An interactive agency, also known as a digital agency, is similar to a traditional advertising agency. The increased usage of the Internet, including social media technologies, has increased the need for more personalized and interactive marketing and agencies. Interactive agencies come in a variety of sizes and employ individuals with a variety of skill sets.
Both interactive and ad agencies support marketing efforts. An ad agency may product print, television, and radio ads, and an interactive agency may produce websites, business blog content, CDs and DVDs. Other products and services include real simple syndication (RSS), email marketing campaigns, podcasts, online video marketing, and similar digital products and services.
Some interactive agencies evolved from ad agencies. Others developed as separate entities, usually starting out as web design firms. This type of interactive business continued to add services as the use and functionality of the Internet and the field of electronic marketing grew. For example, interactive agencies may be involved in search engine optimization (SEO) and search engine marketing (SEM).
Social media channels have also sparked increased interactive marketing work. These channels provide another opportunity for organizations to reach customers and prospects. Content and marketing campaigns may be created specifically for distributing through social media.
Customers who use social media may expect to engage in a more personal manner with the companies that they do business with. In traditional advertising, consumers are passive recipients of an organization’s marketing messages. When using interactive channels of marketing, however, consumers may expect to provide feedback and be presented with marketing messages tailored to their demographics and interests.
Interactive agencies also work with reputation management. In reputation management, various social media networks are monitored to find out what customers are saying about an organization and its products or services. The organization can respond more quickly to customer dissatisfaction rather than waiting for sales to decline.
A full-service interactive agency needs workers with a variety of skills to fulfill various positions. Some key skills include graphic, web and interactive design and development, multimedia design and development, content, blog, article and script writing, videography, and sound engineering. Other skills needed to run an effective business are project management, account management, and sales.
Interactive agencies may differ in size and specialties. The agency itself may be small, perhaps consisting of an owner and one or two employees. Another interactive agency may be substantially larger. Regardless of size, interactive agencies may specialize in serving organizations within certain fields, such as retail clothing, food, or automobiles.