Digital marketing has become an absolutely necessity for businesses worldwide. It doesn’t matter if you have a small home business or a multi-million dollar corporation… your business needs to have a credible online presence.
While major businesses with huge marketing budgets can afford to have in-house online marketing experts, this isn’t the case with small and medium sized enterprises. And that’s where digital marketing agencies come into the picture.
There are numerous companies that claim to provide excellent digital marketing services for a nominal fee. But how do you know which agency to hire?
Well, here are some questions you need to ask before hiring a digital marketing agency.
1. What’s the rough marketing strategy followed by the agency?
Each internet marketing company follows a different strategy to get your business found online. You need to be aware of the processes they follow and the structure they have in place before you sign on the dotted line.
For example, at Get Found Online, we concentrate on building content based lead generation funnels. We first work on increasing traffic to your website by publishing interesting and relevant content. Casual visitors are then converted into business leads through various on-site offerings. These leads can then be followed up and enticed to become paying clients.
2. What are the different marketing methods they employ?
There are numerous online marketing methodologies out there – search engine optimization, content marketing, social media marketing, email marketing, paid advertising, etc. The online marketing company you plan to hire must be transparent about the methods they will be utilizing for your business.
3. Who are some of their clients?
You cannot just hire a marketing agency out of the blue. The company must have a reputed name and a list of clients they’ve worked for.
Have a look at their website and read up testimonials of their former/current clients. Take a peek at the websites/social media channels they’ve worked on, in order to see first hand the effort they’ve put into it.
4. Do they have a full-fledged team?
When you’re investing in online marketing, you want to make sure you have a full team working on your project. Find out if the agency has sufficient people to handle your marketing requirements. It’s best if they also have a dedicated team that includes content creators, graphic designers, SEO analysts and project managers.
5. What are the tools they utilize?
There are many inexperienced marketing agencies that try to work with free or cheap tools. This will not render the results you desire. Ask the online marketing company you’re planning to hire what tools they have in their arsenal.
The resources they posses will give you an indication of the quality of work they do. Some of the premium online marketing tools we personally use include, Moz, Buzz Sumo, ahrefs, Sem Rush, etc.
6. How do they measure the success of a marketing campaign?
How do you know if a marketing campaign is successful? You have to check with the company which key performance indicators (KPIs) they will measure. You can also set the stage for how often they should report back to you with results.
7. How much input does the agency require from my end?
All online marketing companies would require a certain degree of input from your business. This might include elements such as:
- Particular keywords you’re looking to optimize on your website.
- Type of content you want published on your site.
- Answers to niche related queries.
- Review of published content.
Ensure that the agency has a bit of autonomy, but you are still able to give your feedback and suggestions as and when required.
8. What kind of original content will they create?
All major online marketing methodologies require tons of original content. Most of the content required to market your business online will have to be created by the agency itself. Check with them what kind of content they are prepared to create.
Some of the more popular online content includes:
- Blog posts or long-form articles
- eBooks or whitepapers
You can also ask to see a sample of the content they’ve created before committing anything.
9. How much of my marketing budget can I commit for the next 3 to 6 months?
This is one of the more important questions you’ll have to ask yourself. You must have some leeway with respect to your marketing budget. Online marketing will pay for itself in the long run, but first you’ll have to commit to the investment.
10. Does the agency have proven results to back their pitches?
You might have pitches from several marketing agencies, but unless they have the results to back their claims you cannot take them seriously.
Look for case studies on their websites or statistical proof of how their online marketing methods helped other businesses.
11. How do they measure conversion?
The main focus of digital marketing is to get more clients for your business. An online marketing company will get more people to visit your website, but it’s essential that these people are genuinely interested in your business and sign up for what you have to offer.
The measurement of this conversion varies based on the data shared by you. Typically, the agency should be able to track user behaviour on the website using tools such as heat maps. This would also help them tweak marketing campaigns in order to get a better conversion rate.
12. Are they capable of rectifying a Google penalty on the site?
If your business doesn’t have decent visibility on Google, or if you had previously entrusted your site to a spurious SEO company, there’s a chance you might have a Google penalty on your site. The online marketing company must be capable of identifying the penalty, rectifying the same, and prevent it from happening again.
In conclusion, it’s advisable that you opt for a digital marketing agency that has been established for at least over five years. Look for signs of authenticity and experience in their website, and make sure they are reputed.
If you’d like to know more, do take a look at the inbound marketing services we provide. We’d be happy to help you in any way we can!