Every business has the ultimate ambition to grow, becoming more influential and profitable as they scale up their operation. Although there are countless factors on the success of any given business, the ability to market yourself is certainly one of the more significant.

Consumer behaviours are constantly shifting and so it’s not always easy to keep up. Without proper insight into how exactly a market is evolving, business owners risk falling behind, overshadowed by their more digital marketing-savvy competitors.

Choosing a Digital Marketing Agency

But not every small business owner is a marketing master. So how do they get their voice heard? Well, they get specialist help from digital marketing agencies! Unfortunately, not all of these agencies are created equally, and so choosing the team that’s best for your business isn’t always obvious.

Here are the top things to consider before choosing a digital marketing agency:

1. Budget

First and foremost, you need to have a rough figure in your head for your marketing spends. Finding an agency that fits your budget is crucial to ensure that you see the return on investment you’re anticipating.

Establishing your digital marketing budget allows you to have definitive boundaries on what you’re happy to spend, which is good for you and the agency you choose to work with. Of course you’ll need to know how much digital marketing services cost in order to set your budget, so ask around and compare the rates.

It may be tempting to go for the cheapest option, but you should remember that a low rate doesn’t necessarily mean you’re getting a good deal. Your budget is loosely tied to the quality of service you’ll receive, which means you’ll probably need to invest a little more to find experienced agencies that provide excellent services.

2. Marketing Objectives

The term ‘digital marketing’ is broad. As such, one business may actually require something entirely different from another. Your specific marketing goals are a good indication of the agency that’s going to be best for you.

Start by roughly outlining your marketing objectives and then consider which agency services would match those goals. If you know you’ll require a certain service, you can rule out any marketing agencies that can’t provide it. Of the remaining agencies, you can research which ones are best known for the exact services you’re looking at.

Here are some of the services you can expect from a digital marketing agency:

  • SEO: A big part of effective digital marketing is an SEO-centric approach. Agencies with top SEO services can help get your business to the top spots of search engine rankings, increasing your organic visibility so that you pull in a larger crowd.
  • SEM: Another way to increase your company website’s exposure is by running paid advertisements, a large part of search engine marketing (SEM). Agencies that specialise in pay-per-click (PPC) advertising can have a huge impact on your leads and conversions.
  • Social Media Management: If you know that your social media presence needs work, you may want to look for an agency that specialises in social media management. They can build sales funnels that draw in the most relevant consumers by creating targeted ads and content.
  • Digital Marketing Strategy: Most agencies can provide you with a digital marketing strategy, though some are certainly better than others. Having an effective strategy ensures that your business is performing to the height of its ability, continually growing and beating competition.

The ideal digital marketing agency for your business depends on the services you require most. It’s vital that you go for an agency known to be successful at achieving your marketing objectives.

3. Past Clients

One way to get an indication of the services a digital marketing agency offers is to look at their previous and current clientele. Reputable agencies should provide you with a portfolio upon request, or make it readily available on their website. You may even be able to request case studies of specific clients that are most related to you.

If an agency has worked with businesses similar to your own, it’s quite likely that they’ll have the relevant knowledge. Look at those campaigns to determine whether you’d be happy with that service. A digital marketing agency’s portfolio can also give you insight into how they approach challenges, as well as measurable ways in which they increase brand exposure and boost sales.

Choosing a digital marketing agency with experience in your specific field can make the process much more convenient for both parties, which is great for keeping costs down and maximising results. If an agency works across many industries, it usually suggests that they are adaptable to individual needs and trusted by many companies.

4. Skill and Experience

There are thousands of digital marketing agencies operating. It’s natural to assume that they’re all experienced, but that’s sadly not the case. Just like any business, agencies that have grown substantially and outlasted their competition are clearly doing something right. And so a general rule is to look for larger agencies that have been running for a healthy amount of time.

That’s not to say that new agencies can’t offer outstanding services. How does their website look? Is their social media account active? Do they run a blog? If they’ve got a sleek, professional brand, there’s a good chance they know what they’re doing. On the other hand, a digital marketing agency that hasn’t got a strong digital presence probably offers subpar services.

5. Reputation

As any business owners knows, reputation is key. It’s no different with digital marketing agencies. How do others speak of not only their services, but their attitude too? An agency with clients that are eager to recommend them indicates a high level of expertise and professionalism.

Reviews are something that you should definitely be searching out. It’s imperative that past clients say their work is done to a high standard, but let’s get a little more specific. Pay attention to how the agency defines success, manages your campaign (human or automated), controls your accounts/data, and communicates with businesses.

Avoid agencies with questionable reputability. You will likely waste your time and money. Ask around and see which digital marketing agencies are well-known, and for what reasons. Remember that trusting an agency with a bad reputation can have a negative effect on the image of your own business.

All Things Considered…

Investing in professional digital marketing can feel like a massive step for a small business. Even medium-sized companies can see a huge boost from professional marketing services, though only if they do their homework first!

Before choosing a digital marketing agency, be sure to ask lots of questions. Firstly ask yourself about your budget and marketing objectives. Next, ask the agency what they can offer. Finally, ask around to see if those agencies are actually achieving those claims.

If you’ve got any questions for us at Shtudio, get in touch today!