Choosing the right digital marketing agency can be a tricky task. Not only are there thousands of agencies across the country, but it seems they all claim to provide great customer support, have the greatest team of industry professionals, be completely transparent and the list goes on of generic benefits.
With this in mind, how are you supposed to pick the right digital marketing agency?
These five things to look for should help you sift through mud and find clarity in picking an agency to partner with.
1. Talk to Those You Trust
The first thing you should do when selecting a digital marketing agency is talk to your friends, colleagues, business associates or anyone else you trust on the subject. Maybe you have a friend who owns a business and works with an agency they love.
In fact, 84% of all business to business decision makers start with referrals when looking for someone to work with. If you’re not a part of the 84%, help make that number larger by talking with those you trust.
Bonus Tip: Make sure the people you talk to are referring agencies that are relevant to your business. The last thing you need is your friend’s teenager running your digital marketing program.
2. Who Do They Work With?
That brings us to the second point. Who do they work with? If you get a referral, but you find out the only work they’ve done is for an 11th grade class project, you’re probably looking in the wrong place.
Check the agency’s website. Most good agencies will either have case studies, client listings or testimonials somewhere on the site from their happiest clients. If nothing can be found, that should be a red flag.
If you still feel compelled to talk with the agency make sure you ask for a list of some of the clients they work with.
Bonus Tip: If they don’t provide several examples of clients or skirt the issues view this as a red flag.
3. Don’t Surrender Your Trust Until it’s Earned
You might go to the agency’s website and see they work with high profile clients, or others in your industry and think, wow these guys are great! However sometimes looks can be deceiving.
Ask to speak with their contact at the companies they work with. If they brag about certain results delivered in a case study ask the client to verify. Just because certain results are achieved doesn’t always mean it was by the hands of that agency. Maybe they work with another agency or maybe they even padded the numbers.
Bonus Tip: If they list clients on their website or provide a list of clients to you, but won’t give you contacts they can reach out to then they might be hiding something.
4. Ask the Right Questions
Last month we wrote a blog called 8 Questions to Ask Your Social Media Agency. Those 8 questions are crucial when evaluating your current or future Social Media agency. However it shouldn’t stop there.
Make sure you have a list of questions relevant to your needs and goals that you can ask a prospective agency. Not only have ask these questions, but know what type of answers you are looking for. You may not know for every question, but a good baseline will help you qualify (or disqualify) an agency early in the process.
Bonus Tip: If this is your first time seeking agency help, you may not know what to ask or even what to expect. I recommend consulting a trusted colleague or friend who works with a marketing agency to see what questions they asked, or wish they had asked, and what to look for.
5. Listen for the Right Questions
Lastly make sure when you’re interviewing an agency, they are interviewing you as well. This might seem odd at first, but a good agency will make sure you are a good fit for them before they propose a partnership agreement.
If you think about it, how can anyone really know how they can help you if they don’t know your goals, pain points, competition, etc. Not every agency is a going to be a good fit, and a good agency knows they can’t help everyone.
Bonus Tip: If a prospective agency is willing to propose services without asking questions and getting to know you better this might be a red flag, and they might not be the right agency for you.
While there might be other criteria you look for when choosing your next digital marketing agency, I hope I’ve made the process a little bit easier for you.
If you’d like to put these 5 tips into practice, E-Power would be happy to be your first “test subject.”