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What Should I Look For When Hiring A Digital Marketing Agency?

May 16, 2022

Not all digital marketing agencies are created equal. As a business owner seeking a digital marketing agency to help grow your customer base, you will encounter a number of different digital marketing services, specialists, and agencies. 

Choosing the right digital marketing agency with the proper professionals and the knowledge and skill necessary to meet your business needs is crucial to the success of your digital marketing campaign. 

Let's take a deeper look at the steps that you, as a small business owner, can take to ensure that the digital marketing agency you choose is exactly what your business needs.

Determine What You Need From An Agency

Every business is unique, and each business comes with its own unique needs. The same holds true when it comes to digital marketing agencies. There are digital marketing agencies that specialize in search engine optimization (SEO), and there are digital marketing agencies that focus exclusively on web design or social media marketing. You will also find full-service digital marketing agencies that are able to assist your business with all aspects of digital marketing.

The key to finding the right digital marketing agency for your business starts with determining what level of digital marketing assistance your business needs. Perhaps your business already has an excellent team of market researchers and analysts in place and simply needs some help with the final execution of your digital marketing plan. Or, your business may have a talented web designer or skilled social media manager, but you could use a little help with the research and strategizing part of the equation. Maybe you have the majority of your business digital marketing efforts under control but need an SEO specialist to get your efforts noticed by the search engine ranking algorithms. 

Of course, your business may also be starting at square one and looking for a full-service digital marketing agency that can hit the ground running to launch and conduct all of your business's digital marketing efforts. Determining the type of digital marketing services and the level of assistance that your business needs are the crucial first step in determining what type of digital marketing agency will be the best match for your business needs. Once you know exactly what kind of digital marketing agency you are looking for, you can more easily narrow down your choices to select the very best digital marketing team for your unique business needs. 

Look For An Agency With Industry Experience

Seeking out a digital marketing agency with experience working with other businesses and brands operating within the same industry as your own company can be a huge benefit to the success of your digital marketing efforts. 

digital marketing agency with previous experience working in your particular industry will be likely to have preexisting knowledge of the unique pain points that exist within the industry, and ideally, the agency will have already worked out successful solutions to deal with or work around those particular issues. 

Depending on the particular needs of your business, you may want to ask the digital marketing agencies that make it onto your short list to show you any examples they may have of previous work within your industry vertical which showcases how they have successfully managed a particular digital marketing challenge related to the precise type of digital marketing services your company requires. 

A note of caution, while it is often advantageous to partner with a digital marketing agency that has a depth of knowledge and prior experience working with other companies, or brands within your specific industry, it is important to make certain that the digital marketing agency you choose operates with the understanding that each and every business is unique, even within the same industry. Essentially, you will want to avoid choosing a digital marketing agency that relies on a templated, one-size-fits-all approach to digital marketing campaigns. 

Agency Size Matters

Consider the size of the digital marketing agency and choose an agency that is sized to best meet your needs. There are distinct advantages and disadvantages to both large and small digital marketing agencies, so it is important to understand the pros and cons and choose the best fit for your particular marketing needs. 

A small direct marketing agency may be able to offer your business easier access to the top marketers and designers and often allows for more direct communication and more personalized service. On the flip side, a small digital marketing agency may lack the experience and knowledge to provide some digital marketing services. Individuals tend to specialize in one particular service or another, so fewer team members often mean that fewer services are offered. 

A large digital marketing agency is likely to have a more compartmentalized approach to digital marketing, which delegates specific digital marketing services to teams of individuals with specialized experience and knowledge in providing that particular service. This means that a larger digital marketing agency is more likely to offer a true full-service digital marketing solution as they have the staff size needed to properly handle all of the different digital marketing tasks. The downside to a larger digital marketing agency may be a lack of communication between individual teams, though this concern can be addressed up front by confirming that the digital agency you choose to work with has an adequate open-door customer service policy.

At the end of the day, there are positive and negative aspects to both large and small digital marketing agencies. The key here is to select the agency size that best meets your company's marketing needs. 

Beware Of Promises That Sound Too Good To Be True

We have all heard the adage, "If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is." This bit of wisdom holds true when considering which digital marketing agency to partner with for your company or brand marketing needs.  

There are so many moving parts and different layers that make up a digital marketing campaign, and in every digital marketing campaign, there will always be elements that are outside of the control of the marketer or the business. Knowing this, it is wise to steer clear of any digital marketing agency that makes pie in the sky promises that sound too good to be true.  

Look for a digital marketing agency that is confident that they can provide improved customer flow and growth for your business. Most importantly, look for an agency that can back up those claims with a solid track record of success. Use caution when presented with any type of guarantee of success or grandiose promises with little or no solid proof to support the claims. 

The Best Agencies Use The Best Tools For The Job

When selecting a digital marketing agency to help build your business or brand, don't be afraid to ask for specifics regarding the tools that they intend to use to complete the work. When it comes to digital marketing, the tools that your digital marketing agency uses can make a huge difference in the ultimate success or failure of your digital marketing campaign. 

For example, if you are hiring a digital marketing agency to perform SEO for your business or brand, you will want to know that they are using industry-leading tools such as Ahrefs or SEMrush. These top tools have been proven to be most effective for monitoring keyword trends and usage, a task that is vital to running a successful SEO digital marketing campaign.

Look for a digital marketing agency that makes use of modern communication tools as well. While basic email is fine, today's customer communication tools like MailChimp and CampaignMonitor make it much easier to properly monitor and track customer outreach efforts, while tools like Slack make communication between digital marketing agency team members and your business much more efficient. 

