The following is an excerpt from “Five Questions About Managing Social Media that You Should Ask Your Agency” an exclusive whitepaper brought to you by Oracle.
Choosing the right marketing or branding agency for your company is a complicated task. Your agency will have your brand in its hands—tinkering with it, stretching it, and molding it. You need the result to be something new and unexpected, but still on-strategy and successful. You can select the most reputable firm, but reputation can be expensive. You can choose the newest firm, but will they have enough experience? Tech-heavy digital design agencies may not know enough about traditional media. Traditional agencies might not be as familiar with digital media—and you need an agency familiar with digital and social media because that’s where you’ll find the new opportunities.
So how do you decide on an agency? To trust your agency, you need to ask questions and listen to what they say—and don’t say—when they answer. This white paper provides you with five questions you should ask agencies to help you separate the real candidates from the poseurs.
3) As My Agency, Are There People You Can Influence to Get More Traction for My Brand?
Ask about the agency’s understanding of influence and how to use that for earned media. How connected are they? Do you see any overlap with your own connections or industry experts?
Highly influential people speaking on your behalf will make an impact on your brand, but think about the spectrum of influence. A leader in your industry might be able to give you some props for free through a blog review or video endorsement.
The digital world revolves around a network of people, so don’t overlook agencies with connections to experts. And don’t overlook agencies with connections to competitors, either. As Lalla [Ashok Lalla of Clickz.Asia ] says, “An agency that is constantly monitoring its competitors will make sure that they’re producing the most cutting-edge marketing solutions. They have a good handle on what strategies are successful, as well as what strategies have failed.”
The Best User-Generated Content Is Produced by Professionals
You may not want to believe this, but your CEO likely did not write that inspiring and insightful CEO blog post. A professional copywriter probably wrote it. So it goes for much of the internet’s best content.
Lalla points out, “The biggest hits of the internet in the much romanticized ‘user-generated’ space are professionally produced by the same folks who produce the best advertising. Supervised by the best directors. Scripted by the best copywriters. But made to look ‘user generated’ via smart creative treatment.”5
If you think your brand is going to succeed with a video shot for free around the office and narrated by the witty guy in your marketing department, you are betting on the long odds.
Concentrate on the Digital Channels that Fit Your Strategy
Spraying substandard creative to all your digital channels and seeing “what sticks” isn’t effective. In the blog post How to Hire a Digital Ad Agency, Director of Digital Marketing and Public Relations for mPRm Clay Dollarhide says, “A big mistake a lot of folks get into is they feel they need to be everywhere and on every social media platform, which means they end up spreading themselves too thin and are therefore not able to penetrate any of the social media platforms in a substantial way.”6
Have a discussion with your digital marketing agencies to see where they think your campaign could really succeed within the social media realm and do not feel obligated to have a Facebook fan page because everyone else has one.
In short, your agency is there to make creative content. They are professionals at tone and persuasion. This is why you should be happy with them as a partner and happy to pay them for their work. After all, viral isn’t something you “do.” It’s what happens when your agency aligns brilliant creative with relevant business goals, differentiated competitive positioning, and audience interest.
Figure 3.Target audience usage of social networks. While Facebook is clearly the most popular across the board, don’t neglect the other 36.5 percent.7