In this (ostensibly) post-COVID world, many small businesses are finding it difficult to manage their marketing campaigns while also maintaining daily operations. Coming out on top in digital marketing requires deep knowledge of multiple channels and many small companies simply do not have the bandwidth to compete.
If you have marketing budget set aside but aren’t quite sold on the best way to spend it, read on for some insights on why hiring a digital marketing agency may be the best business move you make this year.
Benefits of hiring a digital marketing agency
You’ll have more time to focus on your business.
One of the main benefits of hiring a digital marketing agency is that it frees up your time to focus on other aspects of running your business. If you’re trying to do everything yourself, chances are you’re not doing any one thing as well as you could be. By hiring an agency, you can delegate tasks and know that they will be handled by professionals.
They have expertise in multiple areas.
Another reason to consider working with an agency is that they likely have more experience than you do in multiple areas of marketing. While you may be an expert in one or two channels, digital marketing agencies will have a team of experts who can help you plan and execute a comprehensive marketing strategy.
You’ll get an objective viewpoint.
It can be difficult to take an objective view of your own business and the current state of your digital marketing efforts, but it’s important to do so when planning your marketing strategy. Good marketing agencies with a solid track record of success stories will be able to provide objective insights and help you see your business from a new perspective. The right agency partner should excel in all the services you need and have the internal resources to provide support as issues come up (and they will), whether you are a smaller business or large company.
They can provide fresh ideas.
If you feel like you’re in a rut, working with an agency can give you access to fresh ideas and perspectives. Agencies are constantly exposed to new trends and technologies, so they can help you stay ahead of the curve in everything from content marketing and technical SEO to pay-per-click advertising (PPC marketing) and increasing organic traffic.
You’ll have access to more resources.
When you work with an agency, you’ll have access to their team of experts as well as their network of partners and suppliers. This can save you a lot of time and money, as you won’t have to start from scratch when looking for the right people to help with your marketing efforts.
Types of digital marketing activities
Search engine optimization (SEO).
SEO is the process of optimizing your website for Google search with the goal of earning higher web traffic levels and improving your visibility in search results.
Content marketing is the creation and distribution of useful, relevant, and engaging content with the aim of attracting and retaining customers.
Pay-per-Click (PPC) advertising.
PPC is a type of online advertising in which businesses pay a fee every time someone clicks on one of their ads.
Search Engine Marketing (SEM) / Paid Search.
SEM is a type of online marketing that involves paying for placement in search engine results pages (SERPs).
Social media marketing (SMM) / Paid Social.
Social media marketing is the use of social media platforms to promote and sell products or services.
Social media account management.
Social media account management is the process of creating and maintaining a presence on social media platforms.
Email marketing is the process of sending promotional messages to customers or potential customers via email.
Reputation management is the process of monitoring and improving your online reputation. Many agencies that offer these services will check your business reviews and regularly respond to customer concerns.
Find the right fit for your business needs
When you’re searching for a digital marketing agency, it’s important to find one that is the right fit for your business needs. There are many agencies out there that offer different services, so it’s important to do your research and figure out which one will work best for you. Make sure to read reviews and compare pricing before making your final decision.
Understand your business services and goals
The first step in finding the right digital marketing agency is to understand your business services and goals. What does your company do? What are your sales goals? Once you have a good understanding of these things, you can start to look for an agency that offers services that fit your needs.
Next, you’ll want to take a full account of your current online presence and marketing efforts and activity. This includes your website, social media accounts, blog, and any other online platforms you use. Once you have an idea of what you have and what you’re doing, you can start to look for agencies that offer services to help improve these areas.
Research marketing agencies
Next, it’s time to start researching marketing agencies. You can do this by searching online, reading reviews, and asking for recommendations from friends, colleagues, and other business leaders.
Once you have a list of potential agencies, you can begin to narrow down your choices by considering things like price, services offered, and reputation.
After you’ve done your research, it’s time to make a shortlist of agencies to contact. These are the agencies that you feel could be the best fit for your business and that you’d like to learn more about. When making your list, be sure to include their contact information, website, and social media links.
Vetting your agencies
After you’ve made your list of potential agencies, you’ll need to vet them. This process will help you narrow down your choices and find the agency that is the best fit for your business.
