Last updated June 2nd, 2020.
As you navigate the world of e-commerce, it is easy to become overwhelmed by the sheer enormity of trying to stay at the top of your SEO while making the most of your social media and keeping track of your Google Ads. And somewhere in the midst of this manage your business effectively.
Many companies, especially those without the budget for a dedicated in-house SEO team, turn to digital marketing agencies to help them to set and maintain excellent websites, ads, and various other facets of digital commerce.
Bringing on professionals to assist your business and expand your place in the virtual marketplace is often a great idea. There are numerous excellent firms who do top-notch work. However, there are a few essential things to make a note of before signing a contract with the first agency that crosses your path.
Before You Search for a Digital Marketing Company
- It is vital that you have your budget drawn up before meeting with any agencies. If you do not have a firm grasp of what you can spend, it is far too easy to overshoot your targeted budget.
- Create a list of your objectives for the campaign. This is an example of you cannot get where you want to be if you do not know where you are going. It helps you and your potential marketing consultant narrow the focus and pinpoint the areas which are most important to your online presence.
While many factors contribute to a successful digital marketing company, here are the top things you need to look for when searching for the right company to work with you.
1. A First-class Website
You would not hire a gardener who had a yard full of weeds or a chef famous for using microwave meals. So, you should categorically refuse to put your company’s web site in the hands of a company who cannot maintain their own page.
There are several things to look for on a digital marketer’s website to help you learn how well they tend their own garden.
- Effective SEO in Place – If the agency promises great SEO results for their clients, how does their own stack up against the competition?
- Useful Content – A website needs fresh, pertinent, and well-crafted content.
- A Blog – The blog helps with SEO ranking, but it also makes cataloguing your content fast and simple.
- Vibrant Updated Images – Very old and irrelevant images shed a dark shadow over any website.
- A Fast and Responsive Website – Today, the virtual shopper is looking for a website that establishes a secure connection quickly. If your digital marketer cannot achieve this for their site, do not entrust your site to them.
2. Experience That is Relevant to Your Industry
It is a fact that even the best companies had a starting point. However, in this case, experience does not automatically mean how long the company has been operating. When you sit down with the company representative pay attention to a few things:
- Does the company have a sense of what you create or do? It is generally easy to spot someone who has not done their research before a meeting. If they are not making an effort to impress before you sign the contract, it bodes poorly for what happens after you sign.
- Can they discuss your industry or niche? Do you feel they grasp your particular struggles?
- Has the company experienced success with a company about the same size as yours? You do not want to bind yourself (and your money) to a marketing company that will be overwhelmed by you or find your business insignificant.
3. Learn About Their Team
If you go to their website and see a company which has a group of well-trained energetic individuals who radiate enthusiasm and have a varied collection of skills, you are off on the right foot.
4. See the Key Tools the Company Uses in Online Marketing
Even if you can check off several boxes on your list of important traits, the marketing company you align with must have the expertise and the right tools to create and maintain your website. You owe it to your company and yourself to find out:
- What does the team use to measure SEO and website performance some examples are Moz, Google Analytics, Hubspot
- What tools do they use to manage email marketing, for instance, Hubspot, MailChimp, Constant Contact
- Which tools cover their inbound marketing examples being Marketo and Hubspot
- How do they measure social media analytics two good options are Hubspot and Sprout Social
While relevant experience in your industry is crucial, there are marketing firms that use the same approach for all of their clients in a particular niche. Be wary of companies which cling to a cookie-cutter approach for all clients in the same or similar industry. Your goal is never blending in with your competitors.
5. Do They Use Enough Quality Content That is Not Written?
Written content is priceless, however photography, video, audio recording, and even augmented reality are useful and impactful methods of using unique content to put your company ahead of the pack.
Ask for examples of how they incorporate images, video, and audio into their work. Stock photos are not bad, but unique shots are better. Learn about the equipment the company uses to create its audio, video, and images. Professional equipment nets professional results.
6. Check Out the Other Clients
A quality marketing firm will proudly hand over a portfolio of their work. When looking through potential companies’ portfolios, keep an eye out for the following:
- Reviews and testimonials from clients
- Work the marketing agency completed for past clients as well as how they maintained their work if still under contract
- How your company compares in size to the others
7. Does the Company Pass the Beer Test?
When you meet with representatives from the marketing firm, ask yourself if you would want to get a beer with them. This is less objective than the other key points listed.
However, to get the best results from a marketing company, a comfortable working relationship is necessary. If you are at ease and the company representatives seem to be at ease with you and each other, it is a good sign that a productive relationship is in the cards.
While there are scores of online marketing firms run by hard-working experts with integrity, you should be aware of a few signs that you need to look at a different digital marketing company.
- Unusually Low Costs – If the marketing company you are considering promises a price tag that is substantially smaller than others, you should be wary. No matter what your campaign consists of, it will cost the marketing firm to create the results. Exceptionally low charges can mean your company will not receive appropriate attention or that the firm you are working with lacks the personnel and equipment to produce acceptable results. Another potential cause for lower than average costs is the firm is outsourcing business overseas which takes you far out of the loop regarding your campaign.
- Other Agencies – A quality business does not try to prevent potential clients from speaking with their competitors. Many welcome the interaction because they are well aware of their strengths and how much better they appear in comparison.If the company you are considering discourages contact with other marketing firms, it is usually a signal to walk away.
- Outside Sales Teams – Consider these points: an online marketing agency specialises in building your company’s reach and impact within your niche. They use their tools and skills to drive customers to you. If the marketing company cannot successfully create enough business for themselves and resorts to outside sales, what makes you think they can help your business to flourish?
- Tall Tales – When a firm boasts about the enormous successes they engineered, and cannot produce a shred of proof, do not take the bait, just walk away.
- First Page Guarantees – Promising too much too fast is a big warning sign you should heed. Ask to see the context of some of the marketing firm’s first page rankings. If the marketing company talks about moving clients to the first search results page, you need to learn more details. There is a huge difference in taking a real estate company to the first page for a sizeable city full of competitors and a first page ranking for a subsection of a suburb with few competitors.
Are You Ready?
When you are ready to start your digital campaign, we encourage you to get several detailed proposals, including one from Digital Hitmen. This way, you will know exactly what services you will be receiving, at what costs, and with a truly professional, experienced digital marketer with a proven track record for success.
Our business success is solely dependent on your business success and satisfaction. We welcome your enquiry and we are always available by email at firstname.lastname@example.org, or by phone on 1300 615 252.