Finding the Best Digital Marketing Agency for Your Small Business – Here Are Some Practical Tips

In this post, we’ll help you determine whether you should handle your own small business marketing or engage the service of a digital marketing agency…

One of the golden rules of digital marketing is finding out where your target audience hangs out and then getting your content in front of them. Before now, people were used to newspapers, radio, and other traditional media. So it was a nice idea to reach people on those platforms via ads.

But today the game has changed. People’s attention is now split between various platforms.

The main issues for small businesses

For instance, if you want to get in front of business owners, LinkedIn might be a good option. Instagram and Snapchat might be the perfect platforms for targeting young people. And the 15 million active Facebook members in Australia who spend an average of 50 minutes daily on the platform make it possible for every business to achieve positive results running ads on Facebook.

We stumble on new marketing strategies each day. Keeping up with the latest trends, learning to use different platforms, and mastering various marketing aspects overnight can be daunting for busy entrepreneurs.

That’s where your business might benefit from the services of a marketing agency.

When you leave the running of the technical aspects of your marketing blueprint to experts, you will be able to concentrate on the areas where you are more effective, and you will see results quicker than spending the next few weeks or months hiring or training people to do the same job.

In this post, we’ll address the things to consider before choosing a marketing agency, how to determine whether you should handle your marketing or engage the service of an agency.

What Marketing Agencies Do

The objective of a marketing agency is helping you make more sales by leveraging various platforms and marketing strategies to reach your potential customers.

Marketing agencies offer a range of services, but here are some of the general services you should expect to see:

Facebook Ads

Leveraging Facebook’s targeting feature and their huge user base creates a massive opportunity for any business to profit immensely from social media. You target people by interests, age, major life events, location, gender, education level, and even status update.

Search Engine Optimisation (SEO)

The benefits you get from having your content show up in Google search are more than just “getting more eyes on your brand” or increasing your page views. There are other benefits. You will be putting your offer in front of potential customers who are at an advanced stage of the buying cycle – the point they are desperately in search of a solution to their problem!

Google AdWords

Google Adwords allows you to get in front of people who are typing their search queries into Google’s search box. Most people go to Google when they need solutions to their problems, so running ads to get these people’s attention can bring in lots of positive results.

Copywriting and Content Marketing

Many big corporations have used content marketing to grow their businesses exponentially. Some companies think that content marketing only involves churning out a few blog posts each week and putting them up on a website. But people with sound marketing knowledge know that it is much more than that. Agencies might offer additional services under content marketing that includes content analysis, blog post writing, social media promotion, SEO writing, and infographic creation.

Email Marketing

Email remains the biggest money maker for lots of marketers, even with the various social platforms springing up. In fact, email marketing can generate $38 for every $1 investment. Some email marketing services that agencies might offer include list building, creating autoresponder email series, list segmentation, or building an ongoing relationship with your list to keep them “warm.”

Asking Smart Questions

What are the marketing requirements of your company?

Before you begin an active search for an agency, you need to know the marketing requirements of your company.

Are you in need of SEO, Web design? Analytics? Email marketing?  If you don’t know the answer to this question, then perhaps you need to start with asking a qualified marketing consultant to help you develop a tailored marketing plan for your business.

If an in-house team is already in charge of your marketing, you need to evaluate the marketing skills they have. What other marketing strategies should you be implementing but haven’t figured out just yet?

Asking these questions will make you see the tasks that need to be outsourced to a digtial marketing agency for better results.

What are their KPIs?

Lots of businesses waste their time on tracking irrelevant metrics, stats that do not directly impact their business and revenue. For instance, the number of “likes” a post gets has no direct impact on sales and revenue.

One scenario you want to avoid is for you to be charged a premium monthly fee by an agency when all they do is get you more “likes” without boosting your sales. Ask them how they intend to measure your progress. Make sure you ask this question as you consider various options.

What Do They Promise To Deliver Result-Wise?

When you are in an industry that has a minimal barrier to entry, you will often find people who claim to be “gurus” but are completely clueless.

A good example of such industries is marketing.

It is not uncommon to find “digital marketing agencies” that promise great results to clients just to close the sale, but they lack the skills or personnel to deliver. Sometimes, you keep paying their monthly fees, and they tell you that results will be made available in a few months, even though they know they cannot deliver the results they promised.

Agencies should desist from guaranteeing bottom-of-the-funnel results. This is because there are lots of company-specific factors that might affect ROI. For instance, you could pull all the right marketing strings, but it will take time to see results due to more competition in the market.

You can avoid questionable agencies just by asking them what their “secret sauce” is. How are they different from others out there? What strategies do they intend to use to get you results?

For instance, one good question to ask right now is “what can you do for us regarding content creation?” A good answer might sound like this:

The first thing we’ll do is come up with a publishing schedule. This is a collection of attention-grabbing and keyword-focused titles that will serve as a good foundation for the content we want to produce. Ideally, your organisation has to supply the content, but if you can’t do that, we can hire an experienced writer who has immense knowledge about your industry.

Either way, our SEO specialists will still analyse the content before it goes live on your website.

Also, we can repurpose your existing content (sales presentations, whitepapers, case studies, emails, webinars, etc.). These are assets that can be optimised, transcribed and organised to attract targeted search engine traffic.

Don’t fall for the lure of agencies from overseas because of their lower prices. If an agency is charging a ridiculously low price, it might seem like a nice deal, but what you will be getting, in reality, is a below par service.

What do they charge?

Most times, questionable digital marketing agencies can be filtered out by looking at what they charge. Yes, it’s good to save money, but if an agency charges ridiculously low prices, chance are they deliver poor results too.

Here’s another perspective to it: an agency that charges ridiculously low fees is less likely to go out of its way to deliver outstanding results for you because nothing motivates them to do so. On the other hand, agencies charging more can provide better services to their clients because they have the funds to do it. Don’t take shortcuts when trying to choose the right agency for your business.

Digital Marketing Agency Experience Counts

If you engage the services of a digital marketing agency, you will have a team of specialists working on your project every month. There’s no worrying about hiring your own content team. In fact, more people will be working to help you achieve your marketing objectives, which can deliver results sooner rather than later.

The downside, however, is that it may be difficult to monitor the daily activities of the agency, so there’s always a risk of the partnership not going according to plan. This is why it’s always a good idea to go with an agency that also vets you as a client, as that ensures a successful partnership.

Since business owners like to be in control, this might be a bitter pill for lots of people to swallow.

Also, while you may feel that the cost of engaging the services of a digital marketing agency is a turn-off, the cost of hiring and training an in-house team to handle specific tasks can be significantly higher.

Contact Us Today

Contact us today to find out how your business can benefit from one of Australia’s leading marketing agencies – Bright Owl Marketing. We’re located across the Eastern seaboard of Australia. We also have excellent marketing consulting packages to help your small business grow to the next level.

One of our friendly marketing consultants will ask questions about your business, industry, target audience and current marketing activities to see if our services are a good fit.

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