11 Steps For Finding The Best Digital Marketing Agency

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Are you a business owner who is sick of the frantic pace of trying to do everything yourself? Are you ready to scale your business but can’t seem to find the time to increase your marketing efforts? 

If so, then you need to outsource your digital marketing so you can finally step away from the hassle and headache of writing blog posts, making videos, and posting to social media.

Don’t worry if you’re unsure what a digital marketing agency does or how to find the best one. We’ll walk you through all the steps so that you can make the best business decision possible. 

And if you’re still undecided on whether or not you could use some professional help, well, let’s start there.

How a Digital Marketing Agency Can Help Your Company

You have some idea what your marketing strategy is. And for the most part, you remember to post on social media each day. But you lack consistency and branding more often than not, and you would much rather use that time to build your business. 

Stop trying to do all your digital marketing yourself. Your business is growing, and it’s time to start outsourcing digital marketing so you can develop a successful company.

By hiring an agency to take care of your digital marketing, you can instead focus on what you do best, run your company. You don’t need to spend any more time trying to learn keywords or PPC. Instead, hire a team of experts to take care of this for you, and you’ll see true ROI from your investment dollars. 

If you want to scale your company, the first step is hiring an agency to help you. And to do this, you’ll need to do your homework. Follow these 11 tips for hiring a quality agency that can help you grown your business today.

Tip 1. Know What You Need

Before you can start asking if an agency is qualified, you need to know what you’re going to ask them to do. They may be very qualified in video ads, but you need long-form content marketing. Don’t start looking for help until you know what you need help with.

Determining your content marketing distribution strategy is key before you can hire the proper professional for your needs. From organic to earned to paid distribution, each mode has its benefits. Choose the one that’s right for you and your company.

As the saying goes, you need to know where you’re going before you can get there. Know your goals and how you plan to get there. Then hire the right agency to make your vision happen. 

Start with establishing your goals and what you expect from your digital agency. This way, when you start talking with potential prospects, you’ll know who can do the work you need from them.

Tip 2. Ask Around for Referrals

Tap into your existing network and see who you know that knows about top digital marketing agencies. Ask around with friends, and post on social media and especially on LinkedIn. People love to help. Reach out to those you know to see who they know.

This is a tried and true method, and it still works in today’s digital age. So, start by getting some referrals from other business owners you trust. Don’t discount who you might know that can help guide you towards your next solution. 

Tip 3. Ask for Their Portfolio

Once you’ve found someone you think you might like to work with, ask to see their previous work. Even if it’s not an official portfolio with paid work, everyone in business should have some evidence of their quality of work. 

If they are offering to create quality video ads, they might have a YouTube channel that shows the quality of their video work. Even if they are new to providing digital marketing services, they shouldn’t be new to the skills necessary to do a great job.

So, ask to see their work first. Then you can see for yourself if their caliber of work is what you have in mind for your own marketing goals. 

Tip 4. Ask for References

Along that same line, ask to speak with those they’ve worked with before. Again, it might not be paid work if they’re brand new, but they should have some experience somewhere.

You are in business, and you need to put out a professional image. It might feel good to help your neighbor’s niece who just graduated from college and can’t find a job. But in the long run, you need a professional who has experience. So ask for their references, and then call them.

Find out what their previous clients thought about their work, their work process, and their communication styles. Then speak with the agency to determine these expectations for your contract. 

Tip 5. Find Out Their Workflow and Processes

You will be working closely with your digital marketing agency daily. You need to know their work style and if it works with your style and process. 

A quality digital marketing company has a set system known as their standard operating practices. Ask them how they operate. If they can’t quickly articulate their processes, proceed with caution as they will likely miss due dates and run into problems. 

Knowing their workflow will allow you to plan for what information you will need to provide their designers and creators. It will give you a timeline, so you know what to expect. This way, neither party is left waiting on the other, and your campaign can stay on track and successful. 

