Maybe you’re an ideas person looking to make a career switch into the bright, bold world of marketing.
Or, perhaps you’re an industry veteran with the burning desire to forge ahead and start your own agency.
Either way, working in marketing can help you develop mad skills–and be exceptionally fun.
There are a myriad of types of marketing agencies out there just waiting for you to bring a fresh, new perspective and your brilliant creative potential.
I’d be remiss if I didn’t start off by saying that when it comes to choosing a type of agency to work with, I’m more than a bit biased. I mean, I do run one of the best copywriting agencies on the planet, afterall (see, there’s that bias coming through).
But, seriously. Copywriting agencies are where all of the fun is.
Every single business on earth needs copywriting (and let’s not forget content writing) in some form.
And every time you’ve purchased something, there’s been copy behind it. From Ford Trucks to that fuzzy crocheted hat on Etsy, every purchase ever made has been driven by some type of emotion. And that emotion? It’s all in the copy.
Plus, agencies of all other types employ writers.
Yep. Every agency on this list has paid someone to write some kind of copy or content.
So, if words are your thing and you know how to connect deeply with an audience to compel them to take an action, feel a certain type of way, or make a purchase, working at a copywriting agency is probably your dream job.
Come on, we’ve all seen MadMen, right? *cough*
(Ok, maybe not everyone’s seen MadMen. I’ll be honest here and say I’ve never actually seen even a single episode, but I’m told I’d be absolutely enamored with the show.)
But, I’ve worked with plenty of advertising agencies.
Ads agencies are a mixture of the analytical, technical, and creative–and advertising agencies can be either traditional like billboards, mailers, or in-store ads, or digital, with PPC ads on Facebook, Instagram, Google, inside apps, and virtually anywhere online.
If you’ve got a show-stopping or scroll-stopping creative spark, if you like crunching numbers and analytics, and if you know what makes people tick (and then click), apply to your nearest advertising agency and live happily ever after.
Public Relations Agencies
Oft-forgotten, public relations (PR) agencies help establish your brand’s reputation–and then handle it for you (which is especially useful if things get out of hand…but let’s hope they don’t).
PR can take many forms: pitching press releases to publications, getting magazine features, landing TV, radio, or podcast interviews, and even securing thought leadership bylines on major outlets.
Working at a PR agency, you could handle brands, bands, media personalities or other celebrities, and even government entities.
And no, those “you can get your brand featured on CNN guaranteed!” so-called PR firms (usually) ain’t it, pal. If you’re looking to venture into PR, avoid agencies that promote unscrupulous, tricky tactics.
So, if you know how to get someone to take notice and are passionate about protecting a brand’s image, a PR firm might be on the top of your list of types of marketing agencies to work for.
Know what’s wild to me?
There are a lot of people who don’t consider an SEO agency a type of marketing agency. But search optimization is absolutely a form of marketing, and possibly one of the most important things a brand can do when it comes to visibility.
I mean, think about it. When you’re looking for information, you’re turning to search engines. In fact, that’s probably how you got here.
SEO agencies are where the big-brain stuff happens. Everything about SEO is constantly changing. Algorithms are in a perpetual state of change. Google decides they like one thing, and then suddenly moves the goal post. If a brand isn’t partnering with an SEO agency that’s virtually up-to-the-moment with what’s going on in the industry, they risk falling down the SERP black hole.
An SEO agency is the type of agency for someone who likes to use both sides of their brain and likes to research, A/B test, and tweak–a lot.
Oh, and someone who’s really into the technical aspects of websites.
If that sounds like you, working with an SEO agency could be your digital goldmine.
Influencer Marketing Agencies
One of the newest types of marketing agencies, influencer marketing has absolutely captivated the digital world.
If you’ve ever wondered how influencers get paid (and paid well) and how influencer campaigns reach millions of people and turn brands into legacies, the brains behind the scenes are most often an influencer marketing agency.
And this type of marketing is not for the faint of heart.
The stakes in influencer marketing are HIGH.
Influencer marketing agencies–at least the most effective ones–need to be intimately familiar with the industry, the market, social media trends, how to differentiate between a fraud and a ‘real’ influencer, how to ideate, structure, and implement campaigns, and how to measure ROI.
And ROI with an influencer campaign is no joke.
Do you know how to measure sentiment analysis? Do you know how hard that can be?
But, if you’re up for the challenge of crafting end-to-end influencer marketing campaigns and you’re into the combination of advertising, PR, content creation, and analytics and reporting, you’re going to absolutely thrive at an influencer marketing agency.
Digital Marketing Agencies
Digital marketing agencies are a kind of “catch all” for types of marketing agencies, because no one thing defines what a digital marketing agency does, except the fact that it’s digital.
But typically, a digital marketing agency will include a multitude of services. In fact, it’s not unusual for this type of agency to include every type of digital marketing on this list, offering a turnkey service.
Then, there are digital marketing agencies that only choose a few specialty areas.
The best thing about working for (or starting) your own digital marketing agency? You get to dabble in a ton of different marketing techniques.
The biggest downfall?
Sometimes when you’re focusing on too many types of marketing, it’s hard to become known for just one, and you can more easily blend into the noise of all of the digital marketing agencies out there vying for business.
Either way, if you’re a jack of all trades and you want to gain experience in a lot of different areas of marketing, a digital marketing agency career is probably a good fit for you.
Traditional Marketing Agencies
Traditional marketing isn’t dead. Not even close.
Every time you leave your house you come face-to-face with some kind of traditional marketing, whether it’s a samples kiosk at the grocery store, a buy-one-get-one deal at the shoe store, a community event sponsored by your local dentist’s office, a flier left on your windshield about a store special, or even the direct mailers in your mailbox.