Ask for samples of work
One of the best ways to vet an agency is to ask for samples of their work. This will give you a good idea of their style, approach, and quality. Be sure to ask for both recent and past samples so you can get a well-rounded view of their work.
Schedule a consultation
Another great way to vet an agency is to schedule a consultation. This will give you a chance to meet with them in person, ask questions, and get a feel for their personality. Be sure to ask about their services, pricing, and process during your consultation.
You’ll want to get references from the agencies you’re considering. Any agency on the up-and-up will be able to provide a list of clients with whom they have worked in the past. This is a great way to hear first-hand accounts of working with them. Be sure to ask about their overall experience, customer service, and results.
Ask other companies for recommendations
If you’re still not sure which agency to choose, you can always ask other companies for their recommendations. Many businesses have worked with digital marketing agencies in the past and can give you a good idea of who to contact and who to avoid.
Request a detailed service agreement
Once you’ve decided on an agency, be sure to request a detailed service agreement. This should include everything from their services to their pricing. Be sure to read over the agreement carefully and ask questions if anything is unclear.
Understanding pricing models
One of the most important things to understand when hiring a digital marketing agency is their pricing model. Most agencies will charge either an hourly rate or a flat fee. Hourly rates can vary depending on the agency, but they typically range from $100 to $250 per hour.
Flat fees are usually based on the scope of work and can range from a few thousand dollars to tens of thousands of dollars. Most agencies will also charge a percentage of ad spend.
For example, if you plan to spend $10,000 on a Google Ads campaign each month, the agency would keep a percentage of that total for management fees, often in addition to existing management costs.
Reputable digital marketing agencies are up front with this information and may charge anywhere between 15% and 30% of ad spend as the amount of work required for success scales up as you spend more. Keep in mind, however, that this percentage is often negotiable.
Ask the right questions
When you’re meeting with potential agencies, be sure to ask the right questions. This will help you narrow down your choices and find the agency that is the best fit for your business.
Questions to ask include:
- What services do you offer?
- What is your pricing model?
- What is included in your service agreement?
- Do you have any case studies or examples of your work?
- Who will be working on my account?
- How often will we meet?
- What are your policies for communication and updates?
- What is your process for handling changes or revisions?
Be prepared to answer questions, too
The agency you choose will also have questions for you. They’ll want to know about your business, your goals, and your budget. Be prepared to answer these questions truthfully so they can develop a proposal that is tailored to your needs.
Give them a brief and ask for a proposal (RFP)
After you’ve met with a few agencies and narrowed down your choices, it’s time to give them a brief. This should include information about your business, your goals, and your budget. Be sure to include any other relevant information that will help them develop a proposal.
Once you’ve given them the brief, ask for a proposal (RFP). This document should outline their services, pricing, and process. It should also include information about the team that will be working on your account and how often you can expect to receive updates.
Evaluate the proposals and make your decision
Once you’ve received the RFPs, it’s time to evaluate them and make your decision. Be sure to compare the proposals side-by-side and look for any red flags. You should also take the time to read reviews and ask for referrals from other businesses.
Make sure you speak the same language
It’s important to find an agency that you can communicate with easily. After all, you’ll be working together closely and need to be able to understand each other. Be sure to ask about their communication style and methods during the initial meeting.
You should also make sure they understand your business and industry. The last thing you want is an agency that is constantly trying to sell you on the latest marketing trend without understanding how it will fit into your overall strategy.
Get the agreement in writing
Once you’ve chosen an agency, be sure to get the agreement in writing. This should include all of the details of your arrangement, such as services to be provided, pricing, and timelines. It should also outline the agency’s policies for communication, revision requests, and payment.
By taking the time to understand the process and ask the right questions, you can be sure to find an agency that is the right fit for your business. And, by getting the agreement in writing, you can protect yourself and your business in the event of any disagreements.
Assess progress as you go
Once you’ve chosen an agency and signed the agreement, it’s time to assess their progress. Be sure to have regular meetings to discuss your goals and objectives. You should also ask for reports on their progress and activity.
By taking the time to assess the situation regularly, you can be sure that you’re on track to achieving your goals. And, if you ever have any concerns, you can address them immediately before they become big problems.
