There are a ton of digital marketing agencies out there, and finding the best one for your business is vital. Many agencies are mediocre, and some are even downright poor. Finding a digital marketing agency that meets all your goals and objectives will enable you to develop a great digital marketing strategy for your business.
Let’s take a look at some of the most important characteristics of excellent digital marketing agencies.
1) They Have a Large Portfolio and List of Past Clients
A smart digital marketing agency is proud of its past accomplishments and has a significant portfolio to prove those accomplishments. They will be keen to share those past partnerships with you, a potential new client, to showcase their abilities and their expertise. It’s not necessary that you know who their past or current clients are, but it is a bonus if you do. Either way, you should be able to see the agency’s work with those past clients, and it should meet your expectations.
Some services are not as easy to put on display, such as SEO. So, agencies may not be able to show you their work in portfolio form in those areas. However, many agencies have case studies on past SEO clients that can demonstrate exactly how their work helped, so it’s important to ask for those if they are not mentioned on the website.
2) They Have Specialized and Experienced Members on Their Team
You need to hire the right team members for the job that you want to get done. So, you should also make sure the agency you are hiring has team members that specialize in the work areas you want to focus on. For example, you shouldn’t hire someone to do your SEO if they do not have an SEO specialist on their team. Having specialized team members means that the person doing the work can do the job correctly and get it right the first time.
It is helpful when agencies have an About Page on their website that lists their individual team members and their particular specialities. LinkedIn is also an excellent place to check an agency’s team members’ specialities.
3) They Have an Industry Reputation and Social Proof
Testimonials and mentions on social media are good examples of social proof. This proof will give you insight into what working with this agency will be like and how they will perform work for you. It will also show the quality of their work and the scope of their experience.
If you do not find any social proof or see testimonials, it could possibly mean they have not worked with very many clients, or their work has not met with the approval and satisfaction of past clients.
You can also do an in-depth search on Google to see if there are mentions about the company and to see if any of their past clients have talked about the work the agency performed for them. Seeing what other experts in the field say about the agency is also a good indicator of a company’s ability to perform the tasks you want them to.
4) Their Core Values Align With Yours
Most great companies will list their core values somewhere on their website. Core values are important because you want to work with an agency that values the same things you do, and holds things dear to them in the same way as you.
You can see the words and phrases an agency uses in their core values to see if they line up with what you believe. If you do not see their core values on their website, it could mean that the agency has not thought this out or has not taken the time to include their core values on their website.
Unsurprisingly, agencies that do list their core values and articulate them well are more likely to live up to those standards. This means that they are an agency that you will want to work with and who will provide you with outstanding service on the tasks you need to get done.
5) They Have a Well-Designed and User-Friendly Website
A website is your first introduction to a company. First impressions are lasting, and it’s hard to get past a first impression. If an agency can’t design a well thought-out and easily functional website, it will make you wonder what else they can or can’t do well.
6) They Don’t Make Unrealistic Promises
It’s a mistake to work with an agency that makes unrealistic and hard to attain promises, or says they will accomplish something in an unfeasible amount of time that does not fit with the project’s scope.
Unrealistic promises could indicate that the agency is not familiar with the industry and does not have professional expectations. Make sure their promises align with what you understand about the given industry.
Many agencies over-promise and fail to deliver. It is better to get a less enthusiastic promise than one that can’t be met realistically: choose an agency that is transparent and offers realistic expectations.
7) They Are Easy to Get in Contact With
An excellent digital marketing agency will make it super easy to get in touch with them: their website won’t be difficult to navigate, and their contact information should be displayed prominently.
Truthfully, it shouldn’t take more than two clicks to get to an agency’s contact information. The agency should also have a very clear call to action somewhere on their website that can be found quickly and easily.
Working With a Digital Marketing Agency
Get Your Team Ready
Everyone should be on the same page. Having a meeting at the start of a project organizes and prepares your team to work with the agency. To prepare for this meeting, spend time crafting a detailed brief and scope of the work to be done. Present it to the agency, and then they will get to work on your project.
