May we safely assume that as a business owner, you are continually looking for ways to grow your business while simultaneously improving your bottom line? Is it reasonable for us to suspect that you have taken just about every step you can take to improve your business’s internal processes? You’ve fine-tuned your operations, and tweaked everything you can think of, to maximize every income opportunity to its most significant potential profit margin? Trusting that to one degree or another, you are answering “yes” to each of these questions, there is one more question that we must ask you. Why do all of these business self-improvement measures fail to deliver growth & profitability to the extent you thought they would?
When you’ve done all you can internally to optimize your business, and it still isn’t reaching the heights you envision, is it perhaps time to look externally for solutions instead? We trust that you are answering our question to the affirmative once again, and we couldn’t agree more. And, as we are agreeing with each other time & still, we suggest that you agree with us one more time by taking our advice. The first & best place for you to seek that external help you want so badly for your business? Your Digital Marketing Agency.
Before you reach any conclusions regarding our bias on this subject, please hear us out. We need not tell you of the importance of marketing in the long-term plans for any business looking to grow & prosper. We should not have to remind you that the majority of any target audiences you seek for your business are spending its days, nights, and weekends on the Internet in this day & age. Potential customers now use search engines like Google, Bing & Yahoo! to discover new purchase ideas and thoroughly research the items to select the right one for them. Their next step is to locate where they can complete their transaction, if not also opting for the online “shopping cart” option. All of these steps are taking place online in the digital world, so doesn’t it make sense to choose a digital agency specializing in Internet marketing?
We are uniquely aware of how many advertising agencies claim to specialize in digital marketing. As of 2015, estimates suggest there were more than 13,300 registered ad agencies in the United States; and most of them list digital advertising among the many forms of advertising they offer. Statistically speaking, about 1,000 of those agencies base their operations in the Philadelphia, Eastern Pennsylvania & Central New Jersey region, including 1SEO’s headquarters in Bristol, PA. Of course, one of the joys of digital marketing is that the Internet is everywhere. Hence, there’s no longer a specific reason or requirement for a business to select an agency located near them.
So how do you choose which digital agency is right for you & your business?
There are many factors to consider when making this decision. Having the experience and know-how to push your brand through the right online outlets is essential. Also crucial is the passion they display for their work and the digital services they offer. To aid you in this process, please accept these tips on choosing a digital agency that will give your brand the best chance to succeed in the online marketplace.
The Dirty “B-word”
The subject of Budget is often thought of as a “taboo” topic to discuss. No agency should ask a prospective client what their marketing budget is. No potential client should have to ask an agency about how their price structure works. Right? Wrong. Parameters regarding the cost of services, the marketing budget of the business, and expectations for results need to be discussed. And this discussion should take place relatively early in the process, to avoid any potential budgetary deal breakers for either side.
Many business owners have reached a preconceived notion that a specific digital marketing agency is out of their price range. In reverse, some digital marketing agencies make budget assumptions for potential clients based on external facts or data. Neither of these is an accurate way to determine the best agency/business relationship. So, before either side makes any assumptions, perhaps both sides should lay their cards on the table and see where that leads?
Not sure what your “preferred price” is just yet? No problem! Start by discussing what a proper budget would look like with your team. Whatever price you and your team come up with, be sure to stick to it. If a digital agency you’re talking with can’t meet that price point, they’re likely – but not definitely – out of the running. Give yourself plenty of options, and you should find little difficulty in teaming up with an award-winning digital marketing agency at your preferred price.
Target Your Needs
Every company has specific needs or answers that they’re searching for in their digital marketing strategy. For example, some might need guidance on proper search engine optimization tactics. Others might need an expert’s touch on how to hone-in on target buyers with their pay-per-click ad campaigns. Even if you answer this, “I don’t know what I need,” you need information and mentoring on digital marketing best practices. Only an experienced digital marketing team can grant you that!
For those of you with a few in-house marketing employees; in what areas do they need support? Perhaps they need a few more hands, helping them push the blog on your website to generate more organic traffic. But remember that no matter what is determined, this will be as much of a learning process as it will be a service. Find a passionate agency that’s dedicated to applying and teaching their knowledge to the brands that hire them.
Brainstorm Your Goals
Even if you don’t know a thing about marketing, you can still think of a few outcomes (goals) that you’re hoping to achieve by hiring an agency. Your goals might include more organic website traffic, creating a more significant social media following, or generating more e-Commerce sales on your site. The list goes on and on. But it’s important to highlight those goals before reaching out to prospective digital marketing agencies to see how they plan to help you reach those goals.
Having those goals outlined will help you come up with questions to ask each agency during the interview phase. The trick to this step is to ask the questions that give you a glance behind the curtain, without giving away their “secret formula”. For example: What recommendations would they have for your current website layout? Are there any glaring issues they can identify with your goals? What does the timeline look like for seeing measurable results for their services?
If the company tries to impress you with marketing jargon and excessive claims, cross them off your list. You want to work with the services that will put everything in terms that you can understand and from which you can learn.
Pay Attention to the Chemistry Factor
Hopefully, if all goes well, the digital marketing agency that you hire will become a business partner for many years to come. Because of that, you want to find a service that you can legitimately envision working with for the long haul. You’ll need a digital marketing service that’s scalable and flexible to your company’s growth.
An interview process is a great place for that. It allows you to talk with prospective agencies and get a feel for what it would be like to communicate with them on projects. If you find yourself sketched out by certain claims they make or if something they say seems too good to be true, it probably is. Instead, be sure to take the time and find a marketing agency that you feel confident in.
Once you find that marketing agency, don’t be afraid to make your move. As long as it works out, you’ll never wonder “what if?” on the services you said “no” to.
Ask About – And Trust – Their Process
Each digital marketing agency has a different process on how they conduct business. You want to make sure you see eye-to-eye with however that process looks. Of equal importance is how involved you (the customer) will be in said process. Will you be in constant communication with your representative? Will you have access to insights on the marketing campaigns and tactics they implement?
Any of the best digital marketing agencies will be happy to flaunt their award-winning process and shed light on what that might look like from the customer’s end.
Jump on the Right Fit for You & Your Business!
To select the best digital agency for you & your business, find the one that aligns most closely with you on the critical factors just discussed. Take as much time as you need for this agency “courting,” but be prepared that when you do find the right one not to waste any more time. Overthinking every piece of the puzzle, sometimes referred to as “paralysis by analysis,” will leave you no better off than you were at the start. Ask your questions, and get your answers. When done, be sure to jump all over the relationship you should now have established with the right business partner for you & your business.For any questions on this topic, or to find out if 1SEO is the right digital agency for you, be sure to fill out our online contact form and we’ll be happy to assist you further!