Insights

6 min read

What is a digital agency and why does my business need one?

With so many digital agencies out there, it can be confusing to work out which type of digital agency you need.

Person working on a desk with a couple of laptops, computer and a cup of coffee.

Written by

Tasmin Lofthouse - Content & Marketing

Tasmin Lofthouse

Published on

1 November, 2022

The best way to find your perfect digital agency partner is to first look at what you need your agency to do.

Whether it’s to save time, solve problems, or make money, partnering with a digital agency can bring your business closer to its end-goal.

In this article, I’m going to walk you through the different types of digital agencies, what our agency can do for your business, why you might need an agency and how to know what a good agency partner looks like.

By the end of it, you should have a solid understanding of what a digital agency is and how to find the perfect agency partner for your business.

What is a digital agency?

The job of a digital agency is to provide a specific service or develop a strategy that helps grow your business online. Yet, digital agencies come in different shapes and sizes.

You’ve got your…

  • Marketing and PR agencies
  • Design agencies
  • Web development agencies
  • Advertising agencies
  • Market research agencies
  • … and all the other agencies in-between!

Then you’ve even got agencies on a more specialist level like:

  • UX agencies
  • Jamstack agencies
  • PPC agencies
  • CRO agencies

And that’s just the tip of the iceberg!

Of course, you’ve got agencies who will blend the lines and work across a mix of the above services too.

Agencies that work across multiple disciplines are known as full-service agencies. These are great if you need help with “a bit of everything” and don’t want to have to manage multiple agencies at once.

On the other hand, you’ve got specialist agencies who narrow their focus down into one (or a few) particular services where they are highly-specialised. A specialist agency is the ideal choice for businesses with a very specific need.

We specialise in UX and Jamstack here at Skyward because, well, it’s what we’re good at. And we’ve got the case studies to prove it.

The landscape of digital agencies is vast and wild — it’s basically a jungle out there!

That’s why we’re here to help you cut through the noise and find clarity on your search for the perfect agency partner.

Why does my business need a digital agency?

The short answer is:

Investing in a digital agency is an investment in your business.

In reality, the reason why your business might need a digital agency is a lot more nuanced than that.

Partnering with a digital agency can offer a plethora of benefits for your business. Your digital agency partner is there to help you grow your business and reach your goals. So, the reason why you should consider working with a digital agency differs based on your current positioning and your future goals.

If you’re a business owner wearing 418 hats and working 80-hour weeks, then hiring a digital agency lets you take a load off your plate. You can pass specific responsibilities over to a team of experts who’ll let you soak up their expertise while saving both time and money.

Now, instead of being the CEO, the web developer, the marketer, the designer, the sales-person AND the finance team. You “just” need to be the CEO, the sales-person and the finance team. Your agency partner will share the responsibility and reduce your stress by picking up the other tasks

For SMEs that are already established and looking to reach the next level, an agency partner can offer expert knowledge that brings them closer to this growth goal. This digital agency partner can also use their skills to help scale your business on demand.

As for larger organisations, a digital agency can help enhance business growth and ensure scalability by providing outside knowledge and expertise. This chosen agency partner can share their expertise to help simplify project kickoffs and assist with scaling up the business operations or down on demand. Future-proofing the success of your business.

Let’s take a look at some more specific advantages of working with a digital agency…

Tap into experts without need to hire

Ultimately, one of the greatest advantages of working with a digital agency is that you get to tap into experts without the need to hire in-house.

Take the Skyward team for example —- led by Dan, we are a strong team made up of developers, designers, project managers and writers. We’re each specialists in our fields and together we pool our expertise to provide the best solutions for our clients.

If you only need help with a short-term project, working with a specialist digital agency makes more sense than hiring internally. It saves on the need for onboarding, training and long employee contracts — things that can eat into your business profits if you aren’t prepared for them.

Save time and money

The initial cost of hiring a digital agency may seem daunting. But the overall time and cost savings are phenomenal.

Your digital agency partner will save you time and money by reducing your resource requirements. Instead of ramping up your in-house staffing, you can rest easy knowing that you have an expert team handling all of your website and UX needs. This frees up your time to double-down on other business areas.

