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Outsourced Marketing

When it comes to marketing your business, there are a lot of options available to you. Not all marketing efforts, however, are created equal.

Do you know what outsourced digital marketing is? How much does it cost to outsource marketing? How exactly does it work? Here’s what to expect working with an outsourced digital marketing agency.

What Does It Mean to Outsource Your Marketing?

The word ‘outsource,’ by definition, means to “obtain (goods or a service) from an outside or foreign supplier, especially in place of an internal source,” according to Google.

Therefore, as Precision Marketing Group puts it, outsourced marketing is “the engagement of a professional marketing firm to serve as your own firm’s marketing department.” Simply put, outsourced marketing means letting a third party take care of your marketing efforts. You then have more time to do what you do best- which is run your business.

Who Can You Expect on an Outsourced Marketing Team?

Well, depending on the outsourced marketing agency’s specialties, you could work in close contact with a variety of different marketers. At Digital Storyteller, for example, our team is made up of:

  • A Creative Director
  • Social Media Manager
  • Social Media Coordinator
  • Social Media Specialist
  • A Client Success Manager
  • SEO Manager
  • Graphic & Web Design Manager
  • Junior Graphic Designer
  • And numerous content specialists!

Why Would You Hire an Outsourced Marketing Team?

By hiring an outsourced marketing team, you allow your team to place focus on running your business.

An outsourced digital marketing agency covers every aspect of marketing so you don’t have to worry about:

  • Posting creative, consistent content
  • SEO optimization
  • Managing your online reputation
  • Website design and branding
  • Staying up to date with social media updates and algorithms 

The list goes on…

As we mentioned previously, by hiring an outsourced digital marketing team, you gain access to creative directors, social media experts, content specialists, and more, at a fraction of the cost it would take to hire an in-house team.

All the support you need is wrapped up into one flat monthly rate.

How Much Does It Cost to Outsource My Marketing?

Now, as a business owner, one of the first things you’re wondering when you hear about the benefits of outsourced marketing is: How much is this going to cost me? The short answer? It’s cheaper than doing it yourself. 

Let’s talk numbers. Our most popular package at Digital Storyteller sits at $5K a month, which totals $60k for the year. Sound like a lot? Let’s consider the cost breakdown of hiring a team of four marketers in-house instead:

Hiring four marketing experts in-house, after salaries and benefits will cost your company $260,000 annually, plus some $16,000 for new hire costs. In just one year, your company has racked up $276,000. That’s only with four experts. The cost grows as you continue building your own team. 

We know it’s not spooky season anymore, but for more frightening math, visit this blog post where we break down the cost-benefit of outsourced digital marketing.

At Digital Storyteller, we try to make things less frightening, which is why our most popular digital marketing package is $60K annually as opposed to $276,000.

Our rate gives you access to an entire team that’s also dedicated to building your business. Outsourced marketing is a great, cost-effective way to invest in your company’s marketing efforts.

How Do You Know if You’re a Good Fit to Outsource Your Marketing?

There are many reasons why outsourcing your marketing is a great option. Here are some signs you’re a good fit.

  • Your current marketing efforts are not consistent
  • The world of digital marketing is overwhelming to you — so many changes are constantly taking place!
  • You want to focus on what’s most important: running your business
  • You don’t have a marketing “strategy”
  • You want to take your marketing to the next level, but aren’t sure how to
  • The idea of hiring someone in-house worries you — how could a single person have all of the marketing skills I need?
  • You are ready to trust an agency to get to know your business and market for you

How Well Marketing Goes When You Let Your Outsourced Agency Do Their Job

The last bullet above is SO important: “You are ready to trust an agency to get to know your business and market for you.”

When companies bring in outsourced digital marketing agencies but don’t let them do their job (i.e. hold off on pushing content, stay inside their comfort zone), the results of outsourced marketing are poor. 

Part of our job is to challenge you! We get that it can be hard to let someone take the reins and run a big piece of your company. But that’s what we know and do best. You’re juggling a million things when running your own business, let us take a large chunk off of your plate so you can focus on what you love to do.

Here’s an example of a client who lets us do just that, take the reins.

SBMA is an Affordable Care Act (ACA) compliant Minimum Essential Coverage (MEC) benefits provider that provides affordable coverage for thousands of employers. We’ve been working with SBMA for nearly two years. Here’s what we’ve done for them during our partnership.

When we first started working with SBMA, they had very few keywords. What are keywords, you might ask? Check out this article for everything you need to know. 

Anyway, all of the keywords that SBMA was ranking for on Google were branded keywords (think names of specific employees and the literal name of their company ‘SBMA).

