The Ultimate Digital Marketing Agency Guide
The Ultimate Digital Marketing Agency Guide
In this guide my intention is to give you all of the information you need to:
- Decide if you want to work with a Marketing Agency
- Find out the different kinds of agencies
- Get a guideline on how to choose an agency
- How to ensure the process of working with an agency works for you
Let's dive right into it.
Work with an Agency Partner?
Working with a Marketing Agency is often one of the most successful choices you can make in expanding your business to generate more revenues and more potential customers.
Your choice often comes down to choosing to bring on an in-house digital marketing expert or working with an outside agency.
I broke down in more detail how I rate both solutions here, however, in this guide, I want to break down why you might go with one over the other.
Working with a Marketing Agency:
When working with a Marketing Agency you'll find that some offer a whole suite of services while others are more niche-focused.
Some work in certain industries and others take on many industries. Neither of these is a deal killer as sometimes an agency with a variety of niches can bring a unique marketing campaign that no one in your niche has thought of yet.
Digital marketing agencies are more likely to have a deeper skill set than an in-house team as they will specialize in their particular niche or skill set that allows them to hone their skills in a wide variety of situations.
With a digital marketing agency, you'll often be able to bring on a whole team of people each with their own specific skill set rather than getting a generalist who is okay at many things or a specialist who is really only good at one specific skill.
Digital Marketing Agencies also tend to be more scalable as they will often have a whole team and be able to increase the amount of service that they can provide for your business.
Transparency becomes much easier when hiring an agency because you can easily see the reviews of the company whereas hiring internally one has to deal with the risk of lies or even just simple self-promotion of candidates who need a job.
Results-driven - most agencies have a keener sense that if they aren't achieving results for their clients that they will be fired and replaced with someone else. When hiring internally there's usually a chain of command where an employee will do what they're told but won't necessarily be involved in the strategic decisions of the business.
Building An In-House Team
There are a few situations where an in-house marketer or team works better than out-sourcing to a digital agency.
If you're in a state of mind where you must control your team tightly, where your team is on-site is vital then you should bring on an in-house team.
If you need a team that's highly focused then an in-house team should be the right fit.
Often times we find that building a top-notch team takes a lot of work and most businesses usually do not have the resources to build that level of team.
Some of the exceptions to getting a marketing agency are:
If you are a business owner that is venture-funded you'll have the funding to bring on a top-notch marketing team. And part of the expectation is that you'll build out an amazing team with the resources that you were given.
Also, in start-up mode there's often equity that is available to early employees which is another tool to attract top talent.
For some products that are either very innovative or in rather obscure markets it sometimes makes more sense to build out your internal team than to work with an agency that either doesn't fully understand your product or marketing channel.
When considering having the in-house team in comparison to outsourcing make sure you consider all of the expenses associated with hiring in-house including:
- Recruitment/Hiring Cost
- Training and Onboarding
- New Software
The decision at the end of the day is yours depending on your personal situation.
If you have questions definitely contact us by going here and we'd love to connect with you to see how we can help.
What kind of agencies are there?
When looking for a marketing agency there are a ton of different choices out there and it can become overwhelming so we've broken it down for you here.
Full-Service Marketing Agency
A full-service agency includes pretty much everything a client could ask for in regards to marketing. They offer a wide range of services including both digital and traditional marketing. This includes:
- Campaign management
- TV Advertisements
- Social Media Management
- Content Creation
- Radio Commercials
- Print Advertising
- Strategic Planning
- Marketing Strategy
- Inbound Marketing
Who is this best for? This is ideal for a client who's got a sizable budget that is looking to be in a wide variety of avenues. Look out for a full-service agency that doesn't have a deep team with the skillset to truly deliver on each of their services.
Digital Marketing Agency
Digital Marketing Agencies tend to focus most of their efforts on digital marketing, utilizing the latest technologies and latest communication platforms. They will be able to help you with:
- Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
- Local SEO
- Organic Traffic Strategies (SEO)
- Social Media Marketing (Both paid and organic)
- Web Design
- Email Marketing
- Content Marketing
- Digital Marketing Strategy
- Website Design
While full-service agencies touch on a little bit of everything, digital marketing agencies really focus on the digital side of the equation.
