Freelance digital marketing is difficult
How to find the right digital marketing agency
The decision to hire a digital marketing agency is an easy one.
The difficulties only start when you have to find an agency.
Nowadays anyone can really build a website and offer their services. There are no longer any barriers to entry or requirements and that is why it has become so difficult to find a good marketing agency.
But I know a few tricks and can help you find a suitable advertising agency for your company. In this article, I'll show you what to look for, what to avoid, how to find the best digital marketing agency, and then I'll recommend a few agencies to you.
Here we go.
Set clear goals and the determine the desired results
Every company has specific needs and that is why there are so many different marketing agencies.
Digital marketing agencies almost always specialize in specific areas and while they offer “full service” they prefer projects that are specific to their area of expertise.
So the first step is to find an agency that understands your goals and your ideas.
So you have to set yourself very clear goals and formulate the desired results in order to be able to communicate them better afterwards, because if the agency is familiar with your goals and ideas, it can better assess whether it can help you to achieve these goals.
I would now like to explain this using a few examples.
Example No. 1: An automated blog for your company
You want to hire an agency to develop a content marketing strategy and put your blog on autopilot to save time.
- Idea: Complete takeover of content marketing, including strategy and implementation.
- Aim: Increase website traffic with the help of qualitative content.
- Desired result: The blog should be 100% taken over by the agency.
Now you can look specifically for an agency that specializes in taking over blogs and content marketing. The clear goal setting helps you to communicate your wishes better.
Example no. 2: Your team should learn how to produce videos
You may want to produce videos to share on social media and your website, but you don't know how to do it.
In this case, you are looking for an agency that can show you how to produce videos.
- idea: The production of professional videos and additional visual elements.
- Aim: New products and offers are to be presented in videos.
- Desired result: A finished video. Your team should also learn how to produce videos.
Now you can look specifically for an agency that shows you and your team how to produce videos. The desire to train your team is very special, which is why not every agency that specializes in video marketing will be able to meet this request.
However, since you have very clear ideas, you can search specifically for a suitable agency.
The frustration is great when you hire an agency only to find out later that it cannot deliver the results you want, so you have to clearly formulate your goals and the desired results beforehand.
7 qualities that make a great marketing agency
You have clearly formulated your goals and expectations, so I will now show you what makes a great marketing agency.
The following characteristics should be considered and fulfilled in your search for a suitable digital marketing agency. You can use my list to find the best provider and check the agency's expertise.
1. An extensive portfolio and / or customer list
A good agency shares the list of their clients and former clients because they take pride in their projects. This list is often shared directly on the website.
You don't need a list of their current clients (having one isn't a disadvantage), but if you can't even find a list of past clients or projects, it means the agency has no experience.
This is fine if you are on a very limited budget, but a problem if you only want to work with the best of the best.
There are of course services that are not so easy to show off, for example content marketing and SEO, so agencies that specialize in these services may not display their portfolios on the website.
In this case, however, you may find a list of current or former clients.
Note: Agencies specializing in graphic design should share a portfolio or work samples. If you can't find examples of their work, you should look for another agency that can meet your needs.
2. An experienced and specialized team
You should always look for an agency that has a specialized team with experience in the field you want.
If you need a logo, you need to find an agency that has a graphic designer.
Find a list of their employees on the agency's website.
If you can't find one, you should search on LinkedIn. Enter the name of the marketing agency to do this.
Then click on “People” to see all of the company's employees.
Note: Freelance workers and contractors are not displayed, so this list may not be complete.
It is also possible that some of their employees do not have an account on LinkedIn.
With LinkedIn you can get a first overview. If you have any further questions later, you can contact the agency directly.
3. Social proof and a good reputation in the industry
Social proof such as testimonials and customer ratings can give you an initial insight into working with the agency.
Experienced companies know the advantages of social proof and therefore share it on their website. If you can't find customer reviews on their website, then the agency may not have any clients yet or may not be as good at what it is as it claims to be.
