Want to know how to create a killer digital marketing strategy? We talk to director of Dash of Milk agency, Bronte Cresswell, to learn her top tips, tricks and advice.
Building a brand or business doesn’t happen overnight, and without the right tools or team behind you, creating a cohesive digital marketing strategy can be incredibly overwhelming. This is where agencies like Dash of Milk come in. The Sunshine Coast-based digital marketing and social media agency specializes in bringing brands to life, and boosting them to be the best they can be.
Offering everything from social media, branding, and graphic design to paid campaigns and email marketing, Dash of Milk are experts when it comes to nailing a brand’s identity and messaging. Since launching in 2019, the agency has cultivated an a-team of specialists with over 18-years of combined experience across digital marketing, social media, PR, advertising and more.
With a knack for beauty, lifestyle, and hospitality marketing, they’ve created stunning, on-trend branding for boutique brands such as The Smooth Society, Baesic Skincare, and Scotch Bonnet, and have even launched their own branding podcast – Talking Dash.
We chatted to Dash of Milk founder, Bronte Cresswell, to learn how she built the thriving agency from the ground up, as well as her top tips for creating a killer digital marketing strategy.
Dash of Milk is a digital marketing agency designed for businesses who want a comprehensive long-term, multi-channel digital campaign approach. We build brands and businesses online for our clients. Our in-house team includes a project manager, email marketer, Facebook ads specialist, photographer, branding designer, training manager and sales manager. We also work in SEO with our industry partners.
Our purpose is to partner with business owners to achieve their goals. We do this through focusing on not only conversions, but also their industry impact and community, which supports long-term success. We are selective with who we work with to ensure we can help them effectively, but also to build trust with a base of clients who we enjoy working with.
I was working for another agency, but felt I could have more of an impact in the industry. While I was figuring out my next move, I decided to do some freelance social media management. Fast forward six months, and we were growing so quickly that I needed to hire help (at my kitchen table, mind you). When it came to choosing a name, I wanted a common phrase which I could turn into a brand, and I loved the way #DotheDash and ‘Team Dash’ all came together.
From there, we launched Dash of Milk Agency, built a strong base of national and international clients, and defined ourselves as a respected agency in the industry. Many people told me it wasn’t the way to go, but I’m proud I took the leap.
The initial phase for us is always ‘onboarding intensive’. This is our chance to deep dive into a brand and business. Our clients understand their brand better than anyone else, so while we can bring digital marketing expertise to the table, we want them to know we appreciate and respect that every business and brand is different, and that our approach is customized.
Once we understand their brand on a deep level, we run an internal client brand session to discuss the next steps for the business, and define the strategic approach. Each member of the team then identifies the assets needed – from websites and graphic elements to photos and copy for Facebook campaigns.
Our activation session with the client then allows us to present these assets and explain the strategy behind each element, and set a campaign launch date.
Once a campaign is live, we oversee them and our clients receive monthly reports and meetings, along with a more intensive quarterly strategy review sessions. This way, we ensure all goals align with the movement of their business, and we can be transparent in our results and approach. We are partners in the progress of their growth.
I love the initial phase, which is also my biggest ‘trick’ when it comes to creating successful digital campaigns. This is where we define their brand foundations, which are made up of audience, messaging and objectives.
Many businesses don’t define these foundations properly before launching, or have been running so long they haven’t revised them in years. I love the process of pulling a brand apart, and getting clients excited about their brand again.
This is also my number one tip for creating a killer campaign – if you aren’t laser focused on what you’re saying, why you’re saying it, and who you’re saying it to, you’re just adding to social noise and will struggle to make an impact with your brand.
Later is my favorite for planning and scheduling – it’s a comprehensive program for all sorts of social actions. For reporting, we love Reporting Garden for its easy-to-understand dashboards and presentation of progression and results. For design, we of course use the Adobe Suite.
At the moment, we’re loving working with beauty and hospitality brands. This is mostly to do with the aesthetic nature of these industries, which aligns well with the digital space.
Working in digital marketing can certainly have its challenges because we need to utilize third party apps such as Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, etc. At times, we’re at the mercy of ever-changing algorithms and new update roll-outs.
Understanding that every brand and business is unique, defining their USP (unique selling point), and making sure it’s communicated effectively.
Your content should sit somewhere between your target market and your brand. It’s important to make sure you represent your business, while also appealing to your audience. Both of these are crucial for a successful social campaign.
We’re loving creatively utilizing carousels to naturally increase engagement. We have also jumped onboard the pop-culture meme trend with some clients, which has gone really well for their campaigns.
Instagram Reels and TikTok videos have also become a huge part of our strategy this year. We try to stay highly authentic to a client’s brand, and focus on the ‘purpose’ behind the content – whether that be entertainment or adding value – rather than just jumping on a trend to check it off the to-do list.
First, focus on defining your brand foundations, and diving as deeply into them as you can. They may not be the sexiest part of your social media strategy, but they are by far the most important.
Knowing exactly what ‘on-brand’ means for you will transform your business!
Next, focus on establishing the most effective and engaging way to communicate those messages with your audience. This can depend on what types of content you’re creating, and which platforms you’re visible on.
Building our brand has not been an easy task. There have been plenty of challenges along the way – from the impact of the pandemic, to difficult clients and team changes – but it’s all been worth it in the end.
While building a digital agency can be fun and creative, my advice is to be aware that it’s a business that comes with a lot more responsibilities than just creating. My words of wisdom would be to just go for it – it’s an extremely fun industry with potential for you to grow in any niche or area you’re interested in.
Start by writing down your dream business goals, and focus everything around working toward them. Having a clear focus is crucial, as it can be easily lost in the digital world.
Next, review your competitors and brands that inspire you. Note the things you like about them, as well your points of difference or opportunities that aren’t being taken.
Lastly, don’t be deterred by the long-term commitment of building a brand. Consistency is absolutely crucial, but if you stay focused on your goals, business foundations, and create content which aligns with these, you’ll get there!