In today’s world of smartphones, tablets, and other new technological advancements, digital marketing presents the opportunity to grow your business substantially–and even exponentially. However, due to the sheer amount of information available through online channels, it will be important for your business to be strategic about its digital marketing tactics. Unless your business already has a creative in-house marketing team, you may want to consider allocating an ongoing marketing budget with a digital marketing and advertising agency. These companies have the necessary resources and tools to promote your business online and increase your leads and conversions using various methods that optimize your digital assets.
Choose The Right Digital Marketing Agency For Your Business
However, keep in mind that not all marketing companies will possess the same level of industry standard expertise to bring significant returns. Finding the right digital marketing and advertising agency will require some online research as well as phone and in-person meetings to determine the best fit for your particular business’ needs. Throughout your search, you’ll likely come across many agencies that will claim to have the required skills and experience in digital media and content. However, you’ll need to determine if these claims can be backed by key strategies and results for overall ROI by meeting with potential marketing professionals before agreeing to any contract. Because digital marketing can be a costly investment, it’s essential that you get it right the first time.
With all of this mind, how does a business begin the process of outsourcing their digital marketing efforts? It starts with knowing that you want to grow your business by appealing to online users. Then, ask yourself questions that will guide you towards both the right marketing strategies and company. Doing so will help you see eye-to-eye with the agency you choose for your efforts. This will also make it easier for potential digital marketing professionals to understand your business’ KPI’s and goals for future campaigns and provide relevant examples. Also determine whether or not you’ll need a full-service digital marketing plan or just assistance with a few delegated tasks and projects.
After you’ve determined your marketing requirements, the next step should be finding the right digital marketing agency to hire. For this, you will need to assess various aspects and qualities that act as indicators for competence. This is necessary, unless you want to experience the pain of losing money and time to unscrupulous marketers who use ineffective or outdated tactics.
Regardless of the size and type of business you have, here are the qualities to look for in a quality digital marketing and advertising agency!
No. 1: Stellar Company Website
The quality of a digital agency’s website will showcase their level of expertise. Be sure to peruse their website pages while paying attention to how they present their services. Do they provide substantiated client testimonials? Do they make it easy for potential clients to contact them via desktop or mobile? Do they ask for information about your business? Because you will potentially be relying on this agency to improve your online presence and attract leads, the marketing agency in question should have a website optimized for these very same reasons. How’s their SEO success? Their website should be discoverable through a search on Google.
Check to see if the website is easy-to-navigate, too. Is this design of the website custom and streamlined, or does it look templated and outdated. Also pay attention to the website’s written content–is it updated and current? A savvy digital marketing agency should have a modern website complete with the necessary tools and widgets to increase traffic–such as a user-friendly design and interface, a blog with fresh and relevant content, working conversion tactics, and more.
No. 2: Ability To Use the Tools-of-the-Trade
Digital marketing involves the use of various tools and platforms for development as well as key metrics to track user behavior and engagement. For example, a solid SEO strategy will include analytics and reports that offer demographics and other important information concerning your target audience, so your business can track the success of different campaigns and marketing efforts. A competent marketing agency will be open about the tools they use, while those who aren’t confident about their abilities will try to hide them from you.
Before you commit to hiring a digital marketing company, ask them about what methods and techniques they use and their experience with these tools in terms of results and client satisfaction. Some common industry platforms include Google Analytics for SEO, MailChimp for email campaigns, Sprout for social media marketing, and more. Consider researching some of the digital marketing platforms out there before approaching a marketing company, so you can determine which ones might be most efficient for your business’ objectives. Familiarizing yourself with certain tools will also help you decide whether or not an agency is able to provide you with the valuable marketing data and results you need.
No. 3: Reasonable Prices
While there are no set prices for digital marketing strategies, you can weed out the agencies that cannot be relied upon to offer quality services. These are the companies that offer surprisingly low rates for so-called “quality” services. Most of the time, you get what you pay for, and low rates can equate to marketing services that won’t bring the expected results. However, you don’t necessarily want to be overcharged for digital marketing efforts that don’t bring a solid return for your business. Be sure to ask for a breakdown of all costs and projects, as you would with any other service-based company.
