Anyone with an interest in the SEO industry knows that the best campaigns are now synced with wider marketing strategies. Long gone are the days when you’d send your SEO agency off to buy a load of links and sit back and watch your Google rankings shoot up. Any agency who are worth having should be taking an active interest in their client’s marketing focus and pushing to get involved, not working in their own silo.
This being said, it’s crucial that your SEO agency can work alongside your other partners to deliver the desired results. The word ‘integrated’ is certainly thrown around enough in the marketing industry, but this isn’t always done as well as it should be and there are plenty more opportunities for collaborative working that could drive much better results.
As an Account Manager at Branded3, involvement with other agencies has become a crucial part of my role day-to-day. This is particularly important when working for brands that hire multiple agencies with different specialist areas. Although all change is tricky at first and it does take some adjusting to, the benefits that can be gained from working closely with other agencies for our clients are too valuable to lose out on.
Following an all-agency meeting for a client last week encompassing a large international ad agency, media agency, PR agency and us as the SEO specialists, here are the main benefits of us all working together:
Consistency in brand messaging
There should be one common message that is clearly communicated throughout all marketing activity to ensure clarity. Without these strategies being aligned, the message can become diluted and nowhere near as powerful. If your agencies are talking to each other, they can ensure the brand voice remains consistent and the point is communicated as clearly as possible to the right audience.
Cut down on wasted work/money
As the lines continue to blur between traditional and digital PR, contacts and seeding lists can become something of a grey area. So there’s always the risk of contacting that same journalist twice and potentially wasting time. If you put your agencies in touch with each other they can easily talk through and cross reference contact lists to ensure there are no duplicated efforts.
Too many ideas?
There’s no such thing, so the more creative heads we can cram into one room, the better! It helps if each agency holds their own brainstorm internally first, then the agencies can come together and feedback their teams ideas, to collectively decide which are the strongest to carry forward.
There’s also the benefit that if all parties are invested in the ideas from their conception, there’s no danger of anyone coming back weeks down the line saying they can’t work with the creative. Communication is key and it’s important for everyone to be 100% behind the ideas from the word go.
A bit of healthy competition never hurt anyone either. If multiple agencies are trying to build on the same idea, all parties are going to perform at top level so their idea gets selected to be taken forward. This results in even better ideas for the client!
Covering every angle
Every agency has their own strengths – with specialists from every area sat around the same table, it’s so much easier to find the right ideas that will meet the requirements for all disciplines to deliver an effective and consistent campaign. TV, for example, is not within Branded3’s remit, however it’s great to have visibility on plans for this channel to enable us to deliver well thought-out, complementary ideas for the online side of the campaign.
If agencies can work together as soon as a brief is tasked, they can cover each and every point between them, eliminating any gaps in services and ensuring everything is fully planned out and integrated.
Let the experts decide
A client hires each agency for a purpose and usually different purposes, because they are the experts. However, this is not to say that one idea can’t work across multiple channels.
Cross agency meetings give the chance for us and other agencies alike to jump onto creative ideas that we know will work in our channels. This is efficient in terms of time that would normally be spent brainstorming and supports the integrated approach.
All too often, there’s really great client work such as TV campaigns, PR events/appearances or new products, that we don’t hear about until last minute or even the day after, simply because they don’t think it’s something that will help their SEO campaign.
Learning from each other
It’s great to see how other agencies work, however differently it may be. From processes and account management, to creative brainstorms and presentation style, there’s so much to gain from having this kind of insight. It can help you to take note of what you do really well, what others do well and build on and refine your ways of working.
And most importantly… client results!
The results of a fully integrated multi-agency campaign will speak for themselves. Providing all parties are aligned and cooperative and that communication is frequent and clear, an effective strategy will be delivered.
With a clear message and all channels functioning to their full potential, there will be brilliant results and you’ll start seeing the reasoning behind moving away from the old silo approach! It may seem more effort to begin with, as with anything new, but once key contacts are established and your agencies get used to working together, the benefits will far outweigh that small amount of extra effort it takes to get this kick started.