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Choosing a digital marketing agency can be tough but choosing the right digital marketing agency can be even harder. More and more businesses are deciding to partner up with digital experts rather than struggle to cover the work in-house and it’s not hard to see why you should hire a digital marketing agency.

With algorithm updates, digital marketing trends and new platforms cropping up daily, it’s almost impossible for businesses to stay on top of the ever-changing digital landscape and cope with running their business too.

So that’s where a digital marketing agency comes in. There are many different types of digital marketing agencies out there but in the simplest terms, a digital marketing agency has trained specialists in each area of digital marketing including SEO, content and biddable media. This means you can partner up with experts who dedicate their time to keeping up with the latest developments so that you can get the most from your digital marketing campaigns.

“We can focus on the day to day running of our business needs, whilst knowing they are quietly achieving fantastic results that help us achieve our marketing goals.”

– Stuart Garrard, Managing Director
Simply Wigs

There are lots of points to consider when doing your research on which agency may be the best fit for your business. Follow our simple six-step checklist to make sure you’ve covered all bases before choosing your next digital partner.

finding the right digital marketing agency

1. Work out what you want to achieve

Before you start to look for the right digital marketing agency, you need to establish your own business objectives and what you want from an agency partner. Not only does this help agencies determine what they can offer you, but it also helps you narrow down your search before you’ve even begun and gives you a solid foundation for you and the right digital agency to work from.

Are you looking to increase brand awareness? Improve sales? Get more people to your website? Whatever your objectives, you need to then align these goals with specific KPIs (key performance indicators) to help you and the agency track and monitor the results of your campaign. If you’re clear on your objectives from the outset, the easier it is for an agency to deliver a tailored solution that works.

2. Establish a budget

Price is often one of the biggest considerations of any business in the research stage and knowing your budget is an important factor.

Take into account two things when establishing your marketing spend; what can you afford to invest in your campaigns and what kind of return on investment are you looking for?

As you begin to forge a good relationship with your digital marketing agency, you may be willing to invest more money when you start seeing the results you want so it’s important to have a little flexibility if possible.

Whilst researching agencies, you may notice that some offer digital marketing packages which give you an indication of cost and what you may or may not be able to afford. Assessing packages can also outline whether an agency meets your needs in terms of service and strategy.

Whilst digital marketing packages work well for some businesses, we suggest looking for those agencies that offer tailored solutions, built around your specific needs. It may require a little digging or a conversation with someone but finding an agency that listens and understands how to build a strategy around your requirements is a key ingredient to your online success.

establishing a marketing budget

3. Assess the agency and its people

As you are looking to establish a relationship, you need to get to know the people behind the agency. You also need to work out the type of relationship you want to have with your agency too. Do you want to offload all of the marketing to a third party and focus entirely on the day to day running of your business? Do you want a collaborative approach and do you want to work closely with an agency to understand how the strategy is implemented? Or do you want an agency partner to work as an extension of your own marketing team?

However you would like to work, it’s important you source the right people that are a good fit with your own team.

4. Request case studies and testimonials

Many digital marketing agencies are very good at ‘talking the talk’ but you need to see if they can practice what they preach. If you can’t find any case studies or testimonials online, it’s time to make contact and ask for them.

Ask for case studies that closely match the services you are looking for and don’t be afraid to ask them for more detail if you would like a little background to the study. Word of mouth is still one of the strongest influences when making important business decisions that involve trust. Failing a personal recommendation, testimonials are a great way of getting an outsider’s perspective on an agency’s competence.

5. Ask the right questions

Once you have approached an agency to find out more about them, you need to ask the right questions as the answers are often a crucial part of the decision-making process. Here are some of the most important questions to ask:

Who will be working on the account?

The people you meet in the decision-making process are not usually the people who will be carrying out the work. You should enquire who exactly will be working on your campaigns and in what capacity and then ask how much experience they have.

SEO (Search Engine Optimisation)

On average, how long do you keep clients for?

Agencies with long-lasting partnerships is a good sign that they can work well with a range of different businesses and adapt to their needs whilst consistently delivering results they are happy with.

How do you track and monitor results?

You’re looking for agencies who deliver a transparent approach and offer tailored reports which monitor metrics that matter to you.

6. Book in a meeting

Once you’ve carried out your research and made contact with the digital marketing agencies that made the cut, it’s time to set up a meeting. This is a great way to get to know the team better and determine whether you can establish a good working relationship going forward.

Choosing a digital marketing agency doesn’t have to be stressful if you follow this simple checklist before making your decision. Just remember that the right agency will listen to and understand your goals and work with you to help you reach them.

Zelst is a leading digital agency made up of strategists, analysts and creatives who are dedicated to helping clients become industry leaders and deliver exceptional return on investment.

Get in touch if you would like to discuss your campaign or objectives and we can offer a personal consultation, tailored to your requirements.