FAQs

General Marketing

Is a marketing agency the right choice for my business?

It’s impossible for any one person to know and understand all of the ways they can promote their business. Not to mention that everything with marketing and even your audience can be constantly changing. What are you missing that you don’t know about? And how much potential business are you losing by not having a genuine and serious conversation with a marketing provider? What you don’t know can hurt you. So, we invite you to have a conversation with us. We’ll provide information (including what to watch out for) that will help you select the right marketing solution for you.

Can I afford to work with a marketing agency?

Perhaps the better question to ask may be: Can I afford not to work with a marketing agency? We live by the following statement: Nothing is more expensive than a missed opportunity. If you’re not investing in your business, then who is? The good news is that we have many ‘starter’ services. So, we’re perfectly happy to start where you’re at—and grow together from there!

What if I already have a marketing person or department? Or I’m part of a franchise?

If you already have a marketing professional on your team or an entire department, that’s great! We’re not here to take anyone’s job away from them. We’re here to help augment what your current team is doing and fill any marketing gaps you may have. Plus, we can be an ongoing resource for you and your team. If you are a franchise owner, you may have some corporate support. And depending on your franchise agreement, you may have some leeway to manage your own local marketing. You don’t have to go it alone or feel like your hands are tied when it comes to self-promoting. We can partner with you too! One note… if you are using a staff member to perform marketing duties, we ask you to reconsider their job role. Was marketing part of their job description when they signed up? If the answer is no, you may want to consider outsourcing your marketing needs to a professional team. That way, you can free up your staff members to focus more on your business’s day-to-day needs.

How do I know if my current provider is right for me?

Many times, we find that business owners think that their current marketing, digital marketing, or SEO services are good—without knowing what great looks like—or how to measure their current agency’s performance. Any marketing agency you retain should be your marketing partner for all aspects of your business. They should have you and your company’s best interests in mind with every conversation. A professional marketing agency should help guide and educate you along the way—and be transparent in everything they do, including analytics and reporting.

If a marketing agency is making big promises, not being transparent, being superficial and not specific in their language and communication, are unresponsive, or resort to fear-mongering, you should run the other way. In addition, you should have ownership of everything that’s created for you, including ownership of your website domain name, all logo files, sales collateral, etc. (including original Adobe Illustrator and InDesign files, for example).
P.S. If you’ve had a negative experience with another agency, we welcome you to at least be open to a conversation with Precise Creative. That way you can make the best decision for your business with all information in hand.

How do I know if Precise Creative is right for my company?

At Precise Creative, we’re pretty low pressure with the right balance of persistence. We understand that you’re making an important business decision, and we want you to have all of the tools and knowledge to make the best decision for your business right now. It’s our job to be your guide in the marketing realm—in clear, concise language without using industry jargon. We’ll do our best to inform and educate you at every step of our partnership, so that you can see and understand the real, tangible results from our efforts together. We’ll never try to sell you something you don’t need.

Plus, not only do we guarantee your pricing for your first year, so there are no surprises down the road, we also extend to every client a 30-day opt-out at any time. We will never rope you into a 1-year marketing contract and sit back on our laurels. We firmly believe that if we haven’t earned your business every month, then we don’t deserve your business every month. Period.

Why haven’t I heard of Precise Creative?

While we may not be among the biggest marketing agencies in the world, in North Carolina, or even in the Triad, we definitely don’t want to be a secret. Psst… we’ve been around since 2012! And the heart and soul of our business is working with small to mid-size businesses, smaller nonprofits, and startups. Our philosophy is that marketing isn’t just for big giant companies with big giant budgets. Check our Happy Clients Page and our Google Reviews to see what our small business and franchise clients are saying about us.

Can a smaller marketing agency help us enough?

We may seem small, but we’re pretty spunky. Precise Creative is comprised of a small, local full-time team with around nine or more other subcontractors—both local and in other parts of the country. (We don’t work with any overseas providers.) The Precise Creative advantage is that we are not bound by finding professionals that live within driving distance of our office. We can discover experts in any part of the marketing industry—content writing, website design, graphic design, SEO, social media, media buying, and more—anywhere in the country.

How easy is it to transition to a new marketing agency like Precise Creative?

