If you’re considering hiring a digital marketing agency, you’re definitely in the majority. There are more than 6,000 digital agencies in the United States alone that are helping clients hit their goals by providing a slew of content marketing services such as website redesigns and email campaigns.
Running a business is hard enough as it is. There is no shame in asking for help when it comes to promoting it. If you don’t quite have the time, manpower or experience to market yourself, hiring a digital marketing agency could be one the best business investments you make — if you choose the right agency to partner with.
Consider this: When assembling your staff, you didn’t just hire the first person who emailed you a resume or filled out an application. You took the time to get to know applicants and study their credentials to ensure they had the right experience, skill set and values alignment to fit in with your company goals.
Hiring a digital marketing agency requires the same scrutiny, as you’ll entrust these partners to handle everything from creating content to generating leads to building brand awareness.
Begin By Asking Yourself: What Do I Want From a Digital Marketing Agency?
Maybe you’re continually falling short of business development goals and looking for help finding quality leads. Perhaps your website needs a redesign. Maybe you want an SEO specialist to give you greater visibility online. You might work in a crowded industry and need some advice on how to rise above the pack.
Knowing what you want to work on is crucial when it comes to knowing who you want to work with. To make this process easier, we’ve put together a list of six questions every digital marketing agency should be able to answer.
1. “What Industries and Clients Have You Worked With?”
There’s nothing wrong with showing a little versatility. That’s a good thing — if you’re a plumbing company and you find an agency that works exclusively with plumbing companies, you’ll likely spot a competitor or two of yours on their client list.
Visit an agency’s website and read their blogs or case studies to get a better understanding of who they’ve worked with and what type of campaigns they’ve put together.
If they have little to no experience in your field, don’t simply cross them off the list. Ask what they plan to do to learn more about your industry, what interests them about it and how they can help you hit your goal. And look at the bright side — there’s a good chance they haven’t partnered with any of your rivals.
2. “How Do You Measure Success?”
The definition of success can vary from one person to another. Are you looking for better click rates on your emails or simply a wider profit margin? Are you looking for an SEO specialist to help you rank higher on Google?
Whatever your goals, make sure that you’re partnering with an agency that is going to work with you to achieve them. It helps if they use the same metrics that you do to evaluate short-term, long-term and overall success of the entire campaign.
3. “Who Will We Be Working With?”
When you’re hiring a digital marketing agency, you’re essentially hiring new additions to your company. They may not be working across the hall, but you’ll communicate with them regularly and entrust them with growing and marketing your business.
Before signing anything, arrange a meet-and-greet with a few of the writers, designers and project managers to see if their personalities, work ethic and approach syncs up with you and your team. And it’s also a good idea to agree on how often you’ll meet. Once a week? Once a month? Or will meetings be called only when you have questions and concerns?
4. “What’s Your Creative Process?”
No two businesses are alike — so it’s best to look beyond a one-size-fits-all approach to marketing. However, a successful agency has a tried-and-true method they use on every project — an effective process that has helped clients across a range of industries find success.
Agency employees should be able to tell you how they work through the creative process — from what you can expect during the introductory meeting, to how client reviews and feedback are handled, to how success will be measured.
It also helps to find out what work the agency will do in-house and what could be outsourced. For example, some agencies may have a team of writers — but hire freelancers to design and develop websites. Ensure you’re comfortable with the workflow schedule and guidelines.
5. “What Do You Look for in a Client?”
It’s important to remember that while you’re hiring a digital marketing agency, you’re essentially entering a partnership with a team who, ideally, has the same goals. You need an agency that fits your needs — but the agency needs to make sure you’re a good fit for what they do, too. Do they typically work with large companies or small ones? Do they prefer established brands or developing start-ups?
Just as you’re doing your due diligence in finding the right people to represent you, a good marketing agency needs to know whether its process and specialties will work well with what you want to accomplish. Otherwise, you’re both wasting time and money.
6. “Why Should We Hire You?”
This is what you really want to know, right? Just come right out and ask it. You may learn something the previous questions didn’t uncover, such as the agency’s origin story, or that their list of clients includes a company whose marketing initiatives you admire. Or perhaps they’ve had great results working in your industry and have insights from their experience to share. Their answer may make or break your decision to work with them.
The Right Fit for Your Business
To thrive in the digital space, a digital marketing agency is a must-have partner — and it pays to do a little legwork to find the right match. Choose a company that goes above and beyond for your marketing needs so you are getting fresh ideas and great service for your investment.
Find one with a full suite of services that includes web design, content creation and strategy, SEO, social media and paid advertising — all carried out by an awesome team devoted to helping you build your brand and smash your goals.