Running a successful business today requires a strong brand that banks on perfectly executed digital marketing campaigns in order to expand its online presence. Consumers are almost always online searching for information on a product until they are ready to make a purchase. This is how strong digital marketing is in influencing a company’s sales.
A company’s digital strategy is the new life line of its brand and business. Most bigger companies now focus on their core products and outsources marketing to top digital marketing agencies.
If you’re thinking of looking for one, here are 5 tips to consider when selecting a digital marketing agency to execute your ad campaigns.
- Decide what you want to accomplish.
Before you even head out and shop for the top agencies that your friends or clients recommend, it is highly important to know what goals you want to accomplish. So by the time you meet with a potential agency you want to work with, you’re ready to tell them what you want and know if they can deliver.
During the earlier years of online retail, back when it was a new trend, consumer choice was limited. So it was easier to target shoppers and convince them to buy the products available. Today, consumers take more than 20 days to decide on a purchase and use up to 10 different sources across multiple channels and devices.
Your online marketing strategy relies on the goals you want to accomplish. Is it to increase brand awareness or increase sales? Sit down, reflect about what you want done and write it down before meeting with a potential candidate.
- Shopping for Digital Marketing Agencies: what to look for?
There are a lot of agencies sprouting up today. Each of them, either big or small, have their own core competencies. Not all agencies can offer you the same results that is why step one in this process is very important.
When you’ve sketched out what kind of results you want, you’ll be able to find an agency that specializes in that strategy. Consumers respond well to brands they like and campaigns executed the right way in the right platform where a brand’s target market is most active make it more successful.
Agencies who have experience and deep understanding of the process make for the best digital partner. Consumers are active online more than ever and brands who know this, invest heavily on their online marketing.
So when searching for the right digital partner, follow these steps:
Explore their website – a website often tells you a story about the how’s and why’s of a business. It will also show you the clients they’ve served and immediately shows you what core services they offer. Do this before calling in a meeting.
Visit their workspace – clients usually ask the digital marketer to come in to his office. But the bigger brands do it the other way around. If you’re looking for a long term partner, you’d like to know how they do things. Visiting their workspace will give you an idea about their company culture and a hindsight into their work process.
Look at their reviews – Twitter offers a completely un-filtered feedback on an agency. Facebook gives the user the ability to delete comments but Twitter stores tweets from other people that talk about an individual or company. You will be able to spot red flags from this perspective and find out how they handle upset clients. But also approach with a balanced perspective and enough research as some agencies bash out competition online as well.
Ask from reputable references – ask what challenges were encountered with that agency so you know what you can expect. Marketing won’t grant you perfect 10 results. Like in all things, trial and error still allows you to discover what works best and what does not. It would be best to prepare for a big challenge than expect only best results.
- Prepare questions for your meeting
Once you’ve narrowed down your list, set a meeting. Ask probing questions that would give you an idea about the kind of company you’re talking to. Don’t be afraid to challenge and have frank conversations with them.
Conduct the meeting as if you’re conducting an interview as the criteria for selecting a digital partner is the same as in looking to hire a staff member. They should have the same values and skills your company possesses. If you value creativity over strict deadlines or the other way around, it will affect the relationship in the long run.
Tell them what you want accomplished and how much you’re willing to spend and ask them if it’s possible. This will afford you a sneak peek into their response which may possibly get you an initial pitch. You’ll find out how experienced they are in a certain area and how creative they are as a marketing agency.
- Have an open and frank discussion about the limitations of their agency.
Again, agencies like people have their own strengths and weaknesses. The rapid growth of online investments have increased the demand for digital marketers that digital marketing roles have rapidly evolved to be multi-disciplined and complex.
It would be best for you to learn about their weakness to know if they outsource it or take it on themselves. This will prepare you for any challenges that might happen in the future or allow you to understand the process they follow or find someone else to do that specific task and focus on pursuing campaigns of the agency’s expertise.
- Negotiate a fair contract
After laying out your cards, discuss target deadlines and KPIs to measure the success of the campaign. Focus on value rather than costs but make sure that it is something you’d be willing to go for. If you think that what the agency is asking for is worth the value they bring, go for it. If not, try to negotiate on terms that both parties agree on. Remember, it will be a long term commitment, so make sure it will be something that would make you happy and help your business flourish.