Digital Hyve plots further growth, including plans for Buff…




Jeff Knauss (left) and Jacob Tanner (right), co-owners and co-founders of Digital Hyve. (Eric Reinhardt / BJNN Photo)

SYRACUSE — Digital Hyve, a Syracuse–based digital-marketing agency, has generated explosive growth since its founding in mid-2014, and the firm plans more growth in the year-ahead, including opening a new office in Western New York.

Digital Hyve has grown from $102,000 in revenue in 2014 to $5.2 million in 2017, according to Jeff Knauss, co-owner. And he’s projecting the firm to finish 2018 with revenue of $8 million. 

The company was recently ranked No. 52 on the Inc. 5000 list of the fastest-growing private companies in the U.S.

Digital Hyve, which had just two employees at the start — Knauss and fellow co-owner Jacob Tanner — has grown to a staff of 33 currently. It has 28 employees in Syracuse and five in Rochester, the co-owners say. The company plans on growing to 45-50 employees within the next year.

Digital Hyve expects to branch out further into Western New York by opening an office in Buffalo in the next six to 12 months, Knauss and Tanner say.

“We certainly do quite a bit of business already in Buffalo so that’s allowing us to be able to stand up an office out there,” Knauss says.

Digital Hyve has recently hired Eric Fuller as director of business development, based in Buffalo. He will oversee the agency’s business-development efforts companywide, including up and down the New York State Thruway corridor.

Fuller has been based in Buffalo “for a long time,” says Knauss. His previous jobs include working at Agency 720, handling Chevrolet’s advertising business, as well serving as a regional sales manager at Sinclair Broadcast Group, according to Fuller’s LinkedIn profile. 

Digital Hyve has already added some new Buffalo–area clients, based solely on Fuller’s relationships in the region, says Knauss.

Business focus

Digital Hyve focuses on digital marketing alone. That includes building websites, offering search-engine optimization (SEO) services, search-engine marketing, social-media retargeting, display ads, geofencing, email marketing, and more, according to Knauss. “What we like to say is we take a brand and a message and connect that brand and message to a very targeted consumer online,” he says.

The two biggest drivers of Digital Hyve’s revenue are social-media marketing and search-engine marketing (including SEO), according to Knauss. Ads on Google, Bing, Facebook, and Instagram are a big part of that.

Digital marketing is changing all the time — for example, Google and Facebook change their algorithms everyday — so agencies like Digital Hyve face pressure to track the changes to stay cutting edge and make the best recommendations to marketing clients for obtaining a return on investment.

How does Digital Hyve stay on top of these changes?

“A big way we stay on top of that… we are partners with Facebook and Google,” says Tanner. “Now we’ll get emails maybe the day before a big update comes out.” 

Digital Hyve will also get access to test out a new ad service rolled out by Google. The firm can then take that to clients and test it with them to see if it works or not, he adds.

Digital Hyve’s Syracuse headquarters is in a 7,500-square-foot office in the 100 Clinton Square building at 126 N. Salina St.

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