Hi that easy button! Generally, the process is pretty simple. Depending on the services we’re providing for you, we’ll need access to your website, social media, Google Business Profile, Google Analytics, and more. Once you provide this information or provide access, we’ll get everything set up on our end. And although we’ve worked with hundreds of clients across many industries… just like when you’re dating someone new, it may take a short period of time for us to get to know and
understand you, your company, and your industry in depth. We’ll do our best to listen intently, do our due diligence, and quickly ramp up to be the marketing provider that will help next level your business.

Do you offer package pricing for your marketing services?

We’ve found that package pricing is nothing more than a cookie-cutter approach that tries to fit square-peg clients into a round hole. It just doesn’t make sense. Why? Because every client and their industry are different—and every business is at a different growth stage. Marketing tactics that make sense for one client and industry may not make sense for another. That’s why we build a custom marketing and branding approach for each client: the marketing practices that make sense for you now, then in three months, six months, and a year. We’ll never try to sell you something just to make a few bucks. Together, we’ll collaborate on the best marketing tactics that make the most sense for you—and provide the best ROI opportunities for your business.

Should I consider marketing as an expense or an investment?

We get asked this question a lot. Marketing is an investment in the future growth of your company. Only a very few lucky companies invest very little in their marketing and gain lots of reach and sales. Most companies need to invest in their marketing to get the results they want.

Should marketing be a fixed or variable expense?

This is another top question that many business owners get wrong. When it comes to your P&L, your marketing dollars should be a fixed expense, not variable, in your line-item budget each fiscal year. A general guide for most businesses is an annual marketing budget of approximately 11.5% of net annual revenue or 7‒8% of gross annual revenue.

When should I increase or decrease my marketing investment?

This is another important question. You should definitely increase your marketing spend as you grow. As for decreasing your spend, we’ve seen many companies over the years slash their marketing budget at the first sign of an economic downturn. But just like when your financial advisor tells you that is actually the best time to invest, it’s also the best time to continue—or even increase—your marketing investment. Why? Because you’ll have the opportunity to fill the void that your knee-jerk response competitors are leaving. And once the short- or long-term crisis is over, you’ll be poised for a larger market share in your industry (either locally or
globally)—and possibly a larger wallet share with your individual customers. Plus, your customer base will remember that you didn’t disappear on them during a time of crisis. You stepped up to the plate to provide even more value during an uncertain time. Your customers will surely remember you—and reward you—for that.

How quickly will I see results from our work together?

Just as marketing is an investment for your company, the results are as well. Marketing is about doing a little of a lot of things right. For the best results, we recommend at least a 6‒12-month effort in order to have enough data to test and measure—and to have enough of an impact and reach your potential customers in enough places and with enough frequency. It’s true that some marketing efforts may have fewer tangible results while others will have very measurable results. And some efforts may be more for the long game than the short game. Either way, we’ll be honest about what you can expect up front from your marketing investment, and we’ll keep you informed every step of the way.

Websites

How often should you redesign a website?

A website that looks fresh and updated can begin to look outdated just a few years later. Since your website is your 24/7/365 salesperson—and most consumers today do 80% of their research online before you even get to speak with them—it’s important to keep your website looking current. Depending on your industry and marketing trends, we recommend a website refresh every 3‒5 years and a new website rebuild every 5‒7 years.

How often should I be adding content to my website?

Google, Bing, and other search engines pay attention to what you do—and what you don’t do—on your website. Once designed, your website is never a set-it-and-forget-it platform. You should be adding to your website frequently; we recommend one blog article per month and/or revising pages—even if it’s just adding a sentence or paragraph here and there. It shows search engines that you’re paying attention.

How much should I invest in my website design?

We structure website design investment competitively for our small to mid-sized business clients. An investment in website design can be wide ranging, depending on the complexity of a site as well as the necessary functionality. But like anything else in marketing, you get what you pay for. If someone is offering to design a website for just a few hundred dollars, you need to ask yourself: What’s going to be missing? A pretty website does you no good if search engines aren’t finding and ranking it in search results (SERPs)—and if it’s not providing the right experience for your visitors and they’re leaving your website to find a better solution. Think of your website as an investment in your business. How much would you invest in yourself?

What do I need to look for when choosing a website designer/developer?

