Ashlee Sierra

Fun fact: At the time of this writing, I have never met any of my coworkers face-to-face. They could all be 10 feet tall and I’d have no idea.

That’s because, as a content writer, my work happens virtually. It’s incredible — until someone wants to visit my workplace.

Unfortunately, I can’t give you a tour of my desk. What I can do is pull off a little marketing miracle of my own to create a behind-the-scenes look at what a digital agency actually does, how we craft content seemingly out of thin air and why I’m convinced I work with some of the coolest people on the planet.

Here’s an insider look at marketing agency roles and how they come together to make magic for every client.

Marketing Agency Roles- A Behind-the-Scenes Look infographic

What Is a Marketing Agency, Anyway?

Before we get into the digital agency tour, let’s take a look at what we’re actually walking into (metaphorically, of course).

A marketing agency is your partner in all things marketing. We help you develop a brand story and then, better yet, we help you tell it. Here are a few FAQs about our work:

What Does a Marketing Agency Do?

The short answer is everything.

The long answer is that a digital agency like Brafton helps design, structure and deploy your marketing strategy. It begins with conversations where you tell us who you are and how you want to connect with customers. We brush up on all your business development goals, product and service specifications, client personas and other key details — and then we get to work.

Exactly what we do will depend on your needs, but it’s safe to say that we can pull off just about anything. From content marketing and project management to graphic design and user experience (UX) improvement, we help you engage with your client base in all the right ways.

Whether your goal is to grow your business, improve your ranking on search engines like Google and Bing, create a brand personality to share with your audience or just navigate the constantly changing world of social media, we’re here to help.

How Is a Marketing Agency Structured?

All marketing firms have slightly different structures. Not to brag, but I’m pretty sure the one we use at Brafton is the best.

That’s because we’re put into teams based on what we have to offer each client. (You didn’t hear it from me, but we actually put on the Brafton Sorting Hat to decide which Marketing House we’re in.) You’ve got your creative team, project manager gang, account management squad, web designer crew, the up-and-coming “marketing technologist” crowd — the list goes on.

This structure is key because it helps us organize tasks that pass through multiple teams. For example, an idea may start when the account manager has a discussion with a client. That idea is sent to the creative team to be outlined by editorial experts and illustrated by a graphic designer — a process carefully overseen by a project manager. Next, a web designer performs some tech wizardry and a marketing manager takes a final look to align with the client’s business development strategies. Voilà — you’ve got a well-written, beautifully illustrated infographic live on your website.

Marketing Agency vs. Advertising Agency vs. Branding Agency

Because there are so many related terms in the brand promotion lexicon, it’s helpful to take a look at what a digital marketing agency is and what it isn’t.

A marketing agency or content marketing agency is just like Brafton — a team of experts planning, creating and distributing content to tell your company’s story.

An advertising agency focuses more on advertising, which differs from marketing in a lot of ways. Basically, an advertising agency is all about paid channels, like a billboard beside the freeway or a promoted social media post, while a marketing agency generally creates content that your audience finds organically (like your website or blog).

Finally, a branding agency helps you develop your brand approach. That might have more to do with your overall business strategy than with social media content, graphic design and user experience, so a branding agency is usually a different type of partnership.

Take a Peek at These 7 Marketing Agency Roles

Now that you know who we are, it’s time to get your digital marketing agency tour underway. Just pretend I’m leading you across a grand campus, complete with a cereal bar and full-size posters of all our best infographics, and I’m pointing to different offices as we go. No flash photography, please.

Here are just a few roles that make a modern marketing team tick:

Content Writing

That’s right: I had to start with my own creative team. This is officially a shoutout to my linguistic luminaries, my writing wizards, my content creation crew — we’re the ones who juggle word choice, sentence structure, brand voice and keywords to create assets your client base will love.

All personal bias aside, content writing is a key marketing role. Although plenty of other teams support us behind the scenes, it’s our words that ultimately present your brand, ideas and calls-to-action (CTAs) to customers. Creating positive associations and encouraging client interaction are just two of the vital goals assigned to any piece of written content; every choice we make on the page is designed to help reach your business development goals. Of course, we also use search engine optimization (SEO) best practices to make sure search engines like Google love your content as much as your audience does.

Here are some of the things we content writers can help bring to life:

  • eBooks.
  • White papers.
  • Infographic body content.
  • Interactive quiz content.
  • Email campaign content.
  • Video scripts.
  • Meta descriptions.
  • Title tags.
  • Blogs.
  • Social media posts.
  • Case studies.
  • Landing pages.

Simply put, content writers give your brand a voice and help tell your story. They also bring you on secret tours of the entire agency while the other teams aren’t looking (no need to thank me).

Video Creation

Video creation is near and dear to my heart. As a former filmmaker myself, I have a great appreciation for what this creative team can accomplish in just a day or two.

Led by an expert who really puts the “creative” in “creative director,” the goal of any top-notch video creation team is to create content that engages with your audience in rich, exciting ways. Whether they’re doing a location shoot, creating a Pixar-worthy animated short or putting together an eye-catching GIF, they’re all about putting your ideas in the spotlight.

