Published on February 15th, 2022 | by Sunit Nandi0
Choosing a Digital Marketing Agency
Making a decision to hire a digital marketing agency is easy, but the real challenge lies in deciding which agency to hire.
Nowadays, anyone with an internet connection and the right tools can create a website and start offering services as an entrepreneur. There is hardly any barriers to enter this kind of industry. Which leads us to the challenge of choosing the right digital marketing provider.
There are, however, a few things that can help simplify the decision-making process. In this article, we will be covering what you need to look for, things to avoid, and how you can make the most out of your digital marketing services provider.
Let’s get started.
Be clear with your goals and desired outcomes
Let’s admit it: every business is different. The same thing can be said of digital marketing agencies as well.
These agencies are usually proficient in one or two areas. And although many of them claim to be ‘full-service’, they usually accept projects that are within their specialty.
The first step, therefore, in choosing the right digital marketing agency is to understand what your goals are and what you hope to accomplish by hiring one.
You can easily break this down into deliverables, the goal of said deliverables, and the outcome you hope to achieve. When you know what you want, you are able to communicate what to get out of the project.
When you are able to communicate what you want to an agency, they can tell you whether they can actually help or not. This way you don’t end up wasting your time or theirs.
Below are some examples to get you started.
Example #1: A company blog that works automatically
Let’s pretend that you’re looking to hire an agency to help you create a content marketing system. You eventually want a blog that constantly runs on autopilot and requires no work from you.
- Deliverable – a fully-managed content marketing system, plan and strategy.
- Goal – bring more of the right visitors to your website with your high-quality content.
- End Result – a blog that is 100% managed by someone else.
You can use the information provided as a guide to help you look for companies that fit the bill. Because you know exactly what you are looking for and you know how to communicate your expectations, it will be easy for you to filter out which agencies are capable.
Example #2: Training Your Team on Viral Videos
Perhaps you’re interested in creating several marketing videos you can use on social media and on your website but are clueless on how to do it or where to start.
You’d definitely want someone to guide you through the process.
- Deliverable – a number of on-brand marketing videos and corresponding visual assets.
- Goal – talk about your new offer in a fun and attractive way for your audience
- End result –a finished product and the expertise required to do it on your own.
The next step would involve you actively looking for digital marketing agencies that can guide and coach you through it all. Coaching is a more hands-on approach, and not all marketing agencies can provide this. This is why it’s very important to identify your goals and desired outcomes before you take the next step.
Characteristics of Great Digital Marketing Agencies
Now that you understand what your goals and desired outcomes are, it’s time to talk about what makes a digital marketing agency excellent.
It is important to look for these characteristics when you go through the process of deciding on an agency to work with. These will help you filter top-notch service providers from those who say they are the best without any proof to back their claims.
1. A decent-sized portfolio and list of past clients
Small-scale digital marketing agencies are always proud of the clients they work with and the work they do. They also usually display their partnerships for everyone to see.
There’s no need to know who their previous clients are (but it’s also a plus if you do) But if they can’t provide you with a list of previous clients or examples of their work, this might mean they haven’t actually worked with anyone.
This might be okay if you’re on a budget, but if you’re looking for the best marketing agency, then this is unacceptable.
2. Experienced team members
No matter what type of services you’re looking for, it’s important to make sure that the agency you hire has the right team members for your project.
For instance, it wouldn’t make sense to hire someone to design a logo if they do not have a staff member that knows graphic design.
Check their website and see if they provide a list of their team members there. If not, you can check out LinkedIn. Start by searching for the agency’s name.
3. Social proof and a good reputation within the industry
Social proof includes testimonials and reviews from previous clients. These can give you an idea into what working with that particular agency is like.
In addition, smart marketers know how important displaying social proof on their website is. So, if you cannot find any, the agency may not be truthful about their previous clients, or they may not understand the industry as well as you think they do.
Apart from positive reviews, negative or impartial reviews can also give you an idea on what areas the agency is lacking with for you to understand their work clearly.
4. Similar core values and company culture
Take time to reexamine your company’s core values and culture. Why? Because it’s important that you work with a digital marketing agency that has the same values as and works in a similar environment as you.
Doing this gives you an assurance that they fit together and work well with your team. An agency is, somehow, considered an extension of your business. Choosing an agency with the right values and culture is equally important as evaluating the quality of their work. The last thing you want to do is be stressed from working with people who do not value the same things you do or operate in the same manner as you.
5. A well-designed website
Excellent digital marketers understand how important a well-designed website is, so if an agency and its staff is not executing internal projects properly, why would you expect them to create something better for yours? This rings true especially if they provide web development or design services.
So, check their website and trust your instincts. If it doesn’t feel right or is low-quality, you should move on to an agency that can provide you with better services.