Things to consider before hiring a digital marketing agency
Things to consider before hiring a digital marketing agency
Digital Marketing/ Online Marketing/ Internet Marketing – whatever maybe it’s called, its meaning remains the same – promoting brands to connect with potential customers and draw more traffic towards the product & services of a company by utilizing the internet and other forms of digital communication. And when it comes to a Digital Marketing Agency, we happen to understand – an agency that offers a company promotion with a variety of marketing services and digital solutions. In short, a Digital Marketing Agency is a business itself that works to help other businesses grow using the internet – the digital market.
So from the definition, it is obvious how much significance digital marketing can hold in the enlargement of a company, isn’t it? If not, by the end of this article it will be. The importance of having a digital marketing agency for the expansion of businesses is pretty much known to all. However, not everyone knows what to do, what to consider, what to ask while hiring a digital marketing agency. This article intends to help you understand the process of hiring a digital marketing agency with more clarity.
We will have two sections here – what you should do and what you should ask.
First, we will talk about what you should do from your side before starting the interview and hiring process. We will talk about thirteen things in this section. And trust me, you can consider this your ‘’LUCKY 13!’’’
So let’s get started!
- Set Your Goals
This can be called the easiest yet the most crucial task. And it is surely the first thing you should do. Sit with yourself and decide what you want, where do you see your business in the upcoming years, what you need to touch those heights, how much support you expect from the agency you’re about to hire, what services do you prefer, how much money can you spend and how much capital you wanna make. Do you want services for online sales, lead generation, website traffic, app marketing, brand awareness, or something else? The clearer your goals, the better the agency can provide result-oriented solutions. With a vision that is crystal clear, you can set new benchmarks.
- Fix Your Budget
Let’s talk money!
Money’s the key to keeping us all moving in the business world, right? So having your budget fixed is, no doubt, the most important part. If you don’t have a firm understanding of the cost of things, that’s ok too because it’s more about return on investment than costs. Consider three things while developing your marketing budget- how much you can spend, what kind of return on investment is acceptable, and the goals you’re trying to achieve.
- Decide The Way You Want To Work
You need to decide your way of work in order to get the full benefit of having an agency as a help to grow your business. Do you want to hand things over to a third party and have them handle everything, so you can focus on your core business? Do you want your digital marketing agency in another country to be an extension of your marketing team? How long can you and your team afford to work with an agency? Would you rather work with a large agency that can provide a wide range of services or an agency that specializes in a specific type of marketing? How much do you want to be involved in the whole process? Have it all pre-determined in your mind so that you don’t get have to deal with any confusion later on.
- Your Preference Of Agency
If you have completed the first three steps, it is time to start searching for the best digital marketing agency. You will get an idea of how an agency thinks by looking at its online activities and marketing content. If there is a typo or bad design on their platforms, you can rightly ask how you will approach your business. You can also learn what they value by their features. Having clarity of how you want your agency to take over your marketing responsibility is something that’s gonna help you in the long run.
- Assess The Strategic Approach Of the Company
Try to understand the company’s culture and approach. Only working with a team that invests time to achieve your goals, is worth it. Many companies will pull a generic marketing strategy off the shelf and apply it to many companies. Every business case is unique and deserves a unique solution. It is always best to play safely in this field.
- Check Their Expertise
Before hiring an employee, you can check references. Do the same with any digital marketing agency you meet. Ask to look at case studies and get feedback on current and past clients to see if they deliver what they told you they did. If they exaggerate their results, they may also be exaggerating what they can do for you.
If you are looking for a specific type of digital marketing strategy, check out their work in this area. For example, if you want someone to manage your company’s social media accounts, take a look at what is being posted on the social pages of existing customers.
- Determine What Services You Expect From Agency
Digital marketing involves many things that are combined to make a company/business successful. While hiring an agency then you must look for digital marketing services that match your requirement. Some of them are as follow-
- Web Design– for landing page design, page speed optimization, etc.
- SEO (Search Engine Optimization) – to rank your website on various search engines such as Google, Yahoo, Bing, etc.
- SEM (Search Engine Optimization) – to rank your website and drive huge traffic through search-paid campaigns.
- PPC (Pay Per Click)– for Management Marketing.