Over the years, many clients have come to us after having a poor experience with a previous provider. When it comes to your website, you want to be sure that 1) you own your website and have full access to it; 2) you own your own domain name outright; and 3) that once paid in full, all ownership reverts 100% to you, should you and the provider part ways. Be sure to read the fine print in your agreement. You’ll also want to pay attention to any cumulative ongoing budgetary items, such as SSL certificate renewal and website hosting. Some companies also charge an ongoing maintenance fee, which is usually unnecessary. Unless you’ll have a large amount of website work every month, we recommend opting for a pay-as-you-go structure for ongoing maintenance and changes. That way, if no work is needed, you don’t pay anything.

How long does it take to design a website?

The length of the project depends on the scope of work involved. For most clients, we create their Brand Story, perform keyword research, write the full website content script, then design and code the site. From start to finish, a project may take approximately eight (8) weeks, possibly more, depending largely on client responsiveness throughout the project and any changes to the project along the way.

What will I need to provide for my website design?

What’s needed for a website is different for every project. Some things we may need (or can arrange) include photography or stock imagery and videos. We may build upon any existing website content or start from scratch. Your website design will be a collaborative process, and we’ll make sure that everything stays on schedule every step of the way.

What happens after my website launch?

After your website launch, we extend to you a period of two (2) weeks to review your website fully and ask us to make any final changes. You’ll also be placed into scheduled billing for quarterly website hosting, website security, and SSL certificate renewal. We’ll continue to monitor and update your site when needed—and we’re there for you should anything need to be changed, updated, added, removed, adjusted, or fixed.

SEO

Does my business need SEO?

There are four (4) types of SEO, and you want to be sure that you are paying attention to all of them: on-page SEO, off-page SEO, technical SEO, and local SEO. Although there are a few rare businesses that really don’t need to worry about SEO, we find that most product- and service- related businesses, whether B2C or B2B, will benefit from a strategic Search Engine Optimization program.

How quickly will I see results from SEO?

We typically recommend a campaign of a minimum of six (6) to twelve (12) months in order to have enough data and time to track, test, and measure results as well as have the opportunity to refine and adjust along the way. That said, with the right strategy in place, you may start seeing tangible results in as little as three (3) months!

How does SEO work?

Google uses up to 200 different ranking factors in order to determine if your business’s website is worthy to show in search results. These factors include website authority, in-depth content, photos and videos, a mobile-friendly site, use of a Privacy Policy and Terms and Conditions, SSL certificate, website speed and performance, website navigation, backlinks to your website, the consistency of your online Name—Address—Phone (NAP) data, use of Google Business Profile, and much more.

A proper SEO campaign pays attention to Googles ranking factors and works to get your website and online presence in compliance with as many factors as possible. SEO is about paying attention to the finer details and doing a lot of small things right.

Can I do my own SEO?

What you don’t know will hurt you. While it’s certainly a noble premise that some business owners may want to save some money and DIY their SEO, we find that to be an unwise decision. Why? Because the amount of time that it takes to learn how to manage all of the intricacies of SEO—and then stay on top of it all in an ever-changing environment—can be a full-time job in itself. Plus, the time that you take to manage your own SEO is time taken away from investing in and growing your business—and your people. We all know that time is money. So, it’s best to leave these highly specialized tasks to trained experts, who can guide you during the process and keep a watchful eye for things you won’t want to be missed.

What is ‘white hat’ and ‘black hat’ SEO?

Simply put, white hat SEO utilizes ethical efforts and search engine optimization best practices, while black hat SEO uses underhanded and damaging SEO tactics. Engaging in black hat SEO is never a good idea. It may sound tempting, but what works today may not work tomorrow. As search engines are getting smarter by the day, they’ll be able to recognize these efforts and penalize you for them.

Social Media

Will social media increase website traffic or conversions?

Social media should just be one part of your marketing campaign. The primary objectives for organic social media are to 1) increase brand recognition and 2) allow a brand to connect with its audience. Organic social media success has a cumulative effect that influences future consumer or business decision-making and increases customer loyalty. However, at times, it can be difficult to measure organic activity against real-world metrics. This doesn’t mean there aren’t opportunities, though. Posting website content such as blogs, surveys, giveaways, downloadables, and more provides opportunities for direct traffic to your website. Emotion-and logic-based posts can also lead purchase decisions, although this can be harder to measure.

