Choosing the right Digital Marketing Agency can prove costly and time consuming. We have put together a guide to help you with your search.
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If you have a website, you will want to rank it high on search engines such as Google. A Website is a tool to market your business, even if you are not selling your products, or services online. Your company needs presence on the internet to attract prospective customers. It’s all about increasing revenue and that is why we need Digital Marketing to ensure our ROI doesn't go into a negative balance.
Digital Marketing Agencies are popping up on every corner. It is no wonder companies get lost while trying to find the right Digital Agency to promote their business in a best possible way. No doubt you have had phone calls from people offering to increase your ROI by optimising your company’s website and promoting your products and/or services on the internet. This guide is intended to save you time, and more importantly money, if you decide to outsource Digital Marketing to an agency.
Think About What Digital Marketing Services You Need
Digital Marketing Services can vary for different needs. Sometimes a client may already have certain strategies in place, other times it could be a case of having a basic website that requires a complete overhaul from the bottom upwards. Depending on a client’s needs, the following are services a professional Digital Marketing Agency may or indeed should employ:
- Research and Analysis – every Digital Marketing Strategy should start with researching the market and competitors, analysing your current Digital Marketing performance and more
- Web Development and Design – think of Web Design as a vital promotion for your product. It should be eye-catching and have information about products displayed in a clear and friendly way. This is how you want your website to look like and we have to ensure the user experience is paramount to the messages we deliver
- Copywriting Services – from company information to product description, all pages should be written in an engaging user friendly way and offer a clear idea of what it is your company offers and be relevant to your business. You have probably seen how popular blogs are on other websites. Having a blog with half-creative content isn't enough, it has to be relevant to other pages on your main website. This is where Copywriters can help
- Content Marketing – if you have a relevant content you will want the world to know about it, you might not know how to promote it though. That’s where a Digital Marketing Agency comes in and does the job for you
- Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) – arguably the most important skillset to get a website to rank high on Search Engines such as Google. There are free tools on the internet where you can check SEO score for any website, it is one of the techniques to research competitors, but it is also to see how good a Digital Marketing Agency is at SEO
- PPC – Pay Per Click is one of the best ways to increase Brand Awareness, get internet users to click on your links and ultimately increase your revenue – but don't be fooled into thinking that PPC will increase your rankings, it does not. Simple
- Social Networking – Social Networks are a good way to get organic prospective customers engaged and bring them to your website. Not everyone is good at posting engaging content and you certainly want the right person responsible to deal with visitors in a best possible way. Customer Support is the key to success. Social Networks are a tool to deal with potential and current customers, treat it that way
- Mobile Marketing – every decent Digital Marketing Strategy will have Mobile Marketing included into a brief. More and more people use their mobile devices to search online. It is now a reality, mobile device searches will out rank desktop/laptop search by the end of 2015. You don’t want to miss out on an opportunity to be seen when someone is looking for products and services you have to offer
- Remarketing – it’s a way of getting users back to your site. As simple as that. Someone has been to your site, they might have bought something or not, and you want them back. Remarketing makes that possible
- Email Campaigns – Targeting potential and current customers through Email Campaigns has been around for a long time. Well-designed email is one of the most common ways to promote your business
- User Experience (UX) Design – once a visitor lands on your site, good UX design is there to keep them and interested in your pages. The longer a visitor stays on your website, the more likely they are to make a purchase.
This is not a complete list of Digital Marketing Services, and some agencies specialise in only few areas, but it should give you an idea what services you would like to start with.
Things to Consider When Choosing a Digital Marketing Agency
- First thing you should look at when deciding whether a Digital Marketing Agency would be a good fit is to have a look at their own website. How appealing is their website? Do you as a potential client like it? Is it easy to get around the website and find what you are looking for in few clicks? An excuse such as “we never have time to do our own website” doesn’t hold a water. You want someone who understands how important a trendy site is to sell a business. If they can’t do it for their own company, how can you expect them to do it for you?
