Digital marketing is vital to staying afloat for online sales in our fast-paced world.
Many companies however, are unable to provide the time or in-house resources necessary to launch a full-blown marketing effort. This often means outsourcing the marketing project to a private firm. Choosing the right digital marketing company can bring your business to another level. From the experts at PaintedRobot, here’s some advice for how to choose the right digital marketing agency services.
DETERMINE YOUR NEEDS
Choosing a digital marketing firm without first defining the needs of your company is like buying a car without test driving it first – it just doesn’t fly. Prior to conducting research and exploring the market, it’s crucial to set clear goals, and evaluate how much you are willing to spend to achieve them. Make a checklist of “must-haves” and “nice-to-haves.” Some marketing agencies offer a full-service package, whereas others specialize in areas like SEO or web design.
You must also be clear as to what the desired outcome of the marketing effort is and how the agency can help you achieve it. Is the brand in need of renovation? Is there a new product we need to push? Is there an untapped market we want to reach? This type of internal analysing is mutually beneficial for the digital marketing company you plan to hire. It will clearly define the services that will be required by them and outline the type of relationship that can be expected. Seeing as this is a partnership, cohesion between you and the digital agency you hire will make for a much more enjoyable experience.
DO YOUR RESEARCH
Now that you’ve got a checklist, it’s time to do some investigating. Check out companies’ About Us pages to understand their mission & values, read reviews, and contact previous customers to get a feel for each digital marketing company. Another great way to evaluate a marketing firm is by checking out their own presence online. Is the firm active on social media? What type of tone do they use in their marketing materials? Is their content professional, creative, and accurate? Do the company values resonate with your own business? Can the company provide added value to our strategy? See what they look like on Google by running a search. Here is the search for PaintedRobot.
The right questions, no matter how big or small, can help provide insight on the potential fit between you and the agency. Ask about the company and the people that work there. Is the company culture similar to yours? What is their process like? Consider any questions that will help gain some clarity on the legitimacy of the digital marketing company. Look to see how they answer the questions as well. Does something seem off? Do they seem a little too good to be true? This could be a potential red flag. The ability of a company to provide full transparency and communicate effectively is a valuable trait to look for in a prospective strategic partner.
In addition to your initial research of a company, consider their previous digital marketing track record. Check to see if the company has any experience in your industry or has had success in accomplishing goals that are similar to ones you have set out. If they do not have experience working with other companies in your field, get clarity on what their strategy is for approaching an unfamiliar industry. If they cannot speak at length about how their strategy works, it could be a red flag. Ask them about any past failures as well. What went wrong and what has the company changed in order to ensure success with a similar task in the future? This may provide an opportunity for a company to show transparency, and could be a good mechanism for narrowing down your choice.
GET TO KNOW THE TEAM WITH A FACE-TO-FACE MEETING
Before settling on a digital marketing company, consider setting up meetings with your “top picks.” Times are a ‘changing, so be prepared to meet virtually. Either way, chatting with your potential marketing agency face-to-face allows both sides to get a “sampler” of what working together might look like, and to better understand the project at hand. Be transparent about your goals and budget, and ask specific questions about how the team might work to achieve such goals. You may also request case studies of past clients from similar industries.
GET PROPOSALS FROM MORE THAN ONE FIRM
As mentioned before, not all marketing companies offer the same services. Some provide a “one-stop-shop,” while others specialize in one or two areas. To help you make a final decision, consider requesting proposals from each marketing agency of interest. This will give a better idea as to the extent of the team’s technical knowledge, an estimated timeline, how the plan aligns with your budget, and the type of involvement and feedback you will have throughout the project. Some companies are deeply involved with their clients, informing them of any and all updates throughout the process. Others choose to report back only once the project is over.
LOOK FOR VALUE
Cost should undoubtedly be a factor that will weigh into your decision, especially when you have a specific budget dedicated to marketing efforts, but the company boasting the least expensive rate shouldn’t be shot right to the top of your consideration list. It is more often than not that low prices equate to low-quality results. This doesn’t mean to choose a company with outlandishly high rates expecting high-quality results either. You want to look for a company that offers the best value, providing a clear understanding of what results your money will acquire. This is where defining your needs, extensive research, and face-to-face meetings come into play. All of that information can be used to choose a company that offers specific services you need at a price that works with the budget. What makes you different? What are the strategies you use that provide results? How long will it take for these results to manifest? Questions like these will make it easier to filter through agencies that offer inadequate services for a cheap price, or expensive services that don’t align with your specific needs.
Making the decision to hire a digital marketing agency is the first important step in getting your website on the map. At PaintedRobot, we understand that selecting the perfect company to guide you on your marketing journey is a daunting task. That’s why we offer full transparency with all our marketing efforts, and are willing to get to know you and discuss your project before jumping into a larger commitment. To learn more about who we are and what we do, get in touch with our team today.