When you’ve decided that you should hire a digital marketing agency, the question of what company is best comes into sharp focus. To determine that, it’s important to draw up some criteria to whittle down the number of agencies to the ones that meet your needs specifically.
In this article, we provide four tips on how to choose the right agency for your business.
Are They a Good Cultural Fit?
It may seem odd to consider whether an agency is a good cultural fit for your business, but it does come into question at times. When you pick a PPC agency that best fits your company’s culture, you avoid clashes where their thinking and actions cause initial disappointment and later concern about how it reflects poorly on the brand.
Where does culture come into play? Most likely in the graphical ad banners or ad copy that’s used to promote the product. Is the language appropriate for a family-friendly brand, for instance? The ad copy should reflect the values, culture and wording that’s been previously used, which perhaps customers recognize and associate with your brand already. Avoid mixed messages which could confuse them.
Also, even the keywords selected by the agency to advertise with must reflect what’s acceptable to the company. A brand shouldn’t have advertising next to questionable search terms that don’t gel with the brand image or customer base.
Do They Have Certifications?
An agency might be a Google Premier Partner or a Google Certified Partner.
These confirm a higher status with Google where the business has been approved based on how they manage ad campaigns in line with Google’s accepted practices.
Many of the better agencies have gained some certifications like these and you should look out for them.
Determine What Pricing Policy is Appropriate
Different agencies use various pricing policies when running an advertising campaign, performing SEO or providing other services.
With a flat price plan, it’s easier to know exactly what everything will cost. However, there are other plans where there’s a profit incentive included based on how successful an ad campaign is managed or how much an SEO agency boosts the traffic to the site.
If you’re going to select an agency that’s profit motivated, ensure that this doesn’t create a conflict of interest. Don’t have them seek a short-term boost in traffic or successful advertising that’s at the expense of long-term brand marketability. After all, it’s possible to drive sales in the short-term but damage the brand’s reputation in the marketplace depending on the tactics used.
Establish Clear Reporting and Limitations on Ad Spending
Whilst you may decide to give the marketing to a digital agency, it’s not completely hands-off. Or, at least, it shouldn’t be.
You’ll need to keep an eye on what they’re spending to ensure results are matching expectations or there’s an explanation as to why they don’t. If they expect to move the pay-per-click campaign into profitability once they’ve expended one-third of the marketing budget, this needs to be fully understood from the outset to set expectations properly. In the event of a failure to meet expectations, there needs to be contingencies set in place from the start, so all parties know what comes next.
Reporting should be provided on a regular basis based on what’s agreed. Companies that provide inadequate or sporadic reporting make it very difficult for clients to determine how their work is progressing and whether they’re being successful on their behalf.
By choosing a digital marketing agency properly, it’s possible to get better results within a reasonable budget. When reporting is also handled well, clients can visualize the progress being made and establish early on that they’ve made a smart outsourcing decision.