Digital activity has significantly grown over the past 20 years and the impact of COVID has further accelerated this with increased online activity, data downloads and greater demand for faster internet. It is now a necessity for small businesses to have a strong digital presence to maximise their reach to potential customers, and ultimately drive the best possible performance.
The digital landscape can be complex and it takes time and effort to build and maintain a strong digital footprint. For many this time commitment is not feasible together with running day to day operations. This makes working with a digital marketing agency a more efficient option. But how do you know which digital marketing agency to use? Read our 5 tips to follow when looking for a digital marketing agency.
1. Check their online reputation
When shopping around for the perfect digital marketing agency the first thing to look at is their reputation. Take a look at reviews from previous clients for example. A reputable digital agency will not only have positive reviews, but they are also likely to have many clients who recommend them as an option. Reach out to some of the companies they have worked with to find out how the company performed and if there were any issues with their service. It can also be valuable to look at negative reviews and find out if it’s well-founded or insignificant.
2. What digital services do they offer
What digital service do you need for your business? Do you need a company to just look after social channels, or a full service agency? It’s important to determine what areas of your digital marketing require support, as this helps to determine which digital marketing agency is the best fit for you. Be sure to also critically question their performance on each and try to see if you can access examples of their success.
3. Consider small-medium sized agencies
When choosing an agency, many naturally look to larger more well-known firms. The number of staff and large portfolio of work is usually a big selling point for these companies and means that businesses may ignore more boutique agencies. However, this can actually be detrimental to your business for a number of reasons:
- The cost of doing a business with a larger firm can be considerable and many won’t work with smaller marketing budgets.
- With so many clients, your business runs the risk of being categorised as another name on the list, with no customised marketing approach included.
- Communication can be poor due to so many different projects running at once.
Boutique or smaller digital agencies generally won’t have these issues and can be more supportive for your businesses’ requirements.
4. Meet the digital agency
While online research is the best initial step, it’s always recommended to meet the agency face to face. Nowadays anybody can create a website, but a face to face meeting can allow you to determine credibility, and also find out more about the company. You can gauge the level of expertise of the business, as well as whether they are genuinely interested in helping grow your company’s digital presence. Be sure to question their success stories, typical growth numbers and how they operate as a business.
5. Balancing costs and results
The final decision is costs considerations. Smaller businesses generally have a smaller marketing budget, therefore it’s vital every dollar is efficiently spent. Some will consider trialling a digital marketing company for a period of time. With the help of the agency they can map the spend with performance results to establish ROI. It’s important to note that depending on the campaign, i.e., SEO, digital marketing performance can take time and you can’t expect an uplift in sales within 1 week.Deciding on the right digital marketing agency for your small business can be challenging. These 5 tips can help as a guide for the main areas to focus on, to ensure you make the best decision for your company.