4 Things to Consider Before Hiring a Digital Marketing Agency

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Congratulations! You’ve decided it’s time to dive into the digital marketing deep end and hire an agency. That’s great, but before you start vetting potential partners, there are a number of things to consider to ensure the new relationship is successful for your business – and your new agency partner.

All too often, we see potential clients come to us for help but they haven’t yet developed a framework for success. In these cases, the relationship either never gets off the ground or expectations on both sides are misaligned from the start. This typically leads to an unhappy client or (even worse) unhappy agency employees. After all, our goal is to help you transform your digital presence – and that takes a dedicated, happy, creative team to make that happen.

Do your research

In order to make an informed decision, I’d recommend talking to multiple potential agency partners. Sure, that may seem counter-intuitive coming from an agency, but we really want you to make the right choice for your business. Ask colleagues, friends and other trusted associates for recommendations. Do some snooping online to see if you can find the agency behind a brand or company that you look up to. And then spend plenty of time discussing your needs with a digital marketing consultant from your agency short list. Look for someone who provides a consultative approach to determining your needs – trust me, there is no one-size-fits-all in digital marketing.

Commit to investing time into the partnership

Simply put, a successful digital marketing campaign takes a partnership. Don’t expect to be able to just unload everything on your digital agency and hope for the best. This is especially crucial in the early stages of the relationship. Your agency partner should be committed to learning as much about your business as possible – and in order to do so, we’re going to have to work closely with you. All of the most successful campaigns we’ve created relied on frequent, open and transparent communication with our clients – with us essentially acting as an extension of their team.

Determine your goals. And make sure your budget is appropriate

Your goals – and the amount of money you have to spend on digital marketing – should be closely aligned. While we understand digital marketing budgets can be difficult to determine, especially for those new to the channel, you do need to be realistic. If you currently get a few thousand visits per month and a few dozen leads, perhaps it’s unrealistic to expect your traffic and leads to increase 10x in a short period of time. Even more true, if you’ve only got a few thousand dollars per month to invest. Instead, look to your digital marketing consultant to help you back into a proper budget and realistic goals. By analyzing your current traffic, conversion rates and close rates, we can help you determine a target acquisition cost and then build your monthly budget appropriately based on those numbers.

Understand the various digital marketing tactics available to you

Time and time again, we see potential partners come to us saying that they want SEO services – that they want to rank on Google.com for keyword x or keyword y. Sure, that’s important, but in today’s digital landscape, it’s a very narrow view. If you’re talking to a potential agency partner and they don’t push you to answer why you want that, I’d highly urge you to reconsider that partner. Your agency partner should help you develop an integrated digital strategy that incorporates various channels including social, paid search, SEO, content marketing and email marketing – while also helping you align that with your offline marketing efforts.

They should also help you determine if you have the proper technology in place to capitalize on your digital efforts. For example, do you have a CRM? If so, how does your marketing team and sales team currently leverage it? If they don’t, you’d better work with your agency partner to develop a process for nurturing marketing qualified leads into sales qualified leads. Which analytics solution are you using? And do you have the proper goals and funnels set up to attribute success to specific marketing campaigns? Do you leverage any web presence management technology, such as Conductor Searchlight? Having the right tools in place and knowing how to utilize them can make or break your digital marketing campaigns.

Hiring a digital marketing agency can have a significant positive impact on your business with a bit of planning and due diligence. I know it’s exciting and you likely want to act quickly, but take your time in finding the right partner for your particular needs. It could end up saving you thousands of dollars. Or saving your job. Have questions? Feel free to reach out: Jeremy at trycm.com or contact us online.

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Jeremy Sherman

As the Vice President of Operations, Jeremy Sherman oversees CM’s client service operations, including content marketing, SEO, social media, paid search, and web design & development. He enjoys golfing, spending time with his wife and two dogs and sipping a craft IPA.