Choosing a digital marketing agency or someone to help you get results online should be simple to do, but it’s not.
You might come across some seemingly good advice somewhere, but then find conflicting advice in another place. Finding a trustworthy company or individual to work with is vital if you want your marketing campaign to succeed, which you obviously do.
You can make a better choice if you know a few details about what you’re asking for, and know a little about the people you might work with.
What should you think about when choosing a digital marketing agency?
- Proof of success in other campaigns
- Comments from other customers & accreditations
- Campaign plan
- Meetings & Reporting
- Company stuff
- Fees and payment terms
- Remove additional costs by being specific
- Terms & Conditions
- Writing objectives & a marketing brief
1. Proof of success in other campaigns
This is the main thing – you want results from your website, so it will pay to use someone who has delivered for their other customers.
Ask to see – graphs from Google Analytics showing increases in organic traffic (if you’re looking for SEO) and conversion (enquiries or sales) over a number of months. If you’re looking for someone more specific, like “quality link building”, then ask to see proof of this from the company’s other campaigns.
2. Comments from other customers & accreditations
Seeing graphs and data that prove the agency can produce the work is crucial – that’s what will make the difference to your business – but it’s valuable to have a good working relationship with the people you’ll be paying.
Ask for comments or testimonials from other customers that the agency has.
If you’re looking for help on a specific aspect of a campaign, then finding an agency with a particular accreditation can be worthwhile. For example if you’re looking to run a Google AdWords campaign then using a verified Google Partner means you’ll be working with an agency who already manages a certain level of advertising budget for other clients, and meets criteria that Google set in ensuring their practices are up to scratch.
3. Campaign plan
Much of the work involved in digital marketing will take place over a number of months (it’s not always the case, but often is). If you need this kind of work then you’ll want to know that the agency has a plan for each month – ask them for this.
4. Meetings & Reporting
The more specific you are about the work you need, the better – but as easy as that is to say, it’s often harder to do in real life. You might need guidance about the kind of campaign you need to meet your business goals.
But as well as the actual work itself, you’ll need to see the results. Find out how, and how often, the agency will report to you on the work they’ve completed and the results it has brought. If they’re tasked with generating more enquiries for your business then you should be able to track this already, but it’s still well worth asking them to tie that data back to their work. Asking for custom reports from Google Analytics is a good starting point.
You may require meetings at certain points during the campaign – you might discover that some agencies add additional charges for this, so make sure you find out.
5. Company stuff
A limited company is a legal entity and has obligations to follow certain laws and regulations, file accounting information on time and do all of the things that keeps a company going – which should include producing good quality work and keeping their customers happy.
The benefits of working with a company vs working with a freelancer or someone doing digital marketing “on the side” while holding up a full time job are obvious, but worth thinking about. Do you need to communicate with the agency during normal working hours? Does the work required take place over a number of months? Do you need to have more than one person involved in the campaign?
6. Fees and payment terms
It’s important that the agency is transparent about their fees and the deliverable work you get for a fee – that way you know what to expect. Ask the agency how their fees are put together and what you can expect for different fees and deliverable work available. Also find out when fees are payable by so you can ensure work continues to run smoothly.
7. Remove additional costs by being specific
Writing a brief for the campaign is really crucial (both for your business and the agency you’re looking to hire). When you get a proposal from an agency then make sure it makes sense to you and they’ve covered everything you’ve asked them too. If there are other things you’d like them to do (such as minor website changes, website management, print advertising, other marketing activity) then make sure you know if/how and how much they’ll charge for this additional work – they may provide a rate card for this kind of thing.
8. Terms & Conditions
Ask for terms and conditions of the campaign so you’re aware of the full obligations you, and the agency, are signing up to. There may be a contract depending on the agency and the type of work involved. There may be things that you will be responsible for – such as providing content, signing off work for publication or ensuring material you provide is owned by you. Having all of this written down means you’ll know exactly where these responsibilities lie.
Find out who will be working on the campaign, and who your points of contact will be. If you’re being pressed for a hard sale by someone who has no input on the campaign itself, you might want to check in with the people responsible for delivering the work itself and make sure they’re capable and communicative.
10. Not sure where to start?
The best thing you can do is write down your objectives – what do you want to achieve specifically? Can this be measured in number terms? Is it a realistic target? When would you like to reach these objectives by? By doing this you’ll have a clear goal in mind – now you need an agency to produce a proposal of how they aim to meet that goal.
Not sure how to write a marketing brief? Get in touch and we’ll send you some guidance.