With the vast majority of industries shifting to an online or mobile-first approach, it’s vital for businesses of all sizes to have a clear vision of how to effectively use online platforms.
You don’t need to have a personal shopper or a fancy fashion website to successfully operate an online store. In fact, a good ol’ fashioned blog can do just as well, as long as you implement a few simple yet effective strategies.
So whether you’re looking for an online marketing agency for the first time or you’re revisiting an old account, here are 7 tips to ensure you’re making the right choice and getting the best results.
Your first port of call should always be your agency’s actual website. If you’re lucky enough to actually reach the contact page, you’ll find a form to submit your details. Take a quick peek at what other clients have said about the service, as well as the website’s design and functionality.
While you’re there, have a look around to see if there are any reviews. Ideally, you’ll find an A-List agency that has a 4.9+ rating on Google. This is a measurement of how many people are searching for the product/service that your agency offers and how relevant your agency’s content is to these searches. This is important, as it gives you an indication of how well your agency is doing.
Your next stop should be the agency’s actual portfolio, which is an easy one to navigate as there’ll be only a handful of items on display. You’ll typically find one or two websites operating at any one time, with the rest being archived pieces from the past. So while you’re looking for an agency to help with your marketing campaigns, make sure to check out their prior work.
It’s always nice to see a well-established agency with a solid portfolio, showing that they’ve worked with some big brands and high profile clients. If you’re lucky enough to find an itemised bill at the end, you’ll also be able to see the actual work that your agency has done that month. This is often a good indicator of how experienced the agency is and how well they can execute on your behalf.
Your third stop should be the agency’s actual skills, which you can find by scrolling down the page a little bit. Here you’ll find a list of the marketing skills your brand might need, with a little blurb about the individual. This is also a good opportunity to see if there are any specialisms within the agency. For instance, you might need an SEO specialist, content creator or social media manager. Take time to scroll through the list and read the blurbs to find out what skillsets they offer.
While it’s nice to see an agency with a variety of skills, it’s even nicer when an agency can provide these skills to you as and when you need them. It’s always nice when a company can match your personal skills to the specific needs of your business. This makes you feel like the most important client they’ve got and, quite possibly, the most expensive too!
Your fifth stop should be the reviews, which you’ll find underneath the agency’s logo. Check out the average review score and read through the feedback to get a feel for how others feel about the company. Don’t forget to look at the stars as well, as these are also a good indicator of the review’s quality.
It’s good to see that the vast majority of reviews are positive. This means that, on the whole, people are happy with the service that your agency provides, which is, overall, a good thing. However, you might need to dig a little bit deeper into the reviews to determine exactly what aspects of the service you should be aware of.
Your sixth stop should be the cost. As a business owner or manager, you’ll want to have an idea of how much you’re likely to spend on marketing. If you’re looking for a one-stop-shop for all of your marketing needs, then this is the place to be. While most agencies offer a free trial period, be sure to read the small print so you don’t wind up paying for more than you need to.
As mentioned by other reviewers, you should also look into the pricing structure, so you can compare apples with apples. The vast majority of agencies operate on a project basis, with a fixed price template designed to fit standard marketing budgets. If you want to go over budget, you’ll have to negotiate a special deal with the agency.
Your last stop should be the communication, which is a bit like your second stop in terms of being easy to navigate. Here you’ll find all the necessary contact details, as well as a handy map of the area, showing you the locations of their various offices, if they have any.
Overall, you should easily be able to navigate your way around the communication page. Once you’ve found it, you can click on “Contact” and send them an email, using the details on the website. If you’ve got a question about the services they provide, there’s also FAQs, which you can find under the “About Us” heading.
If you’ve been thinking about exploring the world of online marketing, then these tips will help you make the right choice. Remember to check out their website, read reviews, look at their cost structure and most importantly, contact them directly to get more information.