14 Things To Look Out For When Choosing A Digital Marketing Agency
In Africa, or anywhere in the world, finding the right digital marketing agency for your business isn’t easy. Many times, most companies will decide to use a digital agency over an in-house marketing team just because having that team is harder to maintain.
Which Is Better? A Digital Marketing Agency or An In-House Marketing Team?
With the dynamics of new marketing tactics popping up on a daily, it can be nigh-on impossible for companies with heavy task load to stay abreast of the latest marketing trends.
Not just that, figuring out the best ways to use different platforms to squeeze out relevant marketing results can take a lot of time from the company.
For companies who have business professionals as their target audience, they will be looking to get featured LinkedIn. That’s the social media network for professionals and executives. If the target audience is a much younger audience, then the places to have brand visibility are on Instagram and Snapchat.
Facebook happens to be the Lord of the Social media platforms right now, with about 2.3 billion monthly users who spend an average of 42 minutes a day on the site.
Also, it caters to a diversified audience of both young and old, casual and professional, high budget and low budget income earners. So Facebook is a place to be for every business and definitely the right place to set up advertising campaigns.
Using these platforms to encourage growth in your business is highly essential but it can get tough on business owners.
A safe conclusion is that most businesses prefer to focus on income-generating activities. It’s more preferred to distracting themselves with becoming a digital jack-of-all-trades marketer. Therefore, getting an agency to run your digital marketing activities will be a great advantage.
How Marketing Agencies Operate.
Now, choosing the right digital marketing agency is crucial to your brand as there are a number of factors to consider.
For example, how do you check that the agency can actually deliver on their promises? And will not suck up your cash every month with no result and zero returns on investment?
Then, if you are able to scale it down to a few agencies, the next things you may want to consider is,
a. “What is a reasonable price for a good agency?
b. What will be their impact on my brand?”
Our Approach To The Questions.
As if all these aren’t enough factors to consider, you also want to make sure that they have a strategy that they can track and also give measurable results from one single marketing activity.
Well, your thoughts are in the right place. Everyone wants value for their money.
Let’s look at a few steps to ensure that you are making the right decision when choosing the Agency that will make a major impact on the growth of your business.
One major thing is certain… when you do find the right agency, it’s easy to run a successful digital marketing action plan with major returns on marketing investment.
7 Things To Look Out For When Picking The Right Digital Marketing Agency.
Below are a few steps to ensure that you are choosing the right digital marketing agency that can help your brand grow.
1. A Good Understanding Of Client’s Goals
A digital marketing agency that understands its client’s market is the one that will be able to initiate an effective system, and therefore an ROI (return on investment).
To understand you, digital agencies must have carried out the research, and in fact, real monitoring work on both:
- Your market (its codes, customs, and rules)
- Your business
- Her values
- It’s positioning
- Its asset on the market (salience)
- Its products/services.
To this internal analysis must be added a benchmark on the Web (a study of the practices of your competitors evolving in your market).
Objective: Your digital agency must understand at this stage which web marketing solutions would be relevant for your business.
2. Identify and Determine What You Need To Achieve Your Business Goals
The first step in this process is to figure out and identify what your business goals are. By the way, they must be smart.
S – Specific, M – Measurable, A – Attainable, R – Reasonable, T – Time-Bound
Next, determine the resources you will need to get to where you want to be before looking for an agency.
- Do you need a marketing plan?
- Or a website that collects payment and is mobile responsive or just an informational website?
- Paid advertising?
- Email marketing?
If you already have a marketing team in your organization, ensure that your team has the right skills?
Then find out, what other marketing tactics that you know you “should” do but haven’t gotten around to yet?
Answering these questions will shed some light on what you can outsource to an agency to get more efficient results.
3. Determine Your Target Audience
A good marketer should first help you identify the clients your business is set up to serve – your target audience. Determine what their needs are by the questions they ask and their engagement with different pieces of content from your competition. He should also position your brand to become the preferred solution, be able to advise on and work within a reasonable budget as well as set your expectations accordingly. It’s never a one size fits all.
So, a few questions to ask yourself:
- What are my marketing goals in relation to my business goals?
- Who do I need to help me achieve my marketing goals?
