Choosing a digital marketing agency for your business

Employing a digital marketing agency for your business can help you towards big success. The market for such agencies is vast, and finding the right sort of agency for your particular business is crucial.

Agency Size

The first thing you’ll need to consider is simply the size of the agency and the budget range in which they work. Larger, global marketing agencies might only work with companies who have five figures a month to spend in agency fees and advertising budget. On the other end of the scale, smaller and more localized agencies will work with three-figure budgets, or a freelancer might be happy to work for you by the hour on an ad-hoc basis.

Although initial marketing quotes can seem like a lot of money, remember that marketing is a crucial part of growing your business and in time should pay for itself. There is a rule of thumb that 10% of your turnover should go on marketing, but this will obviously vary from business to business. Remember as well that just because an agency is expensive doesn’t mean they are good. Although generally you will get what you pay for, there are expensive agencies doing poor work and cheaper agencies doing good work, so find an agency you trust.

Agency Specialism

Some agencies carry out a wide range of marketing activities for all kinds of businesses, whilst others specialize by either activity or niche.

An agency specializing by activity might focus on one particular aspect of digital marketing. For example running Google Ad campaigns, SEO, social media or similar. This may be a great choice for you if the majority of your leads or sales come from one particular channel, as the enhanced experience and expertise the agency has in doing that one thing will yield you greater results. On the other hand, if you plan a more multichannel campaign, a generalist agency might be better for you.

The other way to specialize is by niche, for example Market Your Clinic Online, a London agency specializing in marketing healthcare and physiotherapy clinics. By choosing an agency who specializes in your particular niche, you benefit from an understanding of the industry and less time spent onboarding, understanding your products, industry jargon and so on. You also benefit from the agency’s experience in marketing similar businesses, having already learned what does and doesn’t work in your industry. Overall this means it should take less time for the agency to drive results, for a lower budget.

Strategy

Discuss and understand the agency’s strategy and plan for marketing your business before beginning work with them. Whilst there’s no need to map out every single detail before starting, you’ll want to ensure that you understand the agency’s plan for your business, both in terms of messaging and marketing angle, and in terms of what channels and methods they will use to get the word out. This way you can make sure you’re consistent in brand messaging, and in focusing on strategy which your business already knows to work.

If you haven’t already, create a brand and positioning guide that can be used to ensure everyone who works with your business is on the same page regarding messaging and brand identity. You can share this document with your agency to help them understand what you’re really trying to get across. Working with a brand designer might be helpful.

Monitoring and KPIs

Marketing returns can be easy or hard to monitor. For example, we can easily measure conversions on a Google Ads campaign and know exactly how many people clicked on our ads, who went on to purchase and so on. Some activities are more difficult to quantify, for example running a social media campaign to raise brand awareness and increase engagement with our website. Of all the people who saw our awareness ad, it’s impossible to know how many of them might buy something from us in the future.

Still, it’s crucial to agree what your goals are with your agency at the outset and what KPIs you will be monitoring. You should also ensure the agency are transparent in reporting where your time and budget went, so ask at the start what you can expect in terms of reporting and budget breakdown.