When you’re planning to spend money on a digital marketing agency, you want to know that your money is going to good use. But, how do you find an agency you can trust?
Choosing a digital marketing agency to market your brand effectively can be crucial in creating a successful online presence. The right agency will help shape how your brand is seen and should provide your company with resources and guidance on effectively implementing your brand strategies. Read on to learn how to select an agency that will elevate your brand perception, boost brand awareness, and attract a stream of leads and loyal customers.
How to Choose the Best Digital Marketing Agency
Working with a good digital agency that specializes in quality marketing strategies is an obvious starting line. Knowing how to choose a digital marketing agency is essential in your search to find a digital marketing agency.
Why Use a Digital Marketing Agency?
Digital marketing agencies help leverage your company’s online presence by employing marketing tactics such as email marketing and SEO optimization to generate interest in your brand.
An agency will have the technologies, strategies, and talent to help you build trust with your audience and increase brand engagement. A quality agency will help you optimize your consumer experience by refining your focus and approach and adding value to your audience wherever possible.
What Are the Benefits of an Agency vs In-house?
Because the digital marketing landscape is constantly changing, keeping up with the latest trends and best practices is a full-time job. Digital marketing agencies make it a priority to remain up-to-date on the details that most companies don’t have time to learn about. The right agency will put the best strategies to work to build your brand’s online presence, expand your reach, track campaign results, and optimize approaches based on the data.
To match an agency’s talent, expertise, and power, a company would need to hire an entire department of employees. Leveraging an agency relationship is a smart move that saves significant time, money, and resources while helping your business grow extensively in a relatively short time.
At this point, you may be wondering how to choose a digital marketing agency that’s right for you. If that’s the case, keep your marketing goals in mind and read on.
7 Key Factors for Finding the Right Digital Marketing Agency
Let’s take a look at how to choose a digital marketing agency based on the agency’s attributes. Before committing to an agency, it’s nice to have a basic understanding of what to look for.
1. The agency wants you to sign a contract for a year or more.
Good agencies won’t try to lock you into long contracts. They’ll give you control over how long you work with them. Rather than holding you to a contract you can’t get out of if their marketing efforts aren’t working, they’ll instead do their best to deliver great results in order to keep you around.
Solution: Find an agency that doesn’t make you sign contracts you can’t get out of.
2. You don’t have a dedicated account manager, or you’re working with a call center.
Great agencies will pair you with a marketing strategist or account manager who oversees your business’s marketing success.
And, you definitely shouldn’t have to talk to a new person every time you call. When you’re looking for an agency, make sure to ask who will handle your account. If it’s one person, that’s great. If they’re running a call center, look elsewhere.
Solution: When shopping for an agency, ask if you’ll be paired with a dedicated account manager or marketing strategist. If not, move on.
There is often a trade-off between specialization and “full-service” one-size-fits-all agencies, i.e. the ability of an agency to deliver multiple services based on client needs at the time, or based on a larger, holistic strategy.
That does not mean that a given agency doesn’t excel at a wide range of services, but there are certain areas you may want to pay special attention to:
4. Testimonials, Reviews, and Case Studies
Of course, you should always look for proof. Lack of proof can be a red flag, although there are good, talented agencies out there who suffer from the “cobbler’s child has no shoes” problem, i.e. they are bad at doing their own marketing because they are busy serving their clients, or they rely heavily on word-of-mouth and referrals. Even these agencies, however, should be able to muster some kind of solid proof.
TIP: Don’t just rely on Google Reviews. Ask the agency to provide proof and examples.
5. A Focus on Metrics
Any good digital marketing agency should be focused on moving the needle for your organization, which means an emphasis on KPIs and metrics.
TIP: The agency should mention metrics and data on its website, proposal, and conversations with you.
6. Competency in Marketing Strategy
Digital marketing without a proper digital marketing strategy is wasteful and inefficient. While you may own that strategy in-house, there’s nothing worse than an agency that doesn’t understand or provide added value to your strategy. Marketers already have enough to do, and agencies should have strategists who are competent and helpful in following a marketing plan and meeting business needs.
TIP: The agency should list marketing strategy as a core competency.
Always seek to understand the value one agency may deliver over another – value is what matters most at the end of the day. For example, if one agency prices social media management (simply posting content and keeping track of social channels) the same as social media marketing (actually doing strategic work with your social media to bring in new business and pair with your SEO efforts), you shouldn’t take these two price points to be apples-to-apples.
TIP: Don’t buy simply on price – always consider value. Ask agencies to clearly explain the value behind their pricing.
Find a partner, not a service provider.
Keep these red flags in mind, and make sure to find a digital marketing agency that partners with you rather than offering a one-size-fits-all solution. This will save you money and time, and you’ll see better growth with an honest, transparent agency that is dedicated to your success.