How to Choose The Right Digital Marketing Agency?


January 07, 2021

In the present day and age, marketing has completely transformed the way it operates. The world as we know it has undergone a major shift, and the reason for this is the advent of digitization. Marketing, of course, is making sure to ride this wave of change. When we say marketing now, we mean digital marketing.

So, what is digital marketing all about? And how can you choose the right digital marketing agency that will put your business in the big leagues?

 

Why Work With An Agency?

 

As with everything in life, it is always easier when you work closely with experts. My experience says that every goal can be successfully reached with the right way of choosing the resources to accomplish it. I would like to share with you one of my favorite sayings below.

This applies especially when you have a digital marketing strategy to plan. This plan will depend on your audience. For example, if you’re targeting business executives, then you might want to get seen on LinkedIn.  If you’re targeting younger people, then Snapchat and Instagram are the places to be. And with Facebook’s 2.27 billion monthly active users who are spending an average of 41 minutes each day on the site, virtually every business can see ROI through Facebook ads. With new marketing tactics popping up every day, it can be tough for busy entrepreneurs to stay on top of the latest trends, figure out the best ways to use different platforms, and become a master in every area of digital marketing. 

That’s where hiring an agency can help your business. 

 

One of the major advantages of hiring a marketing agency is professional experience. Why piece together individual talents when you can hire an experienced marketing agency to handle everything for you? This allows you to focus on other areas of your business that you enjoy and do best, rather than spend weeks or months trying to find the right person to hire and train. A good agency will have specific knowledge in a wide range of industries and markets, along with experience facing a diverse range of scenarios and challenges never encountered by many newer business owners. It can be difficult to locate suitable in-house employees with branding and marketing skills such as SEO and graphic design. By hiring a marketing agency, you’ll not only have the necessary tools to achieve your vision for success but a suite of creative services at your fingertips.

For example, a full-service marketing agency can assist clients in everything from rebranding their company image and website, developing their direct mail campaigns, and creating a social strategy to boost SEO and PPC campaigns. With a marketing agency, a client may choose to utilize one service or all of them–whereas, with an in-house team, businesses are limited in what they can achieve.

A marketing team can add a new perspective into marketing efforts, helping to identify unseen opportunities and enhance current campaigns. One example is social media marketing. With more companies looking to broaden their social reach through platforms like Facebook and Twitter, a marketing agency can significantly enhance a brand’s approach to social media, including how they’re perceived by their audience.

In terms of adding new life to an aging brand, a great example is Old Spice. The marketing agency helped the male grooming company to create a fresh identity by combining clever advertisements with the smart use of social media. 

While deciding if hiring a marketing agency is the most suitable decision for your digital marketing strategy, think about the cost-effectiveness. The cost of hiring and maintaining a team of in-house marketers can be very expensive, especially for smaller businesses. For example, after hiring a marketing manager, web designer, graphic designer, content writer, and social media manager, the total cost can reach big sums. And that’s not even including the cost of employee benefits. Along with providing a breadth of knowledge, experience, and skillset, a marketing agency is almost always more affordable compared to hiring a full-time marketing team. 

 

What do Digital Marketing Agencies do?

 

How your company appears in the digital world is a large component of the success of your business. A marketing strategy is incomplete if it doesn’t address the digital channels. 

As for February of 2020, Statista reports a 13% increase in digital marketing budget compared to August 2019 (11.8%) in their study. This only goes on to show the importance of channels like social media, content, SEO, video, and more. 4.57 million people are on some type of social media. 50% of people are more likely to click on a particular brand name if that brand name shows up more than once on the search results. Only 7% of searchers will ever see the third page of search results. This data shows that as a business owner, you constantly have to struggle. Whether you run a large corporation or a small business, you are most often working around the clock to ensure the requirements for day to day operation of your business are properly met. Unfortunately, there are only 24 hours in a day and whatever your role is in the operation of your business, the last thing you want to do is worry about how your company is marketing digitally. 

