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Your Guide to Hiring The Best Digital Marketing Agency

Nov 15

Your Guide to Hiring The Best Digital Marketing Agency

 

Many small-business owners and entrepreneurs struggle to manage advertising and marketing while still managing their business's day to day operations. Digital marketing requires a sophisticated understanding of different channels and platforms. This is something that many business owners are not equipped to do well.

 

The decision to hire an outside company is one that shouldn't be taken lightly. In fact, hiring a digital marketing agency is a difficult task. In order to maximize your marketing ROI, you will be entering into a partnership. And while it takes some work to find the right match for your needs, there is so much potential to grow your business if you know what to search for.

 

Key Considerations When Preparing To Hire A New Agency

 

Digital marketing is a key component of your overarching marketing strategy. Consequently, it is vital to select the right partner to build your audience,  tell your brand story, and convert prospects into sales leads. When preparing to select an agency to support your unique business goals and objectives, we suggest taking each of the following factors into consideration:

 

  • What is your primary objective and how will you measure success? Prior to investing in any marketing initiative or business venture, it is essential that you know what your end goal is. It does not matter if the goal is to increase sales leads or brand awareness. Don't be vague. Be specific. Instead of saying "I want to run Google Ads" or “We need to be more aggressive across Social Media”, identify actionable items like "I want to increase website traffic" or, "I want to significantly increase our quality sales leads." In order to find the right company for you, it is important to ensure clarity and alignment around your business and financial objectives.
  • How quickly are you expecting the agency to meet your success metrics? Some marketing strategies yield a fast ROI while others take more time to become effective. As an example, while SEO can be incredibly powerful and profitable it is a marathon not a sprint.  If you are expecting your SEO campaign to begin yielding results within two weeks you’re likely setting your campaign and agency up for failure.  Alternatively, pay-per-click campaigns such as Google Ads can begin delivering leads quite quickly.  A quality and experienced agency will be able to guide you toward a solution that aligns with your expectations.
  • Is the agency you are considering experienced in your industry? An agency experienced with successfully delivering results within your industry will likely understand best practices that can quickly yield a strong return on investment.  They will also have a better understanding of your target clients and the messaging that will attract and convert new business.
  • Does the agency build unique campaign strategies specifically to meet your objectives?  While it may be more profitable for an agency to rinse and repeat the same strategies across all clients within the same industry, it can also cause campaigns to underperform.  The best agencies will be aware of best practices within your industry, but will take the time to understand your business and build a custom campaign that is intentionally designed to meet your unique goals and objectives.
  • Does the agency have a clear record of success? Visit their website to view case studies. Then ask for examples of their work. Another clear indication of a reliable agency is their customer portfolio.  If other well-known businesses and brands are entrusting the agency with their marketing investment it is a good sign that you can rely upon them as well (it may also let you now if they are working with any competitors). You should check online reviews and testimonials to confirm the expertise of a potential marketing company you are considering. A well-respected marketing company will have many positive reviews, and will not hide them. 
  • How visible and transparent is performance reporting? Effective reporting is key to establishing a strong relationship with your agency. A solid track record in reporting can be a sign of transparency between an agency and its clients. Further, it is important to understand if an agency is reporting against meaningful KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) or if they are only tracking vanity metrics. Vanity metrics are numbers that may seem important but do not directly correlate to driving bottom-line revenue for your company. 
  • Is the agency focused more on your budget or your ROI / ROAS? Lower fees from a digital marketing agency do not always correlate with a better deal. Look deeper if an agency quotes you a ridiculously low price. Ask them to be specific about the scope of services they will provide.  More importantly, a quality agency should help you build a realistic view of what they will be able to deliver for varying budget amounts, allowing you to make an educated business decision before you make an investment.  And, the best will underpromise and then delight you by overperforming.

 

When producing results is critical for your business, hiring a new digital marketing agency can seem somewhat daunting. However, if you follow the points outlined above you can significantly increase the probability of hiring digital marketing agency that is reliable, cost-effective, and trustworthy.