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Frequently Asked Questions

Answers to the most frequently asked questions about our digital marketing program.

Inbound Marketing FAQs:

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How much does the program cost?

Our programs are billed as a monthly retainer and range from $5,500/month to $24,500/month.

How much are other companies spending on marketing?

According to a 2012 Gartner survey, most businesses spent an average of 10.4% of their revenue on “overall marketing activities.” These expenses include salaries, and both traditional and digital marketing costs. While 10% is generally table stakes to keep the lights on, companies that have high growth goals should plan to spend more than 10%.

Companies like IBM and Microsoft spend 21-23% of their revenue on marketing and sales. Check out this list of 19 publicly traded companies to see the percentage of revenue of they spend on marketing broken down by industry.

How quickly will I see results?

There is no one-size-fits-all answer to this question. The speed at which you see results will be based on:

  • Your current status — How well does your site rank now? What is your site’s current conversion rate? What is your site’s domain authority and link profile?
  • Your competition — How aggressive is your competition — are they already dominating the search engine rankings and you want to catch up? Or are you the front-runner? Are the keywords you’re interested in very competitive? From a search engine rankings perspective, competition is a critical factor to consider.
  • Your budget — This determines the amount of work we can do together each month. If you have aggressive growth goals and heavy competition, you should take that into consideration when you choose your digital marketing budget.

That said, we generally see results around the six-month mark, while it’s a safe bet to count on a full 12 months to really build a comprehensive digital marketing program that’s firing on all cylinders.

What type of ROI should I expect?

This depends on the factors we mentioned in the above question. To date, our clients have experienced anywhere from a 20%–50% increase (year-over-year) in revenue from our digital marketing program (again depending on all the above-listed conditions).

How should I measure success?

Before we start the retainer, we agree on what success looks like, and then we work towards that as our goal. Most times this means agreeing on a set amount of leads to be generated within the first year of the relationship. We set a number and work toward it.

How is your digital marketing strategy structured?

The program is operated on a monthly retainer basis. We provide you with a custom digital marketing plan to reach your business goals and then we execute on that plan. The initial strategic plan that we provide outlines the tactics we will execute over the following 12 months.

Do you have references who have experienced success with digital marketing?

Absolutely. We’re happy to provide you with references of clients who are currently benefitting from our digital marketing program. We also have case studies you can check out right now.

How many other clients do you work with in this program?

At any given time, we have 20-25 clients in this program.

And yes, we do pool all the knowledge we gain from executing this program for 20­–25 different companies and use it to make each individual program better. Vital has built an internal Knowledge Base (an actual database) which contains all our collective learnings (and is updated monthly).

Who will I be working with?

You’ll be working with a whole team of talented professionals. Your main point of contact will be your dedicated marketing consultant. Your consultant will be in constant communication with you, generally on weekly status update calls, and of course via email. You will have a dedicated team committed to your business. Your team will consist of:

  • Strategist
  • Senior consultant
  • Consultant
  • SEO expert
  • Content strategist
  • Copywriter
  • Graphic designer
  • Web developer
  • Social media specialist
  • Photographer & Videographer

You literally have an entire agency of experts working on your account in their respective disciplines.

Will you be able to write about my industry/company?

Yes, but not right off the bat. Our clients come from a variety of industries, many are very niche and have complex business models, not to mention complicated vernacular. Most of our clients have businesses that are very unique, even within their own industry.

We’ll work with your team, collaboratively, to come up with expert-level content that will engage your target buyers. While we are not experts in your industry, we at Vital are experts at working with businesses to produce content in this exact scenario, through interviews and research. Therefore, we’ll work collaboratively with your team to ensure your expertise is reflected in any content we produce. We’ve been doing it successfully for years. Check out our case studies and references to see the specific types of companies we’ve worked with successfully.

It’s also important to remember: writing content is only a small part of a much larger overall digital marketing plan, so it’s important not to get caught up on this one writing component.

What is the process for learning my business?

It starts from the very first sales phone call we have with you. From that point on, we are constantly learning about your business. During our onboarding phase, we ask that you fill out questionnaires that provide us a with a comprehensive company profile, buyer persona overviews and your view of the competitive landscape. We then have our kickoff meeting with the key members of your team where we learn even more. Following the kickoff meeting, we schedule interviews with your sales team and customers to get their point of view as well. From that point on, we’re heads down doing research about your industry to better understand your company. It can take a bit of time, but we have successfully done so many times for many different complex companies.