Tip 6. Find Out Who Will Be Doing the Work

Outsourcing isn’t terrible. In fact, you’re working hard to outsource this arm of your business so you can scale your efforts. However, when it comes to your marketing agency, you need to know who will be doing the work. 

Will they be in-house or remote? What time zone will they be in? Are they contract or employees? 

If there are too many layers between you and the person doing the work, you will inevitably experience delays and bottlenecks. What is their contingency plan if their contract employee takes on too many clients and can’t deliver the work? What will they say if you ask a question, but the person with the answer is on the other side of the world and sound asleep?

If you’re okay with waiting a day or two for the answer, then this isn’t a problem. However, keep this in mind during your next launch, and waiting a few days to get the information you need leads to missed sales and opportunities. 

Tip 7. How Do They Like to Communicate?

Communication is key to a successful working relationship. Are you a millennial who only likes to text or DM? Are they millennials, and you’re of a different generation who wants to pick up the phone and call when you have a question? 

This is important information to know before you’re six months into a large campaign and you realize you can’t effectively communicate with each other. Determine how you each like to communicate and decide if you’re compatible with each other’s style. 

Set boundaries and expectations so every party involved knows what is expected of them in the beginning. Establish how you will communicate and how you want them to communicate with you.

Determine a set response time so every party is aware and agrees to. This will eliminate worrying about checking email day and night. Every party will know that communication will be responded to within a certain time frame. 

Tip 8. Get the RFP

Once you’ve narrowed it down to a small group of potentials, ask for the Request for Proposal. This will show you who is professional enough to think long term, determine the obstacles, and have a game plan for tackling them.

It will also show you at a glance who is within your budget and who you need to carve out. The RFP is a valuable way to analyze the final contenders and determine who you will choose in the end.

Whether you run a small business or manage a large organization, the RFP is still important and critical for making business decisions. You can’t compare systems or solutions without knowing how each agency will handle your requirements and expectations.

Tip 9. Start Small With Your First Order

You want to build up a long-term successful work relationship. However, don’t shy away from starting with a small first order before signing a binding contract. Make sure you work well together, and you will have a much better chance for long-term success.

Before you sign on to run a long campaign over multiple quarters and several distribution channels, consider hiring them for a small singular project. Consider this a trial run for both parties. If anyone isn’t happy, consider it a learning experience and keep looking. 

However, if you find the perfect partner, sign on for a longer contract and get ready for massive growth. 

Tip 10. Conduct Regular Reviews

Your vetting process doesn’t stop when the contract is signed. Continual reviews allow your company to stay competitive within your market. Know where you stand with all your contractors by holding regular reviews and analyze how they’re doing. 

True professionals will appreciate the feedback and continue to improve their work to deliver the best results possible for your business. If any of your outsourced contractors are not interested in regular assessments, consider this a red flag.

By providing transparent results and reviewing your progress, everyone will stay on the same page, working towards the goals you set in step one. You want to work with a professional agency that delivers results and provides regular reports about what you’re paying for with their services. 

Tip 11. Finally, Chose Value Over Price

In the end, if all else is equal, choose value over cost. You’re in business, and to be successful, you need to work with the best. This will take an investment in the best. 

The expert in the industry is not going to be willing to cut you a deal to get your business. In fact, they probably have a waiting list that requires a deposit to get on it. Don’t shy away from working with the best due to price. 

You will reap the benefit many times over when you run your next successful campaign and grow your business faster than you ever could have with the discount service providers.

A Great Relationship Will Lead to Great Results

You didn’t pause when it was time to hire a bookkeeper or a lawyer, so why are you still trying to do all your digital marketing yourself?

Instead, hire a digital marketing agency today so you can get back to working on your business and let others do the day-to-day work. Here at EWR Digital, we work with businesses to increase their visibility and scale their marketing results.

So, if you’re not getting the results you want from your current marketing strategy, consider working with an expert to make it happen. 

If you still have more questions on how a digital marketing agency can help you grow your business, reach out to us today. We’re here to help you grow your business to the level you’ve always dreamed of.