Almost 5 billion people use the internet every day. Yes, you read that correctly, billion. With so many people on the web, it has become a necessity to have an online presence for your products or services. But successfully promoting or advertising can be hard and complex, which is why many CEOs and business owners choose digital marketing services.
Which is what we are here to talk about today. If you’re running a company and in need of help with your social media, SEO, ads, ext. Then you are in the right place. We’re going to walk through the steps of choosing the right digital marketing services for your business.
Let’s get started!
Your Marketing Goals
The first thing you need to do when choosing a digital marketing agency is to determine exactly what your goals are for your business. Are you looking to increase traffic, conversions, or brand awareness? Once you have a clear understanding of your specific needs and goals, the process will become much simpler.
- Increase brand exposure, recognition, and credibility
- Boost website traffic by promoting your product or service on social media
- Build DA authority and backlinks
- Improve the return on investment of your online efforts
- Establish your reputation as a credible source of information
- Increase the number of social media followers
- Raise email subscription rates
The list can go on and on. Your goals are unique to your business and will determine the digital marketing strategy you’ll need. Which is why it’s important that your marketing goals align with your overall business goals, as well. Start making a list and jot them down.
These are all things that you’ll want to think about before looking at digital marketing companies. By determining what you want to accomplish, you’ll be able to find the right service and business that will help get you there.
Once you have your goals in order, make sure to talk to potential marketing agencies about them. Ask them how they plan on bringing your goals to life; it will provide you with an idea of their skills and experience.
If they don’t ask about your business goals, then you may want to look elsewhere. A company that works in a cookie-cutter approach is not going to be your best choice. A good marketing agency understands that each business is unique and will need a unique approach.
Review Their Website
This may seem like a no-brainer, but many CEOs don’t even look over an agency website before speaking with them. Every digital marketing company (and their competitors) put an enormous amount of time and effort into designing professional websites for themselves.
If you look at the website first, then you can better determine if it’s worth scheduling a call or wasting your time with them. You can also get an idea about their skills and experience based on their website design alone.
One important aspect to consider is how clean, intuitive, and simple the layout is. Are all of the pages easy to navigate? Does everything have a purpose? Can you find business hours easily? Is there contact information provided clearly? These are all things you should be looking at when inspecting a digital marketing agency website.
Somewhere around 50% – 60% of visitors will leave a website if it takes longer than 3-5 seconds to load. This may not seem like much, but consider the fact that 52% of marketers report generating leads from their websites and you’ll understand why it’s important to make sure your agency has a fast and good-looking website.
If their website isn’t up to par with your standards, chances are that their results when working with you won’t be either.
Look at Their Reputation
Once you’ve found a digital marketing agency with a website you like, it’s time to see what others think of them.
A quick Google search should yield some results and help you determine if an agency has a good reputation in the market or not. Don’t take any one review as gospel, but instead look at how they respond to negative reviews. Do they provide explanations for why something went wrong? Do those explanations make sense?
If they don’t have many online reviews, you should be even more careful before signing up as their client. There are plenty of agencies who understand that having bad reviews can impact their business prospects negatively and will go out of their way to build up positive word-of-mouth for themselves.
To see how current customers feel about them, you can also look at what they have to say on social media. Facebook and Google are great places to find reviews of agencies.
Don’t stop there either though. You can also utilize online review sites. Online review sites are filled with unbiased customer reviews, highlighting both the best and worst of what specific businesses have to offer.
When using said review sites to assess digital marketing agencies, you can find info on everything from customer service to the efficacy of the business’s practices and more.
What is Their Expertise
Before you choose a digital marketing agency, make sure to ask them what their area of expertise is. For example, some agencies focus on search engine optimization (SEO) while others are experts in social media.
Depending on your business goals and needs, one or both of these could be useful to know ahead of time. When speaking with an agency about the work they do, find out which services they specialize in. If their answer doesn’t align with what you are looking for, then move on and keep looking until you find one who can better serve your goals.