With every passing day, some new changes come up in digital marketing. As a business, you might have time and resources but you might lack expertise. Or one of the other two. A digital marketing agency comprises experts in fields like SEO, content marketing, paid advertising, social media managing, video marketing, marketing automation coordination, and so on.

 

How to Choose the Best Digital Marketing Agency?

 

1. The Services Required

The first question you should ask yourself is: ‘Why’ do I need a digital marketing agency? What are my needs and what services I require? Is it paid ads? Or SEO, social media marketing, website optimization? Or do I want someone to handle my analytics?

Every organization will have different expectations and areas they need to improve on. Once you’ve decided on that, ask yourself if your in-house marketing team has the skills to take on these tasks? Or can they be taught? If you think they aren’t equipped with the necessary skill sets, it would be best to outsource an agency which will fulfill all your requirements.

 

 

With distinct visions of how you want your business to turn out, you can proceed to make a clearer choice. This is a critical process neglected by many and which in return gives adverse results.

 

2. The Budget

 

Ultimately, your mind drifts to the inevitable question: "What's all this going to cost me?" Most likely, when you engage a marketing agency as a partner, you will have some project-based costs upfront and retainer-based fees each month moving forward. Of course, these costs are dependent on a lot of different variables. So let's now jump into some factors that will determine how much it will cost to hire a marketing agency.

 

  • Your current assets

 

Each company is unique and that is why everything begins with identifying the current assets.

For example, a lawn care operator who is attracting 4,000 visitors each month and generating 100 qualified leads and effectively utilizes a CRM software and the formal sales process is in a much stronger position than a lawn care operator who just launched a new website two months ago and has no database of contacts. Each will have different needs from the outset and costs will reflect that.

 

  • The in-house capabilities

 

The cost of hiring a marketing agency is somewhat dependent on what you're currently doing in-house. Do you want your in-house marketer or marketing team to provide support to the agency? Or, do you want the agency to support your in-house team? There's a difference. If an agency is playing more of a support role then fees can be less compared to an agency that is playing the leadership role.

Some companies rely completely on an outside marketing agency and have no employees involved with marketing internally. Monthly retainer fees will be higher in this case, but ultimately, total marketing costs can be lower because there is no in-house staff.

 

  • Your goals and objectives

 

Your marketing budget will have to reflect on how aggressive you want to be.

Let's compare two very different goals:

Increase new sales by 40% over the next six months.

Increase new sales by 30% over the next 12 months.

It should be apparent that the first goal will require a more aggressive marketing approach and a larger budget than the second. That's just reality. There needs to be alignment between your expectations and what you're willing to spend. If a marketing agency utilizes a goal-oriented sales process these are the conversations you will have before agreeing to work with each other.

 

  • Scope of services

 

The scope of services your agency delivers is obviously reflected in your monthly spending. And many times this is impacted by your in-house capabilities. 

For example, a scope of services that includes 20 service hours per month and six blog posts is going to cost more than a scope offering 15 service hours and four blog posts. Now, if your in-house team were to write all of the blog posts each month your costs would be significantly lower.

Most marketing agencies will create packages and pricing that is scalable for many different sized companies. Beyond the monthly retainer, you pay an agency, there may be other ancillary costs you need to consider. These can include costs for software as well as additional training for your staff.

Marketing automation software like HubSpot and CRM software like Highrise or Salesforce come with annual or monthly licensing fees. You need to account for these fees upfront.

Also keep in mind, when you introduce new software or new processes to your staff there will need to be additional training. This training cost may or may not be covered in your marketing agency's monthly retainer fees. This is a question to ask your prospective agency upfront.


 

3. The Expertise of the Agency

 

When choosing a marketing agency, one of the first actions we suggest would be a little investigation. Why?

Well, for sure, a good digital marketing agency should have its own digital marketing presence. A digital marketing agency that promises to elevate your company’s presence online should be doing good themselves. That only makes sense right? 

