Competition is fierce. As there’s a significant amount of digital marketing agencies in the marketplace, the most important part of the game is offering your clients a distinctive value to keep them loyal to your brand and boost your recognition.

Customers are looking for an agency that has the required skills and expertise in solving their pain points to fulfill their needs. You need to provide them with a logical and powerful reason that convinces them to select your brand over others.

So how could you make this possible? How to differentiate your agency’s brand from others?

Before diving into the strategies, there are major questions you should ask in order to define your positioning strategy and help your agency stand out in a crowd:

  • Who are the ideal customers? And why?
  • What core capabilities do we shine at the most?
  • How do our values and beliefs impact work?
  • How should pricing be structured?
  • What are the best ways to address issues? How to deal with customers who might cancel with us?
  • How to measure results? What KPIs most matter to our business?

Determining your positioning permits you to create an opportunity for your market that other agencies might miss and help you gain a competitive advantage.

We’ve put together 5 effective strategies that you need to apply to distinguish your brand from others.

  1. Target the right people
  2. Be professional in offering a product or service
  3. Communicate your distinctive value proposition
  4. Be creative and flexible in pricing
  5. Be helpful and educational

Target the right people

The first thing you should take into consideration is to define your customer persona. Identifying your ideal target segment(s) allows you to better focus on your customer’s problems and solve them effectively.

In addition, buyer personas help you avoid customers who might be a pain for your business or stay away from a relationship that is not going to be comfortable. For instance, if your agency’s target audience concern is quality over price, you don’t have to waste your time focusing on leads who are price-conscious.

Below are 3 essential concerns you have to put in mind when defining your customer persona:

  • Am I looking for small or large business owners?
  • Am I going to target customers who have little knowledge about marketing automation or those with clearly determined objectives?
  • Am I looking after clients who are interested in a collaborative relationship or those who don’t want to be involved and prefer us to take the lead solely?

“We target a specific client type: they are collaborative, are able to articulate marketing goals and already understand digital components from an important part of the mix. Plus, they are serious about budget and resource allocation.”
– Karl Kindle, Wellspring Search

Here’s an example of how a buyer persona for an agency might look like:

Be professional in offering a product or service

Too often, many agencies try to put their emphasis on more than one or two core services in order to avoid denying a specific shortcoming which is a mistake.
End result? Clients receive mediocre service across different marketing channels.
Therefore, you can’t provide a great and impeccable service to all your target segments, equally.

What you should rather do is put your emphasis on what your team can be the most expert in doing to be able to deliver qualitative results and encourage your clients to refer other leads to your business.

For instance, VaynerMedia, a social media agency, has a huge customer base due to the following and expertise of its founder, Gary Vaynerchuk. The agency has achieved a 57% increase in net revenue to $22.5 million in 2014 and they’ve launched a sister agency that focuses on influencer marketing and micro-content creation for innovative brands to create short engaging stories.

Communicate your distinctive value proposition

To create your unique value proposition that your agency must provide to your clients, you should build your agency’s personality first.

Some agencies’ reputation is based on their company’s culture; other agencies create their own reputation by referring to their team’s expertise or the value that they delivered to their previous and existing clients.

To differentiate your brand, be transparent in front of your clients and show them how you can really be different from competitors, starting from your website and branding to the way you engage with clients using different messages (Emails, SMS, Browser push notifications) to the reports you generate and deliver, etc…

“Creating a strong web-based value proposition on your website is one of the best ways to differentiate your agency. Your website should quickly and effectively articulate who you are, the services that you offer, and how you differentiate yourself from the competition. To get all these items across to website visitors in a short period of time (a few seconds), use high level messaging vs. dense text and make sure images and messaging are in sync. An effective website should be aligned with the different types of visitors. First, identify the classes of visitors and what their needs are. Then build and design the website from the perspective of the visitors.”
– Mikel Bruce, TinyFrog Technologies

Be creative and flexible in pricing

Pricing is one of the most essential elements especially for clients looking for transparency in the pricing process and willing to pay for results only.
It’s more about the outcome that your different pricing plans are going to provide than the output.

Another major factor in pricing is flexibility, especially when it comes to contracts and cancellation policy. Do a competitor analysis of what other agencies are doing regarding the minimum commitment and find out what might most suit your agency. If other agencies’ contracts are based on a yearly or periodic basis and you trust your agency’s ability to deliver great results for your clients, month-to-month contracts can be a good choice to differentiate your brand from others.

For instance, WebPageFx, a company that offers digital marketing services, has built up its pricing plans based on a custom quote calculator.

Be creative and provide informative pricing tactics that allow clients to get quotes quickly and easily without the need to give their contact details.

It will allow a way to pre-qualify the prospect so they can request custom pricing based on his/her needs that shows how the agency values their time, taking into consideration their reluctance in providing their personal information.

The only disadvantage is that users may choose to consider other agencies because they can’t immediately see the cost of the services.

Be helpful and educational

Educating your clients with valuable marketing content is one of the smartest strategies to position yourself as an industry leader.

Identify what would address your client’s pain points and solve their problems by delving deep into topics that matter to them. You can create and provide them with different blog formats such as articles, ebooks, whitepapers, as well as doing podcasts with marketing experts and convert them into blog posts. The cause and effect would also help boost your traffic when people search for keywords relevant to your brand.

For example, DAGMAR Marketing, a digital marketing agency, wrote an ebook to help their clients ease their search process and find the best fit for their businesses.

By identifying your distinct value proposition and showing how you can be an expert in creating and delivering content that sells, you will be more qualified for the unique brand experience. Successfully applying each of these 5 strategies mentioned above enables you to limit the pool of competition and obtain a stronger bargaining ability with your clients who are satisfied and confident with the value that your brand is offering to them.