If you’re looking to build brand awareness, increase traffic, and experience more leads to your website, investing in a digital marketing agency is the way to go.
But just like every other industry, there is a dime a dozen for the number of digital marketing agencies that are out there. Finding one that suits your business’ needs, works within your budget and has your best interests at heart can be challenging.
Therefore, it’s essential to know what to expect when looking for an agency, the red flags that tell you it’s a bad deal and the questions to ask them. Combine them all, and you’ll find the agency that works for you.
What Should You Expect From A Digital Marketing Agency?
Firstly, it is a good idea to know what to expect from a digital marketing agency. They’re entirely different from traditional agencies that focus on conventional streams of marketing, such as TV, radio and print media. Digital marketing agencies are purely digital in their approach. In most cases, the agency will offer the following services:
- SEO, also known as search engine optimization. This is crucial for building brand awareness and helping your rank higher on Google searches. The higher you rank, the more leads you’ll get.
- Content marketing, which is the best practice for maximizing content on your website to generate interest, build authority and increase user traffic.
- Social media, which includes managing, posting and communicating through social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. It can also include social media advertising.
- PPC, also known as Pay-Per-Click. This is the most standard advertising method online, where customers click on online adverts to take them to your website. Every click on the advertisement will cost you.
- Branding, which includes everything from logo design to full-blown business building. Branding is essential when it comes to developing your business and having a consistent tone and message for it.
While each agency will vary on the number of services they offer, they must provide these basics to some degree.
The Red Flags To Avoid
Narrowing down your search for an agency can be easier if you can detect the bad ones from the start. These are the most common red flags to notice:
- Cheap-looking websites and little social media activity: what kind of digital marketing has an ugly website and no social media activity? The bad ones. If they don’t have time to make themselves look competent and professional, what makes you think they’ll do it for you?
- No track record: sure, everyone starts somewhere. But it’s still important to know if the agency has a history of successful campaigns behind it. Or if they don’t, at least offer you the opportunity to deal with them.
- Poor communication: if the agency is terrible when communicating with you, it means they’re going to be terrible when communicating on your behalf. Professionalism, timely responses and a standard structure for meetings with clients are huge pluses.
What To Ask The Digital Marketing Agency?
To determine if the digital marketing agency is for you, it requires you to ask them the right questions. These seven questions can lead to more questions that will ultimately help your decision:
Do you have experience? How long have you been in the business?
Learn about the company’s expertise in the field, read about their case studies and look up references and reviews. Their reputation will have a significant impact on whether you choose them or not.
What kind of ROI can I expect?
You’re paying money for their digital marketing services. So what should you expect in return? Ask for projections based on your business goals and see what they can offer you in terms of service. Does it include SEO and social media? What about branding? If they lock you down to a specific ROI, it means they’ve done their research on your business and industry.
Are you specialists at something in particular?
Some digital marketing agencies are experts in SEO, while others focus on social media marketing or branding. How focused are they in their areas of expertise? While it might be tempting to hire an agency that can do it all, see what your goals are and what services will work best. You can narrow down your search if you do.
What KPIs do you measure?
Key performance indicators are vital for the success of any digital marketing campaign. You want to know if the agency has a proven system in place where they will measure the KPIs you need for your campaign.
What reports can I expect? And how often?
Progress reports are valuable to see if you’re getting your money’s worth and if the agency is reaching your KPIs. See how they will inform you about your digital campaign and how often (monthly, quarterly, annually?).
Do you outsource your work, or is it all in-house?
Outsourcing work doesn’t mean that you’re getting inferior work; it’s just another route for a business to take in regards to their management. But are their outsource partners, reliable contractors or freelancers? Who will be managing your workload – the in-house team or the outsource team? Make sure you ask them who will do the work and if they hold up the company’s standards.
What are the contractual terms and conditions?
Be direct when it comes to the contractual agreements in place. There is nothing worse than locking into a contract where you don’t know enough about it. Ask about how long the contract is for, how payment works, what are the renewal and/or cancellation options and what to expect if work isn’t received.
Hiring The Right Digital Marketing Agency Takes Time
Digital marketing isn’t a natural field to be in. Think of all the work that the marketers have to do just to stay in touch with their competition while ensuring that clients achieve their business goals. Digital marketing is a multi-pronged, continually evolving, and complex industry. You, therefore, have to be opened-minded and aware of what you’re asking for and from who.
As you begin your search, keep in mind your specific needs and take your time with your search. You want to find an agency that works with you on a trustworthy and long-term level, is compatible with your brand and has the proven track record that you want. Remember that you’re building one of the most critical business relationships there is, so make sure you do it right from the start.