While the world is going digital (who are we kidding, the world has already gone digital), real-life interactions do still exist, and many brick-and-mortar businesses still rely on tried-and-true marketing tactics.
If you’re old school and know that tangible, in-person marketing still works–and you want to add your own fresh flair–get your foot in the (actual) door of a traditional marketing agency.
Social Media Marketing Agencies
If you’re a social media expert, know what stops the scroll, how to make something go viral, and how to build actual, genuine connections, you can find your dream job at a social media marketing agency.
Social media marketing agencies specialize in–you guessed it!–social media. But working on social media isn’t as easy as scheduling Tweets and liking Instagram posts all day. Social media marketing takes a strategic and creative mind–and one that’s forward-thinking and innovative.
Because just like SEO, social media algorithms and trends are always changing. What was hot yesterday might not be tomorrow, and people often mass-exude one platform for another. And what’s more, not everyone’s target market is on a singular platform. A social media specialist needs to know how to attract and connect with an audience, how to build relationships, and how to convert casual scrollers into loyal customers.
Social media marketing agencies often specialize in a specific platform (like TikTok or Pinterest) while others are experts at social media as an ecosystem. An understanding of consumer psychology, a dedication to constant research, adaptability, and creativity are all absolutely crucial to a successful social media campaign.
Sound like a good fit? There are literally hundreds and hundreds of social media marketing companies looking to hire fresh talent to help create and manage campaigns.
Content Marketing Agencies
Content marketing isn’t new, but the concept of a content marketing agency is.
Content marketing is different from other types of marketing in that the main goal isn’t sales: it’s relationship building, brand development, user experience, and brand awareness, so that when a consumer is ready to make a purchase, they’ve already decided that they like and trust a brand, and then the sale is made.
This type of marketing has become one of the most effective and desirable.
Two main reasons:
- The internet is made of content. People want information before they make a purchase. You know that AIDA framework? In-depth, worthwhile, helpful content is what A-I-D is made up of.
- Consumers are developing “ad blindness.” Studies show that you see up to 10,000 ads per day. Companies that focus on providing real, actionable value to consumers rather than just sticking them with the “buy, buy, buy” of yesteryear’s marketing are building real relationships and establishing brand authority.
A content marketing agency creates SEO content, media such as infographics, social media graphics, videos, ebooks, lead magnets, quizzes, and may even offer services such as podcast creation.
If you like to combine strategy, brand positioning, and content creation, and have a keen mind for research, content marketing could be an ideal career.
Video Production Agencies
The internet has made a massive shift towards video, from long-form video sales letters to explainer videos to short-form entertainment clips. Video can be part of virtually every type of marketing, and is in high, high demand. Video is becoming a crucial part of SEO, content marketing as a whole, and future-forward advertising.
If you’re visually driven and have the skills to create high-powered video content, you can find work at a video production company.
No visual skills but love the industry?
Video agencies routinely hire other creatives and script writers, too.
Did you know that there are specific types of agencies that work on branding–and only branding?
Branding is far more than a font and a logo, and is the core of marketing.
Successful branding agencies take a deep, analytical approach to developing, voice, visuals, messaging, positioning, and helping brands communicate their values and purpose. A branding agency helps create the sentiment felt by consumers when interacting with a brand.
Many companies start by hiring a branding agency to solidify their brands before partnering with other marketing agencies.
If you love consumer psychology, if messaging makes you tick, and if you love a fresh slate, your calling could be within a branding agency.
Branding agencies and design agencies are not the same thing, contrary to popular belief.
There are various types of design agencies, from product design and UX/UI design to marketing collateral. Design agencies create visual communications, whether public facing or for communications within an organization.
The people who work at a design agency tend to be the type of people who can take a 360º approach to a project, think ten steps ahead, and can identify opportunities that others might miss.
Branding agencies often hire anyone from UX specialists to graphic designers to project managers. If that sounds like your jam, get familiar with this kind of agency.
Experiential Marketing Agencies
Take this from someone who spent seven years of their life working in marketing for the music industry: this type of agency is fast-paced, super competitive, and your schedule can be all over the place (after all, so many events happen on the weekends or at night, so be prepared).
All of that said, events and promotions are one of the most dopamine-driven types of marketing there is–and it is massively fun.
There’s something totally magical about that first time the stage lights come up at a concert, and then the audience starts singing in unison. I don’t even know if there are words in any language to describe this feeling. And everything that leads up to that moment is meticulously strategized.
The distance between the bathrooms and the stage? Mapped with precision. The design of the lanyards? Planned. VIP lounges and upsells? Shuttles to the event? Cross-channel promotion? Interactive activities? Yep. All of it is absolutely steeped in strategy.
And experiential marketing goes far beyond the music industry, although it’s what the majority of people associate with experiential marketing.
This type of agency may create interactive installations, samplings and demos, public service projects, UGC collaborations, and any other branded experiences that create a positive brand association.
If you’re passionate about stimulating the senses, bringing people together, and creating memorable experiences that help shape a brand’s lifelong perception, dive headfirst into experiential marketing.
Choose the Type of Marketing Agency That Plays to Your Strengths
Constantly analyzing advertisements? Do you find yourself picking apart commercials? Do you feel like you’re “immune” to marketing–but make a point to patronize brands that really resonate with you? Working in marketing might be one of those “do what you love and you’ll never work a day in your life” kinds of scenarios.
Whether your strengths are in content creation, ideation, technical knowledge, messaging, visuals, storytelling, analytics, project management, or a deep understanding of nuance and finely-tuned intuition, choose the type of marketing agency that aligns with your strength and sparks a creative fire inside of you.
Marketing isn’t for the faint of heart, but it’s for those who know that the heart of business is creation and connection with consumers. If that strikes a chord with you, we’d all love to welcome you into the wild, beautiful, bold world of marketing.