In today’s market, a digital presence is no longer an advantage for businesses, it’s a necessity.
In such a saturated market, many companies struggle when it comes to finding the right digital marketing agency. On the surface, it can seem like each agency you speak to is telling a similar story, so how do you know which one to trust? Often businesses look to outsource their digital marketing requirements because they lack the sufficient skills in-house – which is a sensible move – but how do you know if you’re receiving a good service if you’re not sure what you should be looking for?
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This table of digital marketing elements is designed to help you make an informed decision when it comes to choosing your external digital marketing team. The table is aimed at business owners and companies who are considering a digital marketing agency but not sure where to start or how to ensure they are getting the right service. The elements in the table are all important digital concepts and services, and provide a guide to the key areas you need to consider.
Objectives & Metrics
Making sure you have a strong set of agreed KPIs and objectives outlined from the start is crucial as it ensures both you and your digital agency have a clear, shared set of goals. You should then be able to clearly measure your progress towards these objectives from the reports your agency produce for you; a report full of vanity metrics such as ‘likes’ and ‘impressions’ might give your ego a stroke but if these engagements never convert into sales, your agency is doing you a disservice.
Skills & Expertise
The term ‘digital marketing’ encompasses a wide range of skills and expertise, which is a key benefit of outsourcing to an agency; you’ll have access to all of these skills under one roof. However with the digital world in a constant state of rapid flux, a good digital agency should always be proactive in staying abreast of updates and changes in the industry to ensure they are using relevant techniques that will produce results.
When it comes to content, one size definitely does not fit all and what captures one audience demographic may deter another. Therefore, your chosen agency needs to be skilled at recognising what type of content will generate the most engagement and be able to adapt their writing style, vocabulary and tone of voice to suit your audience.
Just as important as using the appropriate type of content, knowing which channels your audience is using is vital to an effective market campaign. The right agency should know the best way to operate across different platforms and adopt the right approach to maximise the reach to your target audience.
A strong digital marketing agency should be fluent in all areas of SEO and be able to correctly determine which concepts to focus on in order to achieve your outlined objectives.
If an agency has a good sales pitch it’s easy to be seduced by promises of radically improved rankings and massive ROI but the last thing you need is to be six months down the line and still not seeing results from an incapable team.
A good place to start is to see if the agency’s own digital marketing efforts are on parr with the service you’d expect to receive for your own business. Also, try and visit the team at their own premises, that way you will be able to gauge the culture and attitude of the company in their natural environment. When requesting case studies, ask to see examples of work for clients with similar goals to yourselves so you have an accurate account of their capabilities in the area(s) you need help the most.
Even if you’re on a tight budget, the cheapest option may not always be the best choice and you may find yourself compromising on quality of service. Cutting corners when it comes to costs may seem economical to begin with, but it could mean you end up with a substandard service and lead to further costs rectifying the problem further down the line. Equally, you shouldn’t be paying over the odds, so be sure to get a good idea of average industry rates before jumping straight in with the first bidder.
Steer clear of agencies that promise you the earth – there are just too many factors involved with digital marketing to promise quick, dramatic results every time. For example, you could have a faultless marketing strategy and a digital dream team behind you, but results will naturally take longer if you’re in a more competitive market.
A good digital marketing agency will always be honest about expected results and timescales, even if it’s not quite what the client wants to hear. After all you are not just hiring a company, you are gaining a partner, and a strong business partnership should always be built on trust.