There are many reasons to work with an internet marketing company, many of them we covered in our article explaining the benefits of working with agencies vs. hiring in-house employees. Aside from industry knowledge and know-how, professional marketing agencies have more resources and an additional level of QA that can be challenging to implement in-house.
All this can be especially valuable for startups and small businesses who aim to ensure stable business growth while being restricted with human resources, and cannot afford or, oftentimes, don’t need a full-scale marketing department. Big companies and enterprises hire digital marketing agencies for fresh ideas and the opportunity to scale the marketing operation within a very short period of time, without the need to spend valuable time hiring and training several new employees.
When it comes to looking for digital marketing agency services, you might be overwhelmed by the amount of options available in the market. As a digital marketing agency ourselves, we, obviously aim to sell our services, however, we also truly believe that the best results can only be achieved when both parties work in a partnership. This means that not every agency is a good match for you, while you might not be a perfect client for every agency either, and this is perfectly fine. Therefore, we decided to create a guide that will aim to help you choose a marketing agency that will bring you real results.
What does a digital marketing agency do?
To put it simply, the purpose of a digital marketing agency is to increase lead generation or sales and help the growth of your business through digital channels. This can cover many digital marketing methods such as SEO (Search Engine Optimisation), PPC (Pay Per Click), Social Marketing, online PR, email marketing, ORM (Online Reputation Management) and more.
Step one would be to understand your internet marketing needs. Many agencies might offer initial analysis and come back to you with what they think your business and website needs. However, sales people are meant to sell, and unfortunately, the same as in a regular store, many sales representatives focus on your value to them rather than the value they can bring to you.
Before talking to any agencies, make sure to review your digital marketing options and create your own priority list. Keep in mind, that professionals might fairly recommend going a different route. But if an agency is insisting on a certain service despite your wishes, with no reasonable or data-driven reason, it’s a sign that they might be focusing on their revenue, not yours.
Step two would be to understand what the agency you are about to contact has to offer. No need to delve into a deep research here, just have a good look at their website. If you are looking for SEO services, and it is only a sub-sub-subcategory among 15 pages explaining different web-development options, it is most likely not the best match. As good as it might sound when talking to their sales representative, you will not be their highest-valued client since they drive their revenue from elsewhere.
Does size matter?
Not always, but it might. The smaller the company is, the more effort they are likely to put into your campaign. Your success will pretty much literary become theirs as well, since every client is of enormous value to them. So, if you want a tailored approach and a care for your success, go for startups (up to 20 employees total divided into smaller teams) or independent experts.
Bigger companies can also offer excellent services custom for your specific needs, and yet, especially when it comes to smaller retainers, you risk ending up lower on their priority list, or being handled by a less efficient account manager.
This being said, If by the nature of your business you are looking to significantly increase your marketing operation, for example, offer many more services or launch many more websites, a bigger company will be much better equipped for the challenge. Agencies with over 50 employees have more manpower to increase your campaign time along with your business growth.
Internet marketing agency near me
Did you already try searching this on Google? Are you planning to? Nowadays, in more and more aspects of life, business being no exception, has transformed from mainly physical to partially or fully digital. And if you are reading this post, I assume you completely understand the benefits of the Internet. Use it to your full advantage. Working remotely with your service provider is much less unusual, and oftentimes, more convenient that you may expect for many reasons.
Digital marketing services are not physical products, meaning you can easily collaborate with an agency from a different city, country, or even continent. Additionally, this will significantly increase your chances of finding a best suited service provider for your needs. In my own experience, I had and have clients located a few minutes drive away, but we physically meet once or twice a year. Instead, we have regular phone and video calls from the comfort of our own offices. Less gas fumes and less hassle, saving the environment and precious time simultaneously. Excellent! The same goes for working with clients from a different country, the biggest difference is not to forget to adjust the time zone when setting up meetings.
The only situation when we would recommend looking for a local service provider is if your business is directly connected to a very specific location. In this case, full knowledge of the area and it’s demographics can be a decisive factor.
How much do digital marketing agency services cost?
This will depend on the type of services you are looking for, the complexity of your business and goals, as well as the experience of the service provider. There are too many digital marketing options and variables to cover them all in this article, so instead we would like to say a few words about the pricing trends in relation to quality.
Before you start looking for internet marketing services, try to find as many different prices as you can, ask for a few hourly quotes, and remember the average price you find. Often there is no direct correlation between the size of the company and the price, so no need to match your budget to the company size. Instead, you should be looking into what they offer you in general, and what they offer within your budget in order to meet your goals and KPIs.
Beware not to be blinded by very cheap options. Aside from standard business expenses, quality digital marketing agencies spend time and money on training their employees, as well as paying for many advanced tools. This means that their price cannot match or even be close to a standard hourly wage if you were to hire someone in-house. If it does, they are most likely outsourcing their services to freelancers from other countries, such as India and the Philippines, or are a freelancer themselves. We have nothing against these locations if you decide to work with them directly, and are satisfied with the quality, but if you are unknowingly working through a mediator, the potential results and efficiency will suffer. The trap of cheap services is that in the end, you are more likely to waste more money for nothing, when you could spend more, but get return on your investment.
But the price doesn’t always guarantee higher quality either. Watch out for companies that start with a very high price and then drop it drastically in an effort to win you as a client. This is a very clear sign that they are more interested in your money than the success of the campaign.
For the cases when you like the company, read brilliant case studies, and everything apart from the price looks excellent, ask for client’s references (and better more than one) and talk directly to people that know the company.
Final thoughts on how to choose an internet marketing agency for your needs
Probably the most important part is to do your own homework and research. Know what you want and what you don’t. The goal of this article is to help you find a marketing agency you can trust, and your success will follow.