that can only help you.

Turn Your Online Reputation Management Strategy Around

Your reputation means everything. If it’s time to rethink your strategy, call Digital Marketing Collective today and get local Calgary marketing professionals on your side.

4 Amazing Things About Company Online Reputation Management You May Not Have Known

Nearly everyone is aware of online reputations and how valuable they are; but company online reputation management needs to go far beyond the basics. Read on for a few amazing things you might not have known about how important online reputation management is.

Everyone Needs It

Company online reputation management isn’t just for local Calgary companies or small-time institutions. Everyone, from the biggest Fortune 500 companies to the smallest local plumbing service provider, has to keep an eye on their online professional history.

Online reputation is mostly about managing your company’s digital presence. Depending on the situation, you may need to deal with old personal information about someone integral to the company, a bad review, or even issues that seem to have nothing to do with your business. It doesn’t matter if this information is obsolete and irrelevant: if it’s online and linked to your company, you need to stay on top of it.

You Might Not Be Doing Enough Company Online Reputation Management

If you think you’re safe because you don’t put out photos of yourself or your employees, your view is shortsighted. You shouldn’t think of the digital space as just a negative to manage and avoid. It’s also a positive to embrace.

The Internet can work for you, and by embracing what it has to offer and taking proactive charge of your online reputation, you can build your own reputation and get ahead of negative reviews.

It’s Almost Impossible to Erase a Bad Review

One of the first things people ask when they see a negative review is: “how can we erase it?” The glorious, and terrible, thing about the Internet is that you can only rarely erase anything. The Internet is a positive, free space where everyone’s views and opinions can be expressed. Even going after someone with a lawsuit is unlikely to work: in fact, it might very well backfire.

That doesn’t mean there’s nothing you can do, however. The good news is that once you’ve buried bad publicity far enough that it disappears off the first page of a Google search, it is, for all intents and purposes, gone. Online reputation management can make that happen.

Reactive Is Not Enough

Many companies think they’ve done enough when they respond quickly to bad publicity. While that’s important, it’s the proactive reputation management that makes the biggest difference. For one thing, it costs a lot less to prevent problems than to erase them. For another, prevention and a proactive online presence solidify your brand equity and say something significant about who you are what you value.

The law is still working out what is in the “public domain,” who has access to that information, and what to do now that anyone can easily access nearly any information online and say anything they want. In the meantime, online reputation management can broadcast the values you want associated with your brand instead of leaving you to desperately react when something happens.

You Can Build Trust: Even With People You’ve Never Met

Decades ago, the only way to build trust was to interact personally with consumers and trust that they would talk to their friends and family about you. Now it’s possible to do so much more. Instead of hoping that satisfied customers might talk about you, you can talk about yourself.

You have to do this the right way, of course; but assuming you do, online reputation management gives you the power to get your own message out there instead of crossing your fingers and hoping for the best.

Grab Control of Your Online Reputation

Your online reputation isn’t out of your hands. You can stay in control with the right digital media marketing company on your side. Check out Digital Marketing Collective today and see the benefits of working with a local Calgary area digital marketer committed to making your online brand all it can be.