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Digital agency: what it is, how it works and how it can be useful for your business

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Online business promotion consists of a set of tasks that a digital agency helps to cope with. Website development, social networking, driving traffic from Google and setting up advertising are supervised by a single, result-oriented team, which makes the business gain momentum faster.

In this article, we will understand how a digital agency differs from other marketing companies and how to promote your business with it.



  1. What is a digital agency
  2. Services
  3. How it works
  4. Digital agency team
  5. The difference between a digital agency and other marketing companies
  6. Stages of cooperation
  7. Is there an alternative to digital agencies
  8. How to choose a reliable team
  9. Cost of services
  10. Benefits of the digital agency Upturn


What is a digital agency

Digital agencies are strategic and creative agencies that promote business across all digital channels. Core competencies include data collection and analytics, user experience, design, creative services, promotions and advertising. Tasks depend on a specific goal - from launching a business or a new product online, to attracting new customers and improving marketing performance.

The way the agency works, in a comprehensive manner or in one direction, is very important, because during the development of an advertising campaign or a product goes through many stages:

Creativity + strategy. At this stage, the agency answers the questions: what, to whom and in what form to speak in the advertisement. This is an analysis of the product, the target audience and its needs, the creation of a general and communication strategy for the brand.

Design. At this stage, the corporate identity of the brand is created - the identity and design of the product (website or mobile application), with which customers will interact.

Development. This is everything related to the creation of websites (landing page, online store, service) and mobile applications.

Online advertising. This area includes brand promotion in search engines, social networks, contextual advertising, and so on.


Digital agencies that are unable to close all directions on their own often turn to subcontractors, which can negatively affect the result, because with poor performance, there is a shift in blame and a "vacuum of responsibility". Therefore, working with a full-cycle agency, where the team is deeply immersed in the project and bears collective responsibility, will be more effective.

Digital agency services

Services offered by digital agencies:

  • market analysis and digital strategy development;
  • branding;
  • UX / UI design;
  • website and mobile application development;
  • SEO;
  • SMM;
  • content marketing;
  • advertising in social networks;
  • contextual advertising;
  • native advertising;
  • crowd marketing;
  • e-mail marketing;
  • promotion of mobile applications (ASO);
  • audio and video advertising on Youtube;
  • work with media;
  • reputation management (SERM).

Agencies also offer copyright products, which include services for promotion in a specific niche. Digital agency Upturn offers its clients E-Commerce 360 ​​- a comprehensive solution for promoting an online store using: contextual advertising, seo, social media advertising, price aggregators and e-mail marketing.


Let's consider the services of a digital agency in more detail

Market analysis and digital strategy development.
Without market analysis and a clear strategy, it is difficult to understand which Internet marketing tools to use to achieve your goal. At this stage, the agency investigates the demand, competitors and segments the target audience. After that, a plan for interaction with these segments is developed (digital strategy).


The branding process takes into account the values, mission, image and character of the brand, and the result is an identity - a visual design from a logo to advertising banners. A high-quality identity favorably emphasizes the advantages of the company, increases the status in the eyes of the end consumer, and helps to sell the product at a higher price.


UX / UI Design.
This area includes interface prototyping and web design - everything that a business client will interact with. The design is developed based on the brand identity and Consumer Journey Map.


Website and application development.
This service includes website and application development. The work consists of: technical specifications, front-end development, back-end programming and testing.


SEO (Search Engine Optimization).
This is the internal and external optimization of the site to raise its position in the search results for certain queries. To do this, specialists collect the semantic core, fill the pages of the site with content and carry out internal (improving the site's content) and external (buying links) optimization.


SMM (Social media marketing).
With the help of SMM, brands are looking for new customers, expanding their target audience and creating a community around themselves. When working with social networks, a promotion strategy is created, which includes: content plan, visual design and frequency of publications.


Content Marketing.
It is an approach focused on creating and distributing valuable and relevant content. The goal is to attract, retain and increase the target audience. The main content marketing tools are guest posts in the media, company blogging and social media, YouTube channel, etc.


Advertising in social networks.
These ads are customized based on gender, age, interests, and education and are called targeted ads.


Contextual advertising.
Contextual advertising can be of several types: search, media and trade. Search ads appear above Google search results when targeted keywords are encountered in a user's query. Display contextual advertising is displayed as banners on Google partner sites. Trade ads are a text-graphic block with the price of an item and an image that is displayed when searching for a specific item.


Native advertising.
This type of advertising differs in that it does not carry a direct call to buy a service or product. The product is naturally woven into the creative and the user does not perceive it as an advertisement. Native advertising is educational and media in nature, and is less rejected by readers.


Crowd marketing.
Crowd marketing is all about seeding unobtrusive brand recommendations and reviews on target audience sites. Thanks to this, the recognition of the company increases, and the sales increase. Crowd marketing is posts, articles, comments with an active link on forums and reviews on review sites.


Email marketing.
Business communication with the audience via e-mail or Viber is used for direct sales, customer return to the site and training on how to work with the product. E-mail marketing is interesting for companies because of the high return on investment and the ability to personalize the offer.


Promotion of mobile applications (ASO).
App Store Optimization (ASO) is a mobile app optimization on Google Play and AppStore. The service aims to increase the visibility of the app, improve organic search results and increase the number of downloads.


Audio and video ads on YouTube.
Advertising on YouTube is launched through Google Ads and Display & Video 360. The advantage of this type is flexible display settings by age, interest, gender, with and without skipping.


This includes creating press releases and other promotional materials for placement on media platforms.


