This is part three of a three-part series, click here to view part one and two.
Now that we've discussed at great length how the digital transformation is impacting your small business and the steps that your business needs to take to make the transition into the 21st century, it's time to help you choose the right digital marketing partner.
If you type "digital marketing agency" into a search query, you will receive thousands of results. How do you know which partner is the best fit for your business? To make the process of finding a digital marketing partner less overwhelming, we're going to provide you with an overview of how to find the right agency to suit your business's needs and achieve your goals.
How to Find a Digital Marketing Agency
As you begin the process of looking for a digital marketing partner, a natural first step that you'll take is to perform some research online. However, if you're relying on search engines to connect you with the right agency, you can become discouraged as the possibilities seem endless.
Consulting your friends and business colleagues for recommendations is a more plausible avenue to take. If you have an active presence on LinkedIn and participate in industry-related groups, use this social media platform to crowdsource agency candidates.
Once you build a list of prospective agencies, take the time to research your candidates online. Check out their websites to see if they practice what they preach. Read through customer testimonials to learn more about the types of businesses the agency specializes in and the services provided.
Your digital marketing partner will prove to be one of the most valuable business relationships that you'll have, so it's to your benefit to seek out recommendations and do your research to help you narrow down your list.
1. Determine Your Needs
Before you officially begin interviewing prospective agencies, you need to determine your digital marketing needs.
If you're like most small business owners, you're working within a tight marketing budget. By identifying your needs before interviewing agencies, you can make sure that you're only paying for services that you need.
2. Choose an Agency Type
Once you've identified what your digital marketing needs are, you can further narrow down your list of prospective partners by choosing an agency type. Outlined below is a comparison of the types of agencies that your business could choose to partner with:
General versus Specialized Agency
As you begin to explore your options for digital marketing agencies, you'll notice that some agencies offer a one-stop shop for all of your online marketing needs while others specialize in certain aspects of digital marketing, such as website development or social media marketing. If you only need to outsource one or two areas of digital marketing, you may decide to partner with a specialized agency that focuses on those areas.
Large versus Boutique Agency
The advantages of working with a large marketing agency include manpower, experience, and reputation. However, when you partner with a boutique agency, you may feel that you're less of a number and receive a more personalized experience.
Local versus Overseas Agency
Budget comes into play when looking for a digital marketing partner, and many overseas agencies offer attractive pricing. On the other hand, it's important to remember that you get what you pay for. Partnering with a local agency eliminates the risk of communication challenges due to language barriers. In the event of an online crisis, it will come in handy to have a digital marketing partner that operates within your same time zone to be able to quickly put out fires. When you partner with an agency that is local to your market, the agency will be more familiar with your business, competitors, and challenges that you face.
3. Criteria to Look for in an Agency
Once you've narrowed down your list of prospective digital marketing agencies based on recommendations, your needs, and your ideal agency type, you're ready to begin the interviewing process.
An advantage of partnering with a local digital marketing agency is that you have the opportunity to meet face-to-face to conduct the interview and get a better feel for the agency. If an in-person meeting is not an option, a video conference is another solution to help you become acquainted with a prospective digital marketing agency.
When interviewing agencies, begin the conversation by asking about their experience in working with your industry and niche. Does the agency have any examples of websites that they've designed or paid campaigns that they've run for businesses in your industry? Taking a look through the agency's portfolio will give you a better idea of their style and areas of expertise.
Ask if the agency handles all of its service in-house or if certain aspects are outsourced. Since you'll want to create a seamless channel of communication between your in-house marketing team and your agency, knowing who all of the key players are is crucial.
Can the agency provide you with recommendations from existing clients? This goes beyond reading customer testimonials on the agency's website. Hearing directly from clients about their experience in working with the agency will provide you with a good indication of what your own partnership would look like.
And finally, does the prospective agency practice what it preaches? After meeting with the agency, take the time to visit the agency's website, blog, and social media pages. Is the content high-quality, engaging, and published frequently?
In closing, taking the time to conduct careful due-diligence when choosing a digital marketing partner will help to ensure that your business is well-represented online. Use this thorough guide to take the guesswork out of getting your digital marketing strategy right and choose a partner that will help you put your best foot forward.
New York Ave is a design-first digital marketing agency. We believe in pairing an understanding of human psychology with our decades of experience to create more effective solutions for businesses. Our capabilities include brand development, website design, search engine optimization, and digital marketing strategy.
Contact us at New York Ave to learn more about our agency and how we can help your business navigate through a successful digital transformation. Or, click below to begin a free course on marketing your business better.