There are so many digital marketing agency options available. But how can you pick the one that will get the best results for your business? Read these tips.
There are tons of digital marketing agencies out there. You can find them in your community, then there are the really big national firms that get lots of recognition and still others that function entirely remote.
So with so many options available, how can you ensure you select one that will get the best results for your business? Follow this 10-step process to find the most reputable, results-driven digital marketing partner to push your business forward.
Finding a result-driven digital marketing agency requires several steps. Don’t expect to sign contracts quickly because this process should take several weeks if you do it right. Be patient and invest the time necessary to find the very best.
Managing separate agency relationships for design, content, strategy, online marketing, SEO, etc. will be overly time-consuming. Plus, separate agencies make it challenging to know where your success and failures are coming from.
Selecting a full-service digital marketing agency will provide the best chance for success. Just make sure they are actually talented in the various service areas and not just selling the service because they can.
Evaluate what services you need or predict needing in the next several years. Then begin your shortlist of agencies to look deeper into.
Some companies post a portfolio. Others write case studies that demonstrate how they helped companies just like yours go from mediocre results to great success. Review these materials to see if it sounds like the company really knows its stuff.
What you’re looking for is a company that listens carefully to each client’s needs and builds out a strategy that is right-sized based on budget, resources, lead quality, etc.
If you can’t find these materials but like what you see generally speaking on the company website, you can request some data about campaign success or ask for references.
If you know someone who has worked with the marketing agency this will be a great way to learn more about the company. Otherwise, you might need to ask for references to learn more.
Ask the clients how easy the agency is to work with. While you want to focus on results, you also want to know that working with the company is enjoyable. Some marketing experts are brilliant and know all the right things to do to help a company gain valuable leads or convert website visitors into customers. But that doesn’t mean you want to work with them because you could face serious challenges or incompatibility in working styles.
Online reviews often are only from those who have an outstanding or extremely poor experience with the company. Because of that, you can’t put too much weight on online reviews, but they will help you understand some trending topics related to working with the company, such as customer service, price, effectiveness, etc.
If nothing else, the customer reviews will give you a good starting point for discussing any questions you have with the company. Write down some things you see in the reviews to ask the agency about during your initial consultation with them.
A well-established agency is a far safer bet than one that has just recently started. And in some cases, you might need to be worried that the company owner is more of a freelancer and could drop your account to go back to a corporate job at any point.
Look for an established agency that is clearly committed to what they do. That’s not to say that freelancers are bad, but if they just get started, they might find that the work doesn’t suit them and that they need the stability of corporate work again.
For smaller agencies, you should also review the backgrounds of the main team members. This will help give you a better concept of their areas of expertise and how many years they’ve been doing that work. Many agency workers have impressive backgrounds in large corporate settings that have equipped them to help companies of all sizes grow through online channels.
Since you’re looking for a digital marketing agency, you should have high standards for how good the agency’s website is. Online marketing is the agency’s expertise and it should show in an impressive, high-quality website.
Visit various web pages and see how quickly they load. Think about how easy it is to take the next step with the company using a button or menu item that encourages you to get in touch or schedule a consultation.
You want to see clear calls to action in the right places to show that the agency knows how to create a website that results in new business.
At this point, you’ve probably gotten as far as you can with online research. It’s time to meet with the company to see what you think of them and their services. Ask plenty of questions during this phase and don’t be worried about sounding silly or asking a dumb question. This process is designed to allow you the opportunity to really dig in and get to know the agency and its offering.
This conversation is specifically for you to get a feel for the company representatives and how they do business.
If you’re interested, ask for a proposal. Try to only ask for proposals from agencies you’re serious about considering. Creating a proposal is time-consuming and requires that the agency put forth its most creative strategies. It means more time for you in reviewing proposals and busywork for the agency if you aren’t seriously considering them.
Ideally, you’ll get no less than 2-3 proposals from digital marketing agencies. This will give you a good comparison point to see what each agency is recommending to ensure your greatest chance of success in improving your online presence.
As you review proposals, try to focus less on cost and more on strategy and how well the agency listened to your needs. You can add or remove services as you need to for reaching a certain budget. But no amount of money will change how creative and unique a digital marketing agency is. Some proposals might look like all copy and paste of standard services regardless of the details you shared about your company and your goals. These likely won’t be the most successful partnerships for you.
Now that you’ve had some interactions with the agency, evaluate how easy communication is with them. Is communication timely, friendly and focused on service?
Discuss the easiest ways to reach your agency representatives. Some will work on the same instant messaging platform you’re already using or jump right into your project management software. Others might require that you use their platforms of choice.
Once you have a good feel for the agencies on your shortlist, you’re ready to evaluate the price. While this is certainly not the most important factor, you still have to consider your budget.
For best results, choose your agency based on results instead of price. You can start small with fewer services to see if you get increased leads and new business to justify the cost. But focusing only on price will likely mean you select a cheap agency that isn’t nearly as good and won’t deliver enough value to make up for the cost of their services.
New Light Digital is a full-service digital marketing agency. We’re honest, straightforward and easy to work with. Schedule a free consultation now to learn more.