Do you know exactly what you’re paying for? This article tells you what you should expect from your digital marketing agency.
When it comes to outsourcing digital marketing, it’s important to know what you’re paying for. Whilst the largest companies in the world may keep their marketing in house, it’s not a luxury every business can afford. Smaller businesses tend to outsource services, in order to ease the some of the pressure that comes with managing a smaller company. If you’re outsourcing services, you only want the best for your business. You need a pro team to manage your digital marketing strategy. Be it running your PPC campaign or an SEO expert optimising your site, investing your money with the right agency is key.
And how do you know you’re investing wisely? Whether you’re looking for a digital marketing agency or have been recommended one, we’ve compiled a check list of things you need to look for before you sign up to their services. You need to know the ins and outs of what’s on offer, what should be on offer and the results that should be delivered. With all that in mind, let’s get down to the gritty technical stuff of what to look for. They say the experts know best, that’s why we’ve got all the information from leading digital marketing agency, Revive.Digital, to tell you what to look for in your digital marketing agency.
Whilst you may not be able to afford all of these, a digital marketing agency with a full list of services is vital. The secret of digital marketing is that whilst separate services can benefit your business, the way to get the best results is to incorporate more services into your strategy. The more the investment, the greater the return. Any digital agency worth their salt will tell you that a good agency offers the whole package. Doesn’t matter if you don’t use them all, if they aren’t available to you then that’s a red flag. Below, you’ll find all the services that should be on offer to you, regardless if you want to use them.
The first two services we’ll look into, fall under the umbrella of SEM (search engine marketing), and are ways to improve the visibility of your business on Google and other search engines.
PPC – Pay per click marketing is one of the most effective short-term strategies to give you an extra boost on search engines. The premise is that by paying an agency to run your campaign, you can generate some leads and increase sales of products or services. Many search engines, like Google, have Ads at the top of SERPs (search engine results pages), which are found through a search query. As a PPC client, you’ll ask an agency to monitor your campaign and invest your money wisely, as you are charged every time someone clicks on your ad. If you’re looking for some quick sales or a boost in traffic to your site, PPC is an ideal way to make those objectives happen.
SEO – SEO, or search engine optimisation, is a way of improving your visibility on search engines. This is a long-term strategy, and unlike PPC is not an immediate ‘fix’. Outlining the right SEO strategy over time can see an improvement in your rankings on search engines, which in turn can increase organic traffic to your site, as well as generate the sale of products or services. Search engine algorithms are constantly shifting and changing, that’s why constant work in SEO is imperative for the ultimate success and longevity of your business.
Content Marketing – Creating content is the burden of many businesses, simply because it takes a lot of time. But, it’s essential to create an online presence in order for your website to be crawled by search engine robots. The idea behind content marketing, is to create content (text, images, videos etc.) that enhance a user’s experience. If you make something worth sharing, ultimately it benefits your business. It gets your brand out there and creates a sense of loyalty between you and your customers. Content marketing, like SEO, is a long-term strategy. You’ll need to be patient and trust that your chosen digital marketing agency has the creative flair to create enriching content for your clientele.
Social Media Management – If you’re trying to juggle running a business with keeping your presence up on social media, you may find it a little difficult to handle. That’s why most digital marketing agencies have the tools to manage multiple client’s social media channels. Social media has become one of the greatest forces on the internet in the past decade, so maintaining a presence online is essential for success. Most agencies manage a client’s social media, in line with their brand and creating frequent posts too. They’ll be able to respond to customer enquiries and track engagement too, all so you don’t have to. Social media is vital, but time consuming so outsourcing to an agency is recommended for smaller businesses.
Social Media Marketing – Due to the sheer number of users on social networking sites, marketing on social media has become one of the most effective ways to reach existing and potential customers. With specialist targeting methods available via social media marketing, businesses small and large can target their desired demographic with ease. Social media marketers can create social ad campaigns with the purpose of bringing in more website traffic, selling products or services, or even just spreading brand awareness and increasing social following. Social media marketing is a great way to utilise the platform to its fullest extent.
Email Marketing – Running email campaigns to spread the word about your company is another vital part of digital marketing. You’ll need a mailing list as well as the right tools to help you create an email strategy. However, don’t fret. If you don’t have a mailing list or the tools necessary, then outsource! Every digital marketing agency should be able to offer you email marketing services. If your mailing list is virtually non-existent, they’ll be able to help you grow it and create a campaign to fit your needs. Whether it’s boosting traffic or promoting offers, the right email strategy can generate the right kind of business for you.