- Social Media Marketing– to boost company or brand presence over various social media channels.
- Content Marketing– is a strong part of Digital marketing and it plays an important role in the success of any business, brand, or startup. Content marketing includes articles, blogs, and copywriting.
- Mobile Marketing– Promote your business, products, or brand on mobile apps.
- ASO (App Store Optimization) – To boost your app presence on Play Store and App Store and increase installs for your mobile app.
- Email Marketing– Keep your existing customers updated about your latest offers and services.
- Conversion Optimization– a process of converting customers in the least amount possible.
- WhatsApp Marketing – you can use this to grow your customer base.
- Know Their Experience
Experience says a lot. Before hiring make an intensive pursuit to see what they’ve had achieved in previous projects. They must be able to meet your advertising needs to work with you.
- Evaluate Their Portfolio
Through their portfolio or works, you can evaluate whether this agency is suitable for your work or not. Look for the digital marketing works or projects they did in past. Any renowned digital marketing company will never hesitate to show off its hard work and potential clients. This shows their integrity.
- Assert Who Will Run Your Campaigns
To take charge and keep your agency accountable, you must assert by whom and how will your campaign be running. You should know the performance of your campaign and ask for reports to evaluate the performance of your work. All digital marketing agencies measure their success in many ways- website traffic, keywords ranking, keyword authority, website authority, SERP ranking, etc.
- Keep Everything Transparent
Your customers want transparency in everything you do. So should you. You need a clear explanation of what you are getting, the results the agency will provide, and what you will pay in return. If the agency uses third-party companies to provide some services, ask them to explain their pricing models. For example, PPC (Pay Per Click) keywords on a search engine, display ads, social media ads, ask them to explain the management fee they charge for the purchase.
- Know Your Audience
The profile of your target market will set a lot of directions for you. By inserting yourself into your customer’s day-to-day activities, making an effort to understand how they live and what they go through regularly, you can identify the type of messaging that will resonate with them and lead them through the buyer’s journey to pick up the phone or order online. Knowing your customer’s habits means that your marketing team will have the tools to deliver the right information at the right time to move your customer down the sales funnel and get them to convert. While your agency partner is likely extremely well-versed in crafting buyer personas, you must be able to set your agency teammates up for success by giving them as much detail and information as you can before they even get started. The more idea you have about your audience the better and easier it will become for you to grow.
- 1 Keep An Eye For Your Competitors
With each passing day, your competition will only be higher and higher. In the digital space, you’re not just competing with other businesses based on the superiority of products or services. Website traffic, search engine rankings, leads, and conversions are now all up for grabs – and the competition is fierce. The goal here is to figure out exactly what your competitors are doing online, where you fall short, and how you can do it better. To keep your business up ahead, you need to keep track of other businesses as well.
Now comes the second section of asking questions.
When preparing for a digital marketing consultation with any agency partner, make a list of must-ask questions that include the following:
- Who are their previous clients?
Knowing about the client history of the agency can certainly help a lot. It gives ideas about their work experience, the genre of work, and expertise.
There’s another important dimension to it. If your company by chance has any rival company or say, a longtime competitor, or maybe there’s a company you’ve been following for a while and the digital marketing agency you’re considering to work with, has worked with them previously – this situation may make you reconsider a few things!
- What industries do they specialize in?
The field of work the agency focuses on has a lot to tell. If they’ve expertise in a similar field to your need, it will be a positive sign. If not, you can still hire them, providing that they assure you of delivering proper work, as hiring a less experienced but highly enthusiastic team will cost you less money with quality work.
- Are their clients more B2B or B2C?
Different types of businesses require different types of marketing. The kind of promotional activities that suit a B2B, won’t do the same for a B2C. Depending on your business type, your requirements will certainly vary. So, it’s important to know what type of clients they mostly get – B2B or B2C?
- Do they specialize in one type of marketing service, or are they expertise well-rounded in all kinds of marketing strategies?
As market demands keep changing, your wants and needs may change with it. In that case, you should get a team that has expertise well-rounded in all facets of marketing strategy.
Otherwise, if you feel that your company’s marketing strategy won’t be changing any time soon, it will be wise for you to choose a team that specializes in one type of marketing service, not to mention the type should be ‘’your type’’.
