Considering hiring a digital marketing agency? We appreciate it can be difficult. What do you look for? What can they provide you with? Do you even need one? If you’re new to the concept, how are you meant to know?
For this reason we’ve constructed this short guide on everything you’ll need to know, from why you need a marketing agency, to choosing the digital marketing agency that’s best for you. You’ll get it all here.
Let’s get started...
Why should you hire a digital marketing agency?
Obviously if you’re reading this you’ve put some thought into whether you need a digital marketing agency. To help with your decision, here are a few examples of why we think digital marketing agencies are beneficial.
Carrying out your own marketing is attainable, however it’s a time-consuming task and more often than not we just don’t have enough of it. It’s a daunting exercise for anyone to go straight into the world of digital marketing blindly. You’ll need time to grasp the general dos and don’ts before you can even get started and for most business owners your time’s already being spread pretty thinly. Digital marketing agencies have time to plan, report and progress your marketing campaigns. It’s what you pay them for.
Hiring a digital marketing agency will not only free up some of your time, you’ll be leaving it to the experts. You can rest assured that the job is being done right and well, but we’ll talk more of this later. Successful marketing requires a depth of knowledge and experience. If you’re hiring an agency, you’re hiring a team of people that know their stuff. They’ll all be specialists in different areas so you won’t be reliant on one person attempting to learn everything.
In the long run, hiring a digital marketing agency is going to save you money. Marketing is an investment, but if that investment isn’t planned and well executed, you will lose money. We’ve heard it time and time again. Business owners have spent money on their marketing with no real game plan and it’s gone nowhere. This links back to what we were saying about expertise. By using a reputable agency, you’ll be paying for it to be done effectively. Not just doing it for the sake of it.
If you’re confident from this that you want a digital marketing agency, let’s continue on to choosing the best one for you…
How to choose an agency.
Deciding on the right agency can make or break your marketing for a number of reasons. When choosing your agency you’ll need to be careful, otherwise it can have consequences for both cost and time..
Be aware of your budget.
It’s no secret that a digital marketing agency is going to be money out of your pocket. That's why knowing what you can afford is so crucial. While many marketing agencies have a pricing structure and will be able to provide you with this, if you have a budget in mind they should be able to work with this and make sure you’re clear on what you can expect for that cash.
A good agency will tell you whether your budget is enough to achieve results, and whether it’s not. A good rule of thumb is that your total marketing budget should be approximately 10% of turnover.
You should be able to filter out low quality digital marketing agencies based on what they’ll charge you. If their prices are exceptionally lower than other agencies, you have to wonder why. Could it be down to hidden costs they’re not being honest about? Or is it that they’re just not as good or as experienced as the others.
Don’t expect something for nothing.
Does their credibility check out?
Research is key here.
Check out your prospective agency’s website and social media pages. Do they look legitimate? A well-maintained website and a social media page that is regularly posted and interacted on is a big green flag when it comes to credibility. If they lack in this area, you should be wary. If it looks like they’re hiding something, then they most likely are.
Read their testimonials. Do they seem authentic? Testimonials are one of the best ways agencies can broadcast their credibility, but it’s not unheard of that they’ve been faked or tweaked a bit to their advantage. You can also directly ask for a reference from some of their clients if they’ve been listed on their website. Capturing an idea of what the agency is like straight from the horse's mouth can’t hurt, right?
A marketing agency is only as good as the leads they can produce — make sure they can commit to providing a set number of leads for your investment.
Get to know them.
Arguably the most important of them all.
If you don’t like them, how can you expect to work well with them. You need to think about what kind of client/agency relationship you want to have. Not everyone wants the boring and mundane relationship of “you work, I pay”. Choose an agency that aligns with your personality.
This aside, always try to meet the team you’ll be working with. Get to know them. It’s always easier to work out from this point if there's going to be any clashing personalities. On the other hand, you may all get along swimmingly. Many businesses call this the beer test. Whether you’d meet them for a drink or not at the end of the day, may tell you more than you think.
Are they results focused?
The key to any investment in marketing is that you get a return on that investment. Make sure the agency you choose is focused on results. A good agency will spend time understanding your financials and what you need to achieve in order to make increased profits.
They will spend time understanding your average sales value, your average lifetime value, your pricing etc. Without understanding this, it is almost impossible to make a plan that can generate a positive return on investment.
If the agency you are considering presents a plan without having spoken to you about your financials, beware!
So now you know what to look for in a good digital marketing agency, you’ll find making the decision a lot easier. Good luck.