How do you choose a digital marketing agency?

by | 18 Jul 2019

Do you think online dating is hard? Try being a small business owner choosing a digital marketing agency to work with! On the surface everyone looks good – ‘insta worthy’ profile pics and all the right words promising all the great things. But words come cheap, and underneath the surface there is as big a difference in the ability of digital marketing agencies as there is in the substance behind those online dating profiles!

So how do you differentiate the quality from the showy? How do you know what questions to ask to find a great digital agency that will partner you in growing your business?

We’ve put together the top 5 questions you should absolutely ask yourself when considering a new digital marketing partner…

Are they asking the right questions?

What are the questions your prospective agency is asking when you first talk on the phone? Are they looking at the bigger picture of your business or just trying to sell to you?

A great digital marketing partner needs to know about more than Google Ads – they need to have an understanding of how to succeed in business. You want a partner that can work with you step by step to build a business with long term sustainable (and profitable!) growth.

Essentially, you want them to be asking questions that indicate they know about business, and can offer strategic direction to help you.

  • Why you are in business and what are your goals?
  • Do you know who your target audience is? (with crystal clear clarity!)
  • Where do your current leads come from? What is your current cost of acquisition?
  • How do you convert those leads and how successfully?

Your marketing partner needs to have the big picture before they recommend what will work for you…. Otherwise they’re guessing.

Is there a great marketing team behind that profile?

It’s one thing to be impressed by the person who is the face of the business – but who are the worker bees behind the scenes? Who are the people that will be doing the day to day work on your business? The last thing you want is to be promised the world and then handed off to an intern or marketing graduate with 5 minutes experience in the real world.

What to look for?

  • A cracking marketing team – with years of experience! Check out their website and make sure there are specialists across SEO, Google Ads, Social, Content, Web & Management
  • Digital content guru’s – experienced in creating great content that captures the audience
  • A marketing manager with knowledge and experience who will help you find your voice, not a marketing junior
  • Overall – great people who care about your business!

Do they offer full transparency?

Absolute transparency is important, in both the amount of work being done and the results that you’re getting. You want to know how much time will be spent on your business, and what are the reporting metrics that will gauge results.

At a minimum you should look for:

  • Good quality reporting on agreed metrics – a monthly report that tracks your, traffic, leads and conversions. Or even better… a live dashboard with your agreed metrics that you can view at a glance anytime!
  • Reporting on deliverables – make sure you have agreed deliverables and know how will they be measured and reported to you.

Do they have credibility?

There are a few ways you can really gauge the credibility of a Digital Agency – and that doesn’t include just listening to what they say. You’ll want to see actual data and real information!

  • Proven results (with statistics) of actual clients they have worked with to achieve real growth. Traffic growth to websites, growth in turnover, growth in conversions
  • Testimonials from past clients that confirm that these are good people to work with!
  • Resources within the team – check their team profiles on their website to ensure there is depth in each field, and that they list experience and achievements of those people.

So what is the plan of attack?

Now that you’ve ascertained all that – what the actual Plan of Attack?

  • Strategy – so many people talk about it, but are they recommending the right strategic tactics for your business?
  • Optimisation and analysis – how do they actually do this? You want to make sure things are continually improving and growing
  • Doing the right things – you don’t want people who are going to chase the shiny fluffy stuff.. get the biggest bang for your buck
  • Good Analytics – what are the tracking and reporting framework?

You also want to know that your account is being managed by a qualified digital strategist that knows their stuff – someone that is across your business and keeps the whole process in check and under control.

So from a logistical point of view, we recommend you look for something like this:

  • A weekly phone meeting to discuss the work in progress and keep things on track
  • A monthly in person meeting to review priorities and go through the monthly report and results
  • A quarterly review with a high level strategy discussion to plan for the next quarter
  • An annual half day workshop to plan for the upcoming year

At the end of the day your digital agency is your partner in business – it’s an important relationship that requires considered thought and attention, like any relationship in your business or life. So do your research, ask the right questions, and get out there and achieve your Everest!

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