Long story short, if you only rank for branded keywords, you won’t come up on Google very often, unless someone is searching that exact, specific keyword. You really want to rank for more than just branded keywords.  

SBMA, as a benefits provider, would also want to rank for things like ‘MEC plan,’ ‘Health Plan Administrators,’ and ‘Worksite Benefits,’ to name a few.

With our ongoing content marketing strategy, we’ve been able to work wonders for them. Here are some numbers to prove it.

Currently, 80% of SBMA’s site traffic comes from organic search. Last October 2020, SBMA had 2,155 site users in a month. This October, in 2021, SBMA had 3,566.

Additionally, they had a 60% increase in their authority score. Last October, they had a domain authority score of 16 whereas this October they have grown to 23.

Authority score is based on a number of various factors including site health, organic keyword growth, backlinks, and more. It takes time, research, and consistent effort to grow an authority score, so a seven-figure jump in authority score is incredible.

When we first began working with SBMA, they let us know that they wanted to rank for ‘MEC.’ Now, SBMA dominates the organic search engine results page (SERP) when it comes to the ‘MEC’ space.

Lastly, SBMA currently ranks for 965 keywords whereas last October they ranked for 408. The graph below shows SBMA’s organic keyword growth over time.

SBMA Organic Keywords

Marketing: It’s What We Do Best

The goal of an outsourced digital marketing agency is to understand your business and your brand voice to then let the world know how awesome you are. 

Our team at Digital Storyteller uses bi-weekly client calls, end of week emails, and content calendars to make sure you know what’s happening, always. Of course, there’s always a team member available to you just a call, email, or even text away. Not to toot our own horn, but we’ve been told on multiple occasions that our bi-weekly calls are their favorite calls!

Happy with the direction we’re headed in? We’ll keep running that way. Want to tweak something? More than happy to adjust.

We’ll bring you fresh ideas from our kick*** creative team from a relationship built on trust. Because that’s the beauty of digital marketing.

For those who are interested in learning more about the difference between outsourced marketing and in-house marketing, read on here.

Brand Voice

Author Robert McKee once said, “Storytelling is the most powerful way to put ideas into the world.” And he was right!

At Digital Storyteller, we begin all of our partnerships with a strong foundation—your very own ‘brand storytelling session’ (BSTS). After all, we’re an outsourced digital marketing agency, which means we will be creating content as if we were you. This BSTS is crucial in order to be able to do what we do best (…marketing!).

If a ‘brand storytelling session’ sounds a bit like another language, we’re sorry! We’ll explain. Better yet, Amanda Rogers, Owner and Chief Creative Officer at Digital Storyteller can give you the lowdown and answer all of your juicy questions, like why is your brand storytelling session important? And what the heck is it anyway!?

Let’s get into it.

What is Brand Storytelling?

Brand storytelling has become kind of a buzzword. People use it to mean all kinds of things. They use it to mean:

  • Branding that means something to you
  • Storytelling for individuals

What Do You Do During a Brand Storytelling Session?

In our Brand Storytelling Sessions, we block out two hours on our calendar to sit down with you and get to know your brand at its core.

For Digital Storyteller, the Brand Storytelling Session grew naturally out of questions we had to ask clients over and over again and the research we did to better craft clients’ websites, content, and content marketing strategies.

A brand storytelling session focuses primarily on finding out what your ‘brand voice’ is. In other words, what your brand archetype is.

Brand Archetypes

Brand archetypes are as old as Greek tragedy (sadly, we can’t take credit for making them up…) The 12 brand archetypes that we use at Digital Storyteller are:

  • The Innocent
  • Everyman
  • Hero
  • Outlaw
  • Explorer
  • Creator
  • Ruler
  • Magician
  • Lover
  • Caregiver
  • Jester
  • Sage

Don’t worry, we cover what all of these archetypes mean during your Brand Storytelling Session!

Why Is a Brand Storytelling Session Important?

As we say at Digital Storyteller, marketing without a brand voice is like a margarita without tequila… Useless!

Defining your brand voice through a Brand Storytelling Session shortens your sales cycle because having a clear brand voice makes people feel like they already know you when they walk into a room with you.

It helps build trust, and it makes prospects feel at ease as they’ve heard your brand voice consistently across your website, content, and social posts.

When you pick a brand voice and choose a brand archetype, it’s about the way in which you speak, not what you’re talking about. 

Amanda, Founder and Creative Director at Digital Storyteller, puts it best. “I can talk about something that’s highly consequential in a number of different brand voices. The way you speak about what you do is what sets you apart from your competitors… A Brand Storytelling Session is the uncovering of the way in which you tell your own unique story.”

