How to Choose a Digital Marketing Agency (3 Easy Steps!)
When you choose the right digital marketing agency, your business grows:
1) Your sales pipeline starts filling up with leads (from sources like search engines, business directories, and ad campaigns),
2) Your conversion rates improve (as these leads convert way better than cold leads), and
3) Your profits increase … as a result.
But choosing a digital marketing agency needs careful consideration. Sadly, quite a few businesses that engage the services of a digital marketing agency don’t get great results from their investment.
Well, because they rush into hiring the agency — often going with the one that pops up as the first option on the search results page.
Now, this doesn’t necessarily mean that the agencies they hire aren’t good — they might be great — but they might NOT BE A GOOD FIT for generating the results that their businesses need.
Add to this, the long-term contracts that most digital marketing agencies use, and it gets impossible to switch to a different digital marketing agency before the contract period is over.
To prevent this from happening to your business, we’re sharing with you three simple steps for choosing the best digital marketing agency that will actually help grow your business.
Choosing a Digital Marketing Agency Step #1: Evaluating the Website
When it comes to choosing a digital marketing agency, the first thing you must do is:
Evaluate its website.
More so, its design.
Well, because digital marketing uses a lot of visuals. These could be pictures posted on your business’s directory listings or images on your website … or even the banners on your social media accounts.
Visuals are important.
Besides, because about half of all consumers assess a website’s (and the business’s) credibility based on its design, you need to look your best online.
And if a digital marketing agency has a very “meh” website, it usually means that they don’t have a sense of great design — and so, your visual branding will also be weak.
So start by evaluating your digital marketing agency’s website for its overall design aesthetics.
If you’re happy with it, dive deeper and look these few trust signals:
- Testimonials: Check if the agency website has social proof such as testimonials from verifiable businesses or clients
- Useful Information: Ideally, a digital marketing agency website must have a blog that offers valuable content because “content” is the fuel that powers most of the digital marketing campaigns.
- Team: Check out the team page to see who all will be working on your campaigns and their credentials and skills.
- Badges/Trust: Another thing you might look for are trust seals. If a website has these, then it’s a sign they understand the importance of building trust in their visitors. Which is a good thing!
- Certifications & Partner programs: To be double sure about the skills of the agency you’re considering, check if they’ve any certifications
Once you’ve found a digital marketing agency with a compelling and credible website, it’s time to look for the next level of information to make your decision.
Choosing a Digital Marketing Agency Step #2 – Evaluating Pricing, Services, and Value
Because digital marketing needs long-term commitment and investment, it’s best to check the different digital marketing agencies you shortlist for transparency in the following key areas:
- Marketing Services (or the work being done or the different tasks that the agency would be performing)
- Value (i.e. reporting on the results delivered)
Let’s look at each in detail.
Now, digital marketing agencies offer many different pricing models (in varied ranges).
For example, the way we price our services at Marketing Blitz for our local service-based businesses is quite different from how a digital marketing agency serving enterprise companies prices its services.
Also, because every client needs a specific set of services, these plans are often customized based on the unique needs of the concerned business.
For example, if you’re a legal service provider and your current business struggle is to generate leads, you might need PPC services to start an influx of targeted leads.
Whereas, if you’re a local restaurant that’s losing leads because of a handful of bad reviews, you’ll need online reputation management services.
So while digital marketing agencies can’t offer a standard fee, they can (AND MUST) explain why they’re suggesting a certain service and how they charge for it, and what results you can expect.
For example, at Marketing Blitz, we share all our pricing details upfront once a lead contacts us or requests this information. Also, we’re always open to answering questions about how we price our services.
In addition to pricing transparency, another thing to check when choosing a digital marketing agency is the work they’ll perform as part of their services.
For example, you must know what your agency includes in its SEO service.
For instance, at Marketing Blitz, we love to share all the details of our different SEO packages upfront.
The screenshot below shows what we cover in our SEO services. As you can see, we don’t use SEO as a blanket term. Instead, we specify in detail all that you’ll get as part our different SEO packages — for example: the number of keywords we’ll optimize your website for, the number of business directory submissions we’ll make, the number of content submissions we’ll do, and so on.
After pricing and service transparency, the other thing you should think about is this:
Value (or the ROI) transparency:
When choosing a digital marketing agency, you must talk about how they report on the metrics. At Marketing Blitz, we include monthly reporting of all the work we do as well as the results from our efforts.
Once you feel reasonably satisfied with an agency’s way of pricing, working, and reporting, it’s time to check off the final item from the digital marketing agency hiring checklist.
Choosing a Digital Marketing Agency Step #3 – Evaluating for Suitability (of Delivering Business Results)
Now, different digital marketing agencies excel at getting results for different kinds of clients in different industries.
For example, at Marketing Blitz, while we offer digital marketing services to a range of companies of different sizes, BUT the area where we totally shine is helping local service-based businesses generate leads with digital marketing.
That’s our superpower.
In addition to our specialty of serving local service-based businesses (for example — legal practitioners, restaurants, playschools, clinics, etc.), we focus on just three core digital marketing services that we’ve consistently used to produce results for dozens of such clients.
We chose these three services because we like to be intentional about what we offer — and we only want to offer the services that we know to be the most effective at translating to more local leads and business for our clients.
Likewise, there are other digital marketing agencies that serve different types of clients and do great at other services. For instance, there might be a great digital marketing agency that specializes in offering just content marketing services. So if you’re a local service-based business and you end up hiring this digital marketing agency, your digital marketing won’t be as effective as you’d like because there’s a MISMATCH between what the agency offers and your business’s needs.
Wrapping it up …
In addition to all the above pointers, another thing to look for when choosing a digital marketing agency is the level of support you can expect.
Just ask the agency you’re considering if they offer dedicated account management. The benefit of dedicated account management is that you get a person whom you can contact if you’ve any questions about the project. This way, you get priority access and don’t have to wait for days or weeks to get your issues resolved.
Finally, ALWAYS take advantage of any free consultation your shortlisted agencies provide.
A free consultation is a great way to get a glimpse into the expertise of the agency you’re considering and for understanding how they can help grow your business with digital marketing.
The best part is that such consultations don’t come with any (hiring) obligations, so you don’t have to think too hard to book them.
So that’s all you need to know to choose the best digital marketing agency for your business! If you offer local services, check out how Marketing Blitz can help you. Book a free consultation here.
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