If you’re looking for help with bringing in more organic traffic, then it wouldn’t be very beneficial to hire someone who specializes in search engine optimization (SEO).
If you are rebranding, look for a company that has strong expertise in website design and development. Having an eye-catching and fast website helps to bring in more customers. It’s also something you’ll need before even considering things such as email marketing, video marketing, content creation, ext.
Additionally, some agencies focus on local enterprises and others might only do work for larger businesses. Make sure the agency can offer services that suit your needs and their experience matches up with what you need as well.
Experience & Industry
Don’t be afraid to ask a potential agency what their experience is and how it can help your business. You should look to see if they have had experience in the past within your industry.
For example, if you’re running a B2B company, what is their digital marketing experience in this field. Have they worked with B2B companies before or have they only worked with small local mom and pop shops?
You may also want to consider a specialty the company has, as well as where they have been featured or written about. If you’re ever unsure about something on their page, just shoot them an email and ask for clarification.
It’s always better if you feel comfortable with an agency before committing. You don’t want to spend time interviewing thousands of agencies only to find that the one you choose wasn’t right for you. Be picky, you have plenty of options for marketing services and agencies. It will save you both valuable time and money in the long run!
The more work experience they have in your industry, the better off you are when partnering up with them.
If an agency claims they will enhance your search engine rankings, you must check their own rankings for their website. Ask them to show you proof of this on Google, Bing, and Yahoo. If they are ranking on the first or second page for most major keywords in the industry, then this is a good sign.
Remember that if an agency isn’t able to grow and increase rankings for their own site, how are they going to be able to do it for yours? Over 85% of marketers say that SEO is a key component in success. So you want to make sure they have a good understanding of it!
Take note of how many backlinks they have, as well. You should also check their social media presence to see if they are engaged in the right type of conversations with the right audiences.
You may also want to consider asking for a list of referrals if you’re still unsure about anything else after your initial conversation with them. This has two benefits: it helps you find more info on previous clients and lets you know that these agencies are confident enough in their own skills.
Choosing the right digital marketing agency can be an arduous task, but doing a little research first, can save you from interviewing countless agencies, or accidentally going with the wrong one.
Digital Marketing Budget
Before you sign any contracts or even start talking to agencies for that matter, come up with a budget. You don’t want to get too far into it and then find out that your “budget” isn’t going to cut it.
Remember, companies charge different rates for their services, so you need a ballpark idea about how much you’re willing to spend on a monthly basis. If they hit your maximum budget, cross them off the list and keep looking until you find one who can work within your limits.
They should also be able to provide you with a proposal, which breaks down their services and prices. This is something you can work off of when determining what’s best for your business.
Agencies may also charge different rates for email marketing, social media management, and search engine optimization. Make sure you find an agency that can provide all the services you need at a price range that works for your business.
Don’t Go With Them Based on Price
It’s important that you set that budget, but remember, you get what you pay for in this industry. Try to find an agency that can provide value beyond just slashing prices.
You may be tempted to go with a cheaper industry, but the performance and success will likely suffer from it.
Ask Lots of Questions
A good digital marketing agency should be willing to answer any question you might have with ease. There are no dumb questions here! You never know what they might say that will help you decide if they are a perfect fit for your business, or not.
Make sure to create a thorough list of questions to go over during your interview with them. Think of questions that will give you more insight about them, their results, and how they work.
- Can you provide some campaign examples?
- Who will do the task?
- What outcomes are you able to promise me?
- How will the success and ROI be determined?
- Can you show me ROI from past clients?
- What does your process look like?
You may also want to ask them what their most successful campaigns have been, as well as how they go about tracking their own success. The right agency should ask you a lot of questions too, especially ones that revolve around your industry and goals for your business.
Talk About Commitments
No digital marketing agency in the world can guarantee to get you to the first spot on Google’s first page in a month or any such unrealistic commitments. If they are claiming something crazy like this, it’s time to turn around and head out the door.
