Most business owners understand that effective marketing is crucial to success. As the business world becomes increasingly digital, this means more and more of your potential searchers will be looking for your products or services using search engines like Google and social media platforms like Facebook and Instagram. The need for a strong digital marketing presence has never been more important, especially for new business owners.
Often, asking your existing staff to handle digital marketing is a terrible idea. For one, there’s probably way more that could and should be done than your current staff can handle with their extra time. Furthermore, you want your digital marketing strategies to be developed and implemented by experts, not by Jason in Accounting if he happens to have extra time that week.
Many times, the answer to this problem is to outsource some or all of the work and partner with a digital marketing company with experience in your industry and a provable track record of success. When it comes time to choose the right agency for your business, you will be overwhelmed with dozens of competing agencies, all claiming to be the very best at what they do. It can be very hard to distinguish between reputable companies and shady organizations, especially if you don’t fully understand the services you are in need of.
Follow these suggestions, and you’ll have a much more likely to see a positive ROI on your digital marketing investment.
Only Fools Rush In
There is no quick-fix for digital marketing. If you realize your business needs to improve its digital marketing efforts, don’t just throw money against the wall and see what sticks. Do the work, do the research, and find a company that makes sense for your business.
Find a company interested in becoming a long-term partner with you, not one that just wants to take your money each month and “check the boxes.”
If you partner with a company with a proven track record that views the relationship as a partnership, you will be incentivizing the company to do better work. Furthermore, by working with a company for years, they will gain an intimate knowledge of your business and this will also result in substantially better results.
Determine Your Companies Priorities
Digital marketing is an umbrella term that includes a variety of digital marketing channels,including organic traffic, paid traffic, social media traffic, and many more.
Let’s say you have a budget of $10,000 per month to put into digital marketing. Before you hire a digital marketing agency, you should decide how much of that budget to allocate to each potential channel. You could choose to focus all of that budget on SEO, or you could split it in half and spend $5,000 per month on an active SEO strategy and use the other $5,000 to run PPC and Social Media ads. There is no right answer or specific way to allocate your digital marketing budget, rather you have to make an informed decision based on your target audience and business objectives.
It can be wise to hire a digital marketing agency just to perform a high-level audit of all of your existing traffic and sales data. This company will analyze your website and business performance and make appropriate recommendations and advise you on which marketing channels make the most to invest in for you business.
Before reaching out to an agency, be prepared with the following information:
● What is your total budget for digital marketing?
● What types of service are you leaning towards (SEO, PPC, Social)
● Do you have any existing in-house digital marketers? You may decide to outsource based on your needs compared to what resources you have at your disposal in-house
Review Case Studies and Ask for Referrals
Any reputable digital marketing company will be able to prove their successful track record, either via case studies or referrals.
Remember, there are plenty of swindlers out there in the digital marketing agency, so do your due diligence to weed out the shadier companies.
Also look for a digital marketing agency that has been around for awhile. In the digital marketing agency, five or ten years of experience is both extremely valuable and tends to tell you that the
business is more legitimate and not a startup.
In the same way that you want to find a company with experience, try and find a company with experience in your industry or niche. For example, if you are a local business, a company that can provide referrals and case studies for other local businesses would be beneficial information for your team to review.
Look for Overall Value, Not Price
When hiring a digital marketing agency, you can expect to pay anywhere from $50-$250 per hour of labor by a skilled digital marketer.
Digital marketing, like traditional marketing, is all about the return on your investment, not the cost itself. If you spend $10,000 with the right digital marketing agency and get $50,000 in increased revenue, obviously that’s a no brainer decision. But, what if there are companies out there that could have gotten you $100,000 in increased revenue from the same initial marketing budget.
Hiring a digital marketing company is no easy task, but if you do your homework and make a smart decision, you can expect to see an increase in traffic and revenue, leads, or conversions.
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