78% of internet users conduct online research before buying a product. Which means that in today’s day and age you can’t afford to ignore digital marketing.
Irrespective of whether you’re building an online-only product, or whether you have a small, local business — having a strong online presence is imperative.5 Must-Have Features In a Great Digital Marketing Company Click To Tweet
A lot of the times this is easier said than done. You’re focussing on building your product, making sure it works smoothly and delights your customers. You may not always have the time or skills to establish a strong online presence. Effective digital marketing doesn’t happen all at once — it takes a lot of time and effort to build a brand identity in the overcrowded virtual world.
Which is why it’s a good idea to hire a digital marketing agency. A good agency has the necessary combination of expertise and experience. They will know exactly how to establish a strong online presence for your brand so that you can focus on building the basics of your business.
Having said that, we’ve all heard of stories where a business has hired a digital marketing agency, only to have it go horribly wrong. The target audience isn’t understood correctly, the agency takes a bunch of generic steps that aren’t customized to your business, and months pass and you don’t get the results you need.
So it’s really important to make the right choice when it comes to the digital marketing agency you want to trust. Here’s what you really need to look out for:
1. Does the agency have the skills you need?
This is the first question you need to ask yourself before you go out on a hunt for an agency. You cannot conduct all kinds of digital marketing activities all at once, so you have to figure out which ones are a priority for your business. Is it more important for you to have a strong presence on Google search (aka SEO activities)? Or do you need to have a more prominent social media presence? Or do you first need to build a robust website? Or perhaps you need strong content to establish authority for your brand?
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Based on your most urgent marketing needs, figure out which agency will be able to cater to them. If you find a strong agency that offers a comprehensive suite of services within your budget, then go for it. That’s because with time you may need to expand the scope of your digital marketing activities, and having a digital marketing company that provides a range of services will help.
2. Can they build an effective marketing strategy?
While many companies can design and execute individual marketing activities, this isn’t enough. Every single marketing activity needs to tie in together as part of a comprehensive marketing plan. This starts with understanding the target audience, analyzing competitor activities, and building a calendar of marketing activities accordingly. Your agency should be able to give you some initial glimpses of this strategy during the first few meetings itself. If an agency is approaching things from a tactical rather than a strategic perspective, they’re not going to be the right fit for you.
3. What is their online presence like?
This is one of the easiest ways to judge the efficacy of a digital marketing service. Are you looking for someone to create content for you? Check out the quality of the agency’s own blog. If you’re looking for SEO services, see how highly the agency ranks for its own keywords. Similarly, if you’re looking for a digital marketing company that will come up with out-of-the-box social media creatives, see what the agency’s own social media feed looks like.
4. How do they approach data and metrics?
At the end of the day, you want your digital market effort to result in more business for you. It’s very important to check what KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) an agency is using to showcase that they’re bringing results. If an agency uses vanity metrics like the number of times a video is viewed or the likes on a post, they are not aligning themselves to your business goals. Important metrics in digital marketing include the number of unique visitors, time spent on site, sources of traffic, bounce rate, click-through rate, cost-per-click, etc.
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It’s also important to ensure that analytics is a priority for the agency— they should have the right tools in place (Kissmetrics/Google analytics/Hootsuite, etc) to track every single action and its outcome.
5. What does their team look like?
The leadership team should comprise people who’ve been in the digital marketing space for a while — having led and successfully executed campaigns. As far as the staff is concerned, the skillset needs to be state-of-the-art, and across a range of domains— from writing and designing to videos, social media, SEO, etc.
The decision to hire a digital marketing company is one that will have far-reaching implications for your company. It’s far better to spend a little more time upfront to make the right choice rather than suffer bad business outcomes thanks to the wrong choice.
Digital marketing services are professional services that help market or advertise your business online, like through search, social media, and paid channels. They focus solely on digital channels versus traditional marketing channels like print or television.
The main advantage of digital marketing is that a targeted audience can be reached in a cost-effective and measurable way. Other digital marketing advantages include increasing brand loyalty and driving online sales.
The Future of Digital Marketing. From banners to big data, digital marketing has continuously adapted to meet the needs of customers and brands alike. This shift towards AI automation provides a more seamless, efficient, and accurate approach to paid media, while simultaneously lowering customer acquisition costs.