If you couldn’t tell by Amanda’s spiel, a BSTS isn’t anything to be afraid of. Don’t believe us? Check out what one of our clients, Todd Regan, said about his BSTS. (P.S. He wasn’t excited!)

“Looking at the [brand storytelling session] appointment on my calendar, I thought this is going be so painful – it was the opposite, so insightful, valuable, and fun.” —Todd Regan Chief Operating Officer at Payroll Hub

A brand storytelling session is crucial for all of you out there who struggle to explain to your drunk aunt what business you’re in every Thanksgiving. If you’re not clear on what you do, how can your prospects and clients be?

Plus, we can’t—or any outsourced marketing agency, for that matter—accurately represent your brand until we truly understand who you are, your audience, and your goals. Our brand storytelling sessions answer all of these questions.

We’re so confident in our ability to surprise and delight you that your initial BSTS session and deliverable are free.

Interested in learning more about the importance of brand storytelling? Check out this article.

Digital Marketing

At Digital Storyteller, we know well that digital marketing is an ever-changing field. Sometimes, it can feel like a full-time job just keeping up with all of the algorithms and constant updates!

(C’mon, Zuckerberg! Give us a break!) Just kidding…

In all seriousness, the best thing you can do for your business—whether you do it yourself or hire an outsourced agency like us to save you time and money—is do your best to stay current with the top digital marketing trends.

Don’t worry, we’ll give you a hand! Here are the top five digital marketing trends you can’t ignore today!

Video Content

If you’re not currently living under a rock, chances are you know that video is the number one media that social channels are pushing right now.

The statistics say it all. Did you know that in June 2021, TikTok reached 3 BILLION downloads? In the five short years that the video-sharing app has existed, it managed to snag the 7th most downloaded app for the 2010s, according to App Annie.

Even Instagram has jumped on the video bandwagon. In June 2021, Adam Mosseri, head of Instagram, said in a video that Instagram is no longer a photo-sharing app. Instead, Instagram will prioritize video content, leaning into the high level of success that they are observing competitors like TikTok and YouTube achieve.

So, get your business ready to push out some awesome video content if you haven’t already—Instagram reels, TikToks, explainer videos, testimonials, culture videos, the list goes on.

Value-Driven Content

Although our digital marketing agency lives by the phrase “content is king,” we’d like to make an important modification to this term coined by marketing whiz Neil Patel.

“QUALITY content is king.”

Just think: Any person, at any given moment, has an enormous surplus of content that they could decide to consume. It’s almost overwhelming. So, consider this: Why should someone click on your page rather than your competitor? What are you offering them that your competitor is not?

Sure, you may be handing out eBooks, but is the information different? Or is it generic? Your best bet at gaining clients’ trust is by offering content that drives value.

This means no carelessly written articles with typos just for the sake of posting something. You want to shoot for quality, long-form content.

It’s equally important to do so in a way that doesn’t come off as too salesy either. We know, it’s a difficult line to straddle…

To provide an example of quality content, picture this. You’re at your local mall and you see an electric wine bottle opener. (Oooh!) What would make you more prone to purchasing said wine opener?

A bland instruction manual about what the product is and how it works, or a beautifully designed pamphlet showing how the wine opener will save you time and frustration for years to come? We think you know your answer. Say goodbye to stubborn synthetic corks!

But anyway, the point is long-form, value-driven content is key in your digital marketing strategy.

Hyper-Personalized Content

It has happened to all of us. You’re on a website viewing a product; it could be shoes, decor, food, doesn’t matter. Then, you leave the page without making a purchase.

A few hours later you receive an item with the subject line “Get it before it sells out!” or “You forgot something…” You click into the email… It’s the exact product you’d been looking at just hours before.

Weird, right? Well, not really in the world of digital marketing. Welcome to hyper-personalized content!

Hyper-personalized content is the third digital marketing trend you can’t ignore. Personalized content is no new feat, and as you can tell, we’re not talking about adding a simple first name personalization in your email marketing. (That might have been impressive five years ago, but times have changed).

For businesses looking to generate more traffic and increase conversion rates, you have to get really nitty-gritty about who your target audience is and more importantly, what they’re looking for and at. By using artificial intelligence (AI), you can collect information about individuals who are engaging with your business and track their behavior to target them more effectively.

There are many third-party software companies that can help you obtain data to create this hyper-personalized content. Some of our favorites include:

“Hey Siri, search ‘content marketing’ on Google!” Thanks to AI-powered voice assistants, millions of people every day search for things online without even touching or being near their phone or computer.

User experience and web accessibility today are so important. With the rise of voice search, including Siri, Google, Alexa, and Cortana, it has become all the more important to make sure your content is optimized for voice search. Keep your eyes out for a full article on how to optimize your content for voice search soon!

