How to Choose a Digital Marketing Agency

Laura English

Laura English

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digital marketing agency

Are you on the lookout for a new agency, but don’t quite know where to start or even how to choose a digital marketing agency? Digital marketing agencies can be intimidating. To tell you the truth, even digital marketers are intimidated by digital marketing. It’s a weird industry full of strong opinions that aren’t mutually exclusive.

There are a bunch of different takes on the different channels of digital marketing within it too. An SEO might think social media is useless, and a social media expert might think that content marketing sucks, and some of us might think that postcard marketing is terrible. It’s us. Please stop putting those terrible calendars in our mailboxes. 

ANYWAY, digital marketing agencies are really good at one thing, and that’s getting you business. Finding the right agency? That’s all about working out which services you’ll need and what kind of agency you want to partner with. 

Here’s how to choose a digital marketing agency.

What do you need? 

Not all digital marketing agencies offer all the same services and all the same offerings. Some agencies will put you onto a retainer and work ‘til your retainer is capped each month. Others will charge you by the project, others by the hour. We don’t all offer the same services either. 

Some digital marketing agencies will have a heavy focus on tech. Websites, web development, web apps, and general apps. Other agencies might be all about the content: photography, video, design assets — with the goal of creating content for socials, websites, that sort of thing

As a business owner and someone who isn’t constantly thinking about digital marketing… you probably won’t know the exact digital marketing campaign you need. But, you know enough to know which agency you’re after.

  • You want to show up on Google? → You need SEO
  • You have a niche product or service you don’t think people would google → you need social media, digital PR, and content marketing.
  • You get plenty of traffic to your website but they leave without making a purchase → you need a new website and copywriting.

You get the idea.

What can you afford?

Not all digital marketing campaigns, strategies, or even materials are born equal and neither are digital marketing agencies. It’s all about the budget. If you’re a small, family run business, you won’t have the same budget as Qantas or as McDonalds. And that’s okay. It doesn’t mean you can’t access really good digital marketing too. 

Be realistic about what you can afford. Come up with a monthly set amount that you’d be willing to invest. And, sorry for sounding like a bit of a wanker but, digital marketing will be an investment. It’s not necessarily: “the more you invest the higher the reward”. More so: “you’ve gotta be in it to win it”. 

When you’re shopping around you’ll want to ask about packages and for quotes so you know what to expect. It also wouldn’t hurt to take that budget you’ve defined and ask what they can achieve for it. 

What are you hoping to achieve?

When you’re shopping around for a digital marketing agency, you obviously want more business. But where from and who from? 

Do you want to spread the word about your brand internationally? Are you trying to get more local enquiries?

Who are your ideal customers? Do you find you get better revenue from an older customer? Maybe you’d prefer a small business owner over a freelancer. 

And what do you want to get from your marketing? More traffic to your website? Or more conversions once they land on your website? 

Knowing what you want to achieve and communicating that to your agency from the beginning stages will help the agency produce better results and help you choose the right agency. 

Questions to ask your digital marketing agency

1. What’s your process?

Ask about how the digital marketing agency is planning to get you the business you want. What will they start with? Will they launch each service individually or will it be go-time for each one?

2. Do you have experience in my industry?

Digital marketing agencies will have a pretty good idea of what it takes to get traction across different industries, but it doesn’t hurt to ask. If you’re having trouble deciding between two agencies — the one who has a portfolio of work in your industry will look pretty good. 

3. Do you outsource any of your services?

First of all, outsourcing is not the evil some agencies have made it out to be. The truth is, it can be really unrealistic if you’re offering 20 different services, to host those 20 (minimum) experts in your office. But! It could be a worry if… everything is outsourced. 

You’ll want to know who’ll be looking after your project and how much contact you’ll have with them. 

4. When will I see the results?

This is a good question to ask to gauge how transparent they are. If an SEO agency, or any agency honestly, tells you that you will definitely see results straight away. You should tread carefully. Confidence is good and usually, we will have a pretty good idea of what we can achieve for you. But in fields like SEO, you can’t guarantee anything, especially in a specific timeframe.

5. How available do I need to be?

It’s good to have an idea of what will be expected of you. If you’re a hands-on business owner that wants to collaborate with the agency — it’s good to know how they’ll feel about that from the get-go. If you’re a business owner who just does not have the time, you might prefer an agency that says, “just leave it with us.”

6. Which channels should I be on?

This is another good way to work out how transparent the agency is but also how they think and what they’d be up to offering you. There isn’t always just one correct way to get you more business, or more website traffic, or whatever your goal is. There can be a few different solutions so it’ll help to know what the different agencies you’re interested in would consider. 

Interested in partnering with Sonder? You can book a meeting here or learn more about our approach here.

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