Deciding to hire a digital marketing agency for your business is easy.
But what’s rather not easy is choosing which digital agency to go with for strengthening your brand presence online.
To answer why, there are a lot of entrepreneurs promising themselves as the best for you, and it makes the selection difficult.
So the first answer we need is to what are the factors that make a digital marketing company best?
It’s common to look for testimonials and cultural fit, but there’s a lot more that goes behind the scenes when choosing the best digital marketing agency for your business.
The second thing we have to make sure of before hiring an agency is whether they are the best fit for your business and your team. Because even if a leading digital marketing firm isn’t able to collaborate with your team, it will be difficult to work with them in the long run.
The digital marketing agency you hire for your business is also a part of your team. So your digital agency team must understand your brand, your customers, and competitors and see the growth of your firm collaboratively with their own.
Here we chalk out the best strategy to help you at choosing the best digital marketing agency for your business.
10 Factors to consider before choosing a digital marketing agency
#Check 1- What they offer should match your goals.
Every digital marketing agency specializes in different factors, as does every other business.
Before you decide to work with a digital marketing agency, you have to understand your goals and set them out clearly to achieve in a time-bound manner.
Like your business has something unique from your competitors to offer, your marketing strategy should be unique as well. It also helps the agency to determine quickly whether they will be able to help you achieve your marketing goals if they know what you are looking for.
Marketing is the tool in hand to inform your customer about who you are and how your business serves as the solution to their problems.
When you have jotted down the set of goals precisely, you can easily pair it with the digital marketing agency that specializes in the goals you aspire for. This is why having a set of focused deliverables serves as the first step in finding the right digital marketing agency for your small business.
#Check 2- Portfolio and past work
Leading digital marketing agencies proudly tell about the clients they have helped and the outcomes they have delivered.
They show the story of these partnerships on their website and on their social media channels.
The portfolio is the next factor to be considered when you’re looking for the best digital marketing company for your business.
You may not necessarily know everything about the past clients of the agency you are considering, but it is always a bonus to know. But if you are not able to find any list of the clients of the agency, that tells they have not, most probably, worked with anyone in the past.
When you are looking for only the best digital agency, you can’t compromise on the knowledge of the portfolio of that firm. However, it’s not always possible for the agencies to showcase their work with their clients in a portfolio of some special types of services like Search Engine Optimization or SEO and content marketing.
Simply by going through the LinkedIn page or website of a digital marketing agency, you can find out if they have a wide range of clients, experience in the industry, and how well they understand the market.
#Check 3- Experience in particular services
Businesses often find it difficult to opt between an ‘all services’ agency and one that specializes in certain areas.
While hiring an agency that seems to offer all kinds of services at the table might sound attractive, it is not a recommended practice.
Understand it this way- if you want to get the windows of your home replaced or repaired, would you go for a general contractor or the one which is a window maintenance agency?
The smart answer would be to go with the latter one. Why? Because it specializes in an area that matches your goals.
The best digital agency that fits your marketing goals is the one which is an expert in one or two chosen services, and the rest of the services are provided as secondary options or as add-ons.
So if the digital marketing agency you are considering hiring is niched in some special services like PPC advertising, it will give you the best results and revenue for the dollars invested.
#Check 4- Online reviews
Getting to know the positive online reviews of a digital marketing agency is the most promising way to be sure that it delivers.
Social media channels are helpful for checking out the reviews of a firm. However, not every client of that firm is reaching out through these channels to post reviews. In that case, Google and Yelp become two trusted sources for checking online reviews of a digital marketing agency and seeing what their previous clients got to say about them.
Starting with Google, check for the name of a digital agency and see the unearthed results.
Apart from the page of the company’s own website, you can also look at the local Google results and social media accounts and read some reviews. It tells whether the company has worked on its inner projects to position itself in the local SEO searches.
You can also find out the rating of the agency in the local search results breakout box.
Yelp is another trusted place to find out the reviews of an agency.
Also, look for how the company has responded to the customers in case of negative reviews- for example, apologizing, offering help, or looking for clarifications. If the company has engaged in healthy conversation, it shows its maturity, sense of responsibility, and willingness to rectify mistakes.
#Check 5-Client testimonials
Testimonials form a part of the social proof, which are the responses from clients told directly to the digital marketing company they hired previously.
