Question: What’s the difference between buying a car and hiring a Digital Marketing Agency?
Answer: The car
Clearly this article has nothing to do with cars, used or otherwise. But it does have something to do with the car buying experience.
Why is the purchase of a car so inherently painful? Spoiler alert… it’s because most people are woefully unprepared when they walk onto the lot. The short version is; you don’t understand the product, you don’t understand the process, you have nothing to compare it to.
I’m going to guess that you fall into one of two categories; either you don’t know anything, or you think you now something…but don’t know anything.
The Digital Marketing Industry, which includes, Search Engine Optimization, Website Development, Social Media management, Paid Search advertising, Reputation Management, Mobile Marketing, Yada, Yada, Yada… is a bit of a black box to most business consumers.
With a little basic homework, and armed with the right questions, you stand a pretty good chance of partnering with the right firm. Here are a few of the questions you should be asking BEFORE you hire a digital agency. You are welcome to download the free eBook “the Digital Marketing smell test…How to Hire an Agency that doesn’t Stink”
___What kind of research do you do before accepting or starting a project?
If they do a full website audit to determine what they have to work with and what challenges they will need to overcome, you’re off to a good start. If they ask you about your competitors and your target market, and the geographic area you are trying to penetrate, that may indicate a sincere intent to focus on your bottom line.
___ Will you manage all of my digital programs?
It isn’t just about Search Engine Optimization any more, it’s about Web Presence Optimization. Site, search and social are now inextricably codependent. The interrelationship is such that it is now advantageous for a firm to develop a 360° strategy so they can coordinate the entire effort. That is assuming they have the necessary resources and knowledge (another question to ask).
___ Is this a one-time service or an ongoing program?
Unless you are a local business in a non-competitive industry looking to show up in the local search results, one-time upgrades are essentially useless in the long term. You might enquire about a highbred program where the agency takes care of all the set-up, technical issues and strategy and trains your staff. When combined with an on-going consultation program, that can be effective for smaller businesses. Inbound marketing is a forever process, so if it’s in your marketing budget, you might want to leave it to the professionals who have the resources, and can stay on top of the ever-changing digital landscape.
___ How much do you charge for your services?
If they answer before they develop a strategy, beware any answer that isn’t a range of fees. Estimating a range of fees in the early stages is perfectly legitimate. If it seems unusually low, ask them what they intend to do. Even if their low fees match their intended strategy you may still be wasting time and money if you don’t get the results you need. If it’s too high, there still may be room to restrategize and focus on the “big” things or strategies that get quick results that you can reinvest into a full program later.
If you want the entire list of questions to ask BEFORE hiring a Digital Agency or website developer, download the free eBook below.