Why You Should Consider a Virtual Outsourced Agency for Your Marketing Needs?

Contract Marketing Services in Chicago

Forrester Data indicates that B2B organizations “have really expanded their in-house agency, their centers of excellence, but that trend has really peaked in 2020.”

Reason? In times of downturn, companies are finding it hard to justify the costs of maintaining large, in-house marketing teams.

Downturn or not, experienced and vetted outsourced agencies are an excellent option for companies looking to step up their revenue and build a better-known brand. In the aftermath of COVID, where work-from-home has become more acceptable, there has been a rise of outsourced ‘virtual’ agency, which offers additional benefits when compared to a traditional outsourced marketing agencies.

What is an Outsourced ‘Virtual’ Agency and Why It Works so Well for B2B & Other Clients?

An outsourced, virtual agency is boutique agency comprised of partnered professionals and full-time staff. This means full engagement from experienced team members which continues beyond initial few months of the project. Unlike traditional, brick-and-mortar marketing agencies, our partners and employees work from their own spaces. And unlike many big name agencies, we do not hand-off work to juniors and are fully accountable to our clients’ needs at all times.

Looking for an analogy? At Webtage, we consider ourselves a digital version of George Cloney’s ‘Ocean Eleven.’ Instead of specialist conmen, we are a group of specialist digital experts who are on top of their game.

What does this mean to you, the client?

Stable network – Unlike agencies with high turnovers and high costs, a virtual agency works lean and works well because we have a shared work history, deep trust, and common work ethic that enables us to regularly & successfully work together. Many of us work full time on your marketing campaigns, while “our partners” join us for specific project needs.

For instance, you may need a specialized motion graphic production team for an sales-enablement video. We’ve got you covered with our partners. Need a ad strategist who specializes in Demand Side Platforms (DSPs)? We’ve got you covered as well!

Whether your outsources team consists of our employees or partners, you can always be assured of professional work process, non-disclosures, timely deliverables, and world-class services.

Highly vetted & Highly Experienced – Our network consists of experienced and highly specialized experts and you never have to worry about your project being handed  over to a junior staff at a traditional agency.

We have a very rigorous process of vetting our partners and employees. Just like you have full control over your recruitment process and do your due diligence, so do we.

Our global team is comprised of creative, fun, passionate, and analytical minds and we love the work that we do. Our work is world-class, out of the box, and has always succeeded in moving the business needle. Along the way, we’ve won the admiration of our industry peers and deep appreciation from our clients.

Amongst the adjectives our clients and partners have used for us: professional, prompt, effective, polished, delightful, patient, gracious, skills nonpareil, amazing, dedicated, sharp, attentive, responsive, knowledgeable, the best and we could go on but here is the more important part. We have more years of combined work experience than we would like to acknowledge, lest we feel ancient!

A globally distributed team with deep agency experience and a keen ability to assess business situations and create out-of-the-box hooks to capture the imagination of the audience, you can be assured that only the very experienced and brilliant minds will work on your projects. We work lean and work passionately.

Flexible and scalable – Our extended network of fraternity members allows us the ability to scale up and down.

During downturns, we can scale back our operations to support your operational continuity. We also switch from a retainer model to a project or hour-based invoicing, if a situation so demands.

Cost Savings – here’s our value proposition: for the cost of one full-time employee (FTE), you have the skills and services of an entire marketing team working for you!

How do we do this?

  • Well, to begin with, we work lean. We work out of our own spaces, eliminating the real-estate and utilities costs associated with having a physical location.
  • We also rely on cost-differentials between different teams spread across the globe. That being said, we always are fair to the expectations of our employees and partners. We are a highly ethical and empathetic organization and we believe in a win-win situation.
  • Finally, we distribute our time between multiple clients, while compromising on none. This means, we work hard and we deliver, every single time.

Long-term Revenue Growth – We analyze marketing strategies, marketing operations, and marketing returns through the lens of revenue generation.

Due to our lean process, lean pricing structure, smart strategies, impeccable execution and tight project management, we are consistenly able to bring multi-fold returns on marketing investment. We love to show the results via our clean and interactive marketing dashboards as well as deeper insights by providing lead intelligence and lead reports.