Positive, negative and neutral reviews show the agency's strengths and weaknesses and give you an insight into their work.
You can also search for customer reviews on Google and find out what the industry (and customers) think of the agency in question.
4. Core values and corporate culture
Take the time to think about your core values and become aware of your corporate culture.
Why? Because you have to find a marketing agency that shares the same core values and works in a similar environment.
In this way you guarantee a better cooperation with your team, because the agency should be an extension Yours Be company. Choosing an agency with the same core values and a similar corporate culture is an important indicator of the quality of the cooperation.
Choosing the wrong agency can quickly lead to unnecessary stress, which of course also has a negative effect on your projects.
Pay attention to the formulations and basic values of the agency in advance. Do these agree with your own convictions?
If not, you will need to find another marketing agency.
5. The quality of your website
Your website is the first impression of your company and it must immediately welcome potential customers.
A good digital marketing agency knows the importance of a well-designed website. If the agency's website is bad, why should it be producing better results in your case?
If the agency offers web development and web design, this is of course even more important, so pay attention to the quality of their website and rely on your gut feeling.
If the quality of the website leaves something to be desired, you need to look for an agency with a greater sense of design and a good understanding of the user experience.
6. You don't make empty or impossible promises
The promises an agency makes on their website is an indicator of how well they understand the industry.
A marketing agency that promises to get you number one on Google in no time has no idea about SEO and doesn't know that search engine optimization is both a long-term and a short-term strategy. Such an agency is unaware that SEO requires continuous work and maintenance.
Under no circumstances do you want to entrust this agency with the optimization of your website.
Pay attention to the promises made on the website.
The promises already indicate whether the agency understands the industry. Empty promises can be quickly debunked.
Find a marketing agency that values transparency and makes realistic promises.
7. Simple and uncomplicated contact
A professional agency enables quick and uncomplicated contact.
The website must be clearly understandable and easy to navigate.
Ideally, you should be able to contact you with one click from any page. The page should contain a clear call-to-action so you know what is expected of you.
The first step has to be crystal clear. Do you need to request a free consultation? Do you have to fill out a form and request a personalized offer?
If this step isn't clear, then you'd better look for a marketing agency that can express itself clearly.
How to work with a marketing agency
As a client, you can do a lot to make working with the agency easier and to maximize your results.
You can lay the foundations for a successful cooperation and support the marketing agency in every phase of the project in order to achieve the goal faster.
Prepare yourself and your team
Your team needs to know exactly what is expected of them. You should call a meeting, let your employees know about the new project and prepare them for the upcoming collaboration.
If you have to provide the agency with certain documents or information, then you have to keep your promise. The agency has to get to know your company and you have to make sure that this is possible.
The preparation lays the foundation for a successful collaboration and the upcoming project, so take enough time to prepare all the materials.
Understand the process and scope of the project and correctly estimate the time required
Before starting, you have to agree with the agency about the scope and the time required to implement the project. This is your responsibility as well as that of the agency.
Most marketing agencies break a project into four phases.
- Research and gather information
- Planning and preparation
- Examination, results and delivery
The details of each phase must be clearly and comprehensibly shared with your team and the agency before the start of the project, so that each step is clear.
Your collaboration is in demand
Digital marketing projects require a high level of collaboration and collaboration.
Your ideas, thoughts and help with the implementation ensure that the project can be implemented faster and more successfully so that the desired results can be achieved.
Certain agencies or projects require a higher degree of collaboration than others, so you need to provide the agency with all the information and data it needs.
It is definitely helpful to designate a contact person who processes all inquiries and serves as the interface for the project. The project manager ensures that all tasks can be carried out smoothly.
You also have to be able to give up control
You must not forget that the agency you hire is an expert in its field and is familiar with the topic.
This also means that you have to let her take control of certain aspects of the project so that she can do her job. In addition, you should always take well-intentioned advice and suggestions to heart.
If certain things are done differently than you are used to, there is certainly a good reason for it.
