How to Choose a Digital Marketing Agency

Business Marketing Strategy Reading Time: 4 minutes

Choosing the right digital marketing agency is easier said than done.

Because how can you tell you’re picking the right one without knowing what results you’ll get?

The marketing industry is famously unregulated, and sadly, many agencies out there take advantage of that by providing poor service without repercussions.

If you’ve tried outsourcing before and been stung by a bad agency, that’s probably why.

But the good news is that there’s a load of honest and professional digital marketing agencies that hold themselves to high standards.

If you want to know how to choose a digital marketing agency, keep reading as we’ve laid out all the things you need to research and consider to separate the good and bad agencies and make the right decision!

Establish your goals and objectives

The first step is establishing what you want to achieve and how soon you want to achieve it.

Do you want to increase organic website traffic and leads? Capture leads and sign-ups through PPC campaigns? Build and nurture an audience on social media? Get a brand new website built? Do you need immediate results, or are you setting up a long-term strategy?

Setting clear business objectives will make it easier to narrow down your options and give agencies a clear idea of what you’re looking for.

But, if you’re unsure what you should be aiming for, some agencies will also offer consultancy sessions to help establish your overall marketing and business strategy.

Determine which type of agency you need

Once you’ve established what you want to achieve, you can determine which type of agencies can help you get there.

Are you going to need an outbound or inbound marketing agency?

Do you need an agency that specialises in just one area, or will there be multiple arms to your strategy?

Do you need a marketing agency, or will you need a web design agency too?

At this stage, it’s also essential to consider future objectives, as choosing an agency that specialises in one area can make launching future campaigns tricky if you want to branch out and try a different approach.

Look at the agency’s experience

Of course, a big part of this process is finding an agency with the right experience.

With this, there are a couple of things to look at; their knowledge and their ability to deliver results.

Target Market Experience

Many business owners tend to try to find agencies that have experience working with similar businesses to their own. But there’s a better way of looking at it.

Instead, look for agencies with experience in targeting the markets and sectors you’re trying to reach; that’s the big thing!

Learning about your company and what you do can be picked up quickly, but understanding different audiences’ behaviours, traits, and buying habits can take much longer to master.

Track Record & Reviews

Their track records and success rates with previous clients are vital too.

There’s no point in choosing an agency that knows your target market like the back of its hand if their campaign organisation and execution are poor.

Do your research into an agency’s previous projects and customer reviews.

Look at things like:

  • Reviews – Check their rating and read reviews on Google, Bark, and their website
  • Case Studies – Details of previous client projects and the results
  • Reach out – You can also reach out to their previous clients to ask them about their service

While many agencies display awards, these aren’t as reliable as the above.

Many business awards tend to be self-submitted, have overly specific categories, or they’re just paid for.

On the other hand, partnerships and industry accreditations from organisations like SEMrush and Google are good indicators that an agency puts out quality work!

Find out what the agency’s values are

Look into the value that each agency stands by and whether they align with your values.

Does the agency stand by honesty and transparency? Do they strive for the highest quality of work? Do they put their clients first?

What you’ll find in your research is that most agencies will have the values above on the ‘About’ page of their website.

Agencies might claim to follow those values, but without action to back it up, it’s just words.

You need to look at how they adhere to those values by asking about the processes they have in place.

How do they ensure complete transparency? Do they give you full access to reports, accounts, and CRM systems?

How do they ensure they’re delivering quality work? Do they set clear targets and objectives? Do they offer any guarantees? Do their track record and reviews reflect the quality of work that they promise?

If you find a genuine agency that doesn’t just stand by their values, but uses them to guide their work and offer an honest, professional, and effective service, then you’re on to a winner!

Get some proposals!

Once you have a shortlist of a few good digital marketing agencies, reach out and request a proposal.

Lay out what you want to achieve, the services you’re looking for, and your expectations and see what they come back with.

Once you’ve got a few proposals through, compare them.

Look at which proposal is the most comprehensive, which one offers the best value for your money, and which one is best for your objectives.

This will help you narrow down which agency is the best option for your business and your goals.

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