Check The Reports

As we discussed in previous sections, digital marketing campaigns are made up of multiple layers with many moving parts. The inherent complexity of digital marketing campaigns can make it difficult to accurately gauge which digital marketing efforts are successful and which are underperforming or not performing at all. 

Proper monitoring, tracking, and analysis are crucial for understanding what is working and what needs to be adjusted. As the client of a digital marketing agency, the various reports generated by the agency teams will be your window into how your digital marketing campaign is running and whether you are receiving the promised return on investment (ROI). 

When choosing a digital marketing agency to partner with your business or brand, it is important to select an agency that has robust monitoring, tracking, and analysis system in place and is able to quickly and readily produce high-quality data-rich reports which clearly show how each individual aspect of the digital marketing efforts are working. Reports should be detailed enough to provide true granular value, and the reports should be presented in a way that is easy to understand and does not obfuscate the data presented. 

Of course, some reports will be more complex than others and may contain metrics that are difficult for the layperson to grasp. In those instances, your digital marketing agency should be willing to take the time to sit down with you or a member of your staff to fully explain the data shown in the report and its meaning.

It should be noted that some digital marketing services are more difficult to monitor and track than others. For example, social media marketing campaigns and content revenue are often difficult to provide accurate metrics for, but for most services, you should expect to see regular reports that show a solid ROI. 

Solid reporting policies not only show that a digital marketing agency is committed to full transparency by keeping you, the client, fully informed of the successes and failures of your digital marketing campaign, but it also allows the agency to create more effective digital marketing campaigns, by allowing them to quickly identify problem areas so that adjustments can be made to steer the campaign back on course.

Look For An Agency That Practices What They Preach

When choosing a digital marketing agency to partner with your company, pay close attention to the digital marketing agency's own digital marketing efforts. How do they promote their digital marketing services? Does their agency website work properly and look amazing? Do they have an official agency blog filled with high-quality content? Does the agency have a social media presence? 

These may seem like unimportant questions at first glance. After all, you are hiring them to provide digital marketing services for your company or brand, so why should you care about their digital marketing efforts? There is good reason to care about a digital marketing agency's marketing efforts when it comes to promoting their own agency. 

First and foremost, a digital marketing agency's self-promotion efforts act as a reflection of how seriously the agency takes digital marketing and how proficient the agency is at executing the various digital marketing tasks. At the end of the day, all businesses, regardless of industry, have the same need to promote the products and services that they offer, attract customers, and grow their business. A digital marketing agency is no different. 

It is reasonable to expect that a digital marketing agency would put its best efforts into promoting and growing its own business. Therefore, it only follows that the digital marketing agency's own efforts undertaken in promoting their agency are the best that they have to offer. If those efforts are lackluster or non-existent, you may want to consider choosing a different digital marketing agency. 

Is Their Pricing Affordable And Scalable?

Here is the brutal truth when it comes to digital marketing agency pricing. When it comes to digital marketing, you truly do get what you pay for. That is not to say that you cannot get high-quality digital marketing services for a bargain price or that you have to bust your small business budget to hire the best digital marketing agency. 

What it does say is that there are built-in costs to running a digital marketing campaign. If a digital marketing agency is offering you a rock bottom price, you have to dig deeper to find out how they are able to offer that price. You will want to make sure that they are not cutting corners or skimping on much-needed tools in order to offer discounted services. When it comes right down to it, discounted services are hardly a bargain if you are paying for a digital marketing campaign that does not have the tools it needs to succeed.  

On the flip side, spending a small fortune to retain the services of a boutique digital marketing agency is no guarantee of success either. It all comes down to metrics and due diligence. You will need to go into your search knowing that high-quality digital marketing services come with a cost, but that cost should be clearly justified with solid reporting showing a steady ROI. 

Ideally, you should seek out a digital marketing agency that offers full transparency in their pricing model and allows you to scale up your digital marketing services as the digital marketing efforts begin to produce results and your business grows. By selecting a digital marketing agency with transparent and scalable pricing, you will be able to clearly see the ROI for your initial digital marketing efforts, and you will have the data needed to decide where and when to allocate more capital to expand your marketing efforts in select areas of the digital marketing campaign. 

So what should you expect to spend on digital marketing services for your business? Every business is unique, and therefore every business will require a unique set of digital marketing tools and services in order to run a successful digital marketing campaign. The vast differences between the particular digital marketing needs of different industries make it difficult to arrive at any sort of accurate digital marketing cost estimate. Marketing is simply not a one-size-fits-all type of service. That being said, we can offer a broad price range. Depending on your specific business marketing needs, you can expect to spend from $500 to $20,000 (or more) each month for professional digital marketing services. 

While this can seem like a high cost, especially for the small business owner who is just getting started, the average ROI for digital marketing services is generally well worth the cost in terms of improved customer traffic and business growth. 

Contact Dexterous Media Group Today! 

Choosing the right digital marketing agency to help you grow your small business is a huge decision that can have a massive impact on your bottom line today and the rate at which your business is able to grow and expand in the future. Dexterous Media Group is a full-service digital marketing agency with a dedicated team of industry professionals who are able to provide the high-quality digital marketing service your business needs, from SEO to website design and everything in between. Best of all, Dexterous Media Group offers a variety of digital marketing packages designed to allow you to choose the right level of digital marketing for your company and scale your digital marketing campaign to grow with your business. Ready to learn more? Contact Dexterous Media Group today. We can't wait to show you what we can do!

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