Choosing The Right Digital Marketing Agency for Your Business
Questions to help you choose the right agency for your business
There are many reasons why you might want to engage the services of a digital marketing agency for your business. You might have an old, dated looking website in desperate need of an overhaul, your business might not be showing up for the keywords that you want it to in the organic search results, leaving your competitors taking more and more market share and social media may be something that you’ve heard of but never tried for your business and you simply don’t know where to start.
Whatever the reason for you exploring partnering with a digital marketing agency, there are so many agencies that specialise in different areas and industries and niches that it can be difficult to find the one that will be best suited to your business. We have put together a selection of questions that you will want to ask yourself and any potential digital agencies before committing to a relationship with them. Of course, you will have your own questions and the agency that you meet with will have their own questions for you; these are just a few questions that can help you to get the most from your initial discussions.
When can I expect to start seeing progress and results?
This is a perfectly reasonable question and you should not be reluctant to ask for timeframes on any kind of activity; this question will help you to clarify exactly what needs to be done and when and what will happen. For example, if your agency is building you a simple, one page website; you will expect to see a much quicker turnaround than if you require a higher end ecommerce website with hundreds of products that all require unique descriptions.
You can also use this question to help determine what you need to do for your business – perhaps you have a whole library of fantastic photos of your product or business and you want those to be used on your website – the agency can only upload them if you send them and if they are in a different format than is best for the website, they will have to reformat these images and this will take time.
If you are looking to improve your organic search engine rankings, you will be looking at another time scale to a website build and this will be dependent on where you are as a business in the rankings at the moment – this is something that a knowledgeable and experienced agency will be able to discuss more in depth with you confidently and to explain how the process works.
Perhaps this is the first time that your business will be trying social media and you have nothing to compare it to – ask the question and the agency will discuss all aspects of the process and give you realistic time frames based on your individual business activity.
How will I receive reports and what data will be on these reports?
It is important that if you are thinking of entering into a longer term relationship with an agency that you receive regular updates on the progress of the activities that you are paying for. All reputable digital marketing agencies have clear reporting structures, from per project to monthly format depending on the activity they are undertaking. A monthly report is particularly useful for identifying progress on SEO (search engine optimisation) and social media activity as these are longer term undertakings that will need to be analysed over a longer period.
Knowing what data will be shared on the reports can help you to determine if the reports will help you to be able to identify ROI for your investment and if not, you can always ask for an alternate data set to be included to your own specifications.
Which other businesses or campaigns have you worked on similar to mine or in the same industry?
Whilst agencies will often have a range of different industries that they work across, for example construction, retail, international business etc, they will generally have one area that they particularly specialise in. Asking what work they have previously undertaken within your industry will allow the agency to show you their previous work and campaigns for other clients and give you an outline of successes that they have previously achieved for them, which will give you a good indication of their experience and ability within your specific business area.
What do I need to do to help you?
An agency partnership is just that – a partnership. No one knows your business better than you and there should always be open channels of communication between your business and agency so that you can work effectively together to achieve the best results.
If you are particularly active with many different events happening all of the time, it could be something as simple as letting the agency know a calendar of upcoming events so that they can promote and network on social media on your behalf in the run up to the event itself. If you offer a highly specified niche product, the agency will no doubt need your unique insight into how your business is found and used by your customers so that they can develop a strong strategy to further support this.
Who will be working on my accounts?
It’s always nice to meet the people who will be working on different aspects of your account and most often, the agency will want to introduce you to key members of the team so that you can get to know them better and to ask any specific questions to the people who will be working on different parts of your campaign or project.
Remember, agencies are specialists in their arena and will want to do the very best work possible for your business whilst working with you, whether it is a short term relationship for them to build you a new website or a long term relationship that will encompass a whole digital intelligence review and online marketing strategy and campaigns. By asking the right questions, both you and the agency will be able to determine if you are the right fit for each other and to have a clear understanding of exactly what is expected of both parties and what your shared goals are to help your business to succeed.