Decision making

How To Choose The Right Digital Marketing Agency

SocialB Digital Marketing Blog Last modified: 14 Jun 2023 by Amy Hobson
Digital Strategy | Other

Outsourcing your digital marketing to an agency is a big decision for any business.  Not only does it require financial investment but it also means that you are handing over something that is central to your business growth to a third party.  Choosing the right digital marketing agency for your business is crucial to the success of your campaigns. So, what should you consider before you make your decision?

Before you make any decision, or even approach a digital marketing agency, you need to be really clear about two things.  Firstly, why you are looking for an agency?  What are you hoping that an agency can do for you that you can’t do internally?   Secondly, what function do you want an agency to do for you so you can choose the right type of agency.

Advertising agencies, for example, specialise in paid marketing and advertising campaigns.  A digital marketing agency, however, will offer separate functions i.e. social media or paid advertising, alongside a full suite of services including conversion rate or search engine optimisation,  social media management, digital strategy and email marketing.  Do you want an agency to do everything for you or just one or two services?  If you want just one service now, consider that you might want to expand the relationship to include other services in the future.

Once you have established why you want to work with an agency and what you want them to do for you then you need to consider which agency to use.  There will be many agencies who offer the services that you need but the points below will help you to find the right agency for you.

  1. Previous Work

Look for case studies and success stories for businesses that are similar to yours.  Ideally, you would want to see case studies in the same industry.  This gives you an added assurance that the agency are more likely to understand your business and the marketing challenges you face. Don’t, however, automatically dismiss an agency that hasn’t worked in your industry.  If an initial conversation shows understanding and they have worked with businesses of a similar size and scale or with similar challenges then a fresh approach can sometimes be an advantage.

When looking at previous work also ask questions to establish the way that they would work with you and outline how they would reach your goals.  At SocialB, we offer clients a free strategy session which gives potential clients the opportunity to see how we work before we create a proposal.  You can look at and ask about previous work or campaigns and pick up hints and tips during the strategy session.

  1. Agency Reputation

Reviews and testimonials are a good starting point to assess an agency’s reputation and you would expect these to be available on request.  Ask questions about the agency’s latest projects and results.  Also, ask to speak to an existing client.  Most agencies would be happy to put you in touch with an existing client for you to discuss their work and the success of the working relationship that they have.

  1. Culture

When you are entrusting a marketing function to an agency, in essence allowing them to be a public voice for your business, it’s important that their business culture aligns with yours.  If they are providing a service like SEO it may seem unnecessary, but working with an agency means that you will need to build a relationship with them.  To build a relationship, culture is important as you will want to be certain that the team you are working with fully understands you and values the same things.

  1. Agency Structure

Agencies are structured differently and frequently have many different job titles.  If you are told that you will be assigned a Digital Marketing Executive, what does that actually mean in terms of seniority?  Establish who will be working on your account, what experience they are expected to have, and what support and experience is available to them.  Do they have a “second” on the account to act as a sounding board to discuss results and new ideas?   Who will ultimately be responsible for the success of your campaigns?

  1. Transparency

Transparency right from the start is important to building any relationship.  Ask questions and expect an agency to be open to answering them.  Be very clear on availability, dedicated time, reporting, and expectations (both what you expect of the agency and what the agency will expect from you).   Defining expectations right from the very start is critical to establishing transparency with an agency and starting a relationship in the right way.

  1. Digital Presence

Researching an agency’s own digital presence is a relatively easy way of checking them out.  You would expect them to be active across the digital channels and their content should show them to be on top of the latest tools and trends.  Sign up for their newsletter and follow them on social media so that you can see the type of information that they share.  Does their content reflect some of the challenges you face in your business?  If it does then they could be the right choice for you.

If you’re not ready quite yet but are considering the benefits then check out our blog on deciding whether or not you’re ready to work with an agency.

If you are ready and are looking for a digital marketing agency to work with please get in touch.  We could be the agency you are looking for.

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