How do I Hire the Best Digital Marketing Agency for my Business?

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Today’s consumers are busy and don’t have the energy or time to weigh a product’s benefits over another in a store. They just click a favorite and proceed to checkout. An estimated 95% of buying choices are made instinctively, according to a Harvard Business School professor. So, your business needs the right digital marketing agency that can help achieve this level of user engagement.

You need to create a positive impression that connects with your target audience on a subconscious level. That means discovering stories and images that foster positive associations with your brand in their minds. These are the subconscious drivers. Hiring the right SEO agency is the first step to getting the results you seek.

To find a reliable digital marketing agency, keep the following facts in mind.

1. Not every digital marketing agency is reliable

Making the right choice when choosing a marketing agency has significant consequences for both your business and bank account. The biggest difference between a considerable increase in your site’s organic traffic and a decrease in search rankings comes down to picking the good or unreliable digital marketing company.

With the right SEO company, your business website can get more organic traffic, increase conversions, and reduce marketing budget.

Avoid one-size-fits-all solutions

Every brand has unique marketing needs. Just think about this; if you plan a one-mile trip to a nearby grocery store, you don’t need a Bugatti. Similarly, the complexity and extent of your content needs dictate the type of digital marketing services you need. If you need a solid content marketing strategy, you shouldn’t hire an agency that focuses solely on web design.

Your marketing budget plays a key role in choosing a digital marketing agency. Some agencies focus on SMBs, and others serve giant corporations. SMB-focused marketing agencies charge significantly lower fees than those that focus on big brands.

Don’t get this twisted and start hunting for cheap digital marketing services. As the adage notes: if an expert is expensive, wait until you realize what an amateur will cost you! Well, cost alone isn’t an indicator of one’s expertise, but knowing if your brand fits a typical client profile for a particular digital marketing agency is far more crucial than saving money.

Are you seeking technology, experts, or both?

Some SEO agencies have created internal tech that allows them to automate repetitive tasks and improve clients’ results. Other agencies are close to 100% technology with minimal hands-on services. Then there are SEO companies whose operations are ‘people-based’ with a considerable level of technology to support their activities.

Does this matter as long as I’m getting the results I seek?

It does.

There are problems best solved by automation and others that SEO experts excel at conquering. Knowing whether an agency’s approach is right for your brand could make a difference when hiring.

2. Don’t overlook deliverables

Now that you have decided to collaborate with a digital marketing agency to ensure sustainable business growth, what should you expect from the agency? Which deliverables should you be asking for?

In most cases, it is challenging to tell what you should expect unless you have years of marketing experience behind you. The specific deliverables you should expect depend on the specific services you seek. For instance, a business in need of content strategy gets different deliverables from a startup in need of a user-friendly website. Similarly, deliverables from PPC-related projects are different from those of social media marketing.  

For the purpose of this guide, let’s look at deliverables for content-related services.

Phase 1: Research overview

Before the agency begins whipping up strategies and content for your site, they need to set a solid foundation. First, they must analyze the content you already have to make informed choices. Here are the important deliverables at this stage.

  • Project summary that includes project name, site URL, contact, key team players, and their roles.
  • Content inventory or audit report that shows the content published on your website.
  • Missing source content report that indicates content for which you can’t find a digital source.
  • The project agenda to ensure every team player’s input is considered in key decisions regarding the project.

Phase 2: Analysis overview

Now that you know the content you already have and the overview of your project, it’s time to think about what your target audience needs. How do you intend to measure success? And what can you achieve given your budget, time, and talent? Here are important deliverables for this stage.

  • A detailed content analysis report that summarizes your site’s content in terms of scanability, readability, objectivity, and how well it communicates your brand message.  
  • A competition analysis report that shows what your competitors are doing.
  • An editorial process calendar that documents how you publish content on the web and recommendations on how you can improve this process moving forward.

Phase 3: Strategy and design

So, the agency has provided quite a bit of research and analysis. To start this phase, you (the client) and the SEO content agency must agree to an effective content approach moving forward. The agency’s content strategist will need to determine the existing content to retain, specify the content to be written, and set the editorial process and guidelines.

Phase 4: Content creation and maintenance

Now that you have successfully researched, analyzed, and strategized your SEO content, it’s time to get real content. The agency must follow the content matrix created in phase three to create, edit, and provide content that resonates with your brand. The content must be tested and approved.

The agency should also create a content management blueprint. This is another content calendar that shows what content is published, when old posts need to be archived, and what or when specific content needs to be updated.

Whether you need SEO services, web development services, reputation management, or social media marketing services, ask for a detailed breakdown of deliverables. Avoid marketing agencies that cannot map out deliverables or just promise to improve your website rankings dramatically.

3. Key performance indicators (KPIs)

Digital marketing KPIs are metrics or values used by marketing teams to track and measure the performance of a marketing campaign. By choosing specific KPIs, it becomes easy to set goals and measure your campaigns’ performance based on those values. Here is a summary of different digital marketing services and the related KPIs.

digital marketing agency

It’s important to mention that different channels of marketing have different primary KPIs. For instance, it is unrealistic to expect your social media campaigns to have a direct impact on your business revenue depending on the product or service your offering. So, instead of assigning a monetary value as KPI for social media marketing, it makes more sense to use ‘reach’ as the most appropriate KPI.

Wrap up

Digital marketing is an umbrella encompassing different subcategories such as social media marketing, search engine optimization, content marketing, video marketing, paid advertising, and more. Most business managers and entrepreneurs have too much on their plate, a reason digital marketing activities are less prioritized.

But not anymore.

Check our digital marketing services – we can successfully handle marketing for your business while you focus on other important tasks.

Picture of the Cleveland Seo Guy - Danny Todd

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