Easy to Contact

Today, we live in a world where delayed gratification is not our friend. At least not when we have a question about a product, service, or business! Whether you’re messaging your favorite clothing company, your hairstylist, or a restaurant, chances are you value a quick response on a user-friendly platform.

Your prospects are no different. If you’re not available 24/7, using AI to ensure your prospects get timely responses is a no-brainer!

Hiring an Outsourced Digital Marketing Agency

Top Five Digital Marketing Trends You Can’t Ignore

We know, there are a lot of bases to cover. The best thing you can do is focus on what’s hot now and tailor your content marketing strategy as such. Recognize current trends and use them to your advantage in your digital marketing efforts.

Still sounds a bit scary? Check out this article on the Top 10 Resources for Digital Marketers!

At Digital Storyteller, we’re your go-to for your outsourced digital marketing needs. As our client, our team will keep you up to date on all the latest digital marketing trends.

Get in touch today to schedule your free Brand Storytelling session. What is Brand Storytelling you might ask? Don’t worry, we’ve got an article for that, too!

Content Marketing Mistakes

Hungry for some truth? Today’s your lucky day!

“Content marketing may be a relatively simple strategy,” says CEO and Founder of Marketing Insider Group. “That doesn’t mean it’s easy.” These are the wise words of Michael Brenner. (Psst… For those who don’t know Brenner, he’s a content marketing pro!)

Brenner’s words considered, it’s likely that your business is making some mistakes when it comes to content and your marketing strategy. Here are the top five mistakes you’re making with your content!

Not Using Keywords

Keywords? SEO? What does it all mean!? Don’t worry. Let’s start at the beginning.

Search engine optimization, also known as SEO, is a way that marketers tailor their content to appeal to search engines. Popular examples of search engines include Google, Yahoo!, and MSN Search. In today’s world, search engines rule the scene!

SEO keywords, also known as keywords or keyphrases, are “terms added to online content in order to improve search engine rankings,” according to Backlinko. Having a set of target keywords for your business is crucial because they are the bridge between what people search for and the services or products you provide.

To build this list, you must complete thorough and frequent keyword research. Keyword research is “the process by which you research popular search terms people type into search engines like Google.” Then, using said research, you strategize how to include these keywords in your content. Thus, placing you higher on search engine results pages (SERPs).

A higher ranking can improve your chances at business, deem you as an authority in the market, and increase a client’s likelihood of trusting or choosing to do business with you. 

Consider this: If you were searching for a new veterinarian for your dog, would you scroll to the fifth page of results on Google to the vet with a bleak social presence? Or, would you be more likely to trust a business that popped up on page one with hundreds of positive reviews and photos?

For this reason, it’s important that all of your content is optimized with relevant, targeted keywords. You want to rank higher on Google, don’t you!?

For more on why SEO is important for a financial services company (or any company for that matter!), visit this article. We promise you’ll walk away having learned something new.

An additional mistake to be wary of, (and often a byproduct of having a list of relevant keywords that you’re using on a consistent basis!), however, is keyword stuffing.

Keyword stuffing, as defined by Google, is “the practice of loading a webpage with keywords or numbers in an attempt to manipulate a site’s ranking in Google search results.” In short, you’ve gone too far! You know… there is such a thing as over-optimizing, and keyword stuffing is exactly that.

It’s a fine line to walk for sure. Our SEO team at Digital Storyteller can help you there.

Failing to Cater to Your Audience

Hooray! You’ve launched your business. Now, who should you market to? Some people might think, “If we market to everyone, we’ll

The truth of the matter is that your business, product, or services might not appeal to everyone. As Chris Do, Emmy award-winning designer, director, and CEO and founder of The Futur, once said, “If we cater to everyone, we’ll stand for no one.”

So, get eerily specific about who your audience is.

Learn who they are, what makes them tick, what they need and want. Who is benefitting from your business? What motivates them? Who holds influence over them?

Then, use this information to inform your branding, brand voice, and brand archetypes. These three elements are what help your brand become uniquely recognizable.

Narrowing down a specific target audience and catering to them specifically makes what you offer more memorable. Plus, when you cater to your audience and consider what they might want first, your chances of winning over their trust are higher. It’s a win-win!

As a business owner, when you only write content that you want to write, instead of what your prospects are searching for or need, you set yourself up for failure in an instant. (Just think how different your target audience is from you!)

Instead of writing whatever the heck you want, we’d recommend writing what’s trending. And no… we don’t mean “trending” in the sense of what’s currently trending on TikTok or Instagram. When we say “what’s trending,” we’re talking about what your prospects or target audience is currently searching for.