Better yet, video has a significant role to play in your overall marketing strategy. It’s not just a fun way to play with new visuals and imagery — it’s also an effective tool for product demos, process explanations, client testimonials and more. Plus, when paired with a landing page written according to SEO best practices, a well-made video can help draw organic traffic to your website — but more on that later.

Graphic Design

I’m putting my cards on the table here: I have no idea what these guys do. I give them an infographic outline and a few hours later they’ve created a piece of artwork that’s somehow clearer and better-looking than real life. What sorcery is this?

Seriously, though — this creative team has my utmost respect. Each graphic designer juggles colors, brand iconography, written content and artistic best practices to create assets that make your company come to life for audiences. They tell your story using truly unforgettable visual metaphors and creative structures.

I probably don’t need to tell you how important graphic design is to your digital marketing strategy or to a marketing agency like Brafton. From CTAs that really catch your eye to stunning logos that you’d be proud to have on every wall of your home, this creative team really knows how to knock it out of the park.

Social Media Management

According to Pew Research Center, 72% of U.S. adults use at least one social media platform. That’s a lot of potential customers. Luckily, a social team can help navigate Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, Snapchat and every other platform the kids are using these days.

Of course, a social media manager doesn’t just deal in hashtags. They also know how to craft a post that will encourage users to interact with your content, share your ideas and expand your brand’s reach. For example, they use terms like “post frequency” and “social listening” that, while somewhat baffling to a humble content writer, are key elements of a strategy that helps turn viewers into customers. They also work with the graphic design and writing teams to create content that is totally share-worthy.

Perhaps more importantly, a social media manager can also help you speak the language of each unique platform. That means knowing what works best on Twitter, what’s not going to fly on Facebook, how to find business-to-business (B2B) customers on Snapchat and more.

Marketing Strategy

Remember when I told you about how a landing page could support video content with a little help from SEO? Or how content writers use SEO best practices to help your blogs and other assets rank more highly on search engines?

That’s all possible because of a content marketing strategist.

These are the experts who research Google algorithms, organic traffic potential, search volumes and more. They provide target keywords to help inform my content writing. They even help each social media manager identify the best way to position content on platforms like Twitter, where the keyword game is all about hashtags. We wouldn’t be able to do impactful marketing work without them.

Project Management

Every creative team faces due dates, client-provided collateral, target keywords and subject matter expert (SME) interviews. To keep things organized, most digital marketing teams lean on a project manager — an account executive assigned to each client. This person is responsible for making sure all the moving parts in a digital marketing team are well-oiled.

Take, for example, the creation of an eBook. An example workflow looks like this:

  1. The project manager schedules interviews so the writer can learn from client-provided SMEs.
  2. Then, the project manager makes sure the writer is able to finish their work on time.
  3. After the editing and proofreading stages are complete, this hardworking project manager then moves the content over to a graphic designer, who needs access to all the right brand collateral to get the job done (another job for the project management team).
  4. Finally, this person oversees on-time and on-budget delivery to the client, and everyone goes home happy.

Account Management

Last on our tour (but certainly not least) is the account management team. An account manager or account director acts as the facilitator and guiding light between digital marketing teams and client stakeholders.

Imagine an account manager like a duck. This duck is leading a bunch of ducklings behind it — and each one of those babies represents a content writer, graphic designer, video expert or social media manager. The account manager’s job is to make sure we all make it across the street in an orderly line (and that no one gets distracted by any shiny objects).

Marketing Magician Spotlights

Here at Brafton, we believe marketing is about people. As such, I didn’t think it was quite right to give you a list of marketing roles and never introduce you to the folks making things happen.

So here they are — the magicians behind a few of our most important marketing agency roles:

Sam Oxley, Graphic Designer

When I said I was amazed by the work of our graphic design team, I was talking about everyone — but especially Sam Oxley. She’s a delight to work with and an inspiration to those of us who couldn’t draw a stick figure if our lives depended on it. An artist at heart, Sam’s work is a great example of how one creative team’s efforts can encourage and support others.

Dan Haverty, Senior Writer

As writers, we’re often told to “write what we know” — and for Dan Haverty, that’s quite a lot. He has a background in international relations, where he picked up on all the things a content writer needs to engage with readers on a deep level. He also picked up some Irish, which, unfortunately, has never made it into any of the content I’ve worked with him on.

For an example of Dan’s writing in action, look no further than Sam Oxley’s bio, linked above.

Meghan Jones, Senior Project Manager

Meghan Jones may have gotten her start as a Pack Leader at the Pooch Hotel, but now she’s a leader right here at Brafton. In her role as Senior Project Manager, Meghan provides creative teams with much-needed support and structure. She helps ensure that we’re reaching our full potential — and she somehow manages to do it all without getting distracted by her adorable dog Bruno (a truly incredible feat).

Meet Your Marketing Match

Every business has a “marketing match” — like a soulmate, but with more SEO. I certainly didn’t give you this whole behind-the-scenes look at Brafton to convince you that we might just be your marketing match, if that’s what you’re thinking. I’m just really excited to share some of the marketing agency roles that make my work — and the work of everyone in the business — possible.

Unfortunately, we don’t have a gift shop. Of course, if you’re looking for a souvenir to remember your time on this metaphorical tour, you could always subscribe to our newsletter. In the meantime, keep an eye on our Life at Brafton blog section for a chance to meet more marketing magicians!