So How Do We Keep Up With Our Clients’ Internal Teams & Develop a Nuanced Marketing Strategy?

We understand that clients may have a sense of unease about bringing in an outside team to manage their marketing efforts. However, we have perfected a process that allows us to become an integral part of your organization. This process involves:

    1. DISCOVERY SESSION

      This is where we define your marketing objectives (i.e., establish thought leadership, increase prospect database, raise awareness about a particular solution, promote an event etc), identify buyer personas (what are their needs and motivations) and buyer journeys.  This helps us craft a strategy that is closely aligned with your business needs, your competitive market and buyer persona.

    2. SUBJECT MATTER KNOWLEDGE EXTRACTION

      We follow a knowledge extraction process where we interview Subject Matter Experts (SMEs) on a regular basis, identify influencers, study hashtags and develop fluency in topics of interest, conversation nuances, industry jargon, as well as gaps in conversation.

      And we do this through weekly, bi-monthly or monthly meetings. We also work closely with our clients’ sales team to ensure there is common ground and mutual understanding between marketing & sales.

    3. INVENTORY & AUDIT

      We perform a quantitative and qualitative assessment of your existing marketing campaigns, content pieces & collateral that you already own. We evaluate the current state of affairs, returns on investment and compare it to your business goals. How are the campaigns performing? Are they generating engagement and conversions? We conduct trend analysis of assets that are performing well & poorly.

      This process allows to work in a contextualized space.

    4. GAP ANALYSIS & CONTENT STRATEGY

      Based on the discovery, knowledge extraction, and audits, we create a core strategy that will be the grounding point that all stakeholders will agree upon. Then we will create hooks and themes, followed by a marketing plan mapped to objectives and buyer’s journey.

    5. CRAFT & MARKET

      Here is where we craft your content, marketing collateral and your campaigns, lending to them the levers required to strike a chord with your audience, build your thought leadership, and compel them to engage with your brand.

    6. REGULAR CHECK-INS –

We practice a well-thought out, modular process that helps you get the maximum returns on your investment. There is always scope to omit certain areas if you already developed those in-house. Conversely, we may want to dive deeper in certain other areas, if that’s seen necessary by all stakeholders.

Regular check-ins via regularly scheduled virtual meetings, email and phone conversations always keep us looped in and available for our clients’ needs.

Still on the Fence?

See many of Webtage’s outsourced web technologies & marketing success stories here. Read our testimonials, see the awards we have won, and see the industries we service.

Our digital build & market experience spans multiple industries, but our strongest strengths are B2B/technology, education, healthcare, B2C, and professional services. Our clients achieve sustained visibility because we conduct online campaigns the solid way. We are here to build a relationship with your business and work with you as your creative, marketing & technology partner.

How B2B Social Media Marketing Can Take Your Business To The Next Level

Social Media Marketing (SMM) is typically seen as beneficial for B2C companies. But this couldn’t be far from the truth. 

If you don’t have a social media plan for your B2B business, you are missing out on huge benefits. Social media is the top distribution method for B2B marketers, with 89% using social tools.

We break down how social media is a fantastic platform to promote your B2B company and when done right, it can have multifold benefits. 

What is B2B Social Media Marketing And How Is It Different? 

While B2C companies use social media marketing to reach out to their audience and influence purchases,  the social media marketing goals for B2B is to sell their products and services to other businesses. 

B2B social media marketing entails strategizing, drafting, promoting, and analyzing content to engage your target audience on social platforms. 

While it might look simple at the outset, there are several nuanced factors including staying abreast of rapidly evolving social platforms and features that make it both challenging and exciting.  

The social media marketing approach for B2B differs from B2C companies. Typically, B2B social media marketing tends to be more strategic to influence business founders and decision makers. It involves relatively more nurturing of business relationships to influence large order purchases. Even the nature of content mix will look different for B2B social media marketing. For example, insightful, and informational videos, case studies, reports, white papers. 

Also, consider these statistics to understand how different the B2B buyer from the B2C customer: 

  • B2B customers spend 27% of their purchase consideration time conducting independent research online.
  • 44% of millennial B2B customers prefer not to interact with a sales rep at all.

