Deciding to hire a digital marketing agency is a simple thing. In fact, you do not need to think about it.
However, deciding on the best digital marketing agency to use is the most difficult part.
Each of the digital marketing agencies available today poses as the best.
When you approach them, they will give you a long list of clients that they claim they have served, thus you should join the list.
The one thing that we should all agree on is that deciding to work with a digital marketing agency is a prudent move.
Thanks to their experience and with the right tools, some digital marketing agencies have been able to transform small and struggling businesses into the large conglomerates we see today.
If you have a new business or your business is struggling to stay afloat and find new clients, finding a digital marketing agency would be the immediate thing you should give your all.
That is why; we have decided to talk about how to choose the best digital marketing agency.
However, before we talk about the various pointers to help you identify the right digital marketing agency for your business, let’s talk about what a digital agency is.
Later on, we’ll discuss what digital marketing agencies do.
For now, let’s answer this question:
What is a Digital Marketing Agency?
Simply put, a digital marketing agency is a company set up to help sell the ideas of other companies using digital devices.
Some of these digital devices digital marketing companies use include social media platforms, SEO, and email marketing.
A good digital marketing agency will use these and other advanced tools to help your business have an online brand ahead of your competitors.
When using a digital marketing agency of your choice, you should be able to monitor the progress of your business. With proper strategies in place, the results will be immediate or gradual.
However, the ultimate goal of digital marketing companies is to bring long-term results to your business.
A good digital marketing company will use all available and legitimate means to ensure your struggling business is known far and wide, retains a positive online brand, and finds new clients.
These positive impacts should be able to tell you that the digital marketing agency you chose is the right one.
What Do Digital Marketing Agencies Do?
By now, I think you have an idea of what a digital marketing agency does.
The main work of digital marketing agencies is to use modern marketing tools to make your business known in places you couldn’t otherwise.
Established digital marketing agencies employ industry experts who work tirelessly to ensure your company gets the most return over investment (ROI).
Some of the experts you are likely to find in a digital agency include:
Social media managers
Marketing automation coordinators
The best digital marketing company is wholesome. It handles and takes over your company’s whole digital marketing campaign.
That is why you need to take your time to find the right digital marketing agency near you.
Characteristics of a Great Digital Marketing Agency
Honestly speaking, you are not going to pick any digital marketing company whose name comes to mind when you go to sleep.
Instead, you have to scrutinize every other digital marketing company to see if it fits the bill.
Here are some of the characteristics you will be looking at if you want to land on the best digital marketing agency:
1. It should Have a Reasonable Portfolio
A good digital marketing company must have served a few clients.
You may not know these clients but at least, the agency should be able to show a list of some of the clients it has served.
You are not going to accept blindly what the agency tells you. Instead, after you get the list of startups, the agency has served, you can call the companies to confirm whether what the agency saying is the truth.
2. There Should Be Social Proof
The company must have a strong reputation. After all, who is going to trust a company in the name of a digital marketing agency that nobody can relate to?
On this, you will seek to know what other people have to say about the company.
Starting with those the digital marketing agency has served to people who know the company in person and ardent followers on social media platforms, you should be able to know the company.
In addition, the agency should have a website and physical address, where you can plan to have a meeting to discuss the digital marketing campaign.
3. It Should Have Industry Experts
Workers in the digital marketing agency should be men and women experienced in what they do.
As mentioned earlier, the best digital marketing agency should be complete – able to evaluate, plan and execute a complete digital marketing campaign.
There is no way an agency is going to accomplish this with the right personnel.
4. Should Have High Work Ethics and Embrace Core Values
The best digital marketing agency should among other things known for upholding professional work ethics.
Starting from the group founder, CEO, down to junior workers, the company should be known to exhibit strong core values.
Whether the company is working with individuals or companies, it should be in the public domain that the company’s core values are high.
Additionally, it is always a plus when you go for a digital marketing agency that aligns with the values and the culture you embrace.
It’d be in bad taste that you settle to work with a company with contrasting views.
Remember that you are contracting this agency to help promote the interests of your company.
Things will not be okay if the agency sings and dances to a different tune from the one your company dances to.
A good way to look at the agency you are hiring to handle your digital marketing campaign is by considering it a new branch or an extension. Therefore, the agency must share your company values.
5. The Agency Should Not Promise ‘Out of the World’ Results
If the agency strongly promises your company 100% return over investment in a fortnight, you need to question that agency.
Although the agency may be experienced in whatever they do, the current market trends dictate.
Besides, every business model is different. Try as it may replicate what gave the other company results, still, the agency will not be sure of what will happen this time.
