What’s the Difference Between a Marketing Agency and a Social Media Company?

What’s the Difference Between a Marketing Agency and a Social Media Company?

content marketing versus social media marketing, whats the difference between social marketing and digital marketing

It can be confusing today looking for help with your social and digital marketing, especially with all the different terms out there:  Social media company, social media marketing, social media agency, content marketing agency, inbound marketing company, social media management, internet marketing and it goes on and on.

SOCIAL MEDIA MANAGEMENT

If a company only handles social media, it may mean they only post short pieces of content on sites like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc.  They may ask you to provide the content and they will simply post it or schedule it for you.  Some will monitor questions or comments that come in on those posts and some do not. A social media company should also handle community management, which includes responding to comments or questions along with growing your online communities.

A CONTENT MARKETING COMPANY

A content marketing or content creation company might just provide the copywriters or content for your blogs, social media posts, websites etc. Content marketing has to be a big focus whichever way you go since you will need not only blog posts and social media posts, but content pieces such as eBooks, tip sheets, resource guides, etc. to use as lead magnets if you are to grow your email list.

A MARKETING AGENCY

A marketing agency, (and some immediately think of the old advertising agency model, like Mad Men) might be focused on print or television media as well as coming up with campaign ideas and then outsource the daily social media activities. Many will handle campaign creation, maybe digital assets and then outsource the rest.

AN INBOUND MARKETING COMPANY

While the term, “inbound marketing” is often interchangeably with “content marketing” they can vary in the results they expect to produce.  Some inbound companies focus on the sales funnel and creating content pieces that drive people to the funnel, so they might create lead magnets, email follow-up or drip campaigns, blog content, and social media posts.

If you are like most organizations, you might need a bit of each.  You want someone to help you come up with creative ways to reach your ideal customers, write or produce the content that appeals to these customers and follow this all the way through from content to results.  After all, it’s about getting more people to become aware of you and your brand and then to encourage more to consider hiring you or buying your products or services.

MARKETING VERSUS SALES

It’s important to ask lots of questions when looking to hire someone to help you with your marketing.  Some think if they hire a marketing or social media company, customers will walk in the door to make a purchase the next day.  While this certainly can happen, it’s like saying you heard a commercial or saw an article in a magazine today and immediately went out to buy the item advertised.  While that happens, especially if you are really hungry and you see an ad or commercial for a big juicy burger or VooDoo donuts, the reality is, most of us are not running burger or donut shops.

Visual Marketing, social marketing, social media management company

Hungry Yet?

Marketing is about making a connection with people.  A connection via content that can be written, recorded on video or audio, or even through a simple photo that disappears in 10 seconds (SnapChat). After this initial connection is made, a relationship is hopefully started and through more exposure to your content, this relationship is nurtured and you continue to provide value and information until the person feels they trust you and that you are the answer they have been searching for.  This could take hours, days or years, depending, typically, on your sales cycle, the price point of your product or service and when each person actually has a need.

If you have a salesperson or sales team, they could be taking the leads that are coming in from the marketing campaigns and following up to close the sales. The more targeted your content is (meaning, you shouldn’t be posting your content on LinkedIn if you are trying to reach teens, and you probably don’t want to be running ads for high-end luxury cars during Judge Judy), the quicker the return will be on your investment and the more qualified your leads are for the sales team.

If I create a resource guide to help a homeowner stage their home to increase their sales price by $10,000. I know the people who download this piece are LIKELY to be selling their home soon. If I create a piece of content that shows the top interior designs in Hollywood, anyone would download this. It doesn’t qualify the lead enough, so the more targeted your content pieces are, the easier it is to identify where in your sales funnel this prospect is.

Many marketing agencies have had to adapt and begin using the new tools with social media, and many early social media management companies are having to step back and make sure they are incorporating a more holistic marketing approach that goes beyond a few posts on Facebook.  Take some time to figure out what you need to grow your business and then make sure you are hiring a person or company that can partner with you to make that happen. Ask lots of questions and get all of your expectations down in writing to eliminate or minimize disappointment later on.

social media company, inbound marketing, help with content marketing

 

Gina Schreck, social marketing  @GinaSchreck

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You Are A Writer, Now Start Writing: Getting That Blog Going

Get that Blog Going for Content Marketing Power

I was on a call with a client who said he wants us to “help him start blogging.”  I said, “You mean you want us to blog for you.”  He said “No. I just want you to help me become a writer and start doing it myself.  Give me topics and a deadline.”  Hmmm interesting.  I never thought of a business model where we get paid to get our clients to do the work!  I like it.  But after our conversation, I think I was able to convince him that he already was a writer, he just had to start making regular time for this activity that has never had a place in his day before.

