Here’s a list of qualities a good digital marketing agency should have. You probably have other, more specific needs, but this should be enough to get you started:
You’re going to need a variety of services to succeed in the varied world of digital business, so it makes sense to get everything you need from the same source. Make sure the digital marketing agency you choose handles both website design and online marketing, which should include search engine optimization (SEO). A website should be friendly to search engines, necessitating the inclusion of both web design and SEO under one roof.
Knowledgeable about the Latest Trends
No good digital marketing agency can afford to get behind on the latest trends in a business that is constantly being reshaped by new trends. Any industry that involves the Internet or technology in general is by nature a dynamic and changing field, and digital marketing is no exception. It would be ideal if you could get a glimpse of any potential agency’s office coffee table. What publications do they use to stay up to date? Are those publications well thumbed?
As well as do they personally blog about the latest trends? Are they viewed as an agency that is well known in the industry? These answers to these questions can help you gain a better understanding if your company is one that you should hire to work for you.
Shared Goals and Ideals
Just like in any relationship, you and an agency need to find common ground. Does the agency share your goals? Does it appear that they have the capabilities to handle your future projects as well as your current ones? And do you get along with them? Sometimes clients and agencies are both intelligent and competent, but their styles clash, which leads to problems.
A Tendency to Pull
“Push” strategies involving sharing a message to consumers who didn’t necessarily ask for it, like billboards and web banners. “Pull” strategies are becoming increasingly preferred, because the customers seek out the message and thereby have a more meaningful experience. Pull strategies includes marketing through games, social media, and online communities (Wikipedia).
Ask your digital marketing suitor which they prefer. If they haven’t heard the terms, that may be a red flag, but with current trends moving toward the pull side of things, an inclination in that direction would should make an agency look good to you.
Social Media Skills
Can they work magic through social media? Nearly everyone uses some form of social media to stay in touch with friends, let their feelings be known, share photos and video, and find new pictures of cats doing tricks. The full potential of social media has yet to be explored. If an agency isn’t already on top of social media, they’re probably not worth your time.
Ability to Measure and Show Results of Success
The Internet allows things like influence and effect to be quantified. You can find out how many people watched your videos or how many times an article was shared. You can see how many people heard a particular message and responded to it, and with a little digging you can find out what kind of music they like, how often they go to the movie theaters, and what kind of body wash they prefer. So any marketing company that begs for a little of your time should be able to produce detailed records of their past results. They should also be able to explain their success (or lack of it) in clear terms.
Marketing has changed and nowhere is that more true than the digital landscape. We have strategies that we did three years ago that we no longer do. That is how quickly it changes. In order for your digital marketing agency to be successful we firmly believe that they need to have a custom digital strategy that works for your industry and where you are in the lifeline of your digital life (Forbes).
For some companies that have been working on their online presence for many years and have an active social media channels as well as an active blog that strategy would be different then for a company who hasn’t even started on these things. When it comes to search engine optimization this is especially true. If you have a website that has been around for ten years and has over 10,000 links pointing back to it then this website would need a very different link building strategy than a website that is brand new with zero backlinks pointing to it. Any good SEO service company will know this and be able to explain what your customized strategy will be. In order for your digital marketing efforts to be successful you need to make sure that the company you go with is able to create and execute on customized digital marketing strategies.
Nothing screams louder that a digital marketing agency can get you results than the fact that they have done it before. Case studies listed on their website is huge in gaining confidence that they can recreate that same success for your business. Many forget that there is a definite need for online reputation management, a good digital agency will include reputation management that will help you develop and maintain a solid online reputation. Be sure that you go on their site and find the different companies that they have worked with in the past. If they don’t have any case studies or have any companies listed of past success I would be sure to ask them before hiring them to market your business.
Past success is a great indication of future success. Ask to be shown case studies of past clients that they have worked on that have been successful.
So what will it be? Does any online marketing agency instill you with the confidence needed to make the commitment? With this list, you should be headed in the right direction to find that special someone of marketing companies.