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There are different types of creative agencies, but overall they exist to provide companies with strategic performance in three main categories. These are:
Keep reading to learn more about what the top creative agencies can provide, and which agency might be the right one for you.
Examples of How Creative Agencies Help Businesses
Some creative firms might specialize in a specific transformation a company needs. For example, maybe a brick-and-mortar business has excellent word-of-mouth marketing in place already. But maybe it needs help expanding its brand identity or creating a new website. They may turn to a creative branding agency for help.
A brand might also pursue a creative firm for all of its content marketing, advertising, social media management, and video marketing needs. They may hire a digital agency to help them long-term so the company employees can focus on essential roles like processing orders and managing product inventory.
Whether a business doesn’t have time or simply doesn’t know how to properly deliver creative practices, hiring a creative marketing agency can make a company’s creative dreams a reality. How do they do this? Through the wide variety of services they offer.
What Services do Top Creative Agencies Offer?
From multi-million dollar enterprises to smaller in-house startups, there are plenty of expert services to consider. What types of services do creative firms provide their clients, and what do these services help with?
Brand development helps businesses reach their ideal audience and properly convey a message people can buy into. This typically dives deep into the following:
Creative Consulting Services
Creative consulting companies work with brands to develop which creative strategies will attract and maintain customers. In addition to developing a business’ brand, consulting services use powerful data to develop, improve, plan, and implement new actions toward overall growth.
Digital Marketing Services
Marketing your goods and services online is a crucial part of business. Digital marketing targets the right audience that needs and wants what you offer, and carefully initiates the types of campaigns that attract new and returning buyers.
Elements of digital marketing include:
Not all creative firms offer marketing services, but many well-established ones do. It can save a lot of time and money hiring an agency that offers both creative and sales strategies, so choose wisely.
Web Development & Web Design
For any online business, a website is its 24/7 marketing and sales hub. A quality website is a must-have today, and creative agencies employ team members to develop professional websites with the latest and greatest features.
Graphic designers create enticing visual content that becomes static ads, web graphics, social media posts, and even physical resources like business cards and billboards. Creative firms are brimming with graphic designers who have the types of portfolios and experience to help brands really stand out.
Social media is a common marketing platform today. Advertising on global platforms like YouTube, Facebook, and Instagram is more competitive than ever before. Many creative agencies work with brands that greatly benefit from social media marketing and management.
Customer Engagement and CRM
Sometimes it’s challenging to keep up with every lead, customer, or abandoned online cart. Customer relationship management and engagement fill the void of losing contacts or neglecting unhappy customers. CRM teams and software help brands keep track of vital B2C tasks, which creative agencies can implement.
A creative marketing strategy is the basis of any good sales campaign. Unless your business has a strategy in place, you’re likely guessing what might work or simply following every passing trend. Creative agencies know how to build an all-encompassing strategy that will serve your unique business.
“Content is King,” they say. These days, people want to learn and consume information that is relevant to them. A 2020 consumer culture report states that 83% of millennials today are more likely to buy products when a company’s values align with theirs, which is almost always expressed through creative content.
People are attracted to content that is:
From lead magnets to funny video clips, every brand’s audience has several types of content that need to be crafted and delivered to meet audience expectations. Creative content creation services excel in meeting these expectations, with your company’s growth in mind.
Media Planning and Production
Unless there’s a video producer or media team on board, many businesses need to hire these services out. Creative firms today have media planning and production services to help create videos, publish press releases, land a guest spot on a podcast, and more.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is an industry standard for online businesses. SEO is a way to get your website traffic and online content found organically with the use of optimized writing, keywords, and audience research. Knowing how to deliver content that your audience is searching for on the web is one of the best ways to convert onlookers to loyal customers, and creative firms can help.
CPG Design and Marketing
Consumer Packaged Goods (CPG) is any business that sells merchandise or physical goods to customers, whether online or in-store. Creative agencies can assist with product marketing, eCommerce site management, shop design, and packaging design.
