4 innovative marketing services your agency needs to offer

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With new technology and trendy platforms emerging all the time, it can feel impossible to know what services your marketing agency should offer.

We all remember the Clubhouse hype at the beginning of 2021, right? But when was the last time you actually used the app?

No one wants to position themselves as an expert in a channel or platform that won’t exist in six months. Still, there are thousands of marketing agencies out there, all offering the same thing. Competition is rife and you need to stand out.

So how do you balance the need to differentiate yourself from all the other digital marketing agencies without hurting your credibility as a trusted advisor?

To help you out, here are four services that are both safe bets and innovative channels where there’s still a lot of opportunities (if you actually know how to use them).

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1. TikTok

You’d be forgiven for thinking TikTok is simply a platform for Gen-Z to post dancing videos on. 

But as the fastest-growing platform of all time, TikTok’s audience expanded far beyond noughties babies a long time ago. The ever-changing nature of the app means users are actively engaged for longer than is typical, spending 52 minutes per day on the app.

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According to Tiktok's marketing report, with over 2 billion downloads and over 1 billion monthly active users, TikTok has marked itself as one of the biggest social media platforms in the world in just a couple of years.

Its high usage and engagement rate make TikTok the ideal platform for your clients to reach younger audiences, and thanks to its algorithm, they don’t even need to pay to have the reach.

TikTok recognizes every video uploaded to its platform and displays all of them to a handful of users. If your video is engaged with, your reach will continue to expand and can grow exponentially, with first-time posters often being viewed millions of times.

How to use TikTok for marketing

TikTok is not a complicated channel and can fit seamlessly into an existing social media management package. Let's break down the step-by-step actions to start using this channel for your clients:

Step 1: Create a channel

The most obvious way to get engagement on Tiktok is to start posting. The platform offers hundreds of ways to be creative and with every video being less than 3 minutes, it shouldn’t take long to get started. There's also a ton of free video cutting software out there to help you cut your video down to less than 3 minutes. Here's a list of some tools/apps you can use.

Use filters, engage with hashtags and brand your clients’ channels to remind viewers of who they’re watching. Branded channels won’t be penalized by the audience if the content they’re putting out is high quality.

Step 2: Start a hashtag

Any given week there’s a new hashtag trending, and most of them are sponsored. Over Halloween, Chipotle created a #Boorito challenge for users to get involved with, with the top five videos winning free burritos for a year.

A hashtag doesn’t have to have a prize at the end of it, though. Matching a relevant sound with your hashtag can be enough to make it trend organically, you just need to be original.

Step 3: Invest in TikTok ads

As with all social media platforms, the best ads are the ones that don’t feel like an ad. While paying for an ad is a starting point, the only way you’ll see an ROI is if you put the effort into creating a video that users want to engage with.

The best thing TikTok advertisers can do is keep up to date on trends, sounds, and videos. You can also target specific demographics to make sure your videos are hitting your target audience.

2. Text marketing

Does text marketing work? With an open rate of 98%, we can confidently say yes, it does.

A lot of us are used to receiving the odd delivery text from UPS, or a doctor’s appointment confirmation. But text marketing has a lot of advantages, including helping clients launch new products.

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Build successful marketing campaigns, converse directly with clients, and build out different texting lists, SMS is a proven way to boost sales and there are many brilliant uses for text messages that can help you grow your business.

Here’s how you can use it to your advantage:

How to use SMS for your clients’ marketing campaigns

Here are three innovative text marketing campaign ideas for your clients.

Idea 1: Create an 'ask me anything' (AMA)

Believe it or not, AMAs are not reserved only for Reddit users. Anyone can use them as part of their marketing campaign, just ask media and advertising guru Gary Vaynerchuk

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Gary V has been using text messaging to communicate, nurture and build relationships with prospective clients and followers.

By creating a variety of keywords (a word or phrase someone can text to a number to subscribe to future messages) and campaigns, the GV team knows exactly what each audience member wants, and how to tap into that.

See our next point to find out how.

Idea 2: Build segmented marketing campaigns

The most effective way to run a successful marketing campaign is to tailor content to an audience. The more relevant the messages are, the more engaged the audience will be.

With text messaging you can segment an audience by using multiple keywords they can text in.  You can also segment an audience based on link clicks or area codes, then make the most of this information by creating specific marketing campaigns aimed at different segments.