 

We are all writers.  If you can speak about your business and you know how to use a computer, an old typewriter, or a number two pencil, you can write.  Sure there are some who will enjoy it more than others, and there are some who sound more eloquent in their style of writing, but we all can get the written word down.  For that matter, use a dictation tool to have your computer write for you. (One is built into most computers, tablets and even smart phones today. I am on my Macbook Air, in Notes and under EDIT, there is the option to simply dictate to get my spoken words down in writing.)

 Tips for blogging, inbound marketing

In today’s marketing environment, we must make a shift in our activities and start making time to write.  Our prospects are not answering their phones when we cold-call and they are not reading post cards and other mailers that we are sending out. They are turning to their friend, Google, to help them find answers to their questions.  Google will show them answers in the form of blog posts, social media posts, and of course lots of videos from his son, YouTube.  Is your content being found in this mix?    If you are like our client, and you know you need to start writing more, here are 4 tips to get you going:

How to start blogging tips for beginner bloggers

 

  1. Set aside 30-60 minutes every day for writing.

    YES, an hour! If you have to wake up earlier or you have to make yourself go to the library or coffee shop, make it so. Write this time on your calendar so you can’t book anything else in that slot.

  2. Remember you are answering a question, not writing a novel.

    It can be overwhelming if you think you have to write a whitepaper or a 1,500 word article.  Imagine someone coming up and asking you a common question about your business.  Now start writing as if you are writing a letter to that person to answer the question.   I love the thought of writing just being a way to help someone or to teach someone something.  I’m not trying to be RR Tolkien (????) or JK Rowling (although now I’m realizing that perhaps if I just change my name to GM Schreck, I could possibly write my first novel).  Today, write down a few of the most common questions you get about your business.  These are the first few posts you will write.

  3.  Don’t edit as you write.

    Years ago, I read a great book by Natalie Goldberg, Writing Down the Bones. In it, one of the exercises she gave was to put your pen to the paper and write without stopping for 45 minutes. No editing, no stopping to fact-check.  You were to write without stopping.  It has helped me, immensely, get more content out.  If you get down the “bones,” you can go back and edit later, adding in details or facts.  Inserting links and correcting grammar and spelling errors.  When you stop to fix or correct it, you lose your mojo.  You break the train of thought you have going.  It’s like having someone interrupt you while you are on a roll and then you forget what your point was.  Don’t let that editor interrupt the writer while he is at work.

  4. Create a “Story Starter” notebook for blogging ideas.

    One of the biggest problems people tell me they have when it comes to blogging, just behind not having enough time, is not having topics to write about.  They sit down and stare at the blank screen and then try to come up with something.  If you create a “story starter” notebook in Evernote (or any other notebook system), you will have plenty to choose from. The reason I love Evernote for my “story starters,” is it is everywhere you are.  You can open the app on your phone, jot an idea, and then later open that same note on your laptop, tablet or desktop.  You want to start jotting down questions that people ask you about your business, observations you have throughout the day, thoughts you have after watching a commercial or interaction in a store somewhere.  Start looking for topics everywhere.  All you have to do is jot down the idea or “story starter” and then tomorrow during your writing time you can elaborate, or perhaps you let it stew a little longer and it will bubble up in a post down the road.

  Start blogging tips for blog inbound marketing

So what are you waiting for.  Download, or open Evernote, and get your first few questions written down right now.  (I’ll wait….)

Now fire up that old typewriter, pick up your pen, or open that iPad, and start writing!

social media marketing small business, hotels, social business

Gina Schreck
President (and blogger) at SocialKNX

 

Want a little extra accountability?  Write the name of your blog and give us the URL to find it.  Let’s all agree to go and learn something new from each other.

 

If you’d like help augmenting your blogging, we certainly can help you with that.  The more great content you have coming from your website answering those questions, the better.  Contact us for more information.