How to choose a digital marketing agency September 25, 2020Partnering with a digital marketing agency is an exciting step in every company’s journey. Based on our experience, there are a few different reasons clients look for a marketing partner: They’re beginning a strong growth phase and need to generate more leads. They’re changing their image or going in a new direction and need awareness. They’re chasing big new business goals and need to bring their communities along. Marketing is a vital part of every business strategy. The U.S. Small Business Administration recommends spending 7-8% of your gross revenue on marketing, with a 50/50 split between digital and traditional methods. This is simply because businesses don’t exist without customers. Marketing is just as essential as the design of your products, delivery of your services, and excellence of your customer experience. If things are going well, it’s a great way to carry your momentum and level-up. If things are going badly, it’s a great way to refresh your image, reset, and move into a new phase. In this blog, we’re going to run you through the basics of working with a marketing partner. What is a digital marketing agency? How do you choose a digital marketing agency? Most importantly, what can you do to maximize ROI and get the most bang for your buck? Want to talk to a real person? We get that. Give our friendly team of digital marketing experts a call today. What is a digital marketing agency? A digital marketing agency is essentially a business growth partner. They will talk to you about your business, find out about your business goals, learn about your mission and values, and then develop a strategy to help build awareness of your brand and generate as many new leads as possible. It’s really important to note that this isn’t about sending money into an internet black hole and simply hoping for the best. It’s about using a range of digital tools, and proven strategies, to directly impact your bottom line. You should see direct results within about 90 days of coming on board. As a quick overview, this includes: Getting your business to rank on Google This can be done a few different ways, but usually we combine a great new website optimized with strong keywords, an active Google My Business profile, targeted Google Search Ads, and a comprehensive blogging strategy that keeps your website active. Building a network of engaged followers on social media If you already have social media accounts, you’ll know it takes a surprising amount of time to create content and engage with your followers. A digital marketing will help you create a content strategy that captures your tone of voice and directly works toward your business goals, as well as a content calendar that means you never run out of things to post, and they’ll engage with your followers on your behalf. This can be done on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Twitter, and more. Sending targeted ads to the right kinds of people The best thing about digital advertising is that you don’t have to send them to everyone (although you can if you wish!). Instead, you can target the kinds of people who are most likely to actually want or need your products and services to address a pain point, which maximizes your ROI. This increases the chance that every ad impression will lead to a conversion (this is marketing jargon that simply refers to a sale). Agencies can do this through Google Display Ads, Facebook Ads, and more. Educating your customers about how you can help them The best way to do this is through content marketing. This includes a logical and well-organized website, an active blog page, polished video marketing, and active social media accounts. Creating a streamlined sales funnel to capture the right people A sales funnel refers to the journey people take from first becoming aware of your brand to completing a sale. There are a few common steps they all share, and your marketing partner will be able to streamline the process to help you attract the right people and give them a great experience: Exposure: A prospective customer first becomes aware of your products or services. Discovery: They are interested in learning more and become an online follower. Consideration: They are now a “qualified lead” and educate themselves about you. Conversion: They complete a sale and officially become a customer. Retention: They have a good experience and either come back again or refer you to others. This is where all the pieces of the puzzle tie together. First, people will learn about your businesses through targeted digital advertising, or social media, or a direct Google search. Second, they’ll click through to your Google My Business profile, social media page, or website. Third, they’ll look around to find out if you’re the right fit for them. Fourth, they’ll buy a product or schedule a service. Fifth, you can give your marketing partner a high-five, because you’ll know the strategy worked. Want to find out more about digital marketing services? Get noticed with the right mix of creativity and technology. How do you choose a digital marketing agency? There are a few different factors that you should consider in choosing a digital marketing partner. The most important is obviously track record. You need to know that your investment is going to pay dividends, in the form of new leads, because marketing should be an investment, and not a risk. The best way to assess this is by looking for case studies and testimonials on their website, and by checking out their reviews on Google My Business. You’ll be able to get a pretty good overview of the quality of work they deliver, the types of clients they work with, and their success rate. The next most important thing is culture. A digital marketing agency isn’t just a robot at the end of an email, and honestly, it would be a waste to treat them as such. You should think of them as a business partner, who is just as committed to helping your business grow as you are, so it’s really important that you’re a good fit for each other. Their website will give you a good overview of this, but you could also check out their social media accounts to get an idea about their brand personality. If all goes to plan, you may end up working with them for a long time, so it’s important to choose well. After that, you need to look at things details like capability, budget, and business goals. As a general rule, it’s probably best to start by looking at partnering with a digital marketing agency about the same size as your business. If you’re a start-up, consider a start-up, because they’ll be just as hungry and agile as you are. If you’re medium-sized, consider a medium-sized agency, because they will have solid strategies in place, with a consistent client base, and they’ll be looking to level-up too. If you’re on the cusp of big business, consider a top-tier agency, because they’ll have the resources and processes to support your business goals. That way, you’ll be able to work well together. Want to talk numbers? Find out how much it costs to hire a digital marketing agency. How can you maximize ROI? Good marketing needs good communication. It’s as simple as that. To create a great partnership with a digital marketing agency, and maximize the impact of your campaigns, you need to be very clear about what you want to achieve. This will help your marketing partner design the strongest possible strategy, and deliver the best possible campaign, to ensure you grow in the right direction. Then, once you’ve set your campaign goals, you’ll need to provide prompt and honest feedback. As we said right at the start, you should aim to allocate at least 7-8% of your revenue toward your marketing budget, and you should aim to make every dollar of this work as hard for you as it possibly can. Help your marketing partner help you by letting them know exactly what you want. That way, they can make all the necessary adjustments to ensure you always put your best digital foot forward. At the end of the day, it’s about helping your business grow, scale, and thrive. Ready to get started? Schedule a free consultation!