While you don't have to agree to everything, you should always be open to new things.
If you have never worked with a digital marketing agency, you will learn a lot and broaden your horizons.
It is quite normal that you do not understand every step, in which case you should just ask again.
For example, if you are wondering why the agency chose a certain color or if you do not understand certain data sets and technical terms, you can have it explained to you.
It's impossible to know everything, so don't be ashamed. You will learn something new by asking questions and you will be able to clear up ambiguities more quickly.
How to find the right marketing agency for your company
There are countless agencies that promise a “complete service” and offer their customers all imaginable services. That sounds great, but it is not recommended.
Why? Let me explain this best using examples from other industries.
Example No. 1: You want to build a terrace. Would you hire a normal construction company or would you rather hire a specialist in terrace construction? Better the specialists for terrace construction, right?
Example No. 2: Which doctor would you go to if you have a specific medical problem? A specialist, of course. Or you can have your family doctor write you a referral.
Outstanding marketing agencies specialize in one or two sub-areas of digital marketing and only offer other services as a supplement or option.
You need to find a marketing agency that dominates the sub-area you want to get the best results for the money you invest.
The 6 best digital marketing agencies
Now you know what to look for when choosing a marketing agency. To make it easier for you to choose, I've put together a list of six of the best agencies and their specialty areas for you.
1. Neil Patel Digital - The best “all in one” agency
Although I've spent the majority of my career in SEO and content marketing, the competition in online marketing has increased tremendously in recent years. When I started my Neil Patel Digital agency, I wanted to put together a team that could handle all the big and popular online channels, and that's exactly what I did.
Most companies don't care where their customers come from, the main thing is that they win more customers!
My agency has experts in SEO, content marketing, Facebook advertising and Google Ads.
I don't try to convince my customers to use a certain communication channel, instead I find the ideal strategy for each company and then implement it in a targeted manner.
2. Storm Brain - The best agency for social media marketing and advertising
Storm Brain is suitable for companies of all sizes and specializes in lead generation using social media and paid advertising.
They put themselves in the shoes of the target audience and are able to tailor their campaigns perfectly to each customer in order to achieve long-lasting results.
3. Action Rocket - The best email marketing agency
This agency offers workshops, online courses and extensive email marketing campaigns. Action Rocket is an expert in email marketing.
The highly specialized team puts together strategies and takes care of the design and development of your email campaigns so that you don't have to worry about planning or implementation.
You can be sure that the implementation always complies with the latest industry standards.
4. Pop Video - The best visual content marketing agency
Pop Video specializes in visual content marketing, primarily providing video production and visual marketing that is perfectly tailored to the brand and company of any size.
This agency attaches great importance to close cooperation with its customers and describes itself as a video partner and not a videoproducer.
Pop Video sees itself as an extension of your own team and produces visual content for every phase of the customer journey.
5. Mad Mind - The premier branding agency for e-commerce and retail companies
Online shops and retail companies have to struggle with many problems. You need a marketing agency that can help you overcome each of these challenges.
Mad Mind understands the importance of visual brand and product development, from the look of your website and social channels to the details of product packaging.
6. Cubicle Ninjas - The best agency for branding and software development for apps
In a perfect world, your website would be your best sales channel, but not every web developer has an eye for design at the same time.
But that's exactly why you hire an expert, right?
The Cubicle Ninjas agency specializes in the development of apps and web software. The agency relies on modern design, humor, creative thinking and the latest technologies to create an ideal user experience.
The ideal marketing agency is a natural extension of your own team
Every project, large or small, deserves the full attention of your agency. But it is not that easy to find the right agency for your needs.
There are thousands upon thousands of marketing and advertising agencies, so that's not surprising.
But that doesn't matter, because now you know what to look for when choosing an agency and how to prepare your team for the new collaboration. You know the characteristics that a marketing agency must have and you can use the advice from this article to find the ideal agency for your digital marketing needs and finally to implement your ideas.
Which characteristics are particularly important to you when choosing a marketing agency?
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