In other words, there’s a difference between what you want to talk about and what your prospects want to talk about. As Regina George from Mean Girls would say, “Stop trying to make fetch happen. It’s never going to happen.”

For those who are unfamiliar with the 2004 American teen comedy film, stop trying to make prospects interested in what you are interested in. You’re there to serve them.

Content Marketing Mistakes

At Digital Storyteller, we use SEMRush—an all-in-one tool suite that helps improve our clients’ online visibility. We use tools like SEMRush to conduct topic research. (Yes, you should be researching what to write about! Not just writing anything and everything you find interesting.)

SEMRush provides a ton of information on keywords and topic research including keyword difficulty % and search volume. 

Keyword difficulty shows you how hard it is “to rank in Google’s organic search results for a specific term” whereas search volume measures how many people are searching for a particular topic, keyword, or question.

Simply put, to be on top of your content marketing game, you need to answer relevant questions that are being asked frequently. After all, you don’t want to write content that no one is searching for in the first place!

Writing Too Much or Not Enough Content

This one is pretty self-explanatory. If you’re writing too much, your content will get swept under the rug. Longer doesn’t always mean better! Remember, it’s not the 1800s anymore, aka you’re not the author who is getting paid per page that they write.

Moreover, attention spans are shrinking. In fact, a recent study by Microsoft concluded that the human attention span has shrunk nearly 25% in just a few years. Search engines are getting smarter every day.

Even if you write the longest article ever, filled to the brim with what you think is juicy information, Google will not rank you well if your content fails to meet the needs of that target audience we chatted about earlier on in this article.

Finding the sweet spot between too much content or not enough is a tightrope, but with our help, we know you can do it! Think Goldilocks…

And of course, it’s equally important that prospects and existing clients are engaging with your brand. This might look like likes, comments, clicks, shares, and so on. When you have high levels of engagement in today’s day and age, algorithms reward you by pushing your content to more people (which leads to brand awareness aka exactly what you want!)

Your Content is a Walking Sales Pitch

Let’s face it. You’re not Jordan Belfort. Today, people look for more than just a sales pitch. People are drawn to stories.

Consider: how do you feel receiving constant ads or pitches? At Digital Storyteller, we think it’s pretty annoying, and would recommend that instead, you try your hand at telling a story.

Why? “Storytelling enables marketers to develop a deeper connection with the audience,” according to Forbes. “[It] is a fundamental human experience that unites people and drives stronger, deeper connections.” (Well, duh! Storytelling even goes back as far as the cavemen days.)

National Geographic is a top-notch example of a brand that implements great storytelling.

Their awe-inspiring images paired with their captivating stories keep people coming back for more. Check out this example from their Instagram!

National Geographic

By crafting a story, you provide value.

It can be used to educate, share, communicate, and connect.

Instead of overselling your content, focus on a call to action (CTA) instead. CTAs with strong action words that evoke emotion.Feeling overwhelmed? Here is all you need to know about crafting organic content creation to grab your prospects’ attention plus four tips on how to organize content!

SEO SEM

When it comes to digital marketing, the number of three-letter acronyms is so high, sometimes we find our heads spinning! But don’t worry.

At Digital Storyteller, we’re here to help you identify the difference between two who share many similarities and differences. Enter SEO and SEM. So, let’s get started with SEO vs. SEM: What’s the Difference?

What is SEO?

First things first, let’s individually define the two. At Digital Storyteller, we talk a lot about Search Engine Optimization or SEO. For those just now getting on the SEO train, let’s start with the basics!

According to Moz, SEO is “the practice of increasing the quantity and quality of traffic to your website through organic search engine results.” SEO is how marketers tailor their content to appeal to search engines like Google, Yahoo!, and Bing.

For example, you might search ‘coffee shop near me’ or ‘coffee shop open late’ on Google. The way that Google then provides results based on your search is determined by SEO. SEO is the tool that tells Google, “Hey! This is what information my website has, this is what I’m talking about, and these are the types of people that would find my website interesting!”

For more on SEO, meta descriptions, title tags, SEO strategy, link building, ranking factors, and so on, check out this article for 10 tips to maximize your SEO efforts this year, this article we wrote on why SEO is important, or one of our newest articles on how to effectively combine SEO and content marketing!

What is SEM?

Now let’s talk SEM. We promise, it’s not as scary as it sounds, and definitely not as scary as STEM!

SEM stands for Search Engine Marketing. And what’s search engine marketing, you might ask? SEM, according to Optimizely, is “a digital marketing strategy used to increase the visibility of a website in search engine results pages (SERPs).”

In the past, SEM typically encompassed both organic and paid search. Today, however, it almost exclusively refers to paid search advertising.

