Digital marketing is a broad term. Find out how to make the right decision when choosing an agency.
When you hire a digital marketing agency - with the time investment of bringing them onboard and helping them get to know your company - you want to know you’ve made a sound decision. The working relationship needs to be a good fit with the energy of your brand, and the team needs to be competent, show initiative, and get the job done right.
Yet many business owners don’t know (a) how easy it is for an entrepreneur to whip up a website and call themselves an agency, or (b) what questions to ask so that you know what to expect.
Digital marketing is a broad term that covers, for example, everything from your VA making an organic post for your socials, to website design and build, SEO, paid campaigns, creative production and programmatic ads. Which of these will your digital marketing agency look after?
Before booking that call, think about why you want to hire a digital marketing agency. Is it that you just want a complete “hands off” approach to your marketing? If so, do you have the resources to pay for the team? And are you able to trust the team to do things in a way you like?
Some business owners are better off hiring marketing talent in-house, so that they can ask for something to be done same-day, bounce ideas off each other on the spot, and have the team focussed only on their brand.
Doing that means you’ll spend time assigning and managing work, liaising between each of your marketing team members to make sure all facets of your campaigns are playing nicely together.
An alternative is to hire different, smaller agencies for different work. If so, plan to manage and pay for::
If you prefer to have a small, outsourced team manage your SEO, blogs, paid and email marketing and they only require you to update them on new offers and, for instance, share footage from your latest photo shoot, the team at McKee Creative is your go-to. Sarah Griffin who owns two brands we look after says “I love that you look after everything; I’d hate to have to do it myself!” At the time of writing, we’ve helped Sarah increase her revenue by 2.5 x in 12 months, and the volume of organic traffic on her sites is starting to hit that tipping point after a year of publishing.
Some people will say “never hire a generalist” but with our system, we have a specialist in each area looking after our clients, so they’re getting the best of both worlds for a fraction of the price.
If you ask the right questions at the outset, you’ll know how to evaluate a digital marketing agency and make the right hire. Start with these 5 questions:
Sure, those fresh out of the gate can absolutely do an excellent job. But with so many businesses not making it past the two year mark, if you work with an agency that’s got a bit of history, you know they’re resilient. And in the marketing world, you want resilient thinkers on your campaigns.
Hint: a Udemy course won’t cut it even before the proverbial hits the fan.
If you’re hiring an agency for one channel only, make sure you have your own game plan for when things go wrong. Pinning your revenue on the success of one channel might have worked 4 years ago, but today that’s not the brightest move.
Have the agency articulate what you can expect, by when, and what the purpose of each step is.
Think about the year-on-year growth of businesses in your industry, as well as the resources your competitors are allocating to marketing - as you set your expectations. If your expectations are reasonable, you want to check the agency feels they are capable of delivering on those. If your expectations are unreasonable, you’ll want them to have the courage to say so.
This part is easy. Remember that if you hire them, you’re hiring them for their industry knowledge and capability to deliver. If you don’t trust them to do that, don’t close the deal.
They may do things in a way you’re unfamiliar with. It’s important that you understand why, but also remember that lots of questions take away from their time doing the actual work - those questions are best left for campaign review calls.
Run with a healthy balance of communication as set out in your agreement, make sure they have the assets they need on time, prioritise approvals so that they can keep things moving, and measure the results.
If you’re serious about growth, get in touch. Our system helps you enjoy the quick wins from paid digital marketing campaigns, bring an extra 20-30% of your revenue via email, and see long-term organic growth as we publish regularly and implement SEO on your site.
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