Hiring a Digital Marketing Firm? 5 Best Practices
When buying a car, you study specs, compare prices, and check out reviews. You watch videos and talk to sales agents, hoping for the best deal. The same applies when you are looking for a digital marketing firm.
This article discusses the following best practices for hiring a Chicago digital marketing agency:
1. Matching your goals with the agency’s services
2. Going for an experienced partner
3. Learning the agency pricing model
4. Checking the industries with which they work
5. Knowing their knowledge of the latest trends
Remember these strategies and get the best agency for your campaigns. Let’s go!
Are you looking for a full-service digital marketing agency? See the DAP difference below!
1. Matching Your Goals with the Agency’s Services
One of the first steps managers and business owners take when looking for the right digital marketing agency is to have a look at their services. This is important, as you must make sure that the agency can provide the digital marketing services that you need to achieve your goals.
Full-service digital marketing companies may offer search engine optimization (SEO), paid advertising, social media marketing, etc. However, some may focus on one or two services that help them provide highly specialized results. Below are the services of a Chicago digital marketing agency.
Try to match your goals with one of these services to determine if your candidate offers them:
- Search engine optimization (SEO) – if your goal is to rank on search engine results pages (SERPs) or to increase local ranking, pick an agency with experience in optimizing websites for rankings and increasing organic traffic.
- Pay-per-click advertising (PPC) – if you want to increase leads and promote your brand, products, or services through ads, choose a PPC agency with experience in Google Ads, Bing Ads, or social media platforms.
- Social media marketing - regarding getting your brand, products, or services to reach your audience through social media, you’ll need an agency with social media marketing experience on various platforms, such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, and others.
- Content marketing - find out if the agency has in-depth experience in creating content to reach your target audience, such as blogs, videos, podcasts, emails, e-books, social media content, case studies, and guides.
- Email marketing – if you wish to promote your business, increase newsletter signup or boost lead generation, look for an agency specializing in email marketing.
- Web design and development – some agencies are a package deal. Aside from SEO, email, social media, and PPC, they also specialize in creating beautiful websites and developing web architecture.
2. Going for an Experienced Digital Marketing Partner
An experienced digital marketing agency has the knowledge and expertise to create compelling digital marketing strategies, to help you achieve your business goals. They deeply understand the latest trends, best practices, and tools of the industry.
Hiring an experienced agency saves you time and resources, as you can rely on the agency to handle all areas of your digital marketing campaign. You can focus on other essential aspects of your business. How do you find an experienced digital marketing partner? Try these tips for outsourcing digital marketing:
- Ask for referrals from your professional network, colleagues, or other business owners who have worked with digital marketing agencies.
- Conduct an online search for agencies in your area, review their websites, read client reviews, and check their portfolio.
- Check with industry associations or local business groups for recommendations.
- Attend industry events, conferences, and trade shows to network with digital marketing professionals.
- Request proposals from several agencies to compare their services, expertise, and pricing.
- Schedule interviews with potential digital marketing partners, to help you determine if they are the right fit for your business.
3. Learning the Agency’s Pricing Model
Get to know a digital marketing partner’s pricing model before you take their services, in order to avoid misinterpretations. Typically, agencies offer pricing models that include hourly, monthly retainer, and performance-based rates. However, some have only one pricing strategy, so ask this outright.
Five general pricing models are available:
- Hourly rate -the agency charges a fixed hourly rate for their work. An hourly rate model is popular for projects that require a specific number of hours to complete, such as website development or social media management.
- Monthly retainer - The firm charges a fixed monthly fee for services in this pricing model. The monthly retainer fees model is popular for ongoing projects like SEO, content marketing, and social media management.
- Project-based - the digital marketing partner charges a fixed fee for a specific project ideal for one-time projects, such as website redesigns or ad campaigns.
- Performance-based - the agency charges a fee based on the campaign's performance, which could be based on metrics that include leads generated, website traffic, or conversions. Agencies for PPC advertising campaigns use performance-based pricing models.
- Commission-based - In this model, the company charges a commission based on the sales generated by the campaign. It is a popular model for affiliate marketing or influencer marketing campaigns.
4. Checking the Industries They Worked With Previously
Aside from specializing in a particular service, agencies may also focus on specific industries, such as healthcare, automotive, travel, technology, finance, small business, etc. An agency specializing in your industry is one that deeply understands the unique challenges and opportunities within your industry.
They give your business a competitive advantage using insights and strategies that have proven to work. Because the agency is already familiar with your industry, they can deliver results faster. They leverage their knowledge and resources to create compelling digital marketing campaigns customized for your business. Assess an agency’s experience in your industry with the following strategies:
- Look at the agency's portfolio and case studies, to see if they have experience working with businesses in your industry.
- Ask the agency for references from businesses in your industry that they have worked with previously.
- Interview your candidates and ask industry-specific questions, to assess their knowledge and experience.
- Check the agency's blog and social media channels for industry-specific content, to provide insight into their knowledge and understanding of your industry.
- Conduct a test project, to assess their knowledge and expertise.
5. Knowing the Agency's Knowledge of the Latest Trends
Digital marketing trends are constantly evolving, and businesses that stay on top of these trends can gain a competitive advantage. An agency that knows the latest trends can create digital marketing strategies that are more effective at reaching and engaging your target audience.
Agencies that know the latest trends are also more likely to use the latest tools and technologies to create and manage your campaigns.This can lead to more efficient and effective campaigns that deliver better results. Assess an agency’s knowledge of the latest trends with these techniques:
- Examine the agency's articles, infographics, and videos about new strategies, tools, and technologies, by looking through their websites, social media pages, etc.
- Ask the agency about their training and development programs to keep their staff updated, including attending industry events, webinars, and training courses.
- Look at the agency's recent campaigns to see if they are incorporating the latest trends in marketing.
Remember the following best practices when hiring a digital marketing specialist: match your goals with the agency’s services, choose an experienced partner, and discover with which industries they prefer to work. Knowing their knowledge of the latest trends and pricing helps you hire the right partner.
The right digital marketing partner is critical to improving rankings, promoting leads, and increasing sales and revenue. Find out how the best Chicago digital marketing agency can help your business. Contact Digital Authority Partners today.
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