- How many team members will be dedicated to your project?
Knowing the details of the team is surely helpful as it gives some clear idea about how to deal with the members, how many members you’ll need to handle, how to micromanage all the related tasks along with the team, cost, budget, etc. So make sure you know enough about the team members.
- Who will you be working with specifically?
While coming into view of the team, also find out who you will be working with specifically. It will be easier for you to get to know him/her more specifically. Thus the work will be faster with better quality.
- How often will you meet the team?
Meeting with the team regularly is very important. So is having a fixed schedule for those meetings. While the interview process or the discussion sessions, please make sure you fix a schedule or timetable or just some dates on digital calendars. And keep in mind that the meeting dates should be in favor of both of you.
- How involved will you be in the strategy creation and execution?
If you don’t have much time to spend on the marketing or if you are simply not interested to give your precious time, energy, efforts to this sector, clarify this to the team you’ll be hiring at the very beginning. So that the team can proceed with their job without waiting for your suggestions at every step. It’s ok if you want to focus all your ideas and energy on your business only.
In contrast, if you prefer to be as involved as possible in the marketing process, clarify that as well. It is healthy for the entire work environment to have all sorts of clarifications from both sides.
- Which marketing platforms and programs do they utilize?
There are so many marketing platforms and programs available to promote your products/ business. Although the basics and the intention are the same on every platform/program which is to drive more traffic towards your company, some technical and strategical things will vary causing cost-variation. That’s why you need to be aware of their preferences in this regard.
- How do they measure success?
It is essential to be fully acquainted with the mission and vision of the team. This ensures that their efforts are enough for you or not. Also knowing the technicality might help you understand the marketing strategy better.
How they measure their success will also have an impact on fixing your goals to achieve within a particular period.
- When will you start to see success?
You might get frustrated or impatient if you don’t see any change or more particularly success within the estimated time. So ask them to keep you informed about the time they need, when you will notice some change, when you will get your expected result, etc.
- What type of search engine marketing strategy do they focus on? SEO or paid, or both?
Strategic decisions will be less difficult to make if you are aware of what the agency prefers or focuses on when it comes to SEO/paid/both. If you have any preferences regarding this make sure you consult with them, share your choices with them. As this might have a great impact on finalizing your other decisions, clarify this beforehand.
- Do they utilize inbound marketing?
These days inbound marketing is adding new dimensions to the whole marketing process. It can be pretty useful to your product promotion. Also, it makes marketing cost-effective.
Make sure the digital marketing agency you will hire, fully utilizes inbound marketing. If not, ask them whether they have any other preferable alternative options.
- Do they have an in-house content team?
Having an in-house content team helps to get faster delivery of work, getting work done on shorter notice during emergencies, reduces cost and so many more. It will work in your favor if the agency already has an in-house content team.
- How does their content team acclimate to various industries to embody a brand’s unique voice?
Uniqueness goes a long way. There are billions of contents out there. So what will keep your brand’s unique voice is how well the content team manages to acclimate to your company and its strategy. Make sure you get confirmation on this that the content team can provide you with fresh and unique content.
- Do they have a graphic designer on staff?
Beautiful and eye-catching graphic designs often help to sell more products as they manage to gather the interest of potential customers. So if the agency has a graphic designer on staff, this will surely work to your benefit.
- Do they provide web design and development services?
Having a website has almost become a must to grow your company. You might need your digital marketing team to help you with a website or make necessary changes or modifications to your current website. For this reason, find out whether they provide web design and development services or not.
- Do they have a social media strategy team?
Social media platforms can bring you the most potential customers and make them your active and regular customers as well. A social media strategy team will make it easier to fulfill this target.
- Do they have case studies to demonstrate big wins?
We have talked about the importance of work experience previously. To fulfill those purposes you should look for their case studies to demonstrate big wins.
- Do they maintain punctuality and other work ethics?
To maintain a healthy work environment it’s compulsory to maintain punctuality and other work ethics such as transparency, accountability, responsibility, doing proper research, etc. Make sure the team you hire can ensure all these above.
So to sum it up, as you will need to consider tons of things while hiring a digital marketing agency, make sure to keep your calm and consider all the things mentioned here.
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