- How much am I willing to spend to achieve these goals?
Once you have a clear understanding of what you want, it could be increasing your brand visibility or redesigning your brand, you will be able to narrow down on your options for a digital agency and that will save you valuable time and resources.
RECOMMENDED ARTICLE: [Download] The Ideal Client Worksheet.
4. Result-Driven Strategy
An effective web marketing strategy is one that meets your business objectives to ensure a return on your investment. In this regard, the relevant agencies meticulously review with you:
The overall goals of your business
Your business goals
Your marketing objectives …
to provide you with the best web marketing solution: you can then begin the step of defining the outlines of your campaign on the web, then that of the objectives by channel (for example the objectives on a platform such as YouTube), and finally the selection of metrics which will be used to measure downstream performance (your future KPIs).
5. Full Transparency and Credibility is Crucial.
I love this quote, “Marketing is not marketing if it can’t be measured”.
Any digital agency you want to consider must be as transparent as possible. It’s a simple case of practicing what you preach. If they are able to run successful marketing campaigns for themselves, they are likely capable to do the same for you.
In being transparent, they should also communicate and constantly keep you in the loop. Nothing should be hidden, left complicated or lead to misconstrued information and avoidable dissatisfaction.
So it’s important to take the time to do a website review on the agency, and read up testimonials and reviews about them on Google. You can go the extra mile by asking for previous work done and evaluate the good and bad gigs they took on.
Ask The Stupid Questions
Ask the stupid questions and don’t play nice because you will throw away money if the agency can’t give results.
Don’t assume the agency should know what you want or what you like. Ask them the different platforms they will run ads on for your business. ASK THE STUPID QUESTIONS so you get any misinterpretation out of the way.
Any agency that can’t provide this information mentioned above is likely not worth your time and money.
Don’t be sold on cheap rates and past clients’ logos.
- How many campaigns have they run?
- How many clients they have?
- What was the client trying to achieve?
- Did they help the clients achieve the goal?
- What was a successful customer outcome?
The agency must be as transparent and forthcoming with their information as possible. This encourages trust between the agency and the business.
It becomes a red flag if agencies don’t live what they preach. This could mean that they don’t really believe in the services they have to offer or have no idea of how to implement.
After taking a survey, we found out that some of the clients who come to us came after a bad experience with another digital agency.
We had to build trust and educate them on our process and how it is set up so we ensure transparency in our approach. This is important when choosing the right digital agency for your business.
6. A Good Support System
A web marketing agency that favors a long-term action, which is a force of proposal, represents a point of differentiation compared to another.
You must also be a co-actor of the digital system: you want to obtain technical web marketing that you do not necessarily have internally, but remember that collaboration can never be satisfied if you do not fully invest yourself in the construction of this new digital solution.
7. Examine Agency Expertise, Integrity and Pricing.
It’s very important that your marketing is handled by experienced hands.
As much as businesses differ, campaigns and marketing approaches differ for each individual company. It’s never safe to assume that a cookie-cutter approach will suit the next business you try it on.
Therefore, it’s important to get an agency that has a vast experience implementing in different industries. It’s even more important that the marketer is highly creative when tweaking principles that have worked in other industries to suit your industry.
There are a number of marketing agencies and independent digital marketers that promise all of heaven to customers just to close the deal. In extreme cases, they charge a monthly fee with no results to show for it, while knowing that their actions will never yield results. This is a major red flag that can be sorted out if all the questions listed above are answered before engaging any agency’s service.
A fast and easy way to filter out scammy or low-quality agencies is by asking them for their “secret sauce.”
- What makes them different from other digital agencies?
- What are their digital strategies for getting your results?
Another common thing to look out for when hiring any marketing agency is low prices. Agencies with low prices are one of the most common red flags to watch out for.
Chances are you get what you pay for which are low-quality results.
8. Clear Communication
Another point that you should remember in your selection process: the propensity of your web marketing agency to explain and popularize its actions.
Your web marketing agency must be able to:
Explain in plain language the jargon of your toolbox.
Translate the results of its action into tangible elements for you.
9. Close Proximity
Opting for a local digital marketing agency may be relevant.