If you’ve begun to put the puzzle pieces together, you might be thinking to yourself, “Huh… That sounds a lot like pay per click, or PPC.” Well, if so, congrats! SEM, paid search, and PPC are all used interchangeably.

In a final attempt to provide clarity for you, SEM is “the act of using paid strategies to increase search visibility.” Every day, businesses pay big money for their ads to rank first on search engine results pages. Hint: You can tell when businesses are using SEM by the bold “Ad” text that accompanies a search result.

SEO SEM

Similarities vs. Differences

Let’s first start with a bullet list of similarities. Both SEO and SEM:

  • Use keyword research
  • Help your business appear in search results
  • Increase traffic to your website
  • Only work if you have a specific target audience and keywords
  • Require ongoing effort (i.e. optimization, monitoring)

Here are some differences between SEO and SEM:

  • SEO search results include featured snippets whereas SEM search results might include phone numbers, additional links, or callouts.
  • SEO takes time, but once you reach a high ranking on a search engine, you typically stay there. SEM, on the other hand, is rather immediate, which also means that your ranking is not permanent.
  • More people are likely to click through organic SEO results in comparison to SEM.
  • Like previously mentioned, SEM includes the bold “Ad” text in a search result.
  • Every time someone clicks your SEM result, you are charged. Hence the term, “pay per click.”
  • SEM is easier to experiment with.

So, What’s Best for Your Business?

We know, we just dumped a lot of information on you! (But it’s golden, so you’re welcome!) Now that you have a grasp on SEO and SEM, their similarities and differences, it’s time that you explore making an informed decision about which to use for your business.

Consider the following:

  • Do you know your industry yet?
  • Typical cost per click in your industry
  • Is your business relatively new? What is the overall health of your website?
  • Your client buying cycles
  • Who is your competition?

These questions can help inform how you compare to competition as far as search goes. 

As a quick and final word as far as definitions go, as put simply by our fantastic SEO Manager here at Digital Storyteller, “When comparing SEO and SEM, SEM is considered broader. You could even consider SEO as a type of SEM in a sense.”Still not clear on which is best for you? Learn more about how to optimize your content for search here. After all, investing time and resources into content development is in a sense useless if not properly optimized.

Marketing Budget

How Much Should You Allocate?

What if we told you that you can have your cake and eat it, too? Well, today’s your lucky day—because you can! While the world might tell you that you need to pay an arm and a leg for good marketing, at Digital Storyteller we say no thanks! Here’s how much you should really allocate to your digital marketing budget.

The Average Marketing Budget 

At this point, you might be asking yourself, “What’s considered a ‘good’ marketing budget?” or “What percentage of my profits should I allocate to marketing?”

According to the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA), “small businesses with revenues less than $5 million should allocate 7-8 percent of their revenues to marketing.”

However, there is no one size fits all approach when it comes to digital marketing budgets. Allocation depends on several factors according to the SBA:

  • The industry you’re in
  • Business size
  • Growth stage
  • Profit margins

Most importantly, however, your marketing budget should never be an afterthought, “based on just what’s left over once all your other business expenses are covered.”

Setting Your Marketing Budget

Crafting your marketing budget no longer requires the guesswork it used to. Here are six steps you can take, thanks to OutboundEngine, to set a successful marketing budget for your small business.

  • Step One: Identify where you are in your business journey
  • Step Two: Outline your sales funnel
  • Step Three: List operational costs

(Psst! At this point, you should know how much money is coming in and how much money is being expensed, which is a huge help).

  • Step Four: Set goals
  • Step Five: Identify competition in your industry
  • Step Six: Craft your marketing plan using all your research!

Something to remember: Don’t cling to your plan year-round! It will (hopefully!) change annually and could also be susceptible to change if something shifts in the market or if you launch a new product or service!

You’re Wasting Money on Facebook Ads…

At Digital Storyteller, we will not deny that having a marketing budget is important. It is, of course! But frankly, we’re just seeing too many companies spend ridiculous amounts of money on paid advertising, like Facebook ads.

In fact, did you know that companies spend an average of $200 to $800 on Facebook ads per month? An enterprise, however, may invest up to $5,000 per month on Facebook ads… Holy moly is all we can say!

And this is just on Facebook ads alone. One singular platform. For many companies, if not all, Facebook ads alone cannot carry your business and the success of your digital marketing strategy. (Sorry not sorry, Zuckerberg!)

For companies to succeed, it’s typical to expect both a blend of paid and organic initiatives in the marketing melting pot.

The Affordability of Outsourced Marketing

At Digital Storyteller, we believe that fragmented marketing wastes money and time and reduces impact. We also believe that you should be able to have your cake and eat it, too. Hell, you can go on vacation and still afford quality, effective marketing! 

