Social media agencies face a unique challenge in attracting new clients. For many brands, it’s a scary prospect to relinquish control over something so important as a social media presence. Before they’re willing to work with an agency, companies need to feel totally secure in handing over their assets and profiles to that outside party. The sooner a brand feels confident in the agency’s skills, the sooner the agency will be able to deliver the performance it promised.
That means the agency has to wow prospective clients before ever signing a contract. Proving the agency’s worth and value starts at the first stages of pitching your services.
That’s the approach taken by Spark Marketing, a full-service online marketing agency based out of Toronto, Canada and Austin, Texas. Since trust is such an intangible quality, Spark opts to place the focus on the facts and figures when it is meeting with potential clients. “During our sales process, we often have to illustrate to prospective clients the value of taking social media out-of house,” said Paige Gerber, Spark’s vice president of marketing. Gerber shared the details of how the agency approaches new clients from the very beginning of their business relationships.
Lead With Expertise
The first important benefit an agency offers to brands is focused expertise. “We often like to use the analogy that working with an agency is like having your own personal team of minions,” Gerber said. “Each minion is an expert in a specific area of online marketing rather than having one person in-house who is trying to be the jack-of-all-trades.” After all, the other half of that phrase is “master of none,” and it’s a scary prospect to leave your marketing in the hands of anybody less than a master.
“Social media marketing has many different components that require numerous areas of expertise, which is why having an arsenal of minions ready to jump when your social media campaign needs attention is essential,” she added.
Know the Additional Benefits
Since agencies have such a tight focus, they’re able to devote resources to stay on top of the changing social media landscape and share that fresh knowledge with their clients. “A good agency should be seen as an invaluable resource that not only develops your online marketing campaigns, but also helps you grow your technical knowledge, learn new strategies, and better understand your business and its online needs,” Gerber explained.
Not only does an agency offer the power of experts, but it is also a cost-effective solution for marketing. “You get bigger bang for your buck,” she said. “Along with the team you also have access to their tools, such as Sprout Social, that you would otherwise have to purchase on your own to maximize efficiency and ensure results.”
Data-Driven Follow Up
Just because the initial interactions are so important for starting off on the right foot with new clients doesn’t mean the agency will slack off once everybody has signed on the dotted line. To keep their trust, agencies need to maintain a good relationship with each client and continue to meet or exceed their expectations.
The final point Spark emphasizes to their clients about working with an agency is access to analytics and reporting. Agencies have a vast array of tools at their disposal. Not only do they use their data stores to prove their worth to potential clients, but once a brand signs on as a client, they’ll continue to be on the receiving end of all that information.
“Clients are provided with real numbers and information that help them understand the best ways to market to their customers,” she said. “You will have access to someone that can not only help you analyze, but interpret data so you can make the right business decisions and develop the most effective marketing strategies.”
Even though trust is a challenge, social agencies that can deliver tangible information will likely find a leg up in securing that bond with even the most skeptical new clients.