Who are some of their previous clients?
The marketer’s track record is important. You want to be certain they’re a good fit for your company. If they’re unwilling to provide references, it could mean they haven’t achieved anything of significance for a similar type of client. And this might be a red flag for you. Are there examples of their work on their website?
Take a close look at their portfolio. Look out for their creative capabilities and also, the type of clients they’ve worked with. This is important when you want to call for a reference or recommendation. Read case studies and blog posts highlighting their recent clients. It’s important you also focus on previous clients with similar marketing goals.
How much will they charge?
You can’t make a decision to hire a marketing agency without first asking how much they charge. You might already have a budget in mind but do what they charge fall within your budget? It’s important you know what you’re getting matches your expectation. Ask for their monthly rate and also to state if there will be any extra costs included for certain kinds of services.
When speaking with a marketing agency, find out the full costs of the project. What are the costs for third-party expenses (stock photography, website hosting, etc.)? In case the project goes over budget, what happens? What do I need to pay to start and when are the rest of the project costs due?
How do they run their business?
You want to understand their approach to digital marketing and how they work with customers. Ask about their blogging, email marketing, and lead generation processes.
One of the best signs about an agency that will show what they can do for your business is the results they’ve generated for themselves. If your sole purpose of hiring a marketing agency is to manage your blogs, find out how they run their own blogs.
Do you want to run a social media campaign? Find out how they handle their social media accounts. If your purpose is to revamp your website, you want to look at theirs and ask how they went about it. Or if it’s for SEO, find out how well they rank in search for terms in their industry.
If they fail to “practice what they preach” for their own business, then it could be a red flag that they are not capable of the services that they offer.
How do they measure success?
Marketing is a long, hard road and success, however, it’s defined, shows up after you’ve resisted the urge to take the easy off-ramps along the way.
Success can mean a lot of things to different people. The purpose of hiring a marketing agency might be to increase e-newsletter signups or design your website. It could also be to increase sales or your social interaction.
Some projects like direct mail campaigns or search engine optimization can have well-defined results. Other projects, like business card designs and logo development, are much more difficult to show the return on investment (ROI).
Some businesses track vanity metrics. That is numbers that seem like they matter but has no relationship to generating revenue for your business. Vanity metrics don’t tell the whole story. While an increase in clicks and likes are beneficial, they don’t tell you if the right people are actually interested in your content.
An example is the number of likes you get when a blog is posted. While this might seem like a great thing, it doesn’t translate to sales. Often times there are many numbers presented in these reports you simply cannot draw any reasonable conclusion.
It is important to understand how and why to measure things like website traffic, social media follows and paid ad impressions. Yet, those metrics often don’t tell the whole story.
Be confident enough to ask your potential marketing agency how they intend to measure success.
- The number of unique visitors – Number of unique people that visit a site in a given time.
- Time spent on site – Amount of time your visitors spend on your website
- Traffic source numbers – where your website traffic is coming from
- Bounce rate – NUmber of visitors who come to your website and leave without viewing any other page on your website.
- Cost-per-click – Method websites use to bill based on the number of times a visitor clicks on an advertisement.
- Click through rate – Measures the amount of time an ad or email is clicked.
- Social Interactions – Measures the effectiveness of your social media campaigns at promoting engagement
It could take a couple of months to figure out what’s working and what’s not. Your potential marketing agency should be able to understand and define what success looks for your business. And also to show the results along the way.
Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) are measurable elements of any marketing campaign. It shows you how well your marketing strategy is performing and what needs improvement. A good marketing agency has in mind the KPIs to measure depending on your business needs and goals.
What results do they promise?
Photo by Igor Ovsyannykov on Unsplash
It is, thus, important to ask your potential digital marketing agency how they report results and what you should expect. A more specific question is: What results can I expect in six months?
It’s difficult for a digital marketing agency to make promises from the word go. This is because it takes time to understand the industry, competitive landscape and test what works. Yet, some agencies might promise and guarantee you immediate results to close the deal. And the worst part is that they will continue charging you every month with the excuse that “it takes time to see organic results” while knowing their actions will never deliver results.
Results will take longer if you’re in a more competitive market.
To be certain your potential agency is right for you, ask more specific questions like “what makes them different” and “what’s their strategy for getting you results?”
What’s their digital presence like?
A company’s website says a lot about them. It’s usually the first point of contact a prospect has to a business and the most accessible communication they have. Is their website old or modern? The look of their website is likely to be how yours will turn out to be. Are you able to navigate without a hitch? Do you like how it looks and feels? Does their voice resonates with yours?
How long has your marketing agency been in operation?
Working with an established marketing agency allows you to reap the fruits of certain services. Some of which include content marketing, search engine optimization, graphic design etc. Every company was at some point new. It is, therefore, advisable to weigh the benefits of an accomplished marketing agency against newcomers. That way, you hire one you’re confident in.
Hiring a digital marketing agency is critical. These questions will not only help you find the right fit for your company but also lay the foundation for a more productive relationship and a new phase of growth. Are you familiar with any of these questions? What kind of questions do you ask before hiring a digital marketing agency? Share your comments below.
If you want more information on how to hire a marketing agency that’s right for your business, kindly reach out to us.