However, if an agency claims they can enhance your search engine rankings and traffic over time with their strategies, that is what you are looking for!
A reputable digital marketing agency will be able to go over a timeline with you and provide specific milestones along the way. This will allow them to show you exactly what they have done for their clients in the past, as well as track future progress according to those initial promises.
Avoid going with any marketing businesses online that claim unrealistic results or commitments. If you’re seeing that they are getting results for their own company and their past clients, that is what you are looking for!
When choosing a digital marketing agency, personality matters. You need to feel comfortable around the people that will be working with your company on a day-to-day basis, as well as trust them to take care of everything.
For instance, if you’re business has a more laid-back atmosphere, you may not want to work with an agency that is stuffy or a bit “over-professional”. You want your personalities to align. After all, you’ll be working with each other often and most likely for a long period of time.
You don’t have to find the perfect personality match here, but it’s important that you’re both able to get along well. Take a look at their website, talk with a couple of their employees, and get a feel for them.
This isn’t an end-all-be-all, but something to consider when choosing digital marketing services.
A good digital marketing agency should be transparent with its clients. This means that they should be able to provide a clear outline of the services they offer, as well as what you can expect in terms of results.
They should also be able to provide a proposal, which breaks down their services and prices. This is something you can work off of when determining what’s best for your business.
They should be able to show you their past results. If they cannot, you should probably continue looking. After all, when a business is not showing any results from its work, it can mean several things. They may not be good at what they do or the price point might be too high in order to compensate for their lack of success.
The right agency will have a proven track record and show you exactly how many people they’ve been able to help and they should be able to openly answer any of your questions.
Remember when we talked about transparency? Well, this ties in perfectly with communication. When working with a digital marketing service, you need to be able to contact them at any time. If they are not responsive or are slow to get back to you it could diminish the results of your campaign and waste your time and money.
The right agency should be able to provide documented evidence that they have excellent customer service and reliable support staff members who can answer all of your questions quickly and efficiently.
They also need to keep you informed along the way so there aren’t any surprises. This means that they will let you know what’s going on with your campaigns on a regular basis, sometimes even daily depending on certain factors.
You’ll want to stay informed every step of the way, so make sure that the digital marketing service can provide you with that!
Look for Case Studies
A reputable digital marketing agency should be able to provide you with case studies and references. These will help you get a feel for how they work and what they can do for your business.
They should be able to show you the exact results their past clients have gotten, such as increased website traffic or higher online conversions. Their previous success is proof that they know what they’re doing!
Ask for their key performance indicators (KPIs). This is something that you should be provided with on a regular basis when working with an agency. So looking at a few of their past ones can help you see how well they perform.
If they don’t have any case studies to provide, ask them about how they track their success. If they aren’t tracking their success, you should be running as far away from them as you possibly can!
Trends & Improvements
Everything in the world of digital marketing is constantly changing. That’s why you need to make sure that the digital marketing services you work with are up to date. You’ll want to make sure that they follow all of the latest trends and continue to improve with them.
They should have a good understanding of current trends, especially ones that pertain directly to your industry. If they don’t, they will most likely fall behind quickly and not be able to help your business grow!
Look at their video marketing, OTT media, geo-fencing, ext. Are they all up to date? Are they following the latest trends? If not, you may want to consider another company. Digital marketing changes too often not to adapt to it. If you don’t, you’re like to fail.
How to Choose Digital Marketing Services
When talking about how to choose digital marketing services, it’s important to do your research. Make sure that the agency you choose is up to date with current trends, has a proven track record, and can provide you with case studies and references.
They should also be able to keep you informed along the way and have excellent customer service. If they can’t check all of these boxes, it’s best to move on. Don’t waste your time or money. Lastly, make sure to ask questions and have a list of them ready in your first interview.
If you’re ready to work with digital marketing services that check all of those boxes, contact us today. We would love to work with you and help you grow your business!