The average small business spends about one per cent of its revenue on advertising. The actual dollar amount can vary a good deal across businesses. Some industries also have higher advertising costs, due to competition.
Your marketing budget is probably a little larger than that. That’s because marketing encompasses so much more than just advertising.
If you’re putting so much money into your digital marketing efforts, you want to be sure you’re getting a return. That’s why you want to work with a digital marketing agency.
Getting the most out of your digital marketing partnership means you need to hire the right team. Be sure to consider these eight factors before you sign on the dotted line.
1. Which Channels Does the Agency Use?
You’re developing a digital marketing strategy, which could include the use of several different channels. You might be interested in Instagram and Snapchat, as well as some content marketing.
Ask about the services any potential agency partner uses. If you find an agency that uses Facebook and LinkedIn, they may not be the right fit for your Instagram-and-Snapchat strategy.
Many agencies work with many channels, but almost everyone has their specializations. One agency may specialize in how to do SEO. Another might have plenty of experience using programmatic advertising.
The best agencies are well-rounded and offer a wide variety of channels. You may also want to hear them out on why they’ve chosen specific channels over others. If you have research about which channels are most effective for you, make sure any suggestions align with that.
2. Ask about Customisation
Some agencies offer packages or bundles, which see several services put together. These often have a more appealing price point.
You might see that bundles include services you don’t need. You might want to add one on. Ask the agency if customization is possible.
A customised service package helps you get more of what you need from the agency and less of what you don’t need. It also means you won’t have to pay for services you’re not using, which decreases your ROI.
3. Consider the Age and Location of the Agency
Before you sign a contract with any partner, you should take a look at the company’s history. Where are they based? How long have they been in business?
A digital marketing agency that’s been around for some time likely knows the ins and outs of their industry. They’ve had to evolve and keep up with trends. Of course, some older agencies may be a bit set in their ways.
A newer agency may have fresh ideas, but they may not have a proven track record of success.
Location is also important when selecting an agency. Why? Digital marketing can be done from anywhere. A local agency will be more attuned to your audience and your market.
4. Look at the Digital Marketing Agency’s Work
Next, take a look at some examples of the agency’s work. Many agencies will place case studies, portfolio examples, and testimonials on their websites.
You can also visit the websites of clients to see web design or SEO in action. It can be a little bit more difficult to see ad campaigns, especially if they’ve ended.
If you can’t find examples of the agency’s work, then ask to see some. You want to be sure what they’ve crafted for their customers aligns with your vision for your business. The agency should be flexible, but they may bring certain sensibilities with them.
5. Get to Know the Agency Team
The digital marketing experience depends a good deal on partnering with a team that “clicks” with your business. That’s why you should spend some time getting to know the agency team before you sign a contract.
First, getting to know the team lets you know about their experience. Who is the resident SEO expert? How long has anyone on the team been with the company or in the industry?
Next, you want to see what kind of customer service you’ll receive from the team. There may be team members that you get along with quite well. If you find you’re not resonating with a team at all, they just may not be the right partner for your business.
6. Talk to Other Clients
If it’s possible, you should talk to some of the agency’s other clients. Satisfied clients will give them rave reviews. If clients have parted ways with the agency, you may want to know why.
You may be able to find clients in the agency’s case studies or elsewhere. Some people will be willing to discuss their experience, while others may not. The agency should be willing to give you a couple of client names.
You can also look online for reviews and referrers. Many clients will have already posted their opinions about the agency and their work. That can give you the insightful feedback you need.
7. Define the Services You Need
Before you sign up with any agency, make sure you have a good idea of the services your business needs. If you’re unsure, ask the agency to outline a plan for how they’d help your business.
By defining your needs beforehand, you can give yourself and the agency a clearer picture of what you’re expecting. That can help the agency put together a customised quote for you, which will give you more of the services you need.
If you’re unsure, you’re more likely to feel the agency didn’t achieve the results you want. That may be because goals were unclear. By setting expectations, you set the foundation for a strong partnership.
8. Consider Pricing and Your Budget
Finally, there’s the issue of budget and pricing. As a small business, you may have been doing you marketing yourself. You may also have decided to go with the lowest-cost agency due to budget constraints.
When you’re comparing agency fees, keep value in mind. You may be able to do some digital marketing activities yourself, but you lack the expertise of the agency team. Without those skills, you can’t drive results the same way, which decreases ROI.
That situation costs you more in the long run. An agency that offers the right mix of services may seem more expensive on paper. They could very well be the most affordable option thanks to the value they deliver.
The Right Help Goes a Long Way
If you’re considering a new digital marketing agency, then be sure to consider these eight factors thoroughly. By thinking through your partnership carefully, you’ll be able to find the right team for your business.
Ready to discover the difference the right team can make? Get in touch with the experts today. A better digital marketing strategy is just a few clicks away.