Understand the Process and Scope
You should make sure your entire team understands the process and scope of the project. Go through the Four Phases:
1) Discovery and Research
2) Planning of the Project
3) Execute the Plan
4) Review and Revise the Results
Expect a Hands-On Experience
Projects that succeed are collaborative. You can reach your desired outcome by giving valuable input, but you should also understand what the agency needs from you to complete the project.
Be Ready to Give Up Some Control
Agencies know what they are doing, and you need to trust the agency that you hire. Unfortunately, if you don’t trust an agency or give them space to work, they will not be able to complete your project correctly.
There is absolutely no such thing as a silly question. If you need to ask questions to understand the project and its objectives, don’t be afraid to!
How a Digital Marketing Agency Can Greatly Help Your Business
1) Marketing Strategy
Having a digital marketing strategy is key to your success. It will become apparent that you will need a plan and a way to execute it. 40% of all businesses do not have a digital marketing strategy. This lack of a plan is why the majority of companies fail in their first year of operation. An agency can develop a cohesive marketing strategy that touches on all the right points, and then execute that strategy.
2) Brand Identity
An agency can come up with a brand identity that showcases your brand in the best possible light. They will help you understand why you do the things you do, and they can also then come up with new and better ways for you to position yourself. Brand identity has many components, including creative development, brand personality, tone, copywriting, graphic design, logo development, brand differentiator, and competitive analysis.
3) Your Website
An agency can help you build a beautiful and responsive website, especially since these days it is no longer enough to have a generic and boring presence on the web. Customers are looking for a great experience, and your website needs to deliver that. Most agencies are experienced in the latest technology and best practices and will create an appealing and visually beautiful website for you.
4) SEO (or Search Engine Optimization)
90% of all online experiences begin with a search engine; your business needs to be found easily on Google search and other major search engines. An agency will use SEO best practices to get your website visible on search engines, and will optimize your website and its content.
5) PPC (or Pay-Per-Click Advertising)
Platforms like Google Adwords are great places to advertise your business, but they can be challenging and time-consuming to execute. A good agency will know the latest tips and tricks to create a successful PPC campaign.
6) Content Creation
Content is the best way to continually drive traffic to your site. Having optimized content can help you become more visible to search engines and can also point you out as a serious thought leader in your industry. Since this is the most time-consuming of all marketing efforts, having an agency take this over will give you much more time for other aspects of your business. It’s generally said that “Content is King,” which means it needs to be a valuable part of your overall digital marketing strategy.
7) Social Media Marketing
There are well over 3 billion people on social media, and most use it several times a day. This is an excellent place for your business to be because you will reach a massive market of ideal customers. Social media marketing, too, takes a lot of time and effort, and having an agency manage it will free you up for other important tasks.
8) Design and Creation
This encompasses many things, including print media. You should have business cards, stationery, and other design marketing methods for your business. An agency can design these and provide excellent ideas to promote your business.
9) Email Marketing
Email is the number one way to advertise your business, and your email list is one of your most important tools. Email marketing has the absolute highest ROI of any marketing method: for every $1 you spend, you can get $28 back. Agencies know what words excite people and get them to buy. They can use email campaigns to tell stories that highlight your brand and bring it to the masses. A great email marketing campaign can bring in much new traffic, leads, and qualified customers to your website.
Analyzing analytics can be challenging if you do not know what you are doing. There are many varying components that go into analytics, but agencies are trained to read and respond to different analytic results. They can change their plans and strategies to align with specific analytics and make your project perform better.
Hiring a digital marketing agency just makes sense, and it is usually more cost-effective than hiring an in-house employee to do the same work. Agencies are trained to apply best practices across a broad spectrum of digital marketing strategies. Time is money, and it is not something that you have a lot of, to begin with. So, hiring an agency will free up valuable time for you to focus on other essential aspects of your business.
Marketing is one of the most crucial parts of a business – because with no customers, there is no business! Make sure to consider marketing expenses when working on the budget for your business: you won’t regret allocating some funds to this fruitful area. By choosing the right digital agency, you can have your business skyrocket to success!