Affiliate and Influencer Marketing – Getting your products or services out there can be difficult, especially for a small business. That’s why, social influencers and affiliates are an excellent avenue to promote through. This type of marketing involves targeting high profile ‘influencers’, whether they be on social or leading experts in their respective field. Through them, you can promote your services or products with a seal of approval as it were. They’ll use their influence to market your products or services to their following online. It’s a great way to reach a whole new pool of customers, without directly contacting them. If an agency can prove their influencer and affiliate marketing strategy to you, then they’d definitely be one to consider.
Whilst it may seem obvious, if an agency isn’t regularly reporting back on your digital marketing strategy, then ditch them! Any good agency should be measuring every single part of your plan. That means, reports, reports and more reports. SEO, PPC, Social Media – you need to be in the loop of everything. They may be boring to read every month, but those reports that digital marketing agencies send (or should send), contain vital information that needs to be reviewed. You’ll see where your money is going, what you’ve spent and the return of business. You should compare these reports to your own sale figures, to see if the business has been worth the investment of your money. Every metric in a campaign is trackable, so you should be receiving fully comprehensive reports every single month about the progress of your digital marketing strategy.
Your digital marketing agency needs to be honest about your campaign. A lot of agencies, through fear of losing their clients, will talk up their campaign without underlying what isn’t working. Sticking to the same strategy isn’t the right thing to do, if it’s not retuning the desired results then it needs to be changed. The fault of many agencies is that they won’t admit when something isn’t working. Yes, as the client it can be frustrating to hear it isn’t working, but then what an agency should do is provide a solution to the problem, with a revised strategy.
Sometimes, clients want the full works, when it may not be beneficial for them to invest in every aspect of digital marketing. If it’s costing you too much each month, and you suddenly have to cancel, all the work and investment is gone. Starting off small and then building a campaign as your business grows is a more effective way of maximising your money. You’ll be able to invest in a short-term plan at first, then when there’s more business being generated, invest in a longer-term solution. You need an agency that can offer you the best plan for your business, not one that just wants to take your money.
One of the biggest challenges standalone digital marketing agencies find is working with a campaign that is meant to optimise your site, but not having the right access to your website. Or working on branding for a campaign but having to contact a graphic designer for each stage of the process. You need a digital agency that is a full service. Web design, hosting, development, graphic design and digital marketing all under one roof. It not only eases the process of the agencies job but makes the returnable results a lot better than if digital marketers are working against a website management company. For services, such as SEO, a lot of website maintenance can be required at times, so it makes sense for a full-service agency to handle both your website and SEO strategy. Similarly, when creating social media posts or email marketing campaigns, a graphic designer is handy to convey the brand’s presence online. Allowing a single digital agency handle both your marketing and website maintenance ensures a smoother and swifter process.
Another crucial thing before selecting an agency, is to consider their portfolio of previous work. You want to know if they’ve worked with other businesses like yours and what sort of results they returned for them. Any good agency should be able to provide a back catalogue of different campaigns they’ve run for various clients. You want to be fully satisfied with the work they’ve done in the past before signing up to use their services. Ask them how they helped this business grow, how often they were reported to and involved throughout the entire process. More importantly, enquire as to if they are still clients, if they remained with the agency it’s a good thing – because they were happy with the work. However, if they moved on, enquire why. They might have grown beyond the agencies capability and moved on to a larger agency to accommodate their business’ growth.
Point of Contact
When it comes to outsourcing, one key thing that can’t be forgotten about is actually getting on with the person who you’ll be working with. Your point of contact within the team is going to have a big impact on your business. Whilst it may sound cliché, working with someone you get on with eases the process. You’ll find you can trust their judgement and be assured that your business is in good marketing hands. Get to know the team working for you, ask about their experience and qualifications – it’s good to have a digital marketing agency with a great team, to make the most of your marketing investment.
Its always advisable to do your homework before jumping into bed with a digital agency… You’ll need to know their services they provide as well as if there is going to be reports and updates about the on-goings in your various campaigns. Try and find an agency that has the full digital works, it will make things a lot easier for your strategy to unfold. Make sure that they have a proven track record of success with other similar clients, oh and make sure they’re likeable! Don’t work with a team you can’t stand. Your company’s marketing is in their hands, so make sure you’re on the same page. It will make your digital marketing strategy run a lot smoother in the long run.