Therefore, it is good to be keen on the type of promises a digital agency makes.
When an agency emphasizes short-term results over long-term benefits, the promises should raise more questions than answers.
Follow through on what the digital marketing agency promises and see how the company plans to implement it.
Otherwise, you will need to hold the agency responsible for whatever it promises.
Failure to show how it will implement and deliver on pen and paper is an indicator that things will be equally hard in the reality.
Nonetheless, go for a digital marketing agency that aligns promises with hard work, trust, and transparency, and upholds strong work ethics among other core values.
How to Choose the Right Digital Marketing Agency
Let’s now talk about the various steps of choosing the best digital marketing agency you will trust with the task of initiating, evaluating, planning, and executing your digital marketing campaign.
Define Your Goals – Know What You Want
Before you approach a digital marketing agency, know what your objectives are. A digital marketing campaign fulfills many things.
Although the ultimate goal is to make sales, the initial objective would be brand awareness.
Knowing in advance, why you want a digital marketing agency will help define and plan your company resources well.
You will know how much to spend, how long the digital marketing campaign will take, and the expectation thereafter.
Determine Your Budget
You cannot start to look for a digital marketing agency to help execute a task on behalf of your company without having a budget in mind.
The amount you have will determine whether you will hire a digital marketing company or not.
Besides, your budget will dictate the type of company (local or international) and the time the agency will handle the campaign on behalf of your business
Conduct Necessary Research
With your budget at hand and defined objectives, now start to research the available digital marketing agencies.
Do not limit yourself to local companies or those that you know personally. There could be other companies you have never heard of that do commendable work.
Ask around. Use friends and referrals to get the right digital marketing agency. Use the internet. Read reviews to know the kind of agency you are about to hire.
Compile a list of some of the digital agencies that you have garnered. Scrutinize each agency against the fundamental qualifications we stated in the previous sections.
Do not shy away from comparing different agencies.
After all, that is the only way to arrive at the best digital marketing agency for your campaign.
Query the Agency’s Expertise
It is not a bad idea to ask if the agency has the expertise and experience needed for the job. The company should be able to show real examples of how it can handle the job.
Check on the kinds of tools the company intends to use in executing the project.
Check on the Agency’s Latest Projects & the Results
The agency should be able to show proof of their experience. Perhaps, the best way to do this is by showing you some of its latest projects.
Do not be satisfied by the mere mention of its many latest projects.
Instead, let the company show you the results it got from its latest undertakings. See if the results match your expectations.
Is the Agency Up to Date?
Dealing with an agency that does things backwardly will harm the reputation of your company.
The right digital marketing agency should beware of the current marketing trends.
The agency should be in a position to show some of its understanding of how the world of digital marketing has evolved and how it embraces change.
Understand the Campaign Scope, Process, and the Timeline
You must brace yourself with the knowledge of how the entire process will be undertaken.
Before you leave the round table, you need to understand how wide the campaign will be.
Besides, you need to know how the whole process will be, what will be involved and the length of time it will take the agency to complete the task.
Although we are talking about long-term results, the digital marketing campaign should not take overly long.
Remember, the longer the campaign, the higher the amount you’ll be required to pay. Be modest with your timing. Do not be in haste. Good results require time.
What About Their Pricing?
The digital agency you decide to work with must be transparent about its prices.
Because the whole digital marketing campaign has different sections, the agency should be able to show how much money, time, and resources are allocated to what segment.
It is also good to know whether I expect you to pay the whole amount upfront, later, or in installments.
Besides, you need to know the mode of payment, whether it is by cash, check, wire transfer, or even by use of cryptocurrency.
Ask the Right Questions
As much as you may have been in business for a long time, there are things you may not understand. In such a case, ask questions. Do not leave the meeting unsatisfied.
Everything should be clear and rolling after the meeting, in readiness for your preferred digital marketing agency to embark on the digital marketing campaign.
Plan for the Long Term
In everything you do, plan for the longer term – the bright future of your business.
Do not fall under the temptation of the lucrative short-term results and overshadow the long-term effect. Short-term results are short-lived.
Besides, you may end up paying a lot more for less.
The decision to use a digital marketing agency is wise and quick but the process of finding the best digital marketing agency is a hard one.
It takes days and nights of agony to find the right digital marketing agency to trust with your business ideas.
Thankfully, this piece has delved into divergent views that can help you identify the best digital marketing agency you can work with.
Once you’ve identified the right agency, ask questions, know its core values, and experience, determine your budget, and embark on the digital marketing campaign.
Above all, plan for long-term results.