Paid or promoted social media, on the other hand, can have a more direct influence, sending users directly to your website, into your messages, or onto a call. By strategically placing ads in front of your target audience, you can drive more traffic to your website and increase the likelihood of conversions. It’s important to carefully plan and optimize your social media advertising campaigns, however, to ensure your ads are visually appealing, have a clear call-to- action, and are relevant to your target audience. We typically recommend a strategic mix of organic and paid social media for our clients. We can work together to evaluate where your dollars are best spent — and where social media can work for you in more organic ways.

Is it better to hire an agency to handle our social media or a part-timer?

Anyone you hire to handle your social media — whether an agency or a part-timer —should have an up-to-date knowledge of social media trends, best practices, and algorithms. They should also have a high-level understanding of all the major platforms and be able to create a strategy that focuses on your targeted audience. In many cases, an agency will be more on top of the ever-changing landscape of social media and be able to create and execute a focused social media strategy for your brand. Additionally, an agency will have better tools and resources at their disposal when it comes to social media creation, analytics, and management. That way, you’ll benefit from advanced features like video editing; pre-scheduled, multi-channel posting; customized analytics; and more. Most importantly, an agency will focus on tying your social media strategy into your business’s overall marketing efforts to create cohesive, effective messaging and outreach across all campaigns and initiatives.

What social media platforms do we need to be on?

Wow! There’s a lot to choose from. And it can be overwhelming especially in a social media landscape that’s ever changing — even from one day to the next.

First, you need to be where your audience is — and that looks different for each business. Spreading your messaging indiscriminately across all platforms is not a strategy we recommend. While some business should be on every major platform, many do not need to be and should focus their efforts where they’ll garner the most growth and engagement. Sometimes, based on factors like industry, product, and location, it will be obvious which platforms will serve your brand best. In other instances, a careful review of your social media stats and analytics will reveal where you’re getting the most traction. Who is your audience? Where are they located? Where are they spending their time? What are their demographics? Do they match your ideal clientele? Are they engaging with your brand? These — and more — are all questions we can help you answer when deciding where to focus your social media efforts.

How can we know if social media management is making a difference for our
brand?

Social media success doesn’t happen overnight; it builds over time. But with that said, you should be able to follow its growth by reviewing analytics on a regular basis. (We recommend weekly to monthly.) Decide which metrics are important to you, such as engagement, shares, impressions, or audience growth, and track them. This will show you not only if the social media management you’ve hired is making a difference, but also what’s working best. A good agency or social media manager will use analytics to continually improve your social marketing.

Evaluating analytics on your own can be a tedious process without assistance. This is where working with an agency comes in handy. For instance, Precise Creative creates monthly automated reports that provide each of our social media clients with a customized look at their analytics for the month, plus a daily dashboard to examine custom time periods. These reports are easy to read, with visual elements, so you can see not only the current month’s data, but also comparison statistics. You might also create internal measures to help you track how your social media investment is impacting your business. This can look like phone scripts, intake forms, or new client questionnaires that survey where a customer has learned about your product, service, or promotion.

What is a social media strategy, and how does it improve our social media?

Simply posting content on your social media channels without a clear strategy will, at best, keep your brand’s online presence stagnant. At worst, it will detract from your brand, giving social media users the impression that your business is reactive, disorganized, and lacking in self-awareness. A good strategy, on the other hand, will create cohesive branding that is customized to your needs and optimized to reach your audience.

But what, exactly, is a social media strategy? In the most basic terms, it’s a formalized plan that establishes your online look, voice, and tactics. On the aesthetic side, it can serve as a template for how you style your graphics, photos, and videos. While on the practical side, it can employ strategies that drive your social growth and engagement.

Content Writing

What can blog articles do for a business like ours?

Having a blog is a valuable asset for any small to mid-size business. Here are some ways a blog can help you.

