How To Pick The Right Digital Marketing Agency
We’ve put away all the decorations (or about to), so the holidays are over. It’s time to get back to work. But, is your company ready for the new year?
Planning your digital marketing strategy is one of the most essential steps to succeeding in business. Just as you would plan actionable steps to achieve a personal goal, a marketing plan helps you set out a plan of attack for your marketing. However, the first step is deciding if you would like to do all the marketing yourself or choose the right digital marketing agency.
Let’s take a look at the difference between DIY marketing and choosing an agency.
DIY (Do It Yourself) Marketing
Marketing is such a broad term that it can be challenging to know where to start when planning out your strategy. From SEO to SEM, Email campaigns to social media management, there are many time-consuming strategies that go into marketing your business online. So, it’s common for companies to choose to do as much as they can themselves because it saves money and gives them more control over their brand image.
The Biggest Drawbacks To DIY Marketing
- It takes a lot of time and energy to work on each individual aspect of your marketing strategy.
- Everything has to be set up from the ground up.
- If you don’t have a team to manage everything, it’s easy for tasks to become overwhelming and slip through the cracks.
- The strategy becomes diluted because different aspects of marketing need attention at different times.
- You seriously may not have any idea what you’re doing which means you’re set to waste a ton of money and time- neither of which you have.
Essentially, you’re a business owner, and your talents likely lie in things that are not digital marketing. Therefore, it’s best to focus on what you do best and leave your digital marketing strategy to a trusted expert who can save you time while leveling up your business.
Choosing a Digital Marketing Agency
Digital marketing agencies provide a service that you cannot do yourself. They are experienced, knowledgeable, and have connections with other professionals in the field. By choosing an agency, you’re essentially hiring a team of marketing experts to work on your brand for you.
Congratulations! By going this route, you’re outsourcing!
The Biggest Benefits Of Choosing An Agency
- You can focus on what you do best while freeing up time to put towards other aspects of your business.
- You have a team in place for everything you need, which is especially helpful when working with multiple marketing platforms or in-house employees.
- Agencies are experts at executing strategic marketing campaigns that will drive customers to your business.
- The end result is an effective marketing plan that works together to meet your goals.
- Like any other employee, you can hire and fire based on performance
Choosing the Right Digital Marketing Agency
Now that you understand the difference between DIY marketing and choosing an agency, let’s discuss how to pick the right digital marketing agency for your business. There are a few things you should always keep in mind when vetting an agency. Let’s talk about what some of these are.
How many years of experience does this agency have? Do they have any experience working with companies in your niche? The answer to this question is important. Agencies with experience in your niche will understand how to differentiate you from your competitors and market your business most effectively.
Keep in mind, however, there are many digital marketing firms that enjoy being generalists. They like that they get to work with a wide variety of different companies and enjoy that challenge. The staff’s willingness to learn about your business can be all the difference you need.
A great place to start is by looking at the agency’s portfolio. How do their results stack up to your goals? An agency that understands the needs of its clients is one that knows how to effectively plan out marketing strategies. You can learn a lot about an agency by looking at the work they’ve done for other clients both in your industry and outside.
References and Case Studies
The next things you should look for are case studies. These are examples of how an agency has helped a client achieve specific results.
Some of these case studies can be informal, for example, a testimonial from a client that gives insight into the agency’s strategy and how it worked for them. Others can be more in-depth, showing actual data from campaigns and proving the efficacy of the agency’s methods. If they allow you to reach out to their references, you should definitely do so. References are a great way to get insight into an agency’s work and how they operate day-to-day.
Ask each digital marketing agency what they do well, but also ask them what they don’t do so well. Having that sense of self-awareness and honesty is essential. Avoid the companies that claim to “do it all.” They may do it all, but do they do it all well?
Will this company be there for you when you have questions? Can you find them and contact them when you need them? An agency that makes itself accessible and responds to your needs and questions promptly is one you should consider.
Everybody reads reviews for everything these days before making a purchasing decision, and choosing a digital marketing agency is no different. Look for reviews from reputable sources, such as those written by industry professionals and those published on Google.
Does the digital marketing agency make you sign a long-term contract? If so, run. You should maintain your professional relationship with an agency out of choice, not an obligation. You also don’t want to be locked into an expensive contract because you failed to read the fine print. Make sure you’re aware of all pricing details and that they are reasonable for your budget.
Pay particular attention to what lawyers refer to as “out clauses”. If you’re not happy with their performance, what’s your “out”?
Do they personalize their approach or use a cookie-cutter technique for every company? You want an agency that understands your business and is willing to establish an individualized plan instead of one that simply follows a predetermined strategy for every client.
Remember, not every marketing element makes sense for every business. For example, if your average customer only spends $20-$25 in your business, running a $1000/month Google Adwords campaign probably doesn’t make a lot of sense. It’s important to only work with agencies that will walk you through a conversation about ROI to consider the pros and cons of what they’re going to do specifically for your business.
Does the digital marketing agency own any aspect of your marketing? If so, this is a huge red flag. You don’t want an agency to have any ownership of any aspect of your business. This includes your marketing or content. Make sure your business retains all rights to content created.
It’s still surprising to us how in 2022, we still see clients who don’t even own their own domain, their website, or other marketing components.
Guarantees are great but beware of any “too good to be true” offers. If an agency promises something like, “We’ll get your website to the top of the search rankings in a week!”, be careful. While there are definitely some quick wins for most companies, no one controls the search engines.
Most digital marketing professionals want great results for their clients. It’s a win-win for everybody, but it’s very difficult to make sky-high promises or guarantees when someone else (i.e. Google) controls the rules of the game.
Only work with agencies that shoot straight with you and always tell you the truth regardless of what that looks like.
Make It Loud: A Trusted Digital Marketing Partner
Make It Loud is a digital marketing firm with over 17 years of experience. We want to help business owners like you succeed in your digital marketing strategy. That’s why we don’t consider ourselves successful until our clients are.
We understand what it takes to achieve success in any industry. From major corporations to small businesses, we have a proven track record of helping brands improve their online presence and increase revenue.
We pride ourselves on delivering a customized marketing strategy to each of our clients, and we work hard to be accessible, approachable, and trustworthy. Our team is responsive and available to help you whenever you need us. We even have retail space in the Atlanta area to make face-to-face meetings with clients easy.
Contact us today to learn more about our digital marketing approach and see if we would be a good fit for your business.