Marketing Strategy
How to Choose the Best Digital Marketing Agency

How to Choose the Best Digital Marketing Agency

October 13, 2020
5 min read

As a lean B2B business, navigating the digital landscape is a challenge. Between understanding your target audience, choosing the right channels, and the increasing pressure from your C-suite, it can seem like you’re juggling too many tasks with not enough time.

This is where a digital marketing agency steps in. Many B2B businesses opt for hiring outside help instead of in-house marketing because it’s easier to maintain a proactive approach. Instead of running your team thin, you can hire an agency to stay on top of trends and drive real business results.

However, choosing a digital marketing agency isn’t a decision to take lightly—especially in a saturated market. It’s going to take more than a simple Google search. Why? The right digital partner is critical to your bottom line and can be the difference between growing or sinking your business.

How can you select the right agency? Let’s take a look at how you can hire a digital marketing agency that helps grow your business.

Quick Takeaways:

  • A digital marketing agency allows you to streamline your marketing strategy and focus on other elements of your business.
  • Before selecting an agency, you need to research the company’s past customers, campaigns, and experience.
  • The right marketing agency will submit a compelling proposal that speaks to why you should hire them.

Do You Really Need a Digital Marketing Agency?

While you may have a deep understanding of your business and audience, maintaining a full marketing strategy takes a team. Sophisticated marketing teams often employ a chief marketing officer, brand managers, digital strategists, and more to develop engaging marketing campaigns. Since many B2B businesses run on limited resources, hiring a large marketing team may not be in the budget.

However, digital marketing agencies provide various marketing services to leverage different ways to connect with your ideal customer. Investing in a digital marketing agency affords your B2B the following advantages:

  • Allows you to focus on other important aspects of your company
  • Offers strategic and technical marketing expertise
  • Helps you cut down on staff and technology expenses
  • Provides measurable results built on your defined KPIs
  • Brings a fresh perspective to your marketing strategy

With the digital landscape becoming more competitive, a marketing agency allows you to reach a larger target audience and increase conversions on a larger scale. If you’ve decided to invest in a digital marketing agency, it’s time to find a company that drives maximum impact for your business.

Here are 5 tips for choosing the best digital marketing agency for your B2B business:

1. Determine Your Objectives and Budget

Before you start reaching out to digital marketing agencies, you need to work out your marketing goals and how much you’re willing to spend. The better you can describe your needs and objectives in terms of brand awareness and ROI, the more valuable the conversations you’ll be able to have with potential partners.

Are you looking for a brand refresh? Do you need to drive a certain number of site visits and conversions from your website? What channels have you discovered your audience prefers? Make sure you describe your expectations in detail so everyone is on the same page.

Along with setting goals, you also need to have a budget in mind. While there’s typically not a set price, a credible marketing agency will know how to leverage your business on the right channels under a reasonable budget.

2. Find an Agency that Offers the Right Package

Depending on your objectives, your agency needs to have technical, strategic, and creative expertise within your desired channels. Some agencies specialize in certain digital channels, while others offer a “jack-of-all-trades” approach.

You can expect some sort of channel mix from a skilled digital agency, including:

  • Paid search and display on Google Ads
  • Search engine optimization and organic search presence
  • Social media marketing on various platforms
  • Content marketing in the form of blogs, infographics, videos, or analysis
  • Email marketing, audience segmentation, and automation

Along with skills, inquire if they have experience in your industry. If so, ask for tangible proof of their success with past clients that are relevant to your business. However, if they don’t, it doesn’t necessarily mean they aren’t a good fit. Ask how they would approach your industry and take advantage of a fresh pair of eyes on your business.

Here at Marketing Insider Group, we just offer 2 simple packages of weekly blog content. Whether you want 2 posts per week or 4, we basically include our content strategy workshop, client management, reporting, keyword research, and content ideation for free. We believe this simple packaging makes it an easy choice for our prospects.

3. Do Background Research

Before diving any deeper into the vetting process, make sure you complete background research to determine the agency’s credibility. For starters, read customer success stories on their website and ask for referrals. Give the referral a call to discuss strengths and weaknesses to get a better feel for how the agency handles different situations.

You can also check out review sites like Yelp or Clutch and see first-hand testimonials of the agency’s service. Do the reviews seem authentic? Does the agency respond to negative reviews? This is often a strong indicator of how the agency handles customer satisfaction.

Lastly, evaluate how the agency markets itself. Do they have an engaging website? Are they active on social media? Are they ranking in the right search results? If the agency doesn’t effectively “practice what they preach,” they’ll be unable to deliver the promised results for your brand.

Source: Campbell Ewald

4. Ask the Right Questions

When you’re interviewing digital marketing agencies, you need to make sure you have a clear view of what they can deliver. During your conversations, be prepared to ask them the right questions so you can make an informed decision.

Here are a few points you don’t want to miss:

  • Ask to see past campaign results: A portfolio of campaigns they have done that is relevant to your desired package and industry will come in handy for your decision making.
  • Inquire about your account executive and who will be executing the work: While your needs may require multiple teams working together, you’ll want to establish a relationship with your point person.
  • Get a good understanding of client retention: Long-lasting client loyalty is often a sign that the agency delivers a positive experience. Focus on retention marketing.
  • Understand the expected results: If the agency is promising instant conversions in a competitive industry, it’s probably a red flag.
  • Question how ROI will be measured: Make sure you explain KPI requirements and how they intend to showcase ROI.

5. Request a Proposal

Once you have a shortlist of digital marketing agencies, you should send out a request for proposal (RFP) to express your intent. An RFP allows you to analyze various competing strategies from agencies and select a company that best fits your needs and budget.

While a proposal should help you make an informed decision, you should also ask the agency to submit a sample article or campaign so you can see the quality of the work. A sample shows how invested the agency is in your brand and allows you to understand what exactly they are capable of.

Streamline Your Strategy with a Digital Marketing Agency

If you run a small or mid-sized B2B business, hiring a digital marketing agency offers the tools and skill set to grow your business. Whether you’re looking to increase brand awareness, improve lead generation, or launch a new product—an agency will bring fresh ideas to meet your goals.

When interviewing potential agencies, ask yourself the following questions:

  • What are your goals and budget?
  • What types of services or specialties does the agency offer?
  • Does the agency have credible experience and customer success stories?
  • Are they willing to provide transparency?
  • Will they submit a proposal or test campaign?

If you’re looking to make the most of your marketing campaigns, schedule a free consultation to learn more about our Digital Marketing Services and how our Weekly Blog Writing  Services makes quality content seamless.

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Michael Brenner

Michael Brenner is an international keynote speaker, author of "Mean People Suck" and "The Content Formula", and Founder of Marketing Insider Group. Recognized as a Top Content Marketing expert and Digital Marketing Leader, Michael leverages his experience from roles in sales and marketing for global brands like SAP and Nielsen, as well as his leadership in leading teams and driving growth for thriving startups. Today, Michael delivers empowering keynotes on marketing and leadership, and facilitates actionable workshops on content marketing strategy. Connect with Michael today.

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