(We should know since we market for ourselves the way we would any other client AND *cough cough* our owners just spent two weeks at the five-star Chileno Bay Resort in Cabo San Lucas—woot woot!)

At Digital Storyteller, we strive to be transparent, and we don’t think pricing should be a secret. This is why all of our pricing is broken down in full on our website for you to see.

For those in a pinch, here’s what we offer:

Our STARTER tier, priced at $3,000 a month, is perfect for the small business owner who needs marketing support to maintain or build an online presence.

Our most popular package, titled GROWTH, is priced at $5,000 a month and includes content creation, a social media strategy to align online presence with your current business identity, as well as sales enablement workflow assistance.

Lastly, our ENTERPRISE tier is for companies whose growth has outpaced their marketing. We are your outsourced marketing department focused on building your business with you. The enterprise package is priced at $8,000 a month.

We also offer a ​​stand-alone website design product starting at $8,500.

From SEO analysis to organic content creation, from sales enablement workflow creation in Hubspot to online reputation management and social media, we do it all at a fraction of the cost that hiring marketing in-house would be.If you couldn’t already tell, organic content marketing saves you money. In fact, content marketing is 62% less expensive than paid marketing and three times more effective. So, what are you waiting for!? For more on why digital marketing is important for your financial services company, read on.

Marketing Agencies

Marketing agencies today have more tools than ever to support clients in their marketing efforts. Content creation, website design, SEO optimization, the list goes on. But at Digital Storyteller, we have our eyes on a few agencies in particular. Here are the eight best marketing agencies in San Diego.


KWSM

KWSM

Founded: 2010 by Katie Wagner after retiring from her TV news career

Where:

  • Orange County, CA
  • San Diego, CA
  • Atlanta, GA
  • Las Vegas, NV

Specialty: Boy, oh boy! KWSM does it all. While every plan is different, they specialize in creating customized digital marketing strategies that help clients get results through:

  • Social Media Management
  • Content Creation
  • Website Design and Management
  • Content Optimization (SEO)
  • Online Advertising
  • PR and Influencer Marketing
  • Video and Photography
  • Social Media Coaching
  • Speaking and Workshops

Their Mission: According to their site, “KWSM exists to help great companies make genuine connections with their customers. We believe good business starts with strong relationships, and the best way to build them is by sharing your story.”


Digitopia

Digitopia

Founded: In 2004

Where: Carlsbad, CA

Our Promise: “We promise to deliver strategic insights. We’ll be easy to work with. And, most importantly, we’ll never leave you in the dark.”

Their Approach: Digitopia uses the phrase process, platforms, people to guide their B2B digital growth strategies.

“We take the stress of inbound marketing off your plate allowing you to focus on all the other important parts of your job. Whether you need…

  • HubSpot help, or
  • Content and inbound strategies (that actually bring in traffic and leads), or
  • Online advertising purpose-built to optimize your spend

…we have you covered.”


Brandetize

Brandetize

Founded: In 2001

Specialty: Strategy, lead generation, website, branding, sales conversions, technology and analytics, and more

What makes Brandetize different from other marketing agencies? Brandetize offers:

  • “Full-service customer lifecycle marketing
  • Customer focused, cohesive goals
  • We’re thinkers, not just doers
  • Strategy comes first, then we execute
  • Thoroughly seasoned staff of experts
  • Partnership model: Get results and write a check from the increase in sales
  • We don’t profit until you profit”

Office of Awesome

Office of Awesome

Founded: By dynamic duo Rebecca Tall Brown and Leah Prehn, 2015

Specialty: Aside from being awesome? Office of Awesome offers hourly brand advisory services, 12 to 18-month brand breakthrough strategy, and two to ten-year brand architecture strategy. They promise to take what you have and make it even more awesome!

Why They Rock: “We’re a brand strategy consultancy that builds brand experiences on the foundation of smart business strategy. Using our inside out approach, we capture the momentum of all that is working in your existing brand, improve on it, and package the results in a market-ready plan… We see the unseen areas of your business that we can fix, clarify or define before you spend time and money on external branding or marketing.”


Raindrop Branding + Advertising

Raindrop Marketing

Founded: By Jacques Spitzer and Adam Wagner! (Raindrop compares these two to oreos and milk and peanut butter and jelly. In other words, they’re the perfect pair!)

Specialty: Simply put, Raindrop helps build your brand and build your audience. At Raindrop, “our goal with every client is to take you to your next level by helping new audiences to discover you, crafting deeper relationships with your core audiences and allowing you to confidently be the best version of yourself.”