    • Enhances online visibility by improving search engine rankings
    • Establishes authority and credibility in the industry and local market
    • Builds trust with both your customers and audience.
    • Provides a platform for engaging with the local community
    • Showcases your products, services, special offers, and events
    • Drives traffic to your website when posted on social media and in e-newsletters
    • Provides material that you can link to during your sales process to provide more
      information and build trust

A blog can also assist you in building your subscriber base for newsletter distribution and targeted marketing and can also cross-feed into your social media platforms for opportunities to gain an ever-growing audience. Consistent blogging with relevant content can significantly contribute to your growth and success. Learn more about the benefits of a business blog here.

A professional writer or content specialist with a marketing agency, on the other hand, will not only have the skill and talent to provide quality content, they will also have the SEO and strategy knowledge to provide you with cohesive, high-performing messaging. Need more convincing? Check out our four reasons why employees should never write or edit for your company — unless they were hired specifically for that role.

We already have a website, so why would we want to have our content rewritten?

A company may consider rewriting its existing website content for several reasons.

      • Update outdated content
      • Improve search engine optimization (SEO)
      • Enhance user experience
      • Align with rebranding and messaging
      • Improve content quality
      • Coordinate with new content or marketing strategies

Rewriting website content is a strategic measure that will keep your online presence both current and effective. Because web standards and your business goals are both ever-evolving, we recommend that you audit your website on a regular basis for outdated or irrelevant content. Small changes can be made here and there, as needed. And a full content refresh may be needed every two to three years.

Why would we want to add extra pages to our website?

Adding extra pages to your website offers numerous advantages, including opportunities to improve search engine rankings (including local SEO), enhance user experience, and streamline navigation. And since each page on your website is assigned a designated primary key phrase, each new page on your website offers another key phrase for your website to be found and ranked for. Depending on the type of business you have or the industry you’re in, it may also allow you to
focus on in-depth, specialized content and build credibility as a subject matter expert. If you want to increase conversion and optimization opportunities, adding additional pages is a strategic approach that will help your business achieve its online goals.

Why shouldn’t we just use AI-written content?

AI-produced content provides nothing more than a basic framework at best. And at worst, it can get you into trouble either legally or by hurting your online rankings. Some of the issues we’ve found with AI-generated content include the following.

      • Lack of personal touch
      • Shortcomings in accuracy
      • No human checks and balances
      • Skill required to produce nuanced or comprehensive prompts
      • Potential for plagiarism
      • Simple sentences and overuse of simple words
      • No analysis, creativity, or personalization
      • Inconsistent quality
      • Lack of marketing strategy or results
      • Potential devaluation by Google

As with anything in life, you get what you pay for. Free, cheap, and easy is not always better. We advise you to proceed with the utmost caution if you decide to entertain AI tools. If you’d like more information about AI-generated content and how it differs from human-written, strategic content, see this article. Or call us… we’re happy to answer your questions.

Graphic Design

Why is graphic design important?

When it comes to creating your brand, you want to be thoughtful and purposeful about everything you create for the look of your company. This includes brand colors and fonts and the subliminal emotions they may convey. Does your logo visually make sense? Will people recognize your brand just by viewing the logo? You’ll want to be sure that everything created for your company has a cohesive look and feel.

What types of graphic design projects do you do?

We create a wide variety of graphic design projects for our clients: logo design/refresh, iconography, business cards, brochures, rack cards, ads, coupons, banners, tablecloths, posters, fliers, booklets, folders, signs, menus, and much more.

What can I expect during the graphic design process?

While it can vary from one project to the next, you may receive multiple design options or sketches or work-in-progress copies until all design and content elements are finalized. If you have some inspiration in mind, please share it with us first, so that we can have your vision in mind during the design process.

How do I hire the right graphic designer?

A first step in hiring a graphic designer is to view their body of work. You’ll want to choose someone who is capable of the design work you’d like accomplished. Next take the time to chat with the graphic designer or the company owner (as appropriate) to see if the person and/or company is a good fit for your business. Finally, take the time to check in advance what deliverables you’ll receive. We’ve inherited many clients over the years that didn’t own their own logo files, or the designer nickel-and-dimed them every time they needed their logo for a different use.

At Precise Creative, we provide ALL logo files to you upfront: jpg, png, pdf, black and white, and grayscale, plus the original Adobe Illustrator (.ai) files and all iconography. Once you pay for your logo design project in full, you own it in full—and you’ll have all of the files upfront for any future use. That’s our promise to you.

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