Another way to gauge the competence of a marketing company is through the promises they offer on their website. The results of digital marketing take time and ongoing efforts to deliver traffic and leads, but a dishonest agency will promise immediate results. If you come across a company that claims it delivers immediate returns and increase in sales from their digital marketing programs, do not contract them. When you are meeting with potential marketing professionals, be sure ask about a timeline for each project and/or campaign. A reputable agency will give you a solid answer and be able to explain why with facts, figures, and examples.
No. 4: Diverse Fields of Expertise
The right digital marketing company comprises a team of experts in different fields of digital marketing. To avoid falling for the Jack-of-All-Trades agency, find out more about the professionals in their company. Chances are, they will introduce their team on the company website. If not, you may want to ask about the team of professionals who will be handling your digital marketing services and campaigns as well as the roles and experience of individuals within that team. The fields of expertise to look out for include: web design, content creation, SEO, social media marketing, video marketing, and more.
A diverse marketing team ensures that professionals with specialized knowledge will be collaborating on all of the necessary marketing tactics to leverage your business online effectively. You will avoid situations in which a website design specialist steps in to manage social media campaigns, or an instance in which an email marketing expert handles SEO tasks and reporting.
No. 5: Approachable and Dedicated
Keep in mind that for a successful digital marketing strategy, it’s in your business’ best interest to choose to work with an agency long-term. This approach calls for a partnership that’s both professional yet personalized to your business’ overall messaging and goals. The company you choose to work with should be composed of marketing experts with excellent communication skills. Throughout various projects and campaigns, it’s important that your business remains updated when it comes to progress and briefed on the various strategies being implemented to promote your business. Above all, you want to work with a digital marketing and advertising agency that is organized and communicative about your company’s marketing portfolio.
Unless the agency maintains a culture of excellence when it comes to customer relations, partnership with them could turn out to be stressful. You can easily get an idea about how a possible partnership will work and function from the very first meeting. Evaluate the communication between you and the company from the moment you contact them for business. Are they prompt in their responses to queries? What’s the tone like? Do they care to advise you on the best way to go about the process to promote your business? Only invest in an agency that offers you proper communication and support.
No. 6: Flexible and Honest
Before making a final decision about a digital marketing agency, be sure to find out more about the strategies they use to promote a business. Ask them what they do if a strategy doesn’t provide optimal results. Are they flexible enough to adopt new tactics that come up in the world of digital marketing? Avoid hiring an agency whose strategies are set in stone. This is because the world of digital marketing is ever-changing, and while one marketing trick might work for one type of business, it may not for another.
While flexibility is necessary within a marketing company’s practice, it’s also necessary that an agency remains honest. Keep in mind that some marketing agencies out there resort to blackhat marketing tricks when compliant strategies don’t seem to bring quick results. Avoid these types of agencies and approaches to marketing at all costs since they will ultimately lead to losses for your business. Be sure to ask a digital marketing and advertising agency about the specifics of their processes when implementing strategies and campaigns for their clients.
No. 7: Adequately Experienced
While experience doesn’t always equate to competence, longevity can definitely indicate expertise and quality when it comes to any service expert. A company that has been in the marketing industry for a long time will most likely understand the evolution and growth of the industry and can easily tell what methods will market as opposed to those that will fall flat due to experience. A deep well of experience will also increase the probability that the agency has worked with a business similar to yours currently or in the past. It can also mean that a digital marketing agency is able to promote both big and small businesses within a wide range of industries and provide optimal results. To gauge a particular agency’s level of experience, you may need to conduct research both online and offline. Ask around for information from friends or even family members. Look at the company’s portfolio to see the companies they’ve worked with previously.
Choosing the right digital marketing agency can be a tough task for a business of any scope. By keeping the above pointers in mind, your business will surely choose a partnership with savvy marketing professionals that will grow your online presence and digital assets. If you have any additional questions about what digital marketing strategies your business ought to be utilizing or what a custom digital marketing plan comprises, don’t hesitate to contact our team today with your queries at (805) 413-7893!