Plus, their video production is top-notch! In fact, they have accrued more than 400,000,000 video views for their clients, been awarded two Emmys, and have produced the #1 performing Youtube ad of 2020.

The Story Behind the Name: It all begins with this quote: “True friendship looks like raindrops coming together on a window-sill; beautifully and effortlessly before your eyes.” 

As written on their site, “I think we can all agree; best friends are… well, the best. They are there for us, cheering us on, listening to us and helping us to live our best lives. We imagined that same level of trust, open communication and fun-loving spirit as the foundation for our work.

“The result is a truly special connection with our clients that we believe inspires even greater work. Being a Raindropper means partnering generously and creating strategically. We revel in the success of our clients and celebrate the collaborative culture that we share as a team.”


Power Digital

Power Digital

With Offices In… San Diego, Los Angeles, New York, and San Francisco

Who Are We? Power Digital is “a cutting-edge, nationally recognized digital marketing agency dedicated to elevating your brand through innovative marketing solutions, custom strategies, channel expertise, and flawless execution.”

Some Rules They Live By: Integrity, loyalty, trust, challenge yourself, find the solution, embrace change, don’t take yourself too seriously, and more as seen here!

What They Do: A better question would be, “What don’t they do!?” Power Digital offers:

  • Affiliate Marketing
  • Amazon Marketing
  • Content Marketing
  • Creative
  • CRO
  • Diligence
  • Email Marketing
  • Influencer Marketing
  • Organic Social
  • Paid Media
  • Paid Social
  • PR and Outreach
  • SEO
  • Web Development

Wayward Kind

Wayward Kind

Founded: By Jules Taggart (Psst… She’s kind of awesome. Jules loves riding on the back of a motorcycle with her husband, running near the beach, and her two daughters, Olympia and Helena)

Who Do They Serve? Although Wayward Kind represents clients from a variety of industries, all of their clients are hell-bent on shaking up their industry for the better. “We actively seek out clients who are purposefully wayward and not afraid to go their own way… We work with challenger brands who are making a significant impact in race, class, and gender equity.”

Their values include human connection, libration, no noise, and low ego, high impact.

What Makes Them Different? Wayward Kind is a digital marketing team “built on the belief that effective marketing is rooted in human connection. We help ordinary businesses have extraordinary conversations with their clients… we help you start and nurture online conversations that bring in new clients.”


3Q Digital

3Q Digital

Founded: By David Rodnitzky out of a coffee shop in Pacifica, CA, in 2008

Their Motto: Infinite Possibilities. Infinite Growth.

Why They Rock: 3Q Digital is growing, growing, growing! With six U.S. locations, two international presences, and over 20 virtual locations, this marketing agency can work with you wherever you are!

3Q Digital Offers…

  • SEO
  • Conversion Rate Optimization
  • Programmatic
  • Analytics
  • CTV/OTT
  • Strategy and Planning
  • Digital Due Diligence
  • Creative
  • And more!

At the end of the day, there isn’t a hard and fast answer for which marketing agency you should use. Each company is unique! (But we think you should choose to work with us!) If you’re ready to take a look at what our outsourced marketing services would look like for you, contact our team at Digital Storyteller today.

We know we’d make a great team, we’re just waiting on you!

User Generated Content

From IG stories to reviews, there are endless ways to demonstrate client satisfaction! Are you taking advantage of User-Generated Content?

SEO and Content Marketing

Today, there is no excuse to not be using SEO and content marketing to your advantage. But how can you effectively combine the two?

Organic Content Creation

To succeed as a business today, you need to engage your clients and prospects by creating quality, organic content.

Digital Storyteller

Modern customers are looking for more than a transactional service. Here’s why the financial industry should be on top of digital marketing.

What Is Web Accessibility and Why Is It Important?

We are not a one-size-fits-all society, nor are our websites. As our physical world becomes more aware of creating physical accessibility, we should also understand the importance of facilitating web accessibility as well. As we spend more time surfing the web, learn more about how to increase inclusivity for people with disabilities. It’s just good practice, and it also benefits your company. The two biggest types of marketing are outsourced and in-house. Both want to promote your business to the best of their ability, but they have a few big differences. Learn more about the differences between outsourced and in-house marketing!

Outsourced VS In-House Marketing: What's Best For Your Business?

So you’re wondering what type of marketing you should implement for your business? Well, you’ve come to the right place.
The two biggest types of marketing are outsourced and in-house. Both want to promote your business to the best of their ability, but they have a few big differences. Learn more about the differences between outsourced and in-house marketing below!

Top 10 Resources for Digital Marketers

So you want to market your business, but you’re not sure where to start?
We wanted to share our favorite resources that make us successful in our industry so you can be successful in yours.