It can give you a full insight into the experience of a previous buyer when they worked with that digital agency. Testimonials are hosted on the website of most marketing agencies, and sometimes the testimonials are shown as templates in the page header or footer.
Moreover, a smart digital marketing agency knows the significance of showing social proof of their collaborations on their website and even channels like LinkedIn. If you can’t find such testimonials, it tells that they might not have worked for businesses previously, or they don’t have a good hold over the industry as you would need them to have.
Are testimonials different from online reviews?
In case you are wondering about the above, yes, testimonials are not the same as reviews because testimonials are an expression of gratitude from the firm’s clients.
Understand testimonials as a ‘note of thanks’ given from the client whose major challenge was solved by the digital marketing agency, and now the agency would like to use it on their site.
#Check 6- Experienced team members
No matter what services you want to focus on by hiring a digital marketing agency, it’s important to know if they have the right team suited for your projects.
For example, if you are looking for monthly blog posts for your audience, you won’t hire somebody who doesn’t have a writer experience in SEO and keyword research.
The first place to look is the ‘about us’ page on their website, and chances are they have listed their team members there. If you don’t find a list of team members there, visit the company’s LinkedIn page. You may directly click on the LinkedIn redirecting button on the website or even go and search for the company on LinkedIn.
Navigate to the ‘people’ section of their page and meet their employees. However, one thing to keep in mind is that agencies don’t often show the freelancers or contractors on their team. And it is also possible that some of the team members are not available or active on LinkedIn.
However, this is very helpful to know the team, and you can always ask the agency about their team later.
#Check 7- What does their website say?
If an agency is really good at promoting its clients online, it should mean it can very well promote itself.
Leading by example is what is expected of any smart digital marketing company. If a digital marketing company can’t rank itself for its industry keywords, how can you believe them rank your business?
Your work tells a lot about your brand, and if someone visits your website, it needs to be worth their time. Just by looking at their website, they should get an idea about what amazing benefits they are going to receive by working with you.
If the website of a digital agency doesn’t feel attractive to you or appears low-quality, it’d be better to look for another that provides exceptional designs and ease of navigation.
#Check 8- Company culture
Company culture is about the daily operations of a firm and the way it communicates with its employees.
Internal culture is rather more important than you ever considered because it reflects the treatment of its employees within an agency. Companies now understand the value of retaining their employees and their active role in the growth of a company.
Building that inner culture, however, requires- efforts, time, and capital expenditure, which many digital marketing companies ignore for short-term gains.
It becomes more important in the case of a digital marketing firm because they are busy round the clock. The team of these firms is all constantly working to provide results and project changes for their clients.
Over time, it can be too much for a person to carry on, especially for designers and writers. That’s why having a positive communication and supportive environment is crucial for every digital marketing company.
Wherever the team leader goes, the team follows.
If the leader shows dedication, responsibility, and excellent customer service, you can rest assured to depend upon any employee of that company.
Try to connect with the top leadership of the company, and that way, you will have quick and reliable access to the company.
#Check 9- Pricing and transparency
Though transparency seems a non-tangible factor as it is, obviously, hard to measure, and the industry is not devoid of agencies involved in shady practices.
This is why it’s essential to make sure that the digital agency you work with looks after your interests and company growth as their own. Transparency of capital is something not to be compromised because it tells you exactly how much you can expect to invest in hiring the services of a digital marketing agency.
Agencies dedicated to their clients are ready to discuss their pricing very clearly online, and they prove to be one of the best digital marketing companies for your small business.
It is very helpful for the client to know the amount they will have to spend to work together.
#Check 10- Communication and customer service
To make the best out of your partnering agency, good communication is a must.
Leading digital agencies have a dedicated point of contact to keep updating you with the performance metrics and things going on within your company. You have to pay attention to the communication channels they have set up, how quick is the response, and when they reach out to you.
To grow your company and expand your services area, a long-term relationship is ideal.
And responsive customer service will decide if you can go together in the long run. If the company you work with is dedicated to responding quickly and making amends to the marketing strategies with growing demands, it is the one to go with.
Responsive and stellar customer service is a priority for a leading digital marketing company.
Over to You
Whether you’re ready to jump directly into online warfare to grow your business and let your customers reach you, or you are just looking around for some extra information before starting off.
We are happy to connect and let you know how we can help you consolidate your brand presence online.
Ready to get a digital marketing plan for your small business?
Give us a call or consult us here now.