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Digital marketing has been a lucrative industry for the past two decades. Almost every business you can think of needs to have an online presence. Every online presence should be supported by a set of marketing, advertising and public relations strategies. Maybe you were ahead of the curve or you have an incredibly talented team. If so, you’ve no doubt made a lot of money helping business owners with their search engine optimization (SEO), pay-per-click (PPC) advertising, social media, and… other marketing efforts.

Of course, the high earning potential of the digital marketing industry has resulted in an interesting side effect; the online world is flooded with a glut of digital marketing agencies, gurus, experts, and other authorities.

With so much direct competition, how can your digital marketing agency stand out?

Related: 4 Foolproof Digital Marketing Strategies

Expertise and authority

Philosophers and scientists are still divided on the validity of an argument from authority. In other words, does your position of authority on a given subject automatically strengthen your argument?

We can continue to debate whether this is acceptable from a reasoning point of view. One thing is sure; people tend to hire experts, at least in part because of their perceived authority and expertise. If you are seen as more authoritative, more knowledgeable, or more expert than other digital marketing agencies, you will win more business.

You can do this in several ways:

  • Content: Content marketing is a huge industry, so you shouldn’t be surprised to see it recommended here. Writing amazing content, complemented by original research and innovative ideas, can set you apart from the rest. This is becoming increasingly difficult to do, with the abundance of online content already available. You will need to take your time and invest in quality rather than quantity.
  • Publication: Get published in the most important publications you can find. It’s an easy way to draw more attention to your work and be perceived as more credible at the same time.
  • Affiliations: Network with others and try to reach out and collaborate with influencers. If you are constantly in contact with big names in the marketing industry, you will also be considered an expert. You can also partner or accept clients with recognizable names.
  • Talent: Hire the best marketing professionals you can find. You can showcase their collective experience and provide your customers with even better service.

Differentiation (and niche specialization)

The old saying goes, if you can’t beat them, join them. Instead, if you can’t beat them, do something different. You might not be able to beat the best basketball player on the planet, but maybe you could become the best player in a much more obscure sport.

As a digital marketing agency, one of your best tools will be to critically differentiate yourself. How are you different? And can you serve a customer base that isn’t currently overwhelmed with marketing options?

Your goals here are to become more unique and relevant to a specific group.

For example:

  • A specific tactic: There are many SEO agencies, but how many of them can count themselves among the best link builders in the world?
  • A specific customer type: You can target specific customer types based on a number of factors, such as industry, company size, stage of growth, end customer type, and more.
  • A unique version of the classic services: You can also offer a unique version of the classic range of digital marketing services. Can you provide additional services or bonuses, or provide your customers with an unforgettable customer experience?

Related: How to Stand Out From the Crowd as a Digital Marketing Agency

Flexibility and scalability

You can also make an effort to make your digital marketing agency more flexible and scalable. Some companies are discouraged by rigid service plans, long-term contracts and strict limits on service delivery. You can avoid this by giving your customers more options.

For example:

  • White Label Partners: Use white label specialists to expand the range of services you can offer your customers. It’s inexpensive and you’ll have immediate access to an external team of experts who appear to be under your brand umbrella.
  • Independent contractors: You can also take on more clients and provide more services with the help of flexible independent contractors.
  • Modular Plans: Attract anxious customers by offering more flexible and modular plans; offer pay-as-you-go models or pay-as-you-go service listings in your plans.
  • Long-term relationships: Prioritize your long-term customer relationships above all else. Make your clients happy any way you can and keep them invested in your agency.

This is not a guaranteed recipe for long-term digital marketing success. But it will help you differentiate your agency in a market that is full of viable competing companies. Spend time addressing your strengths and weaknesses and customize your approach based on your unique agency profile.

Related: Why Digital Marketing Strategies Are Imperative to Drive Startup Growth