A lot of early-career entrepreneurs assume that a great product alone generates sales. However, growing your company doesn’t just happen without a solid marketing plan. No matter the scale of your company, marketing is essential if you want to meet pre-established goals.
Why Hire a Digital Agency?
Hiring a digital agency means you’ll have access to expertise that your marketing department may not have. It will also save your business money. If you opt for an in-house designer or any other digital specialist, you’ll have to pay them an annual salary.
If you hire a digital agency, you’ll only be responsible for a monthly retainer or fixed fee. Best of all, you get access to a team of specialists instead of one person.
Know Your Needs and Budget
The first step in deciding which agency you want to hire is considering your needs and budget. You must have a clear picture of your business needs regarding your:
Decide what you’re willing to spend. It’s hard to come up with a set price since costs vary between businesses depending on scale and needs. A talented person should know how to stay within a fair budget and set clear expectations.
Ask for Complete Transparency
One of the biggest problems that companies face when they turn to outside help for digital services is a lack of transparency and clarity.
You should collect as much information as you can about the agency you plan to hire. Review its website and pay special attention to details, such as:
- Client feedback
If you can’t find this basic information, the agency probably isn’t the best choice.
Check their latest portfolio. Make sure to check live websites.
When an agency shows you its portfolio, most of the time, the work they choose to feature has already been completed. It may even be a few years old.
While past work is important, ask if you can see current projects the agency is working on. It will give you a clear picture of their process.
Obviously, they won’t be able to share everything because of privacy concerns, but it’s always worth asking.
Is the Agency Credible?
Most companies consider credibility to be one of the primary factors they take into account when scouting for a digital agency. Once you have a few prospective options lined up, read through client testimonials on the agency’s website, and also review websites.
Try and obtain client references, even from clients who have had bad experiences. While these negative experiences may not reflect the quality of the agency’s work, they do help paint a picture of how they deal with unexpected issues.
What are their KPIs?
Many businesses keep track of vanity metrics, which are numbers that don’t generate revenue but matter nonetheless. An example of this is the number of likes you receive on a social media post.
You need to make sure that the agency you work with isn’t going to charge you for growth in vanity metrics. Ask how they are going to measure success through Key Performance Indicators (KPI).
Here are KPI metrics that a good digital marketing agency will pay attention to:
- Time Spent on Website – Measuring how much time users spend on your site can provide you with some valuable insights. It shows you how relevant and engaging your content is. If users don’t spend a lot of time on your site, it could be a sign that you need to do a better job targeting your content.
- Traffic Source – You should always know what channels visitors use to navigate to your site. For example, if you discover that a lot of traffic is coming in because of an article that ranks high in search engines, focus on creating similar content.
- Click-Through Rate – The click-through rate measures how many times your ad was clicked on versus the number of impressions it generated. It helps you discover how targeted the copy of your ad is.
- Cost Per Click – Cost per click is a purchase system designed for paid ads. As the name suggests, when you use cost per click advertising, you pay every time your ad is clicked on.
Plan For a Long-Term Partnership
Digital world isn’t cut-and-dry. For a digital agency to make a lasting improvement, it must approach marketing as a continuous process.
Your business is always changing, so why wouldn’t your digital efforts? As you develop new products or content, your marketing should reflect that. A good digital agency will have an ongoing plan in place.
Consult Multiple Agencies
When you start your search, don’t choose the first agency you come across. That’s the quickest way to pigeon-hole yourself. So you can understand what’s realistic for your business, consult several agencies.
It’s okay if all of the agencies you choose are very different in terms of what they offer and how they go about delivering results. Collecting a few very different options will help you understand what you’re looking for.
Finding a reputable and capable digital agency can be tough, especially if you don’t know what to look for.
The most important factors to consider are:
- Past work
These will help you understand the scope of the agency’s work and help you assess whether you want to hire its team.
Always research before you hire any agency. Once you’ve finally chosen one and started to work, maintain a close-knit relationship and an open line of communication.