Every day business owners make tough decisions. One of the most important decisions c-level executives and business owners are those that dictate the direction of their ship. A Digital Marketing Company has an intense responsibility to grow your business in the simplest of terms. Furthermore, various companies offer a variety of services and models to achieve success. This guide will serve to assist business owners in the tips and tricks of finding a great match with a digital marketing agency.

Know what to expect from a Digital Marketing Agency

Digital marketing agencies come in varied specialties and focus offerings. It’s important to realize that while some agencies are full-service in scope others either utilize 3rd parties outside their specialty or some agencies/freelancers may only serve as consultants guiding a client to resourcing and selecting these partners. Take the time to understand this potential partner and how they may grow with your business over the next 12months / 2years / 5years and 10 years.

Below are many of the most common types of mediums most marketing agencies have experience with. Be sure to spend time understanding which of these are best for your business and furthermore take time to understand how your potential marketing partners will execute upon these materials.

  • Curated content
  • SEO (Search Engine Optimization)
  • Video Advertising/Marketing (YouTube/Streaming ads)
  • Google AdWords
  • Social Media
  • Blog Articles
  • Online Advertising/Banner Ads
  • Email Marketing

Chance are if it is a small agency, your potential digital marketing partner may not be specialized in a category above. That’s okay! A Marketing team that is self-aware of a need for 3rd party focus on a particular project speaks to the goal of a quality strategy. Find a team ready to take on every aspect of your project, that will be honest about which parts they will handle personally and the ones they will oversee.

In the case of large Digital Marketing companies. You may find they are departmentalized ready to take on your project fully in-house. These are great! Just be ready for prices that reflect this type of scale.

Various types of Marketing Companies you may encounter

Digital Marketing Agency – Focused on being an Omni-channel solution. Possibly masters of none but experts in many. These types of businesses are effective because they focus on core marketing concepts for success. Continuity, brand awareness, market targeting, and brand voice. This type of agency big or small tends to project manage through 3rd parties in completing your project. Expect this team to do it all! Website Design, Social Media, Blogs, Ads, PPC, and More!

Inbound Marketing Agency – Generally focused as kickstart companies. Largely focused on launching a product or brand into the wild! Today, many of these companies are focused on getting online, being searchable, and starting social media campaigns. These companies often have long lead times for results (Consider 6-12months) and can plateau once your business exits a launch phase.

SEO Agency – SEO professionals are highly skilled in the world of search engine optimization. This world is vast, changes quickly, and provides some of the cheapest and most effective marketing strategies. These professionals are essential in keeping up-to-date with changes in Google search algorithm. These experts are sometimes only specialized in this one category which makes continuity-focused marketing important while working with these types of agencies or consultants. Ask yourself- How is the keyword, phrase, or blog providing relevant content my customer cares about? Is this pulling my goals forward or leaving them behind?

PPC Ad Agency – The only real way to be the first query on google. PPC professionals know how to capture readers’ eyes, they focus on conversion rates and work in a world where Cost per acquisition is the talk of the town. While the rates for these professionals are competitive and even in some cases far cheaper than other options. Expect to pay far more in ad dollars as the barrier for entry is high.

Social Media Agency – Social Media agencies change often. It seems every year or two we get a new social media platform taking the world by storm. Yes, we see you over there TikTok. These professionals stay on the cutting edge of what’s cool and hip. Furthermore, social media marketing is the cheapest form of Paid ad campaigns and serves to increase your SEO. Professionals here focus on engagement, building followings, and influencer partnerships to build a brand’s reputation.

Website Design Agency – Anyone today would be hard-pressed to find success without a website. This is your storefront where the public can get introduced to you, our brand, and make purchasing decisions 24/7. Website designers understand user experience and how vital their design is in creating a space where the user is put first. Great U/X design on a website ensures that your website is clean, navigable, and provides usefulness for the visitor. Website designers today must provide all of these items if they ever hope to provide a lasting impact on a business’s marketing efforts. SEO, Social Media Management, and PPC are largely ineffective without a clean website design.

Fractional CMO – A newer role today. Fractional CMO’s are marketing professionals hired for the long haul! Often considered on a retainer basis these professionals like Digital Marketing Agencies are highly committed to just a few organizations in handling all aspects of marketing. Consider that many of these items won’t necessarily be done by a fractional CMO this person will be in charge of hiring, managing and executing marketing strategies for businesses not ready to create in-house marketing departments. Check out our article on this type of agency to learn more.

Consider, your current state of the business as you assess which of these types of agencies are right for you. Also, imagine how they may partner with one another or how your business may utilize multiple agencies depending on your budget. Just be sure to use this as a rule of thumb as you seek out marketing professionals to grow your business.

How do I know where to start?

Next, spend time researching or understanding which advertising mediums you will spend time exploring within the next 5 years of your business projection. I have spoken in the past of the importance of continuity in marketing at length in previous articles. In short, it is important that a marketing agency be able to maintain brand vision and voice across marketing mediums. These topics should come up early and often.

An agency that wants your business should be results-focused. Finding out what goals you expect to achieve, the way you want to achieve those goals, and what the business will measure for success.

Every agency will probably promise you similar things, so enter a meeting with a basic understanding of your budget, your companies vision, and what you expect. This provides a baseline in finding a marketing match.

All of this will allow you to proceed to the next section in knowing what questions to ask a potential marketing partner. Having a clear vision of your goals, brand awareness, and the proper questions will allow non-experts in digital marketing to weed out those agencies that just aren’t the right fit.

  • Questions to ask Digital Marketing Agencies
  • Who is my project manager or point of contact?
  • What is your digital marketing agencies ideal client?
  • What tools will you likely use for my project?
  • Who will perform the work? In-house, freelancers, partners, or 3rd part partnerships?
  • How will I get updates and when?
  • What is your proof of success or history with past clients?
  • What portion of the budget goes to agency fees vs marketing costs?
  • How will we both measure success on this project?

Quite simply, the answers to these questions should allow you as the business owner to understand if your simplest goals align. Obviously, at Lane Digital Marketing we most consider ourselves a Digital Marketing Agency in that many of the above categories is our specialty but not all without partnership.

We believe the best agencies focus on brand continuity, release the burden of marketing from c-level executives, and focus on revenue growth or lead generation. Honesty and integrity are so important in digital marketing because it’s not a one-size-fits-all. If you or someone you know is in need of a Digital Marketing Agency, or just a friend in the industry. Never hesitate to connect with me at cameron@lanedigitalmarketing.com.