If you’re a small or medium business, you likely don’t have the time or resources to develop a full in-house marketing team. This is especially the case when it comes to digital marketing. Digital marketing demands a huge amount of specialist knowledge relating to fields from coding to writing to design, as well as specific platform knowledge for digital advertising channels and tactics like Google Ads, web design, SEO (Search Engine Optimization), email marketing, content marketing and more. That’s a lot for one person, or even two!
You may have a few people on your marketing team who are more than capable of handling overall strategy but may not have the specialist knowledge – or the hours in the day – to cover these channels themselves. Or you may not have the resources for any in-house marketing, and simply know that it’s an area you need help in!
Either way, that’s where a digital marketing agency steps in. How do you know they’re the right digital marketing agency for your business, though?
A digital agency should have the in-depth knowledge and experience to help you with everything from strategy to creative development to execution. They should also be able to clearly explain to you what they’re doing and align with your business plan to ensure you’re working towards the results you want.
Building a successful partnership with your agency can take time, but there are a few questions you can ask up front to make sure you’re with the right digital marketing agency for your business.
Here are our top 5 things to consider when choosing a potential agency partner:
Understand Your Goals and Your Budget
The first thing you need to have on your list is your goals. What are you hoping for from your agency partnership? Are you looking for a short-term campaign (e.g., 3 to 6 months) to get your business or a new product line off the ground, or are you looking for a long-term partnership?
What size is your market? Are you a local business looking to increase awareness and foot traffic in your specific area, or are you an online-only business that can easily service an international client base? Do you have a target number of sales or leads in a fixed time in mind?
When you understand your goals, you can set your budget. Having an allocated part of your business’s budget set aside for marketing is essential for growth. Pick a number that seems sustainable, and tie it to performance goals – e.g., if we achieve a cost per lead of X, we can distribute Y more budget to a campaign.
The Right Channels for Your Business
If you’ve had exposure to any kind of marketing department or agency in the past, you may have an idea of what channels and tactic you’d like to use.
For example, are you interested in SEO to build up your organic traffic? Email marketing to build and engage your user database? Paid Search to target people searching for terms that are important to your business’s bottom line? Social media, and if so, which ones? Is your brand’s audience more likely to spend time on Facebook or TikTok? Which ones influence their buying decisions?
Look back at your goals and consider your audience. An agency can also work with you to recommend channels and tactics to help you build your business in the direction you want it to grow.
Does the digital agency you’re considering have experience in your industry? If so, look at their previous clients and case studies, speak to them about their approach and evaluate how their approach has suited – or not suited – those businesses.
If they don’t, however, it’s not necessarily a bad sign. Agencies are by nature flexible, creative, and able to evaluate a new industry and competitor set with a sharp eye. In fact, by bringing a fresh perspective to the table, they may be able to see things that an agency used to dealing with a particular industry might miss.
Track Record of Success
What is your potential agency’s track record of success? Do they have previous clients who they can offer to you as references, positive testimonials and case studies? Ask your agency for their fields of specialisation – not all agencies work on all digital channels.
While newer agencies may have less to show in terms of references and testimonials, they should still be able to prove up-to-date industry qualifications and knowledge.
Transparency and Communication
Finally, don’t discount your gut feeling when you talk to agencies. Are they engaged when they speak to you, do they seem to understand your company’s products and values?
A good agency will take the time to sit down and discuss your business’s specific needs and give you an approach that’s tailored to your goals and budget. They should also offer regular, thorough reports, meetings and insights as a campaign progresses.
When you’re looking for the right digital marketing agency for your business, don’t settle for less than what you’re looking for. If an agency doesn’t feel like the right fit, reach out to a few more – whatever your goals, budget and requirements, the right agency is almost certainly out there.