It’s a question you’ve probably toiled over time and time again: will a creative agency help my business? And if they can, what results can I expect? In this fast-moving article, we’ll answer this ten-million-dollar question by examining who they are, what they do, and why hiring one could be the most effective weapon in your marketing arsenal. Let’s take a look.
What is a creative agency?
You’ve heard the phrase ‘creative agency’ banded about as if it’s some sort of badge of honour. But unfortunately, everyone seems to talk about them without telling you what they actually do, and the less-than-helpful phrase ‘creative’ doesn’t do much to answer your questions. So here’s how we sum a creative agency up:
A creative agency offers a vast range of services to help you navigate the murky waters of running a business, whether online or offline. Whereas traditional agencies typically focus on one service, creative agencies handle everything from web design to brand identity to advertising and beyond. Of course, all of the traditional marketing communications and the ‘online stuff’ to boot – that’s their baby.
All things marketing – in one place
Like most business owners, you probably don’t leap out of bed in the morning excited to build websites or figure out ways to incorporate affordable SEO into your digital marketing. However, I suppose we could say creative agencies are the rare breeds who like this sort of thing. If you pick the right one, their vast experience is an indispensable asset in your online marketing efforts.
One thing businesses love about creative agencies is the ability to have all of their online needs taken care of in one place. Gone are the days when you’d have to hop from a web designer to a video production company and then onto a media agency to get the word out there. Nope! You can tackle everything in one hit, and it keeps things nice and easy for you. Phew.
Will a creative agency tell me what I need?
Have you ever seen the television program Who wants to be a millionaire? It’s a game show where contestants get asked a series of questions. If they answer all the questions correctly, they walk away millionaires. However, within the game, they’re given the opportunity to call a friend for help if they don’t have the answer to a question. The idea is you’ll call someone who knows more about the subject than you do, they’ll give you the answer, and you’re one step closer to walking away rich. It’s affectionately known as ‘phoning a friend.’
Essentially, that’s what you’re doing with a creative agency – phoning a friend. A friend who has been there, done ‘it’ – and can help you get the outcome you’re chasing.
So, the answer is: Yes. Yes. And another big fat yes. This is one of the big ‘pluses’ of having a creative agency on your side. A good, reputable creative agency with a proven track record will have worked with businesses just like yours.They will have delivered the exact results you’re looking to achieve. Plus, they can use that experience to tell you what specific area you need to focus on to bring home the results you’re chasing.
Does my business need a creative agency?
Small, medium or big – the size of your business doesn’t really matter. If you need help, then you need help. But for you – you specifically – is it the right thing to do?
It depends. The first thing we’d say is you should be open to the idea, because nine times out of 10, a creative agency will have a skillset that can greatly help you with the project you’re working on.
Lean on a proven track record
Let’s say you need help with your photography. You have your own in-house marketing team, and a few of them have picked up a camera from time to time. Deep down, you know it’s not their area of expertise. Still, you’ve handed them a camera and asked them to do their best. Sometimes, it just can’t be helped.
If you really want big results though, you know you’d be better off reaching out to people who specialise in photography. People who have a proven track record of taking high-quality photographs – we are the people who spend all day every day taking high-quality pictures, presenting brands in the best possible light. Experience and know-how are invaluable, and that’s what a good creative agency brings to the table.
If you’re short on time, need expert input or have new areas that you want to tackle (that your team lacks experience in), then a creative agency could be the answer you’ve been looking for.
Creative agencies offer so many services – is that something to worry about?
This is a more than fair question. It’s easy to think that if a business doesn’t specialise in one area, then they’re ‘sort of okay’ at lots of different things. Owners of creative agencies have come up with just the trick to caveat this. How? By leaning on big teams with wide-ranging skill sets.
Let’s take content as an example. You know you need to put regular content out there so you can appear in organic search results. So you can rank on Google. So you can spread the word about your products and services. To be able to do that, you need an expert – not someone who’ sort of understands content’ – someone who has dedicated their entire career to mastering that specific area.
A team of specialists
A good creative agency will have its own dedicated team of content experts to help you with your content needs. Maybe they’ll work in the office, or perhaps they’ll be a freelancer the agency calls upon for specific projects. Either way, they’ll specialise within that particular field, so you know you’re dealing with people who can deliver.
It’s the same with every other service area, too. An agency often has an in-house team that works exclusively on your project. They’ll strategise, plan, research, and collaborate to get the result your business deserves. However they go about it, you can be sure that if the agency has a good reputation, they’ll be leaning on the experience of industry-leading talent for your project.
To use us at Red Thread Creative as an example – every project is monitored not only by a project manager but also by the MD. It’s all about getting as much talent, insight and expertise working on your project as humanly possible. That’s how we’re able to consistently deliver results above our customers’ expectations.
A fresh perspective
This one’s a biggy. Sometimes it’s easy to be so immersed in the work you do, in the products you create and in the way you help people, that you can end up overlooking creative, efficient and effective ways of doing things – and these are the very things that can help you grow as a business!
Not only that, but you’re not always going to have the digital marketing know-how that a creative agency can bring. For example, if you’re an ecommerce company like Amazon, you’re likely so focused on finding great products people love that maybe you lose sight of the best way to reach these people.
Innovative businesses collaborate with other companies that can help them get significant results faster. It eliminates the not-so-fun game of trial and error, saving you a truckload of money, time and effort. Nice!
Initially, hiring a creative agency will cost you money. That’s the bad part. The good part (that trumps the bad part 10 times out of 10) is that if you pick an experienced creative agency with proven results, you’ll make that money back – and some.
Flushing your marketing money down the toilet is a surefire way to end up on the long list of businesses that don’t make it. Remember, a good creative agency will be able to give you direction – if you need help with responsive web design, they’ll help you fix it. If you’re struggling with your email marketing, they’ll use their experience to boost your response rate. Or, if your pay-per-click advertising is underperforming, they’ll lean on their book of tricks to bring in more leads for you.
So they do cost money initially, sure. But if spending some money to diagnose your business’s problems means you’ll slice through years of trial and error, we think it’s a pretty good investment – one that can save you thousands of pounds in the long run.
They’ll be able to give you insights like over 90% of sites receive no traffic from Google – the most used website in the world. Imagine missing out on the very people who want what you have, all because you didn’t know how to reach them! Little snippets like this are easy to miss but can make all the difference to your results.
Marketing statistics and insights are all well and good, but it’s important to know what to do with this information. If you’ve picked the right creative agency, they’ll be able to take these fresh insights and use them to positively contribute to your specific project or business. We can’t ask for much more than that, can we?
We’ve spent time going over the ways a creative agency can help your business, and we hope you’ve learned more about the different services they offer. There’s a huge range of services you can benefit from, so if you’ve got an upcoming project that you think could use some insight from an experienced team, it might be a call worth making. We’ve covered a lot of ground today, and it’s fair to say you might have some questions. If you do, you can reach out to us here. We’d love to learn about a project you’re working on, give you some advice, or talk about how we can help you increase your revenue for your online business. See you on the next blog!