Working with reputation (Search Engine Reputation Management).
The main task of SERM is to fill the search results with positive information about the brand, or displace negative information with it. Working with reputation includes moderating the company's online communities, working with negativity and creating a positive image.

How it works

If a company is faced with the task of going from offline to online, launching a new product or increasing sales, it contacts a digital agency.

For example, a client wants to promote a business on the Internet. In this case, the agency will conduct an analysis of the market and competitors, draw up a promotion strategy, including the development of a website, launching advertising and maintaining social networks.

The second example is a company that wants to increase the loyalty and trust of its target audience. This is also a reason to contact the specialists of a digital agency, who will draw up a promotion plan using content marketing, contextual advertising and SMM.

The third example is an online store with a request to increase the number of buyers and sales. In this case, the client will be offered an audit of the site, on the basis of which the design and advertising campaigns will be optimized.

Digital agency team

The team of an advertising digital agency consists of account managers, specialized specialists, marketers or project managers.

An account manager is a bridge between a client and an agency. It builds customer loyalty, provides reporting and transfers information to specialized professionals. A project manager or marketer coordinates the team within the agency. It issues tasks based on information received from the account manager. Specialists are directly involved in the implementation of tasks in different directions: development, design, analytics, content, targeted advertising, copyright, SEO, SMM.

Each project is managed by an account manager, a project manager and specialized specialists who are selected depending on the tasks.

How is a digital agency different from other marketing companies?

Many people confuse advertising, creative, media and digital agencies with each other, believing that they are one and the same, because their specialization is advertising. But there are differences between these types of companies. Creative agencies develop advertising concepts, but do not implement them. Media agencies work with delivering information to the target audience. Advertising agencies work with print media, radio and television. They often create a digital department that deals with online advertising.

But it is better for this task to choose an agency that specializes in this and knows all the intricacies of online promotion. At the same time, unlike classical advertising and media agencies, the digital company provides a full cycle of services: from analyzing the target audience to launching advertising campaigns.

Stages of cooperation with a digital agency

Among the main stages of cooperation with a digital agency, there are: a brief, definition of goals, development and implementation of a strategy. This amount varies on a case-by-case basis.


The brief is a bit like an interview. During the brief, specialists highlight the goals and wishes of the client, as well as the result that should ultimately come out. At the next stage, the agency and the client detail the goals and measurement of results. After that, the stage of developing a strategy begins, which includes analyzing the business and the market, identifying the advantages of a product / service and selecting channels for promotion. At the stage of implementing the strategy, specialized specialists are involved in the project who work with promotion channels. As the tasks are completed, the digital agency prepares interim reports with key indicators. The terms of the project implementation depend on the specific type of service and can last from several months to six months or more.

Is there an alternative to digital agencies

One of the options is to form your own staff. It is important to bear in mind that finding a professional team will take time, expertise and additional resources. If digital services are needed for a while, there is no point in hiring a staff and it is easier to outsource the promotion.

Another option is to work with a freelancer. This format is much cheaper, but often implies a low level of quality and responsibility. When working with freelancers, the customer will need additional time and competence in order to control the completion of tasks.

How to choose a reliable team

In order not to miscalculate with the choice of an agency, we recommend that you adhere to the following recommendations:

Set a clear goal - decide why you should turn to a digital agency: to advance in search results, create viral content, differentiate from competitors, improve your reputation. Also consider whether you are planning a long-term collaboration or project work.

Ask colleagues - word of mouth is still a great channel for finding contractors.

Check out the cases - look at the goals and methods of achieving them by the agency team. A big plus is the presence of cases in your niche.

Meet the team. Find out who you will be constantly in touch with. Knowing the people who will be working on your project will allow you to make an informed decision.

Read the reviews. Satisfied clients are an indicator of good agency work. If possible, write to them and ask about their experience of cooperation.

Look at the list of services - even though digital agencies provide a large list of services, there are narrow-profile teams that, because of this, will not be able to solve your problem.

Learn about the approach to work - if the agency offers a solution without asking you about the desired goals - be careful, because the work begins with a brief and market analysis. Only after these stages will you be offered an effective solution.

Prepare questions to help you better control the negotiation process. Also tell the agency about your expectations and requirements so that contractors can assess if they can get the job done.

Determine your estimated budget - set a low and high threshold for the amount you are willing to spend. So it will be easier for agencies to offer the best promotion option.

Study the agency's website - a convenient and understandable site speaks of professionalism and demonstrates a responsible attitude to your own image.

Pay attention to how they communicate with you - if the representatives of the agency respond quickly, are ready to go online, ask many clarifying questions, provide all the necessary documents - then the company is serious about business and you can trust it.

Cost of digital agency services

Digital agency pricing is based on two models: hourly wages and per set of services. Prices for digital marketing agency services differ depending on the scope of work. The cost is calculated on a case-by-case basis. But, for example, if an agency provides a service for setting up and launching contextual advertising for a number of online stores, then it will accurately name the cost for a similar client.

Prices for website development depend on the level of complexity and functionality and can vary greatly even for similar projects. The final cost will always depend on the number and volume of required services, the duration of the project and the size of the involved team.

Benefits of the digital agency Upturn

We dive deeply into the client's business and systematically implement digital projects. Our results and satisfied customers are the best confirmation of these words.

Our team members have deep expertise and will be able to find the best solution for you to achieve your company's business goals.
Working with us, you will understand in detail what kind of work we do, why they are needed and what are the benefits of them.

We treat your business as our own



Anna Lysenko 

digital marketing manager, Upturn

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