Soft Skills Creative Firms Help Implement
The best creative agencies are run by some of the greatest minds in digital marketing and sales today. The creatives on these agency teams make a living helping brands like yours grow and become the best they can be.
When you hire a digital creative agency, you’re not just getting recurring deliverables to implement into your marketing strategy. You get so much more– such as the type of support, perspective, and leadership development the best brands in the world are founded on.
Different Types of Creative Agencies
As mentioned before, different types of creative marketing agencies can have primary specialties. Here are some of the different types of creative agencies you’ll likely see online today.
Full-Service Creative and Marketing Agency
Full-service creative agencies offer a wide range of services rather than niche “boutique” services. This can include both creative development and marketing services, which the firm combines for clients in streamlined packages and ongoing support.
Companies that require branding, digital strategy, marketing, execution, and reporting would likely benefit most from this type of creative firm.
Digital Design Agency
Countless creative agencies exclusively offer design services for clients. A design agency specializes in the appearance and visual aesthetics of a brand, as well as its products and services. This includes:
Creative design agencies strive to enhance how a brand feels and looks. They make sure a brand is appealing in every way, from content to personality to engagement.
Creative advertising agencies focus on carrying out expert marketing tactics to bring in more revenue all year long. This includes search engine marketing (sponsored ads), print ads, client acquisition, marketing communications, and ongoing market research for designated brands.
Branding services help with a variety of necessary areas to make a brand truly stand out. These include:
As you can see, branding is one of the top elements of any successful business. It all starts with developing a brand– ideally, one that’s strong enough to grow as your business scales.
Content Marketing Agency
Content marketing is the intentional use of materials like blogs, freebies, videos, photos, and ads to attract clients and customers. Creative content marketing agencies plan, create, and deliver content that helps your business stand out from competitors and grow your audience to new levels.
When to Work with Creative Marketing Agencies
You should consider hiring a creative agency when your company reaches a point where they lack time, resources, or capacity to execute all of your creative and marketing needs. If you aren’t getting the results you want, a creative agency can be a huge help.
Here are some sure signs that it’s time to hire a creative firm.
Your Technology is Out of Date
If your business lacks the technology to create or implement creative tasks at a professional level, hire out the services you need from an agency. They operate on the latest technology and trends, with high-level creative knowledge at their fingertips.
You’ve Hit a Wall in Marketing
When your company sees a plateau in its marketing efforts, it may be time to revise your strategy and marketing methods with the professionals. You likely need a change in direction, which these firms will guide you through.
You Lack Creative Resources
Maybe you’ve been trying to DIY (do-it-yourself) your business or hire cheap freelancers to get the job done for you. This method can work for the beginning stages of business, but as your brand grows, this type of creative outsourcing can get too scattered. Handing over these essential tasks to a team of expert creatives is the best solution.
Your Creative Vision is Dead
If there’s no creative drive in your business anymore, chances are it doesn’t have the content marketing fuel it needs to survive. The main benefit of working with a creative agency is they exist to push the creative vision of your company forward, so you can worry about running your business.
You’re No Longer Making an ROI
Perhaps the worst thing to experience as a brand is watching creative efforts fail month after month. Is something missing? When you’re losing money and no longer making a return on investment, you need to get help from a creative firm.
Questions to Ask When Seeking the Right Creative Company
The type of creative firm that can most benefit you will depend on your company goals, current struggles, and which team members you already have available. Here are some questions you and your team should ask yourselves when starting the search for the right creative marketing studio to hire.
Make a list of additional questions you may have going into the process of finding a creative company. This way, you can vet which agencies are ideal candidates for your business.
How Much Does a Creative Agency Cost?
Purchasing services from a creative agency partner can be one of the best investments in your business. Pricing is calculated based on the project, timeline, or type of creative services you need.
