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Finding the Right Digital Marketing Agency

Here's a guide
By Mohamed Bitar

It’s become common knowledge that an online presence is almost inevitable for the success of any business. Some businesses and startups decide to save money (but certainly not time) by learning about digital marketing to do it themselves or have their employee(s) do it. While some businesses that cannot afford the expenses of a digital marketing agency prefer to go for this, it’s important to consider hiring one. The idea may not exactly sound very cost-effective, but if chosen well, a team of experts may actually save you a lot of time and money. And in order to hire the right marketing agency, there are a few factors to consider.

  • Goals:
    Before you contact any agency, you have to have clear and concise goals on why you need an expert. This helps you narrow down your choices in your search for an agency by looking for one whose portfolio already has what you’re looking for or something that’s close to what you want.

  • Authenticity:
    Before you start your online search for a reliable marketing agency, bear in mind that there’s a fair share of agencies out there that claim they can do all the work for half the market price. As a small business that may still be struggling to stand on its feet, you may easily be taken in by their claims that it’s the big agencies that have unreasonably high prices.

  • Research:
    Reach out to your connections who may have previous experience with agencies they’ve worked with and compare them with the ones you have. Compare the portfolios of each of your shortlisted agencies or request them if they’re not available on their websites. One more thing to add to your comparison is online or word-of-mouth reviews to narrow-down your options.

  • Website:
    From the design to the content, an agency’s website can tell you most, if not all, of what you need to know about their work. It’s OK if there’s a typo here or there, but overall, if you feel anything less than confident in what you see, don’t dismiss it because that’s, more or less, how your work will look like.

  • Pricing:
    In the end, of course, it’s the price that has the final word. And since the best services may sometimes mean the highest prices, it may be tempting, at this stage, to change your mind and decide to do things by yourself or hire a full-time employee or team.

    In this case, there are a few things to keep in mind, as follows:

    1. Means:
      Your assets, as a business, includes your financial capital, your employees and, of course, your time. When making the decision of hiring an agency as opposed to hiring a full-time employee or team, you want to think in terms of your business assets and the best way to exploit them.

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      Aspects to consider:

        1. The time it will take to find qualified digital marketing employees.
        2. The costs of hiring a full-time employee or team against hiring an agency.
        3. The experience, proficiency and results of a full-time employee or team compared to those of an agency whose members’ digital marketing experience covers various fields on a daily basis.

    2. Return on Investment (ROI):
      When you pay a large figure for an agency that knows exactly what it’s doing, it should mean that every cent spent will be used for a purpose. If you decide to do things on your own or with the help of your marketing employee(s), this means you’ll, first, have to bear the costs of a digital marketing software and, second, that some valuable time will be spent on learning as well as on trial and error – time which can be better used for conversion. So, it’s not about how much you pay than it’s about how smart you do.

    3. Calculating Costs:
      Before you give the agency the green light, know the exact price of each of the services you’ll be using as well as ask about any hidden expenses. When the job’s done, if you receive a bulky, undetailed invoice, ask for a breakdown of the costs. Even if the invoice has everything in detail, it’s still advised to do your math. In the end, it’s you who knows what’s best for your business, given your time, resources, goals and whatever other aspects are involved in your choice of an agency or a new hire. If there is one more thing to put in mind, it’s that doing what’s best for your business, regardless of the cost, eventually pays off.