How to Choose the Best Digital Marketing Agency For Your Business
Over the past five years, the average amount of time spent online daily has only continued to increase. Mobile devices, tablets, laptops and desktops are always within an arm’s reach. People spend their days searching Google, on social media, and reading reviews. Everyone is online, for hours each day. If you are not using a digital marketing agency as part of your strategy, then you are ignoring a ton of untapped potential.
What to Expect When Working with a Digital Marketing Company
A digital marketing company would be a company that focuses on improving a business’ online presence. That could include generating leads, acquiring new reviews, ranking them on Google, and running different ad campaigns. Digital marketers usually sell the following services:
- Search Engine Optimization
- Online Reputation Management
- Website Design & Development
- Social Media Marketing
- Google Pay Per Click Ads
- Remarketing & Display Ads
- Youtube Advertising
Why Work With an Agency?
Many local business owners simply don’t have enough time to run their business and pay attention to all of their marketing. In addition, real search engine optimization and digital marketing takes a lot of time and needs to be completed by an expert.
That’s where the agency steps in. They handle everything the business doesn’t have time to, and because they are experts at doing so, the business can see gains and revenue.
Which Agency is Best For Your Needs?
Finding an agency that you want to work with can be a difficult task. But we’ve laid out a checklist to guide you on some things you can ask or have in place when the time comes to make sure you are making the right decision.
Let’s get started!
1. Know Your Budget
Money is always a tough subject, especially when what you are purchasing isn’t necessarily tangible, at first. When you do choose an agency and digital services, you want to make sure you can afford what you are spending monthly, and you are going to get value out of it.
It is important to also understand that real search engine optimization and digital marketing does take a lot of time and effort. Someone who tells you they can do it for $100 – $200 per month is unfortunately not giving your business the attention needed to properly perform.
If you choose strictly based on price, or you choose the cheap option, you will be getting cheap SEO, and will not be getting a quality service.
2. Know What Your Goals Are
Many times, when we ask a business for specific goals when we are signing them on, their response is something along the lines of, “get us as much business as possible.” It’s best to have more tangible goals. So telling an agency more specific goals such as, “if we could get an additional 10 clients per month from our website or social media,” would be a great goal to start with.
Knowing how much your average customer is worth to you is important, as well. When we do get more business for you online, we can figure out the value we are bringing in on average.
3. How Do You Want to Divvy Up the Work?
Do you want your marketing partner to handle everything online so you can focus on running your business? Or would you rather they only take on certain parts of your online strategy?
Make sure to think about who you will have in your business be their point of contact. Communication is key, especially at the start, so choose someone who can maintain proper communication with your marketing partner on a regular basis.
Often, we see business owners who know they need a better digital marketing strategy, but when then they sign on, they are too busy to work with us, resulting in a bottleneck for performance. It’s extremely important to have a dedicated point of contact in your business who can get your business information over to your marketing partner and answer or approve anything they might have for you.
4. How Many People Will You Be Working With at the Agency?
In many agencies, there are different departments for each service that is provided. Once you sign on as a client, you will be transferred from the sales department to the production department.
Sometimes there will be one representative who handles your account and sometimes, depending on your services, you may work with other people within the company. For example, you might have an account rep, but you might also be in contact with the social media manager if you are running campaigns on Facebook or Instagram.
Be open with your agency if you are okay with talking to multiple people within the company or if you would prefer to only have one person of contact for all of your needs. Sometimes businesses like to know who exactly to contact for specific questions about services, and sometimes they prefer to keep it as streamlined as possible. Be open about your preferences!
5. What Does Their Onboarding & Ongoing Processes Look Like?
Knowing what to expect for a timeline is always helpful when shopping for a new marketing agency. A general process would look something like this:
- Introduction & Get to Know
- Proposal & Presentation of Services
- Campaign Launch
- Ongoing Optimization
When you look at an agency and how they pitch and provide their services, there are a few key things to look out for before you sign the contract:
- Be sure that they take the time to understand your business. No two businesses are the same. Each is run differently and has different goals. They should be learning as much as possible about you, even before giving you a proposal!
- Make sure they are only pitching services you need or that they think you can benefit from. You don’t want to be sold a package that doesn’t make sense for your business.
- Hiring an agency that is open and honest about your success is extremely important. Ask for transparent reporting that you can get regularly.
- Lastly, make sure you have someone that works with you. Marketing partnerships work best when the client and agency are both involved and working together to reach goals.
6. Check Out Their Online Presence
You want to make sure the agency that you’re going to work with has a good reputation overall. Check out their online reviews on Google and other review sites to see what past clients are saying about them.
Don’t let one or two negative reviews scare you away. Most agencies will have negative reviews, but you want to make sure the overall expectations were met, and businesses had good experiences working with the agency.
7. Are They Transparent in Their Services & Reporting?
When you choose a digital marketing agency to handle your business online, you want to make sure they are going to be open and honest with you about the work that they are doing and if your campaigns are performing.
Many agencies offer monthly reporting and some even offer platforms where the stats on your traffic and conversions update regularly so you can check your campaigns at any time.
If this is something that is important to you, (and it should be) then make sure to ask the agency you are meeting with about what platforms they use and how often you can view or receive your website analytics.
8. What’s Their Experience With Digital Marketing?
You want to make sure you are working with a team of experts when it comes to digital marketing services. Many times you will find someone claiming that they can perform when they have only been doing SEO and digital marketing for about a year. This is also where you will usually find the cheaper prices.
You do not want to hire someone who is experimenting at your expense.
Do your homework. Hire a business that has a good track record, a variety of clients, and case studies that back up what they are saying to you.
9. Do They Enjoy The Work They Are Doing?
When you talk to your potential agency, can you tell that they legitimately care about the work they are performing and about helping your business grow? Many companies claim to be all about the client, when unfortunately sometimes they do not put the clients’ needs first and don’t even enjoy their job.
Make sure you feel like they know what they are talking about, and that they care about making your campaigns successful. When you have a team of marketers that truly cares standing behind you, the only way you can go is up!
Let’s Face It, You Need a Digital Strategy
The truth is everyone is online these days, and that’s how potential customers and clients find local businesses. When was the last time you actually looked through the YellowPages?
Local companies that are not focused on making themselves look great online are making a huge mistake, especially when their competitors are focused on it. Don’t fall behind! The importance of a digital strategy will only continue to become more of a need.