Do you outsource your writers or do you have in-house writers?

Vital writes all copy in-house. You will have a dedicated writer assigned to your account.

We already have writers contributing blog/article content, is that a problem?

Not at all. That’s awesome. This is a great competitive advantage to have. We’ll work your writers into our strategic plan and we’ll work together collaboratively. Writing is just one part of a digital marketing plan.

Are there additional costs?

Yep. All our digital marketing clients need to use marketing automation software, email marketing software, call tracking software and some additional user experience tracking software. These are all services that are billed on a monthly basis directly to you (the client) from the actual service provider (Vital does not play middle man). These tools are all critical to having a successful digital marketing program.

The tools that we frequently use include but are not limited to:

  • Hubspot
  • Pardot
  • Marketo
  • Infusionsoft
  • Act On
  • MailChimp
  • Constant Contact
  • Emma
  • Exact Target
  • Optin Monster
  • Sprout Social
  • CrazyEgg

Do I need to use HubSpot or Pardot?

No. To be successful clients should be using a marketing automation software of some sort, but it does not have to HubSpot or Pardot.

Are we locked into a contract?

No. We don’t believe that’s a good way to build a relationship. Our contract is for a monthly retainer and requires the client provide us 30 days notice prior to canceling our contract — that’s it.

What type of reporting is provided?

Around here we like the saying:

“If you can’t measure it, you can’t improve it.”

We report on the metrics that matter to your business. The most important metric is leads (via form and via phone). All other metrics are simply a means to that end. That said, we also report on website traffic, conversion rate, top pages and downloads of premium content (white papers, ebooks, webinars, etc.,).

How many blog posts per week would this include?

We don’t lock clients into a set number of posts per month. That is not a very strategic approach because it assumes clients actually need a certain amount of posts before any analysis is ever conducted. The retainer essentially buys you a set amount of hours every month and we use those hours to craft various length blog posts (among other tactics) as called for by your strategic digital plan.

For example, one month we might want to focus on creating short (500 word) “top of funnel” blog posts intended to drive traffic (Awareness stage content). Another month we might focus on writing “bottom of funnel” long-form blog posts (1,000+ words) that are focused on helping people who are now aware of you decide to choose you (Consideration stage content).

The content marketing game has changed. There are 2.5 million blog posts published every single day. We should be thinking about quality in addition to quantity.

Isn’t digital just blogging?

No way. Blogging is simply one tactic of a much larger strategy.

What marketing tactics do you think we’re wasting budget on now?

Probably a bunch. It’s nothing personal, most companies waste a ton of their budget on ineffective tactics. We actually wrote an ebook about what we think you should cut from your marketing. You should give it a read:

9 Useless Things To Cut From Your Marketing

Do you handle PR?

Yes. PR is an important part of digital marketing. We write press releases and have multiple writers on staff who have written for news publications in the past. They are very experienced in both writing press releases and evaluating the newsworthiness of content for PR.

If you use Vital to write the release, we have memberships with both wire services, therefore you do not need to pay for a membership. We do not mark up the cost of the wire service, the discount is passed straight through to you and you will see the invoice from the service.

Are you certified?

Yes. Our team is inbound and partner certified by HubSpot, and Google Analytics certified by Google.

I work another marketing agency (for branding, print, PR, etc.,), can I still work with Vital on digital marketing?

Of course. This is fairly common. Many of our clients work with other marketing-related agencies. We have no problem collaborating, and even finding ways to incorporate the work you’re doing with your other agencies into our program. We’re all working toward the same goal.

Why are my competitors outranking me on Google?

It’s maddening right? I mean, what are they doing that you’re not? We’ve been there. How search engine rankings are determined is complex. There are over 200 rankings factors and Google updates their algorithms over 500 times per year. However we have tools that let us analyze why they’re outranking you and the expertise to craft a strategy to beat them.

If you want a more in-depth understanding of why they’re outranking you, read our ebook:

How Do I Rank Higher in Search Engines? (Answers to the 26 SEO Questions You Were Too Afraid To Ask)

Should I expect traffic and leads to grow if I do nothing?

If you decide not pursue a digital marketing strategy of some sort, your traffic may stay the same, or it may go down. It all depends on what your competition is doing and what algorithm updates Google releases.