It might be a simple piece of paperwork. But if you run a company you will likely get to the point where it becomes a struggle to keep the wheels in place on the fast-moving machine that is your growing business. Perhaps it’s time to outsource some bits.
And one of the first things that is outsourced is marketing. It can feel daunting and might seem expensive but, understanding how a digital marketing agency works can at least remove some of the questions that arise when you embark on a new relationship.
Because that’s what it is, a relationship.
When you start considering the services an agency might offer you should, at the same time, decide if you can work with them as a partner.
This is crucial.
The ‘best’ marketing agency in the world won’t be the best move for your business if you don’t have a good relationship with them.
Ask yourself, does the culture fit your business? Are you prepared to take on board feedback? (An outside perspective can be invaluable to your business.)
It’s a partnership. They’ll need your input, and you’ll need theirs.
The Right Marketing Services
It’s perhaps too obvious to state, but state it we must. Does the agency you choose offer the services you need?
For example, if you’re hiring an agency for your social media can they be reactive when needed? Are they set up to support you when there’s a relevant subject trending? You only get a short window of opportunity with these things.
If you are looking to hire a digital marketing agency it will likely be for one or a mix of the following areas:
- Social Media
- Paid search
- Web design
- Graphic design
- Content marketing
- Search engine optimisation
- App development
Research the agency and the areas of expertise. Make sure you’re comfortable with the answers to any questions.
It’s worth noting that as part of your relationship with a digital marketing agency you should let them know about any offline marketing that’s being done.
There are some other things to consider too:
- You want control over the data your campaigns generate, so work out how the agency and your business will share that data.
- Ensure that you have oversight of the budget and where each part goes. That means which goes on advertising and third parties and what goes to the agency.
- How much and or what part will your business play in the strategy decisions?
A big part of the effective business-agency relationship is having good communication and transparency. And these things go back to the earlier point of how important it is to have a good relationship with your agency.
Perhaps it seems simplistic but maybe you should be able to just turn up and have a coffee and a quick chat with your agency, if that’s the culture of your business.
If you have people who work on marketing elements in-house then you should involve them too. It’s very easy for an unhappy atmosphere to be created inside your business when an agency comes on board. Consider too that the internal; and external elements will be collaborating too.
Setting Your Goals
Setting goals helps you determine whether the marketing is working or not, and where it needs to be adjusted.
Decide what you want in real terms at the start of the talks and ensure that you and the agency are on the same page.
Discuss with the agency how you measure the results and get detailed too. If you’re looking to increase your ranking in search engines what indicators are the correct ones to achieve the goals? For example you might use search engine position as one measure of effectiveness, or bounce rate as another.
It comes back to understanding your business what exactly it is that you want and how you’ll get there, with the agency’s help.
If you think about it, you and your agency both want the same things. You want business success and they want your business to succeed too – it will benefit them.
Find an agency where the people are passionate about their field too. That passion is what makes the difference between good and average. And make sure they can work together too.
Building a website, for example, involves marketing and design teams as well as web development teams. If they’re all working in a silo fashion you might not get the most effective results.