B2B buyers are more proactive in their research and enjoy more autonomy in their purchasing decisions. It’s vital that your digital presence and social media marketing are strong for astute B2B buyers.  

[highlight_box style=”fade2″ height=”200″ textsize=”20″ iconsize=”18″ icon=”fas fa-search-location” text=”“Social platforms are no longer add-ons to a business’s communication budget; they should be central to its marketing strategy, and used in coordination with other marketing efforts.”
~ Richard Branson” clr=”#000000″ bgclr=”#66cccc” hoverbg=”#aac3c0″]

Top 3 Ways  Your B2B company should utilize social media marketing for maximum benefits

B2B social media marketing is one of the best ways to build a strong brand presence and customer loyalty. 

Here are the top benefits of B2B social media marketing. 

  1. Build And Boost Brand Awareness And Repute 

Leverage your company’s social profiles to provide useful information about what your B2B company has to offer for your clients.

Publishing relevant and high-quality content consistently on social media and engaging with your audience via comments and messages helps in improving brand awareness and trust with your customers. 

Sharing your industry expertise and insights by leveraging social platforms establishes you as a thought-leader and helps you stand out from your competition by attracting qualified partners. We are already seeing the benefits of employee branding, especially the increasing digital presence of C-suite leaders, such as the improved trustworthiness of your B2B company. 

  1. Create An Engaged Community And Improve Customer Experience 

Social platforms help you tap into a ‘mostly online’ audience to gain their trust and improve customer experience.  

Your business clients are on social media platforms like LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter, making it easier for you to build connections and collaborations with them. 

You can interact and help answer your clients’ queries, solve their problems, or thank them for their reviews online whenever possible. It shows them that you’re paying attention to them and are invested in their growth. It makes your brand more humane, approachable and authentic. 

  1. Drive Traffic, Generates Leads, And Increases Sales 

Social media marketing helps achieve your search engine optimization (SEO) goals. Being active on social platforms can improve your company’s positioning in Google’s organic search results, and can help in improving your ranking indirectly. 

“Social platforms are no longer add-ons to a business’s communication budget; they should be central to its marketing strategy, and used in coordination with other marketing efforts.” 

– Richard Branson 

Social media marketing helps drive the relevant traffic to your website, generate qualified leads and increase sales. 

The ultimate goal of all marketing efforts is to promote sales. Social media marketing entails identifying potential clients, positioning their products and services to the targeted prospects, building relationships and trust with them, and nurturing leads. 

It’s Time To Get Social

Social media marketing is a powerful marketing channel for enabling brand authenticity, trust, community and sales. 

As much as it presents a massive opportunity, it is also getting increasingly competitive. 

Looking to improve or initiate social media strategy for your B2B organization? Follow the streamlined 1-2-3-4-5 foundational steps to start your social media marketing on a solid footing!

Contact us to learn more about how Webtage can help you with our innovative and focused approach to social media marketing that can help you stand out from a sea of competitors. 

Are you a Healthcare Provider That’s Offering Telehealth Services? This is What You Need to do Right Now!

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic and shelter-in place orders in many areas of the country, many healthcare providers, including hospitals, doctors, and mental healthcare providers, are now providing virtual care. Google has recently rolled out tow new features in Google Search and Maps to allow users to conveniently find telehealth options, “whether it’s to a doctor’s office down the street, the hospital across town, or a national telehealth platform.” You can also clearly communicate your COVID-19 information with your intended audience.