Who is this best for? This is ideal for clients who want to run targeted marketing to a specific target audience whether that's location-based or a particular industry. Look out as different agencies specialize in different aspects of digital marketing and are more or less skilled depending on the marketing experts on their team.
Traditional Advertising Agency
Traditional Advertising Agencies focus less on the digital side of marketing and rather focus on radio, newspaper, television, magazine and billboards.
Who is this best for? This is best for local businesses looking to increase their foot traffic. Keep an eye out as this is an industry that is losing ground so you'll want to find someone who's really passionate about these spaces.
Social Media Marketing Agency
Social Media Marketing Agencies (as the title suggests) are agencies that focus mainly on social media marketing. This includes:
- Whatever new platform is coming out next
- Sometimes they'll also do an SEO Service
Who is this best for? If you know your audience is on social media then this agency can work really well for you. Look out to make sure that the other aspects of your marketing are covered because if your social media marketing drives a ton of traffic to a terrible landing page or your homepage isn't correctly set up then you can waste a lot of money.
Public Relations (PR) Agency
PR agencies help you to get you viewed positively by the public eye. Press releases, event management, etc can be part of these services.
Who is this best for? Really any company should have PR as part of their equation to some extent however for most enterprise-level companies this is a must.
A Branding Agency is (as you may have guessed) specialized in building your brand which in turn builds brand awareness. This can include your logo, your colors, and signage.
Who is this best for? A branding agency can really help when undergoing a rebranding or if you really want to understand how your brand stands in your market. Improving your brand awareness can have a positive impact across your other marketing and SEO as well.
Which agency to choose?
When choosing your agency you want to make sure you're working with the right agency for the marketing services that you need. I've got some questions you should ask here that will help you during your interview process.
Sometimes it's easier to look for red flags, things that will tell you when you shouldn't be working with an agency than to see exactly what makes an agency the perfect fit.
Your digital marketing agency created client Facebook accounts under their personal Business Manager
If your agency is creating all of the campaigns under their manager there is no way for you to maintain control nor take over the information once the relationship ends.
They only focus on a single channel
While focus is important and a dilettante in all channels isn't someone you want to work with, you also don't want someone who only has one tool where they are a hammer and every problem becomes a nail even when it isn't. To make that simpler - an SEO agency will tell you to reach professionals you need SEO, for Branding you need SEO and while SEO helps in many situations there are other tools that will sometimes work better for different situations.
They aren't testing out new ideas and have "their way" that they don't vary from.
Having only one way to do things, in these modern times, really isn't viable anymore. While you will want to work with someone that has a methodology that doesn't mean that they shouldn't be continuously testing and finding the best way forward.
Whether that's a new platform, a new tool, new videos etc. every agency has to continually invent themselves to best deliver value to their clients.
They aren't asking about your revenue goals and how they track their results.
Every successful agency (the top 20%) successfully align their marketing efforts to be able to directly tie in their marketing efforts with actual revenue for their clients.
They aren't available.
This can be hard to see in the sales process however if it takes them a long time (more than 24 hours) to respond to your call or email on the sales side it's a strong indicator that their delivery may also suffer from lack of speed. As someone once said "how you do anything is how you do everything".
One last criterion. For us, we believe that we as your agency should be financially aligned with you as our customer. Meaning that as you succeed we're able to succeed more and more. We believe that a static structure to pay doesn't align us to your success. We want to develop a transformational change in your organization and know that isn't possible with only average or good service.
What's needed is remarkable service which is what we strive to do in every exchange with our clients.
How to work with a digital marketing Company
Once you've signed up with an agency it's important to take an active role in the relationship.
Hopefully, with the right agency, they'll be actively pushing you through their onboarding process to ensure that they get access to your platforms that they'll need access to.
The faster you are to get this access set up the faster your agency should get rolling.
It's important to hold your agency accountable to the scope of services promised so have them report in to you regularly. We recommend having a weekly report with a more extensive or detailed report that comes in once a month.
This report should include what actions were taken, what tests are being run, what the results are etc.
If you view the agency as a partner that you expect a lot of, they will usually live up to your standards (and if they don't you'll find out faster this way).