Relevant but not arbitrary.
Indeed, if you are targeting a local market, then the choosing a digital marketing agency located in your area may become important to some clients. If you are targeting a larger market, the location of the agency does not matter.
Beyond the geographic dimension, proximity is also measured with regard to the relationship between your agency and you. To be sustainable, it must be based on good communication. Rely on the first contact with the different agencies you have chosen: with which agency did you feel the most in connivance?
Did you have the feeling of disturbing your interlocutor on the phone when you asked for information about his offer? These are all the questions you need to ask yourself before making your choice.
10. Quality of Work
This section deals with two very important factors.
They are Pricing and Performance Report.
In determining the quality of work an agency brings to the table, their prices give a clear picture. If an agency gives low prices for services rendered, they tend to make low margins and are not likely to go the extra mile because there’s no motivation to do so.
On the other hand, agencies that charge accordingly and even on the high side tend to treat their clients with more respect, generosity, and focus. They can afford to do so because they are not limited by funds.
Understanding what is required of the agency is very critical. Many marketers are focused on what the client wants and conclude that they have what it takes to help them achieve it.
There is always that part of the puzzle that needs clarity. Does the agency have the capability to implement after drawing out a successful marketing strategy?
When it comes to creating the right website, is it being developed, designed, hosted and secured properly?
b. Performance Report.
Setting up tracking metrics and performance reports should be featured in the agency’s follow-up system. Knowing how to identify ideal clients and develop the right advertising parameters to attract them is an art that the agency should have expertise in. Therefore, setting up relevant content that will be used in communicating with these clients at every stage of the customer journey is also very crucial.
Having all this is highly important. But what ensures that the quality remains intact is the ability of the agency to document the entire process and record performance of the various activities in line with business goals.
If the agency successfully does the following then, you might have found the right digital marketing agency for your business.
- Documents every process,
- Identifies ideal clients using information from company data
- Designs and Implement a successful marketing strategy for your business
- Helps the brand nurture their clients to brand ambassadors,
- Measures, track and evaluates marketing activities
- Pulls out analytics and advertising results for the performance report.
- Generates weekly reports and analysis.
Any agency that does the above list successfully and with the client’s satisfaction at the center of their operation, should be highly considered.
11. Monitoring and Reporting
Because your future agency needs to report back to you regularly on their work, you need to select one that does it well.
As a reminder, the objectives of reporting with a web marketing partner should be:
Develop a plan to measure the profitability of your campaigns
Report on the effectiveness of web marketing actions
Identify and suggest any adjustments to achieve the goals you had planned
Set the date for a next meeting
Do not hesitate to get back to your interlocutor if you do not understand the KPIs employed. Any good agency will make sure that you simply explain the data used to measure the performance of your web marketing investment (both in physical meetings and via videoconference).
Because the measurement is only truly useful if it prompts action, your goal will be to identify the partner capable of responding and to bring the most relevant corrective action to your campaign.
Also, the modification of the metrics reported by your partner during the review should lead to concrete proposals.
13. Offer Skill Acquisition Training Programmes
Never turn a would-have-been client away just because you are not the best fit for them at that moment.
Many times you find agencies who tell brands “sorry, you cannot afford us or maybe we can work together another time.” Being honest is good because you do not want to be paid a fee you cannot give good value for.
You also do not want to provide mediocre service because the client is young and just budding.
But the client/brand still needs help.
A good agency will offer training to clients with a low budget so they acquire relevant skills for business growth. Hence, they get educated on the need for an expert to work on their business and also they understand why they need to spend the right amount to get good value.
For existing clients, training can be offered at a discounted price or given as a FREE bonus. It’s a simple and fast way to educate clients on the next step to take.
14. Certified Partner
Agencies that are well experienced in their craft, have an unquenchable thirst for skill acquisition, who allow happy clients to blow their trumpets are in a class of their own.
Understanding, strategy, support, explanation, proximity, availability, reporting, optimization… you have 14 essential key points on how to choose the right digital marketing agency that is right for you.
Most successful brands go for only agencies with experienced marketing experts.
If iVEN Digital can help you with your unique situation, please don’t hesitate to reach out to us in the comment section or a call or an email.