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Idea 3: Integrate with other marketing platforms

Text messaging is powerful, but it’s even more powerful when used in conjunction with other applications. Integrating your texting service will streamline your clients’ marketing efforts and save time.

You can import contacts, automate workflows and share your marketing content across multiple platforms.

3. Podcasts

It feels like everyone and their grandma is listening to (or hosting) podcasts these days. It turns out there’s a podcast for everything, and we definitely don’t think that’s a bad thing - We even made a podcast planning template in case you have plans to start your own.

We’re not exaggerating, there are over two million podcasts out there right now, and over 57% of the US population have listened to at least one episode.

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From a marketing perspective, it’s hard to know where to start with advertising on a podcast. But advertising space isn’t just for the big dogs out there.

How to advertise on a podcast

There are a lot of niche podcasts that could be perfect to reach a client’s target audience with the right amount of research. Here are a few steps on how you can tap into podcast listeners far and wide:

Step 1: Choose a host read or a dynamic ad

Firstly, there are two different types of podcast ads for marketers to understand.

A host read is exactly what it says. Advertisers pay the host a direct fee and send them a script to read out on their podcast.

This can be at the beginning or middle of an episode (although we wouldn’t recommend the end) and is most effective because listeners are less likely to skip the ad.

The second type of advert is a dynamic ad, which is a clip self-produced and entered into the podcast at a convenient time. This requires the advertiser to create their own soundbite, so quality is vital.

It’s worth knowing that most podcasts stick to one type or the other, so reach out to prospective podcasts before building your ad. 

Step 2: Advertise across multiple smaller podcast shows  

Podcast ads can be very expensive, especially for bigger shows. For smaller budgets, it can be worth investigating smaller podcasts within your niche.

You could do this based on location, the topic of the show, or audience demographic. Due to the popularity of podcasts, production companies often manage and run multiple.

If you decide to advertise across podcasts, it could be worth networking with a production company and discussing a joint strategy.

Step 3: Purchase back catalog space

The beauty of podcasts is that most of them are run on an episode-by-episode basis, meaning you don’t need to start from the beginning to understand the episodes.

However, it’s not uncommon for podcast listeners to go back and listen to past episodes when they’ve found a podcast they enjoy. For this reason, it’s often worth investing in the back catalog of recorded episodes. 

There’s less competition for these spaces, and you can usually find episodes that are timeless, so you can be sure new podcast listeners will want to click play.

4. Referral Programs

Referral programs are a growth marketing tactic to encourage word-of-mouth marketing. With the offer of discounts, exclusive deals, and affiliate deals, referral programs are all about rewarding loyal clients and customers who pass your name to others.

So, what makes a good referral program? And how can you make sure your clients benefit from it?

How to benefit from a referral program

There are a variety of ways to build a successful referral program. Take these tips on board to get started:

Step 1: Have a clear goal in mind

Referral programs should be focused and with a clear target audience determined. Who do you want your service to reach? Obviously, you want to increase sales, but do you have anything else in mind?

Brand awareness and customer loyalty are very often at the heart of referral programs, and you can build a tailored referral program to meet those needs.

Step 2: Make it as easy as possible

A lot of agencies can get stuck in the ins and outs of a referral program. While it’s important to iron these out, make sure you aren’t asking your clients’ customers to do too much for a simple referral.

Use one-click links, create a text-in keyword campaign, or use an affiliate program such as PartnerStack to make everyone’s lives easier.

Step 3: Follow up to improve your referral program

The most effective program is a tried and tested one. Make sure to reach out to signups and find out what is and isn’t successful about a client’s program.

Send out feedback surveys, and incentivize them to help you. In the long run, the better your referral program is, the more leads it’s going to generate for you.

With so many platforms and channels on offer, every member of your team can get involved with rolling out a successful campaign. Organization and collaboration are key to the smooth running of a marketing campaign.

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Remember to keep your team connected. Make sure your team is all on the same page by using knowledge-sharing software like Teamwork Spaces.

Teamwork makes it easy to seamlessly integrate into the app while creating a centralized hub for your team to communicate and share documents. Conversations between your agency and your clients can get tricky.

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That's why it's essential to have a single source of truth with your documents to ensure your marketing services are clear and accessible.

Now, all that’s left to do is start brainstorming! Good luck.

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