If you’re currently looking for a digital marketing agency or thinking of switching to a new agency, it may be worthwhile following these top tips to ensure you make the right decision. Digital marketing agencies have been around for years, and are constantly adapting to the ever-changing marketing opportunities available online. Digital marketing agencies are seen by many to add value through the provision of a range of digital skills that many companies may currently lack in-house, whilst many companies may require a digital agency as they simply lack the time to focus on marketing activities themselves.
When it comes to actually choosing a digital marketing agency, there’s no shortage of options. Companies can often be overwhelmed by the promises made by different agencies and will more than likely jump into long-term contracts without properly assessing their options. We’ve compiled the following guidelines that should help you to make an informed decision:
Are they consultants?
There are a variety of agencies who proclaim to be experts in all things digital, of course this is not always true. Find out for yourself by signing up to their email newsletter, looking through their blog or even better asking them to take a look at your current website. They should be able to provide some ideas for improvements and provide actionable insights immediately that could become part of your own digital marketing plan. If an agency is able to explain complex digital processes and their benefits on their own website then this is a good sign that they’d be able to understand and market your business online too.
Are they up to date with the latest trends?
This is often difficult to ascertain unless you’re already an industry expert, however there are always ways of researching. Have a look around their website, again take a closer look at their blog and how regularly it’s updated with industry news. Have a look at their ‘About us’ section – are they accredited by industry bodies? And perhaps more importantly, are they active on social media? You could always take a look at their twitter account to see how many followers they have, which could act as a good indicator of their influence within the digital marketing industry.
Choose industry specialists
Any reputable digital marketing agency should have a ‘clients’ section visible on their website. This acts as an important trust signal to potential new clients, and you can use this to analyse whether they have any experience in your particular industry. If you can spot any clients in your industry or a closely related field then this is a good sign that they’ve already done a great job for those clients, and will more than likely be able to do the same for you. If you’re looking for a specific set of skills within a prospective agency, take a look at their ‘meet the team’ section to find out more about who you could potentially be working alongside.
Are they providing measurable insights?
Most businesses will generally expect a good level of communication and some exposure to the day-to-day management of their account from their agency. Ideally, you should be allocated a consultant to manage your account who can act as your primary contact within the agency. Any prospective agency should also be able to provide regular performance indicators and in-depth reporting on their activities to show you exactly what you’re getting for your money. Many businesses don’t have lavish amounts to spend on digital marketing so it’s highly important they see an indication of a return on their investment. If you manage to find a digital marketing agency with approachable, friendly members of staff this can often help to speed up the formation of a strong working relationship between both parties and lead to vastly improved communication of your requirements from the agency.
If possible, stay local
In my experience, being able to meet face to face on a regular basis to discuss ongoing objectives or resolve any problems is highly valuable. The amount you can take from half a day’s face to face meeting is huge when compared to intermittent periods of conversation via email or phone. If you can find an agency with all of the attributes I’ve already mentioned based in the same area as your business, I’d advise giving them a shot. If this isn’t possible, then try and set up more face to face meetings with your current agency and attempt to harness more of their ability.
The Right Contract Length
If you have a need for a digital marketing agency, think about how long a particular project may take and try not to get sucked into a long contract at the outset. There should be no requirement from them for you to sign up to a long-term contract anyway. Any agency that attempts to persuade you to sign a contract to retain their services for a period of over 6 months clearly aren’t confident of their own ability to delight their customers and ensure they want to regularly pay for their services. There should always be the option for a review of the agency’s services after an initial period of work so ensure you ask about their standard terms and conditions before making a decision.
In summary, choosing the right digital marketing agency really depends on your own needs and requirements. If you can find a friendly, local agency that are experts in their field, have experience of working in your industry and seemingly deliver success to their existing clients, then you may well have found your perfect match.