What to expect in the first month
The first month is typically a time for the agency to set up your campaigns and put reporting in place. You may not see a lot of activity during this time, but it’s important to trust the process and let them do their work.
You should also use this time to get to know your agency contact and even the team working on your account. Be sure to ask questions and give them feedback on their work. By doing so, you can build a strong relationship that will last for months or even years.
What to expect in the first three months
The first three months are typically when you’ll start to see results from your campaigns. Be sure to ask for regular reports so you can track their progress.
You should also give them feedback on what’s working and what isn’t—this is vital to their success and your ultimate growth. Without clear, direct feedback on what is working and what is not, they will not be able to course correct in a way that maximizes results.
During this time, you may also want to adjust your budget based on your results. By doing so, you can ensure that you’re getting the most out of your relationship with the agency.
When to jump ship
There may come a time when you need to part ways with your agency. This can happen for a variety of reasons, such as disagreements over strategy or a change in your business goals. If this happens, be sure to end the relationship on good terms.
When to keep working together
On the other hand, if you’re happy with your agency, there’s no need to end the relationship. In fact, you may even want to consider expanding your partnership. This could involve adding additional services or even extending your contract.
Set clear expectations from the start
If you’re considering hiring a digital marketing agency for your business, keep these tips in mind. By taking the time to understand the process and find the right fit, you can be sure to reap the many benefits of working with an agency. And, by setting clear expectations from the start, you can avoid any misunderstandings down the road.
Do you have any tips for finding or working with a digital marketing agency? Share them in the comments below!
What are the benefits of hiring a digital marketing agency?
There are many benefits to hiring a digital marketing agency, including increased website traffic, improved brand awareness, and increased leads and sales.
In addition, agencies can help you target the right audience for your products or services, and they have the expertise needed to create effective marketing campaigns that will achieve your desired results. So if you’re looking to boost your business’s online presence, hiring an agency is a great option.
How do I find the right digital marketing agency for my business?
To find the right digital marketing agency for your business, you’ll need to do your homework. Start by evaluating their experience and expertise in the areas that are most important to you. Also be sure to ask for referrals from past clients, and check out reviews online.
Once you’ve narrowed down your options, schedule a meeting or call so you can ask them more questions and get a feel for how they work.
What should I expect in the first month of working with a digital marketing agency?
The first month with a digital marketing agency can be a time of setting up campaigns and putting reporting in place. You may not see a lot of activity during this time, but it’s important to trust the process and let them do their work.
The first few months of working together can be a time of learning about your business and what you want to achieve. Be sure to communicate with the agency regularly and provide feedback so that they can help you reach your goals.
What should I expect in the first three months of working with a digital marketing agency?
In the first three months of working with a digital marketing agency, you can expect to see results in terms of website traffic, brand awareness, leads, and sales. The agency will work closely with you to understand your business goals and target audience, and they will create effective marketing campaigns that are tailored to your specific needs.
By providing feedback and adjusting your budget based on results, you can ensure that you’re getting the most out of your relationship with the agency.
When is it time to part ways with a digital marketing agency?
If you’re not seeing the results you hoped for, or if you feel like you and your agency are no longer on the same page, it may be time to part ways. Be sure to end the relationship on good terms, so both parties can move on and find success elsewhere.
On the other hand, if things are going well and you’re happy with your agency’s work, there’s no need to make any changes. In fact, you may even want to consider expanding your partnership!
When is it time to keep working with a digital marketing agency?
There is no one-size-fits-all answer to this question, as the decision of whether or not to keep working with a digital marketing agency will depend on a variety of factors. However, if you’re happy with the agency’s work and you’re seeing positive results, there’s no reason to make any changes.
However, if you’re not getting the results you want, it may be time to part ways. In either case, it’s important to communicate regularly with your agency so that they can understand your needs and goals.
BotLabs provides free consultations so that you can get to know us and ask all of the questions you have before making a final decision. We want you to be 100% confident in your choice, and our team is more than happy to answer any questions you may have.
We are small business growth experts who truly care and want you to succeed. Contact us today for a free consultation and let us help you take your business to the next level!