The second and (in my humble opinion) most important way digital agencies save you money is by focusing their attention on activity that generates the most profit for your business.

From fixing the speed of your site to improving UX design and writing high-quality content, your digital agency partner should be able to prioritise the tasks that deliver the best results for your business. In the long run, this will save your business money by making sure the return on investment outweighs the cost of hiring an agency.

Gain outside perspective

When you are working in your business day-in, day-out, it can be hard to switch off your bias. You know your business inside out which can, unknowingly, cloud your judgement.

A digital agency, however, brings an outside perspective. They get to look at your business through fresh eyes. More importantly, they look at your business through the eyes of your users.

They’re used to working across a wide spectrum of businesses, navigating numerous challenges and improving business processes. As such, they can bring this outside perspective to your business as a way to find the best path forward.

Enhance business growth and scalability

Business is fiercely competitive.

4.38 million businesses were launched in the US in 2020.

12,000 a day, 500 an hour, 8.3 per minute… you get my point. It’s a lot of new businesses.

The rise of new companies demonstrates the need for your business to focus on your growth plan. Your business needs to be agile enough to scale and grow.

Your digital agency partner should enhance the growth and scalability of your business. It’s their job to figure out what you need most and to design a solution that scales alongside your growth.

Solve problems and prioritise user experience

At Skyward, we’re solution providers. And we think that all digital agencies should solve problems and prioritise user experience.

We think problem solving and user experience go hand in hand because the problems you're solving almost always relate to your users.

  • Slow site speed? 1 in 4 people abandon websites that take more than 4 seconds to load.
  • Website visitors dropping like flies? 46% of users won’t revisit a website that performs poorly.
  • Website copy not converting? 59% of users would avoid buying from a company that makes obvious spelling or grammatical errors on their website.

See — problem solving and optimising user experience are two of a kind.

Your digital agency partner should be able to identify the problems within your website and provide brilliant solutions that prioritise your user experience.

What does a good digital agency partner look like?

A good digital agency partner should be able to deliver value for your business. And yet, knowing what a good digital agency partner looks like isn’t easy.

There are a lot of agencies out there and it’s often down to you to determine whether or not they’re a reliable partner.

A good starting point when evaluating the quality of a digital agency is to review their case studies. You can use these case studies to determine whether or not they have experience with a business like yours, which could be a business in your industry or a business that has similar goals to yours.

A good digital agency partner will also have the following traits:

  • Transparent and open communication An open line of communication is key for making sure everything is on track. At Skyward, we set up Slack channels with our clients and provide regular updates on the project progression.
  • Trusting - Trust is a two-way street that can generate powerful results. You need to be able to trust them to deliver the results they say they will. Similarly, they need to be able to trust that you will give them everything they need to get the job done.
  • Flexible - Your digital agency partner should be flexible. Asking your agency partner to change the entire project at the last minute will get you fired as a client. But there should be some flexibility in the project plan to allow for delays or slight diversions.
  • Solutions-focused - Choosing an agency partner that is solutions-focused means you can rest easy knowing that they’ll look beyond just fixing problems. Rather than only focusing on the current problem at hand, they’ll focus on proposing solutions that resolve challenges both now and far in the future. At Skyward, we don’t just asses problems. We act on solutions.
  • Goal-driven - In order to get the best results from your agency partner, you need to have a goal in mind. A good digital agency partner will focus on the activities that bring you closer to achieving your objective. Whenever we work with a new client, we always like to gain a deep understanding of their goals so we know exactly what we’re aiming for.

Say hello to your perfect digital agency partner

I get it. Choosing a digital agency partner isn’t a simple decision.

It requires research. You need to know that the agency your choosing will be the best people for the job. They need to be experts in their field who can handle your needs and scale your business growth.

Want to know whether Skyward are the right team for you? Then get in touch for a friendly, no obligation chat. We’ll discuss your goals, needs and challenges and give you an opportunity to see whether we are the right people for your business.

Whatever you need, we’re here to help. We partner with a tight knit community of trusted specialists so you can leverage the power of a full-service digital agency with deep specialist knowledge.

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