- Check agency’s presence on social media networks. At this time and age even semi-decent websites have links to their social media profiles. If you take time to click on each button and open profiles, you will get a better insight at how good their services are
- Take a look at their Client Portfolio. If you don’t see a huge list of clients that does not mean agency isn't good. It could prove the opposite, it will take years for a genuine Digital Marketing Agency to build up a Client Portfolio. Simply because they won’t try to sell you lies. Instead you will hear realistic promises and why things can’t be done overnight. Just because someone has a long list of clients, does not mean the results have been satisfying
- After you have researched their website and Social Network profiles, you should continue by using Search Engines. Start with Google and search for the name of the Digital Agency you are considering. Try adding “feedback” or “reviews” after the agency’s name and look for neutral sites offering real reviews. You cannot rely on testimonials found on a company’s website alone. Those can be fake and you could just waste your money instead of improving your Return on Investment. Check as many review sites as you can find
- You want to be sure that your prospective Digital Marketing Agency is not sweat-talking you into doing business. Once you have read several reviews, ask the agency to provide proof that they have actually increased revenues for their clients. Don’t except to receive a full brief from previous clients though, ask for things such as a final report (without having client’s name and any other sensitive information on it). The ideal proof would be contacts from their clients so that you could ask them yourself whether goals were achieved.
All these can be done without being an expert, for more in-depth research you can always contact a Consultant.
Questions You Should Ask a Digital Marketing Agency to Find Out Whether Your Business Would Benefit by Hiring the Agency
Let’s assume, that by now, you know why you want to hire someone to do Digital Marketing for you, and that you have researched a few companies. Before you start signing contracts and spending money blindly, here are some questions you should ask to help you choose the right agency.
- How Much Experience their Digital marketing Team have? It doesn't necessarily means people who will deal with your account have to be all experts, though at least one of them should have several years of experience. If a manager knows how things work and what has to be done, that is all you need
- Do They Have Any Experience in Your Industry? This is intended to see whether an agency actually cares. Even though the answer might be in lines of “No, we have never worked for a client in your vertical”, it doesn't mean they don’t know what they’re doing. Good marketers will research and make sure they understand your business. The answer you do not want to hear would be something like “Our services are the same in all industries”. All you need is a proof that a person, or a team assigned to you cares enough to take their time to understand your business
- What Would Digital Strategy Involve? Here is where you can check out whether a company you are deciding to deal with, knows what Digital Marketing stands for. You would be surprised how many offer these services without understanding the bottom line – which always is to increase revenue (in the Digital World it’s called Conversion rate Optimisation). The answer should involve research, analysis, setting targets, plan, development, adapting, and achieving targets. It does not have to be said in those exact words, it should start with research and end with achieving targets and objectives
- How good is the Communication Response Time? If an agency is really good, you should be given a response within 24 hours. They will assign you an account manager and that person would be your point of contact
- What Performance Guarantees They Offer? If someone offers you 100% performance guarantee on any of Digital Marketing services you should avoid them. In the Digital World nothing is certain, and instead of asking for miracles you should work with an agency to set realistic goals. As long as they can provide steady performance growth, you will know that agency knows the business
- How Often Will They Provide Reports? The best thing about Digital Marketing is that it can be measured a lot better than Traditional Marketing. If something can’t be measured then it’s not worth doing. You will want to be sure that services you have paid for are increasing your revenue. There should be at least monthly reports provided to you while the contract lasts.
The most important things you should look for when considering a Digital Marketing Agency are company's website and reviews. It can seem time consuming to do all suggestions from our guide, but by doing just a few things from the list could help you save money and time in the long run, the choice is entirely yours. The only question you should ask yourself is whether you want to research agencies now, or go blindly from one to another until you find the right fit. Digital Marketing Services aren't cheap and trusting one without due diligence will most likely be a money and time wasting nightmare.
Dolores is SEO and Digital Marketing consultant who has been completely hog-washed into doing this site by KC.