When it comes to implementing or expanding digital marketing strategies in a company, it is always good to put it on the balance if the internal team is in charge or if outsourcing is required.
Often the home marketing team does not have the time or more specific knowledge to handle certain tasks. At these times, hiring an agency can decrease work overload and complement your efforts with expert support.
That is where the importance of understanding how to choose a digital marketing agency comes into play. After all, because the supply is great in the market, you cannot ensure that all meet your expectations with quality.
Therefore, a market research may fall very well in this selection process. To help you with this decision, we’ve selected 8 points you need to keep an eye on before hiring a digital marketing agency. Check it out!
1. Define the services you need to achieve your goals
Before leaving looking for an agency, look inside your company. Go to your business plan and check what the marketing objectives are for the year.
Meet with your team and see what needs to be done to reach those goals. Then draw a kind of action plan with the strategies to be used and see what your internal team can do.
With this, you will know what your marketing needs are, i.e. the gaps that a third party service can fill.
For example, you can set a campaign on Google Adwords as per your product needs.
If your team does not have much experience with this tool, a digital marketing agency can be useful and bring the desired results.
Define the size of your needs and expectations, for example, the services that companies must offer, the size of the agencies, their specialties, the contract time and hiring an agency or consultancy is required. After all, this also makes a difference.
Both have the role of analyzing your goals, target audience and offers, right? The point is that agencies also carry out their action plan; Consultants advise your employees on what should be done.
2. Search the agency’s history and reputation
The first point is to check the existence of these companies. But it’s nice not to be deceived by the numbers in this analysis.
As digital marketing is not so old, the fact that an agency has 30 years of marketing experience may not say much, especially in relation to its expertise with internet marketing strategies.
On the other hand, decades of operation also represent consolidation in the market. Companies with more time tend to be more resilient and have more jobs to analyze.
The younger ones, especially those born in this century, are already more integrated with all the technological innovations and updates of digital marketing. However, the lack of more experience or a more robust portfolio can weigh against.
Therefore, more than just analyzing the lifespan, it is important to pay attention to other factors, such as:
- Services that were added over time: It is worth taking a look at how the company started and updated;
- Certifications and partnerships: The agencies that operate in the digital marketing and are partners or certified by companies like Hubspot or Google have more confidence to deliver quality services;
- Awards: More than reward and recognize good work, awards convey more credibility to agencies, serving as a point of reference for the public;
- News media: Nothing like a Google search and news portals to look for some material to bring relevant information on agencies.
3. Consider the location of the company
This one is important for companies that value a close relationship.
As much as digital marketing services can be done and approved at a distance, this impersonal communication cannot always be good for business. There are professionals who do not feel comfortable dealing with more sensitive issues through chats or video conferences.
If you are a manager who likes to have face-to-face meetings and more direct contact with your business partners, the agencies in your city or region may be more interesting to your business.
Moreover, the geographical proximity favors, for example, the scheduling of personal visits to know the facilities of the agencies. In this way, you can make sure that companies have, or do not, the structure to meet their demands.
Rely on physically close branches of your company might not even guarantee results, but allows for a more thorough evaluation of the available offers.
If distance is not a problem for you, place agencies from other regions and states under the same contracting conditions.
4. Evaluate successful cases
You cannot close with a service provider without having good references, right? So be sure to research the agency portfolio and see how they’ve helped other clients.
Typically, these companies exhibit part of their case on their websites or in rich materials like e-books and whitepapers. If access is not public, do not hesitate to contact the agency and ask for some material to show their work.
An important detail to be analyzed is the segment of the clients served. For example, if your business is real estate, then it is advisable to investigate the history of the agencies with companies and professionals of the same branch.
The size of the companies served also counts a lot. After all, if you manage the marketing of an average company, the chances of success will be greater when choosing an agency or consultancy that has extensive experience with organizations of the same size.
How to choose a digital marketing agency
5. Talk to other customers
You can go even deeper into this research if you get in touch with the clients served by the agencies.
There are companies that display their client list on the site to increase their social proof. It’s as if they want to show: “Look, if we serve company X, we can do a lot for you too!” Some go beyond and even display testimonials from satisfied customers.
In fact, all of this has great value. However, you cannot take into account only the promotional arguments and sale of own agencies.
Instead, take the opportunity to contact these customers to schedule meetings. These meetings, virtual or physical, must deal with the relationship of these companies with the agencies, the results obtained, the level of satisfaction, in short, everything that can contribute to your research.
This is one of the most propitious moments to ask questions about the performance of these agencies.
6. Analyze the agency’s communication channels
When it comes to choosing a digital marketing agency, nothing is more appropriate than evaluating how it takes care of your own digital marketing.
Make this analysis as if the agency were a competitor of yours. Look for strengths and weaknesses in all your channels of communication and relationship on the internet.
You can divide this diagnosis by channels and strategies, such as:
- Site: Evaluate the usability of the pages if they are optimized for mobile devices, etc .;
- Blog: The content is of good quality? Does the agency provide e-books, webinars, infographics?
- Social networks: What are the types of posts? How do agencies relate to their followers? Do publications often generate a good engagement? Are the videos and images well produced?
- SEO: Select some blog posts and see where they are positioned in Google ‘s search results. Also, analyze the distribution of keywords in the text and other factors that influence the site’s ranking in search engines.
Well-done homework is always a good reference. After all, it gives you an idea of how your business can be met.
7. Meet the professionals of the house
Contact with the people who make the agencies work is also relevant. There are several factors to be analyzed, such as the professional satisfaction, the history and the specialties of these professionals.
The happiness of the employees is a significant point. It is directly connected with the motivational side and productive employees. Anyway, the better the work environment, the greater the efficiency and quality of the services delivered.
So talk to people, visit the agencies, and feel their organizational climate. Details such as good reception, comfort, and relaxation are important differentials as they make any guest feel at home.
About the history and the specialties, they have to do with the technical capacity of the collaborators. At this point, it’s good to research more about the curriculum of these professionals, their certifications, awards and referrals from other clients.
If the team that is responsible for taking care of your digital marketing contains many young and incoming people, value points such as determination, determination to grow and professionalism.
8. Consider the prices charged by the agencies
Last but not least, you must take into account how much this investment will cost your business.
But here’s an important tip: Do not just think with the pocket! In times of crisis, lower prices, often practiced by small businesses and freelancers, may even seem more attractive.
However, they do not guarantee serviceability and delivery of results. So be wary of those who charge a price well below the market average.
What needs to be appreciated, in this regard, it is the cost/ benefit. It is about balancing the price, the services contracted and the quality of the agency.
Do you remember our first tips? There, we talk about understanding your needs to find out what really needs to be required from the agencies. This self-analysis is also good for economizing.
For example, you might notice that your business only needs one-time services. This way, you will not have to spend on a more complete and expensive package.
The economy is only good if you are in a position to economize. If you have the possibility to grow with digital marketing, do not hesitate to invest, as sales and customers will not fall from the sky.
Due to the number of criteria to be analyzed, it is not so simple to choose a digital marketing agency.
Once you understand their problems and expectations (this step is essential!), You need to analyze the weight each of these factors plays in the decision.
The intent is to get you to arrive at a denominator that is the result of combining all of the characteristics surveyed, such as location, portfolio, reputation, price, etc. In this way, your chances of making a mistake in hiring will be greatly reduced.
More than knowing how to choose a digital agency, it is important to understand how to evaluate the work of these companies.
Therefore, we recommend reading our future article that will include the key marketing metrics you should measure to validate its efforts.