So, you’re looking to hire a digital marketing agency and you want to know what to expect. Often, business owners don’t know exactly what digital marketing entails, and what a specialized digital marketing agency can do for them. There are digital marketing agencies of all shapes, sizes, and specialties, but there are a few standard things you should expect no matter which agency you choose. Digital marketing campaigns can be essential for small businesses and online businesses, and here’s what you should expect from an agency before you entrust your brand and your company to them.
Scout out what services or specialties they offer
One of the first things you should look at is what services or specialties they offer. Depending on what your business needs, you will probably want to make sure the digital marketing agency offers at least one or more of the following services. The more they offer, the more likely the agency will run marketing campaigns utilizing a combination of these services, and they will know how to use these services together to achieve the greatest results for your small business.
Pay Per Click, or paid search advertising, is available on search engines like Google, Bing, and Yahoo. PPC is an alternative to ranking in google, done through advertising, as your ads show up above other search results, and can be considered a short term fix. Price is determined by a number of factors, mainly your metrics, but you’ll only pay for each time your ad is clicked.
SEO, or search engine optimization, is the long term counterpart to the short term search engine ranking fix of PPC. SEO helps your website organically rank higher, and qualified agencies will often know how to navigate the often confusing technical world of SEO.
Content marketing mainly consists of writing blogs, creating video and photo content for your website and socials. Content marketing can build your brand, your brand’s awareness, and help you in gaining a larger audience on social media. Writing blogs will drive more traffic towards your website, and an excellent digital agency will be able to devise detailed, result yielding content marketing strategies for your business and your brand.
With social media steadily growing in today’s digital age, it is definitely an area of digital marketing worth investing in. Quality digital marketing agencies will consist of social media savvy employees, equipped with powerful social media tools to help your business reach the largest audience possible on social media platforms.
The best method of reaching leads, potential customers, and consumers directly is through email marketing, or sending out a regularly scheduled email newsletter. It allows you to market a new product, or offer a promotion or service, directly into their inbox. Any good digital marketing agency will have experience in email marketing, and will have a wide array of email marketing tools at their disposal.
Often referred to as the golden rule when looking into hiring a digital marketing agency, looking at what services they can offer you is something you should always do. A wide range of services is usually what you should expect from a digital agency, unless you choose to work with an agency that specializes in only one area of digital marketing, such as an exclusively social media marketing agency.
What makes the agency different from others?
There are so many digital marketing agencies out there, many of them all doing the exact same thing. What makes the agency you are considering stand out from their competition? What are they doing that others don’t? Is it their experience? Case Studies? Customer testimonials? The wide variety of services they offer? The multitude of marketing tools they have access to? Their personal branding and marketing for their agency? Their quality of communication? These are just a few of the things you should expect from a digital agency, discussed in further detail below.
For example, one of the ways Lift Digital is different from other agencies is that we work in our client’s accounts. Whether it is your website, Google Ads, Facebook, HubSpot, LinkedIn, Email Service Provider, Google My Business, Yelp… we work in our client’s accounts.
If a marketing agency or freelancer starts doing work for you and you didn’t have to give them access to any of your accounts, it means they are working in THEIR account. And if they are working in their account it isn’t yours, which means that the second things go sideways or you no longer use their services then all the work that you pay for goes with them. We don’t believe that is fair or right. You pay us for services, and the work you pay for stays with you forever.
You should expect constant, quality communication from your agency
This agency is handling one of the most important aspects of your business- you should be able to get in touch with them easily, you should receive updates from them about your marketing, and it should be quality, open communication. You should not feel like your agency is withholding any information from you, about marketing or anything else. Communication is a key aspect of an agency-client relationship, and a quality level of constant communication can make all the difference in the marketing for your company. The more you communicate about your goals and expectations with your digital agency, the more detailed and focused they can be with their marketing campaigns, and the better results their campaigns will yield.
The agency should have a strong online presence
If they can’t market themselves well online, they probably shouldn’t be marketing your business for you! The agency should have a high quality, active linkedin account, as well as an up to date website with lots of information. The website should be detailed, with an “about us” page discussing the background of the agency, what they do, and why they do what they do.
Other good things for their website to have are a mission statement, core values, lists of associations and marketing certifications, and a meet the staff page. Bonus points if they take the time to really show you what makes them different from other agencies and why you should choose them over a different agency! If they are able to market themselves well online and through their website, there is no reason for you to believe they won’t be able to market your business just as well!
A description of their pricing structure
You should expect to have a general idea of the pricing aspect of your marketing venture with a digital marketing agency. Many agencies will work with different pricing structures, including hourly billing, project billing, monthly retainer, combination of hourly and project billing, and service package pricing. One thing you should try to avoid is becoming locked into a long term binding contract with an agency. While this isn’t always avoidable, most higher quality, reputable agencies won’t lock you into contracts.
Marketing experience, shown through case studies portfolio or list of previous clients
On a good digital marketing agency’s website, they will be able to provide results of past successful digital marketing campaigns. These results can be shown through case studies, where the agency can show their goals, their client’s goals and expectations, their campaigns and strategies, and their results. They may even include client testimonials. These are all signs of a strong digital agency, and something you should expect from an agency you have recently hired or are considering hiring.
Alignment with your brand
You should expect a digital marketing agency to have similar values as your business. For example, at Lift Digital, our core values are:
Honesty: We believe in complete honesty. If there’s a problem, we’ll let you know. If we screw up, we’ll let you know. All problems can be overcome through good, honest, and complete communication.
Integrity: We won’t hide or obscure the truth. We’re going to let you know exactly what’s going on. We’re your partners in this.
Hard Work: We’re going to do everything we can to make your marketing as successful as possible. Your business is what supports not only your family but the families of your employees and stakeholders. It’s a big deal.
Transparency: Complete transparency. Complete reporting, complete accounting, how much work things take, how we’re performing, and how we can do better. No holds barred, but we expect the same in return. It makes both of our jobs easier.
By having an agency whose core values align with those of your company, you will be able to have a better understanding of each other, and a stronger agency-client relationship. For that reason alone, that may be the most important thing to expect from your digital marketing agency.
Now that you have some expectations in mind for a digital marketing agency, go in search of an agency that offers the right services for your business, an agency that is different from others, an agency that communicates well, an agency with marketing experience and values that align with your brand. And if that sounds like us, we’d love to begin working with you!