So how do you, as a provider, access these features? Let’s talk about Google Maps first (if you are not familiar with the significance of Google Maps for your healthcare business or have not claimed your Google My Business listing , learn why it’s critical that you do so now and while you’re at it, also learn foolproof tips on optimizing your GMB listing):

      • Google My Business now offers URLs dedicated to COVID-19 and telehealth services. Make sure you add the URL links to your Google My Business Page listing. After your edits have been reviewed and approved, it’ll appear in Google Maps listing and your detailed Google Maps listing as well. Here’s how you can add the URLs: Sign in to your GMB listing by visiting business.google.com. Next click on ‘Info’ on the left-hand side panel. If you are a healthcare organization, you will see two additional URL options for COVID-19 info link and virtual care link. Add the links as applicable and click Save.
      • List Telemedicine Services on your Business Profile on Google. Google adds that “you can choose what to offer from suggested types of services. If the type of service isn’t listed, you can add your own custom services, like “telemedicine,” “telehealth,” “video visits,” or “house calls.” Once the services edit has saved, patients will be able to see the services you have listed, including online visits or telemedicine.
      • Finally, in the Attributes section, add video visits to the offerings, if you do provide video visits. This will also help display your telemedicine option to your patients when they search for your services in Google.

I’d be amiss if I didn’t mention that Google is also helping healthcare providers with technology infrastructure and support via “HIPAA-compliant G Suite products (including using Google Meet for telehealth or virtual visits), deploying virtual agents to field questions related to COVID-19, and helping with capacity-planning and demand forecasting of key medical supplies to better manage their supply chains.”

If you need help planning your transition to virtual care, contact us at Webtage where we have facilitated the transition to online visits for healthcare providers, developed the capacity to communicate high quality and credible information in the midst of the health crisis, and marketed online visits to continue solid revenue generation for our client. 

[mk_page_title_box page_title=”Healthcare Digital Marketing Done Right” page_subtitle=”Grow Quickly & Effectively” section_height=”150″ font_size=”24″ title_force_font_size=”true” sub_font_size=”16″ subtitle_force_font_size=”true”]

Five Things Marketing Teams Should be Doing During the COVID-19 Shutdown

The Covid-19 pandemic seems surreal and straight out of a science fiction scenario. However, as a wise person said, “It is during our darkest moments that we must focus to see the light.” As we struggle to adapt to the realities of shutdowns, shelter-in-place, work-from-home, or closed-for-business scenarios, remember that shutting down all marketing activities can become a liability when our lives go back to normal. You want to be prepared to ensure top-of-mind brand awareness when demand resurges. So, gather your energy and focus on tasks that can help you help your customers today and tomorrow when the clouds give way to sunshine.

 

  1. Communicate with your customers – Intimate your customers about what they can expect from your business. Are you shut down for business? Are you open for business virtually? Or is it business, as usual? Pick up the phone and contact your customers. Post updates on your website and social media channels. Create a video with updates and send it to your clients via email – a personalized message works wonders and your customers will be relieved to hear your planned approach directly from you or your team.We recently created a COVID-19 communication plan for our healthcare client, helped them transition to online visits, and then reached out to their patient base as well as prospective audience to let them know about their new service. As part of the communication plan, we designed visuals, videos, door signs, updated the website with updated content, created Q&A documents, and communicated through all owned and earned channels.
  1. Study successful competitors –A slowdown is a perfect opportunity to examine how industry leaders and competitors create unique value propositions as well as business growth strategies and reevaluate your own against those. Is there something you could learn about product positioning, pricing, promotional strategies, places they operate in, and the way they manage their people. Shutdown is a perfect time to reassess your business strategies. A business-savvy client of ours, who operates a transportation logistics and luxury transportation service, is studying how Uber managed to come a long way from being a cab aggregator in 2009. And what better time to adjust your strategies than during a downtime when you have the luxury of time on your side?

 

  1. Evaluate your content strategy – No matter which vertical you are in, content is the king of marketing and consistency is the queen! So during the slowdown, take a step back, reassess buyer personas, funnel strategy, and content pieces that plug into the funnel. Pull your email, paid and social engagement numbers to see what’s worked in pulling in leads and sales. Channel efforts that work better than others. Repurpose old blogs that got you traction in the past. Here are 5 strategies on how to repurpose old content.

 

 

 

  1. Build Proof Points – This current crisis will pass. Prepare so you can put your best foot forward when customers begin seeking products and services. Collect data, get testimonials, and create case studies. Create brand videos that tell your story. Create product demo presentations that will fuel your sales. You may not be inclined to investing in a full-scale website rehaul but certainly consider updating your website with current content.

