There are many marketing agencies operating in the UK – and by many, we mean an estimated 25,000! Some marketing agencies are huge companies with multiple offices whilst others operate on a much smaller scale.
Because marketing is such a broad spectrum, agencies specialise within certain areas of marketing, or cover a few services out of many.
Types of marketing agencies in the UK include;
- Advertising agencies
- Branding agencies
- PR agencies
- Design agencies
- Online and digital marketing agencies
- Media buying agencies
- Print marketing agencies
- Social media marketing agencies
- Website design agencies
You can get agency hybrids, like LOCALiQ, who are a digital marketing agency that specialises in online marketing services such as SEM and SEO, social media, advertising, media buying and web design, but that’s enough about ourselves for now.
However, whilst we are here, we are going to explore what a social media marketing agency is, what they do, whether your business needs an agency, and how to choose one.
What are the different types of social media marketing?
Like anything, there are variations and different niches within social media marketing.
Social media marketing covers, but is not exclusive too;
- Influencer marketing – social media marketing that uses online ‘influencers’ (social media content producers who have a large following) for business endorsements, mentions, features and reviews.
- Affiliate marketing – related to influencer marketing, affiliate marketing is the process by which an affiliate – such as a brand rep, gets paid for promoting a company’s products or services.
- Content marketing – creating and sharing of creative material across social media and the web. Involves storytelling, graphic design, branded content and so much more!
- Paid advertising – curation of digital advertising campaigns across social media and the web which involves articulate audience targeting and campaign optimisation to achieve a business objective.
- Video marketing – the creation of videos for organic and paid social media content and campaigns. This is a type of content marketing.
- Organic social marketing and management – maintenance and management of your company’s social media accounts, social media strategy implementation.
Who does social media marketing?
Social media marketing is a professional practice done by specialists, agencies, and freelancers.
Social media marketers are of junior, middleweight and senior level. Social media marketers of senior level (10+ years social media experience) are known to branch out on their own and start their own social media marketing agency.
Whilst some aspects of social media marketing and advertising can be self-taught with social media courses, you should look for a social media specialist or agency with demonstratable experience of achieving strong results for clients through social media marketing. Credible and professional social media marketers will have recognised certifications in their field – such as Facebook Blueprint or a Chartered Institute of Marketing certification – and often possess degrees in related subjects such as media or communications. When you are looking to hire a social media expert, these are the attributable qualifications you should be looking for.
What do social media marketers do?
In addition to industry-renowned qualifications, social media marketers also have extensive experience of social media marketing and working with clients to achieve business goals, and boast a large skillset covering talents such as copywriting, content creation, marketing strategy, PR, analytics and data management, audience research and branding. Social media specialists work within all of these remits for clients or in-house.
They use numerous social media channels as well as platforms and software to assist them with their work, such as social media scheduling programs, design software like Adobe Photoshop, and conversion tracking tools.
What is a social media marketing agency?
A social media marketing agency is a company employing specialist social media marketing professionals who are experts at marketing businesses on social media to achieve their objectives and goals.
All social media and marketing agencies are different, and they excel in different areas. Some SMM agencies specialise in influencer marketing, others eCommerce, or affiliate marketing, or localised marketing, and so on. Social media marketing agencies work with all types of companies, to create social media strategies and campaigns that are unique to them to help them reach certain business goals, such as increased leads, accelerated brand awareness or boosted engagement.
SMM agencies vary in terms of the types of business verticals and business sizes they work with. You might need a b2b social media marketing agency, or a social media agency for small business. Some social media companies specialise in certain industries, such as social media agencies for restaurants and the food sector, or agencies specialising in social media for schools and education.
What does a social media marketing agency do?
Social media marketing agencies are responsible for creating social media schedules, graphics and content for companies on social media, managing business’ social media schedules and social advertising campaigns, responding to customer mentions and tags on behalf of their clients, audience research, optimising existing social media campaigns, planning social media strategies and campaigns, and so much more!
