Digital marketing agency: Filtering out the wrong clients

Digital Spotlight is a digital advertising and marketing agency that started very differently from its competition. It thinks differently, too.

Very differently.

That’s why they were worried they wouldn’t find a copywriter who would get them.

“I wanted our different perspective to show in the copywriting,” says Ash Aryal, co-founder of Digital Spotlight.“Potential clients could speak to five SEO agencies, and the constant feedback we’d get was ‘You’re not like any of these other guys’. We wanted website copywriting that reflected that.”

“The copywriting on our website was ‘me too’,” continues Ash. “We weren’t getting the right clients because our copy didn’t reflect who we are, our own personality.”

The need to reach a different quality of client beyond referrals was what spurred the 10-year-old agency to search for a professional copywriter.

“What happens in the SEO and PPC industry is that 99% of agencies got into it for bullshit reasons. They did it to make some extra cash because they read some blog posts about SEO or AdWords,” says Ash.

Ash didn’t start Digital Spotlight as an agency at all. He co-founded it with his brother Anish purely to hone the SEO and AdWords for their own businesses. It was more of an accident that they started taking on other clients impressed by what the brothers had achieved for themselves.

Unsurprisingly in the circumstances, their website was more of an afterthought.

For reasons that will become apparent below, it’s in Ash’s nature to gather data to make a decision. He wrote a qualifying email to send to a few professional copywriters. The questions ran from the first — “Who have been your greatest influences in writing copy and why?” — to asking about time zones and logistics.

“I wanted to make sure that the person we hired resonated with our philosophy so they could resonate with our personality. That was the main reason for the email.”

Copywriting for an SEO agency website

Calibrated copywriting to highlight the Digital Spotlight difference

Going through the replies, Ash had a firm favourite: Taleist.

Our quote was the highest of the five Ash received. They narrowed it down to three. The easy choice would have been to choose the quote in the middle, but Ash approaches business too rigorously to make an important decision as randomly as that.

"I liked that you would put so much into the research,” says Ash. “I know that's what’s needed to get to know a business.”


Copywriting by the numbers

Our copywriting process starts with talking to clients about their business, their clients and their competitors.

We found out quickly that Digital Spotlight was unlike most advertising agencies. It isn't packed with creatives; it's packed with mathematicians. That insight, which was nowhere on the company's existing website, became the key that unlocked our angle on the copywriting.


Talking to (previously) unhappy clients

Digital Spotlight’s clients were quick to talk to us about their experiences with other agencies. It confirmed Ash's view that his best clients are those who’ve already been with another agency — those clients are primed to appreciate the Digital Spotlight difference.


Calculating the point of difference

Nowhere did Digital Spotlight's marketing tell prospects that Ash and his co-founder are graduate mathematicians. Nor did it explain that they use proprietary statistical modelling in every campaign.

But maths is the language that Google, Facebook and other platforms speak.

To have an agency that works the same way as Google and Facebook is a massive competitive advantage to clients. We built the copy around this genuinely unique selling proposition.


Who the hell advertises on Bing?

Clients told us how much they valued Digital Spotlight’s plainspoken advice and their willingness to say the hard things.

We gave their copywriting a similarly no-nonsense tone of voice — like in the headline on their Bing ads management landing page:

“Who The Hell Advertises On Bing?”

70% growth in the US business is the US website for the company’s LA-based business.

"I really enjoyed working with Taleist on the US site,” says Ash. “The US has been responsible for 70% of our growth since we opened here.

“I liked the fact that you're humble enough to say, ‘Here's what we think and here’s why, but we’re open for suggestions.’ I really liked the idea that you're willing to be empathetic and open enough not to presume that you get us. But from your first email back to me after you’d finished your research, I was like ‘okay, they get it’. You were really good.”

The start of a beautiful friendship

Many of our referrals come from other agencies that have relied on us to do their copywriting. Working together on their websites can be the start of a long relationship collaborating with them on great outcomes for their clients.

That’s what’s happened with Digital Spotlight, which has referred us to their clients across Australia and the US.

They’ve also told potential Digital Spotlight clients they can’t do anything for them if the client doesn’t work with us first — because the client won’t benefit from Digital Spotlight delivering more traffic if the client doesn’t have a website that can convert those leads with persuasive copywriting.

It’s that kind of frankness — the willingness to turn away businesses they can’t help — that makes Digital Spotlight a completely different kind of digital agency.

Could the right copywriting bring out your point of difference?