 

 

 

  1. Continue to create brand affinity content and stay active on social media – This may not be the best time to market your products or services. Focus instead on building your brand voice and brand awareness. Inspire people to dream about the future. Ask your customers to create wish lists that you can incorporate into your offerings. Finally, leave them with positive vibes.

 

 

As Haruki Marukami said in Kafka on the Shore:

 

And once the storm is over you won’t remember how you made it through, how you managed to survive. You won’t even be sure, in fact, whether the storm is really over. But one thing is certain. When you come out of the storm you won’t be the same person who walked in. That’s what this storm’s all about.

 

So be transformed and be ready when the storm passes. Because it will.

 

Let us know how your marketing team is doing during the COVID-19 crisis to be prepared for the present and the future!

40 Questions to Ask Before You Start Healthcare Digital Marketing

A digital marketing campaign needs a strategic approach and careful planning. Advance preparation can help both clients and vendors develop a common understanding of marketing objectives & constraints.

This questionnaire will help you understand your vision for your organization’s growth goals and plan the overall effort required for a confusion- and conflict-free digital campaign. It will help your vendor understand your constraints and will also lower your risk for running into a time and cost overrun.

So whether you are considering improvements to your existing campaign or an extensive omnichannel marketing launch, use this questionnaire to start your digital strategy on the right footing.

    About the Author

    A believer in hype-free and performance driven digital strategies, Snigdha’s endeavor is to get your brand established and your business grow. She is passionate about research, design and analytics and works non-stop and meticulously to make sure that your brand stands out from the rest.

    Snigdha’s background is in research design, industry research, content creation, and qualitative and quantitative research (including web-based and phone survey methods and focus group discussions). She is a highly qualified professional in the areas of digital marketing strategy design, SEO, content creation, and social media marketing. Most recently she has grown a client’s online presence from zero to 25% online leads within 3-6 months; moved client website to the #1 & #2 spots on Google, Bing, and Yahoo for all major keywords; and generated online leads accounting for 25% – 30% of all leads for that client.

    Contact her at snigdha@webtage.com

    5 Building Blocks for a Strong Digital Brand

    A good first and lasting impression has always been important for the success of businesses, organizations and people. It is no different now. What is different is that we live in a digital age where 3 factors differentiate our times from the past:

    • In the digital age with rapid fire thumbs and six-second attention spans, we have a very short window of opportunity to make an impression. The shorter-than-goldfish-attention-spans are certainly not long enough to spend a lot of time on your value proposition.
    • As we browse the online world looking for the best solution to our problem, a weak brand impression is enough to land our prospects to the competitor’s site.
    • Our brand is visible not only on owned channels, such as our website, blogs and social media sites, but also on earned and paid channels, far and wide, across the globe, that we may sometimes not even be aware of, let alone control.

    The amalgamation of these three factors: smaller attention spans, high competitive visibility, and unbridled brand visibility, make digital brand identity development imperative and exciting. Here are 5 essential steps you should take for a strong digital brand presence:

     

    Importance of Brand Building in the Digital Age

    Brand development has always been important in the world of business but building an online brand in the digital age has become critical to maintaining a competitive advantage.

    Why is this so?

    In the online world where your target audience has more choices, is more autonomous than ever before, and is likely to find a competitor at the click of a mouse or a tap, a reputable and well-known brand name is key to distinguishing your business from others. Moreover, considering the multiple touch points and digital channels a user interacts with before becoming a qualified lead and a customer, building a uniform brand experience becomes key to keeping your brand alive and well in the minds of prospects.

    Watch the video to learn why brand building should be a priority for any business in the digital age.

    Planning a Website Redesign? 48 Questions to Ask Before You Start

    Rapid changes in online customer behavior, technological innovations, and search engine algorithm updates all have implications for your website, which must evolve to maintain its usefulness and visibility. However,  how do you plan for a website relaunch project? Website development, if not thought through well, can be fraught with misunderstandings, conflicts, and cost & time overruns.

    The problem occurs because website design & development can mean different things to different people. Advance preparation can help both clients and vendors develop a common understanding of website launch objectives & constraints. It will also lower your risk for running into a time and cost overrun.