Have a look at this list of social media marketing services which will give you an overview of which services reputable social media marketing agencies provide;
- Social media advertising campaigns
- Employ strategies to connect your business with your target consumers
- Social media advertising services: curating and managing paid advertising campaigns across social media channels
- Maximise your brand awareness and recognisability on social media
- Organic social media marketing
- Undertake social media audits
- Grow your audience on social media, building an online business presence for you on selected social channels
- Brand management
- Overhaul your brand image and reputation
- Define/rework your business’ online aesthetic
- Define and establish your brand persona, tone and voice
- Social media content marketing and management
- Organise and manage a social media content schedule for your business
- Prepare, create and employ organic social media content ideas for your social channels, such as video, graphics, imagery, captions, guides, reels
- Direct and curate PR and editorial collaborations for social media
- Manage your social media posting schedule and frequency
- Creative services such as graphic design, video creation and copywriting
- Repurpose existing content
- Affiliate and influencer marketing
- Plan social media networking activities and collaborations such as live Q&A’s
- Manage influencer collaborations and marketing
- Manage your business tags and mentions
- Social monitoring and listening
- Maintain conversation with your customers and audience
- Undertake social listening and monitoring to improve your business
- Collation of audience and market research and data for your business
- Managing business mentions and tags
- Managing a company’s customer queries and services across social media
- Social media strategy
- Monitor your social media analytics and performance, and leverage that data to improve your social marketing strategy
- Conversion tracking and social analytics reportage so you can see the sales and ROI results generated from social media
A social media marketing agency is typically made up of the following creative professionals and marketing specialists;
Graphic designers: creators of video and visual content
Website designers: create visual website layouts
Website developers: professionals responsible for the maintenance and creation of websites
Social media specialists: marketing professionals who promote brands on social media
Content marketers: marketing professionals who create written and/or visual content for social media. This includes video editors and copywriters.
Branding managers: specialists involved in maintaining, managing, developing and growing brand images and personas for clients
Public Relations specialists
Digital account managers: individuals and teams responsible for curating and managing advertising and marketing campaigns for clients
Digital sales consultants: business developers who sell marketing and advertising solutions and work closely with clients
And many more social media specialists who help keep the cogs turning!
Do I need a social media marketing agency?
Because of the wealth of social media marketing and expertise, and the time it takes to do it effectively, it’s much more beneficial and efficient to employ a social media marketing agency to promote your company and manage your social media marketing, than it is to try and run your social media advertising and marketing in-house.
Employing a social media marketing agency comes with a multitude of benefits, such as:
- Access to otherwise unavailable technologies, such as campaign optimisation software
- An effective social media strategy tailored to your business and your goals
- Powerful and impactful social media advertising and marketing campaigns
- Access to audience data and research which is leveraged to strengthen your social media marketing
- More time to run your business
- Stronger content produced for your social media profiles, which in turn drives audiences, awareness and engagement
Read about the benefits of a social media agency in depth.
Social media agency cost
Social media agency fees vary dependent on how good the agency is within the industry, how much you’re willing to spend on social media advertising, which services you require and how long they take to execute (e.g. design services, social media management services, rebrands, social media content production).
It’s important to note that social media advertising and marketing is extremely cost-effective when done properly by an agency – buying clicks or reach is inexpensive yet when conversions are made it will generate you a large ROI. Social media marketing and advertising is so popular because it costs very little compared to other more traditional marketing means,
How to choose a social media marketing agency
Not all social media agencies are made equally! Just like people themselves, they’re all individual, specialising in different areas of social media, marketing, and advertising, and they all cater to distinct types of businesses, niches, and verticals.
When choosing a social media agency for business, you should certainly consider:
- Your business vertical – some social agencies specialise within certain business industries, such as social media marketing for estate agencies and property.
- Your business size – whether you are a start-up, an SME, or a nationwide corporation – or perhaps somewhere in between – find out what types of businesses the SMM agencies you’re considering work with and specialise in.
- The social media agency’s proven success stories and results for similar companies who reflect you in industry and size.
- The social media agency’s digital marketing services – do they align with your business goals and objectives? For example, if you’re wanting audience growth on Instagram, do they specialise and possess demonstratable expertise in this? Do they operate within organic social media marketing or do they produce and create paid social media advertising campaigns?
- The social media agency’s awards, accreditation, reviews, partnerships, connections and so on – there are a lot of cowboys out there!
- Whether or not their marketing solutions and social media strategies can help you achieve your goals
If you’d like more information on how a social media marketing agency could help your business grow online then contact us today.