Certain services can require a cost per deliverable (such as logo design), while others can be contracted monthly or annually (such as social media marketing or Google ads).
Content, web design, strategy, advertising, and SEO can all vary in cost, typically charged on a retainer basis for best results. Because creative marketing is a long game, costs vary.
Top-Notch Agency Costs for Large Brands
If you run a larger brand, here’s an example of a cost breakdown when hiring creative services:
|Service||Price||What You Receive|
|Content Strategy||$5,000-$25,000 initial cost||Market research, branding strategy, competitor analysis, curated content|
|Paid Media||$5,000-$10,000 per month||PPC (pay-per-click) ads, content marketing, social media ads, targeted mobile ads, native advertising|
|Social Media Strategy||$8,000-$15,000 per month||Community engagement, content scheduling, custom posts, profile optimization, analytics|
|SEO Services||$5,000-$15,000 per month||SEO content, blog posts, website optimization, backlinks, keywords|
|Branding/Design||$2,500-$25,000 initial cost||Custom branding, logo designs, brand voice, audience messaging, brand templates|
Creative Media Agency Costs for Smaller Brands
If your brand is still gaining traction, a design agency can help you get on the right track. Note: you’ll be working with smaller agencies, as they’ll be more in your budget. Here’s an example of a cost breakdown for small to mid-market businesses:
|Service||Price||What You Receive|
|Content Strategy||$800-$5,000 initial cost||Market research, branding strategy, competitor analysis, curated content|
|Paid Media||$1,000-$5,000 per month||PPC (pay-per-click) ads, content marketing, social media ads, targeted mobile ads, native advertising|
|Social Media Strategy||$1,500-$4,500 per month||Community engagement, content scheduling, custom posts, profile optimization, analytics|
|SEO Services||$1,000-$10,000 per month||SEO content, blog posts, website optimization, backlinks, keywords|
|Branding/Design||$500-$8,000 initial cost||Custom branding, logo design, brand voice, audience messaging, brand templates|
Talk with the potential creative team you’re looking to hire to discuss pricing and expectations, as each company will have their own payment structure.
What to Consider when Hiring a Creative Consultancy Firm
When you hire a creative firm, you choose a partner to help grow your business. They’ll know everything about your brand and work directly with your team to establish a long-term, results-driven protocol.
You’ll likely need to shop around before coming to a final decision. Here are some things to look for when making the best choice.
Compare your company’s needs with the services available from each agency you review. Are they able to fulfill the unique demands of your brand?
Skills and Expertise
What skills and experience are the creative agency known for? If you need content services, look for a top creative agency that excels in design. If marketing and advertising strategy are what you need, search for an award-winning creative agency known for its marketing results.
Client Commitment and Communication
How committed is the digital agency to its clients? Consider what communication avenues each agency offers, and what level of involvement you’re comfortable with. Some agencies work on their own and deliver services on a set timeline, whereas others prefer their clients to be heavily involved throughout each project.
The best way to get an accurate picture of what a digital agency is capable of is to view its portfolio. Whether it be website development, brand strategy, marketing strategy, graphic design, or direct marketing, a strong portfolio will give you an idea of which companies will get you to where you need to be.
Diverse Project Capabilities
Does your company have a wide range of projects happening? Make sure the creative firm is able to handle the diverse project demands of your team. For example, perhaps you need a new website and social media marketing setup but may need to focus on refining your brand identity first.
Does the creative firm have its own process they walk clients through? This includes onboarding, payment agreement, ongoing reports, and collaborating with your team to make sure progress is taking place.
What are the Best Creative Agencies for Growing Brands?
In order for your brand to reach new goals, it must be deserving of widespread recognition. To get to the next level of professional business operation, turning to creative marketing agencies with the right digital solutions will get you there.
Finding the perfect creative agency partner can take time, but by using the suggestions in this guide, you should be able to find your match. You can view the best creative agencies of 2022 in the list of options above.