    This questionnaire will help all parties involved understand your vision for the website and plan the overall effort required for a confusion- and conflict-free delivery.

    Whether you are planning an extensive site relaunch or small updates to your website, take the time to answer the questions in the checklist and start off your website redesign project on the right foot.

      About the Author

      A believer in hype-free and performance driven digital strategies, Snigdha’s endeavor is to get your brand established and your business grow. She is passionate about research, design and analytics and works non-stop and meticulously to make sure that your brand stands out from the rest.

      Snigdha’s background is in research design, industry research, content creation, and qualitative and quantitative research (including web-based and phone survey methods and focus group discussions). She is a highly qualified professional in the areas of digital marketing strategy design, SEO, content creation, and social media marketing. Most recently she has grown a client’s online presence from zero to 25% online leads within 3-6 months; moved client website to the #1 & #2 spots on Google, Bing, and Yahoo for all major keywords; and generated online leads accounting for 25% – 30% of all leads for that client.

      Contact her at snigdha@webtage.com

      Online Marketing is not Rocket Science

      Online Marketing is not Rocket Science

       

      I love SEO expert, Jill Whalen (she’s even got a Wikipedia page devoted to her!). Though she’s retired from her SEO life, she’s brought in a common-sense approach to the SEO and online marketing world that is like a whiff of fresh air in the make-it-more-complicated-than-it is digital marketing world. (Note: If you’d like to sample her views on SEO, read her archived High Rankings Newsletter).

       

      This brings me to the question that I often field from business owners who are just beginning to debate whether they need a digital marketing agency for their marketing needs. “Why can’t we do online marketing ourselves? How complicated can it be?” My answer to them is that online marketing is not rocket science, but it requires specialized skills (some more than others), lots of dedicated time, and perseverance. “If you have all three, go for it,” is my honest answer.

       

      Good online marketing, as I see it, requires a combination of outstanding research capabilities, creativity, technology know-how, and data management skills. Obviously, you also need good project and product management skills. Most importantly, you need to have the perseverance to do it consistently over a period of time. And test, test, test!

       

      Digital Marketing Skill Sets

      Research is the foundation of a good digital campaign. This involves researching not just the competitive landscape, industry trends, and gleaning out the most profitable keyword (which itself can be a massive undertaking if you start to get into big data), you also need to keep up with adapting strategies to business needs, changing algorithms, and technological resources.

       

      Creativity­­ – In the online world, where people are overwhelmed with information, you have about 5 seconds to make an impression before your consumers will move on. If you do not strike a chord with them with the right words and the right visuals, you have failed to connect with them. Creativity and ability to connect with your consumers is critical in the online world!

       

      Technological Tools – This is digital marketing after all! There is a plethora of IT, design, tracking, data analysis and other tools that you would need to run an effective marketing campaign. You may not need each one of them for your internal campaign, but make sure you have internal expertise to assess and the know-how to use the best ones available.

       

      Data Management – An effective digital campaign should step beyond touchy-feely and should have in-built assessment tools to measure the effectiveness of a campaign. Create user personas, purchase cycle stages, run A/B strategy testing, pour over your web analytics, set up conversion goals. And test it again.

      One very specialized area which deserves a special mention here is analytics which taps into big data to achieve highly-effective market segmentation, targeting, and conversions. For example, assume you are an online shop that sells in-house gym equipment and you set up a social ad campaign to reach your target audience. You could stretch your ad budget very thin if you do segmentation and targeting using traditional methods. Instead, you could tap into big social data to identify extremely targeted “low-funnel” consumers who are close to making an actual purchase and run a highly effective campaign.

       

      Usability is Key in Effective Digital Campaigns

      For all the complexities involved in digital campaign, the goal of any online marketing campaign is very simple – design and deliver your campaign to be useful and relevant for your end users. If users find your online sites useful, they will come back, they will engage, and they will convert. And search engines will notice!

      So next time you think you need a digital agency for your marketing needs, make sure they don’t overwhelm you with jargon and make sure that they are clear on the end goal, which is to understand and serve your consumers. And do it well!

      Feel free to drop me a line at snigdha@webtage.com!