According to Ad Age, the majority of ad agency business is now digital. With competition in the sphere growing and technology constantly changing, many marketing agencies are looking for new ways to diversify revenue streams. Relying too much on one large account or one type of work puts many agencies at risk, and diversifying revenue is the best way to plan for a more stable future. Keep reading to see how innovative marketing agencies are diversifying revenue streams.

9 Ways to Diversify Revenue for Marketing Agencies

Marketing agencies can diversify revenue streams in many ways. Some agencies are embracing the digital age and finding new ways to serve customers and make revenue online. New technological needs are constantly developing and the marketers who fill these niches first and best are poised for fast upward movement. Other agencies are changing their business models and dividing up traditionally packaged services to serve a wider variety of businesses with different budgets and sizes.

As you consider diversifying revenue streams at your marketing agency, consider the challenges that technological changes have presented your customers (and the opportunities they present for you), as well as services you might offer individually to bring in more clients.

1. Reputation Management

From Comcast to United Airlines to Facebook, damaging scandals and poor customer service are problems almost every company faces at some point, especially in the age of viral videos. While most Fortune 500 companies enlist the help of dedicated public relations experts, many smaller companies look to marketing agencies for reputation management online. Dedicated reputation management can take many forms, and marketing agencies don’t have to surrender their ethics to dip into this diversified revenue stream. Consider the following strategies to help diversify your revenue streams with digital reputation management.

  • Helping new businesses build a positive reputation by gathering reviews and asking customers for testimonials
  • Creating high-quality case studies and testimonials for promotions
  • Building a marketing strategy to address customer service problems or react appropriately to negative events
  • Building a platform to receive and promote testimonials and user generated content

Learn about adding testimonial collection to your marketing agency’s services ›

2. Education

Running a successful digital marketing agency in a fast-paced technological world requires a wide range and depth of skills. Many marketers hesitate to give away too much, fearing other agencies or businesses will steal their secrets. However, lending your experience for a price can be a way to diversify revenue and build your own reputation as an industry authority.

Paid educational content may include ebooks, seminars, webinars, templates, training manuals, courses or guides. Remember to make these different and more in-depth than guides or downloads you would offer for free as lead magnets, and be sure you are targeting the right audience. This market may not have the budget yet for a marketing partner, but an information ebook or guide can show them how they can get started on their own, as well as why it’s important and what experts can offer.

3. Creative Assets

If your creative team makes high-quality digital ads, banners, photos, brochures and other assets in a short time frame, consider offering this service individually to diversify your revenue stream. Businesses with an in-house marketing team often work with freelance photographers or designers that don’t always understand their vision like another marketer would, and can benefit from your team’s expertise.

4. Affiliate Links

When you’re relying on your website to bring in your own marketing clients, it’s difficult to think of surrendering any space to affiliate advertising. However, with strategic placement, you can do both, and offer even more value to your website visitors. Consider placing affiliate links on areas of site that get a lot of traffic, but provide few leads, such as the following;

  • A list comparing the best marketing software tools.
  • A resources page with the products or software you use.
  • A tutorial section on how to use a particular service or software.
  • A list of helpful, instructional marketing or business ebooks.
  • A list of marketing, tech, or artistic bloggers you follow.
  • A company culture page listing efficient, ergonomic, or environmentally-friendly products you use in your office.

5. Proprietary Solutions

Between the millions of apps, plugins, software packages and web services available, there are a lot of solutions out there, but not all of them are good. If you’ve developed your own app or piece of software to solve a problem, odds are others have the same issue and could also benefit from your solution. Take a tour of your proprietary solution and ask yourself what changes or updates you could make to use this as a diversified revenue stream. It may be as simple as making a short, instructional blurb and adding your app to the Google Play Store.

6. Strategy

Some companies don’t know where to start when it comes to digital marketing and others need a fresh look or new ideas. Use your knowledge of the latest marketing trends as well as the tools you have to make forecasts and add marketing strategy to your list of services. Remember that you are free to make this as general or detailed as you like, including digital advertising planning, pricing forecasts, long-term or short-term strategy, web redesign suggestions and outlooks, or any services you offer.

7. Advertising Management

Digital advertising is one of the most dynamic parts of digital marketing, and many businesses don’t know where to begin. Though they may have a suitable website and a working marketing plan, making, executing and managing digital ads is a challenge for businesses across all industries. If you already have the tools and expertise to develop and optimize digital ads, this is a valuable diversified revenue stream you can offer.

8. Social Media Management

Most businesses now accept that social media is a part of their business and it isn’t going away, but many do not know how they can use social media effectively. If you have social experts on staff that learn about and adapt to new industries well, then social media management is a valuable way to diversify your marketing agency’s revenue.

9. VAR Programs and Affiliates

Value-added reseller programs are especially useful for marketing agencies and an extremely viable way to diversify revenue. Agencies may make changes or additions to software like Hubspot to make it a perfect fit for a particular industry or customer, and Hubspot provides bonuses to these marketing partners. Other businesses like Constant Contact and Moz offer affiliate bonuses to marketing agencies that refer clients to their software.


Diversifying revenue streams makes marketing agencies more profitable and more sustainable in the long-term, but it can also build industry authority and even generate more leads, if executed correctly. Consider your services, employees’ talents, current customers, and all of your assets carefully as you decide how to diversify revenue streams in the future. You may have hidden revenue streams right now you never realized.

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Posted in: Conversion Optimization, Reputation Management