Remember, the marketing agency you select could make or break your business online. That's why you should take the time to exercise due diligence.
I've seen companies make people rich and others waste precious time and money.
Here's what you should look for in a digital marketing company.
1. Make Sure You Review Results
Above all else, you want a company that gets results.
Go over the company's history. How long has it been around? During that time, what's its track record of success?
If the company you're considering can't point to a string of victories in digital marketing, look for a company that can.
2. The More Experience The Better (In Your Niche)
Although success is important, it's also a great idea to work with a company that has a lot of experience.
At least a few years...
Why? Because every situation is different. A company that's successful with e-commerce sites might not necessarily be right for your local brick-and-mortar business.
Unless, of course, the company has experience with Local SEO.
When you're considering a digital marketing agency, go over the resumes of the people who you'll be working with. Make sure they have the breadth of experience that you need to reach your goals.
3. References Really Matter
Another thing you should do: check references.
Even a company with a variety of wins in digital marketing and a staff with plenty of experience can still practice poor customer service every now and then. That's why you should talk to past and present clients.
4. How Does Their Marketing Look?
Fortunately, there's a really great way to determine how any digital marketing company you're considering will market your brand. You can take a look at how the company markets its own brand.
A good bit of your due diligence time should be spent looking at the company's website. Is it easy to navigate? Does it effectively promote the company's services? Does it look professional?
If the agency's own website doesn't convince you that should become a client, then it's not likely that the agency can market your products or services, either.
Also, take a look at the company blog. Is it updated frequently? Does it have fresh, relevant content? Is that content well-written?
In most cases, content marketing will probably be a part of your online marketing strategy. That's why you should sign on with a company that markets its own brand with original content.
Browse through the site and look for calls to action as well. Make sure the agency is doing a great job at reeling in clients online.
And what about the company's social media marketing? Go through its various social media accounts to see how often the agency posts updates. Look at the engagements, shares, and likes to be certain that the company is an influencer in digital marketing.
Finally, pay attention to how well the company uses multimedia on its own website. You should see images, infographics, and videos sprinkled around.
5. Do They Have Specialization You Need?
You might not need an entire portfolio of digital marketing services. Indeed, your business might be too small to afford multiple services.
In that case, it's best to specialize.
For example, you might just want Local SEO for your brick-and-mortar business. In that case, you're probably not interested in conversion rate optimization or even pay-per-click services.
If you find yourself in that type of situation, sign on with a company that specializes in exactly the kind of marketing assistance you need.
Keep in mind, though, that there are plenty of large marketing companies with a variety of specialists on staff. Don't be reluctant to engage with one of them, even if you don't need all of their services.
6. Understand The Full Value
If you're running a small-to-medium-sized business (SMB) that's operating on thin margins, then you might be tempted to hire the cheapest digital marketing company you can find. Resist that temptation.
Why? Because the cheapest is very rarely the best. That's especially true in digital marketing.
Instead, find a company that offers value. Sure, you're going to fork over a little more cash, but you should also get much more bang for your buck.
If you go cheap, you'll likely just waste money.
7. Prestige Matters On Some Level (But It Is Not Everything)
Visit the company's home page and scroll down slowly. Look for a list of high-profile clients.
If you don't see such a list, it's probably best to find another agency.
Why? Because you can be sure that an agency with at least a few well-known clients knows how to deliver results.
8. How Do They Rank?
Another easy way to test the digital marketing capabilities of any company: Google keywords related to its services. Does the company show up on the first page of Google? Does it rank well at all? Are they running ads?
Keep in mind, there are countless companies that are trying to rank for "SEO." Don't hold it against an agency that's only a few years old if it didn't rank on Page 1 for a generic search term.
Instead, Google relevant keywords plus the name of the city where the company is located (for example, "SEO in Memphis, Tennessee"). That will also give you an idea about how good the company is with Local SEO.
9. Get A Few Sample Reports
Finally, any great digital marketing agency will deliver reports. Ask about the types of reports you can expect to see and how often you'll receive them.
Be sure to ask for sample reports as well.
Find Your Perfect Digital Marketing Agency
There is a reason why most businesses use marketing agencies.
Marketing often achieve big results, help with expansion and overflow. In many cases, they are also less expensive than trying to build a team in house.
In addition, a digital marketing agency almost always brings additional expertise to the table.