A good digital marketing company’s website will be incredibly easy to use, load speed will be fast and above all, the website will be informative. Find out their clients and go through their testimonials.

 

 

4. Range of Services

 

A good agency should be able to offer you to use your marketing in every digital space. For instance, social media is a great way of building a loyal customer, but most of the internet search is happening in the search engine. If you have selected an agency that only does social media marketing, then you haven't made the most out of your digital marketing campaign. Search for an agency that does offer professional digital marketing in every aspect. Apart from the basics of content-creation/management, placement and analytics, search for a business that offers additional services like design, reputation marketing, etc. This means that your marketing company has plenty of available options that you can use to scale up your marketing strategy.

 

5. Credibility and Legitimacy of the Digital Marketing Agency

 

There are thousands of such agencies “claiming” to be the best in their field. There are way too many companies in this field who have no idea how to do digital marketing. Don’t fall for their big words and just a beautiful website. Do your own homework.

One of the ways to check the legitimacy of the company is to reach out to clients and find out their experience. Apart from this, you can ask the agency directly about the kind of companies they have worked with. What kind of services did they provide? What challenges did they face? If there were any companies with whom they couldn’t really help? If they couldn’t, how did they handle the situation?

 

6. Their Pricings

 

Less isn’t always more. Cost is the first thing that will come to your mind when you’re looking for a service. But it’s inadvisable to go for the cheapest one, especially when it comes to looking for a digital marketing strategy. Simply because there are way too many digital marketing agencies who are in this field and claim they know everything when actually they don’t. This doesn’t mean that you spend tons of cash on your digital marketing strategies.

Look for Value, Not Price

Your aim should be finding a balance between cost and quality. Get clear and comprehensive details about what is expected from each other, so you can plan for your future accordingly. Want to know how much budget is ideal for your digital marketing business then you must talk to the experts.

 

7. Transparency

 

Your ideal agency would have a well-established website and profiles on social media platforms that they actively use. If their last post is from one or two years ago, then it’s likely they aren’t doing that good now. Since you’re going to invest in a digital marketing agency, you have the complete right to know everything about their company. You need to choose the best for your business. 

If the agency’s website looks lacking, it can be a problem. If you can’t find information such as their address, team members, testimonials mentioned on their website, or reviews from other customers, it’s a major red flag. Moreover, it is important that the agency has another communication channel between them and their customers apart from their website. 

Even after you’ve outsourced an agency, stay in touch with them constantly. Discuss what their plan of action and strategies are for your company. If you have more than one requirement, how are they going to fulfill each aspect? You need to ask about the duration, the people who will be working on it, and what is the work they will be exactly doing.

 

8. Plan for the long term

 

After you’ve found the perfect digital marketing agency that ticks all the points in this checklist, be patient with your results. It may take some time until your objectives will be completed and fulfilled. Digital marketing is a continuous process and your digital marketing agency will regularly need to employ new ways to boost your business. Starting from your website design, UX, content in the pages, blogs, CTAs, social media pages, ad campaigns need to be taken care of under digital marketing. So, it’s a long process that needs to be operated simultaneously. Therefore, it would be best to form a relationship and a long term bond with the digital marketing agency you choose.

 

Final Thoughts

 

When looking for a good digital marketing agency to invest in, there are certain qualities that you should be on the lookout for. These qualities do not hugely differ from the general qualities you look for before investing anywhere but they make all the difference. In the world of internet advertisement, the most important aspects to consider are that you’re not fooled by anyone. That your service providers are efficient and up to date and that their work speaks up for themselves! 

Do you now feel confident in your ability to wisely decide upon a digital marketing partner for your business?

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.

Contact us now and let us take your business to the next level!


Let’s work together!

Author: Milena Kostadinova

Milena Kostadinova

Milena is an experienced content writer. She enjoys reading and constantly learning new things. She is addicted to watching movies and TV shows, but one of her main daily routines is exercising.