As technology continues to shape and develop our world, more and more businesses—from fresh startups to larger tycoons—are choosing to establish their brand through digital marketing. Social media marketing, search engine marketing, content marketing, Pay-Per-Click … you name it, there’s some business out there trying it. And in response to this overwhelming demand for digital marketing services, more and more online marketing companies are coming out of the fold.
If you’re fairly new to the digital marketing world, concepts like SEO, PPC, SMM, and SEM may seem a little daunting. If you’re not, chances are you might still find yourself overwhelmed with all that digital marketing entails. That’s why so many businesses now are choosing to partner with an online marketing company.
These kinds of partnerships can be incredibly convenient and incredibly rewarding—but only if the online marketing company has the skill, proficiency, and expertise you need. That being said, here are three top tips to choosing an online marketing company.
1. Check Your Goals & Your Budget
Before you start shopping for options, we recommend sitting down and writing out your business and marketing goals. They don’t have to be specific or extensive (although the more detail, the better), but they should be distinct.
Do you want to build a better website? Do you think you need a new SEO strategy? Is your social media not doing as well as you’d like it to? Whatever your goals are, you can make better-informed decisions regarding the digital marketing services you need if you know them in detail. Having clear goals will also help guide your conversations with all your digital marketing prospects.
What’s more, having clear goals will also help you define your overall marketing budget.
Knowing your goals, your needs, and your financial plan can help you set better expectations with the online marketing company you want to partner with.
And speaking of expectations…
2. Define Your Needs & Expectations
Once you know what your goals are, you should then be able to properly define your needs and your expectations.
When choosing an online marketing company to partner with, it’s important that you let them know 1) what you need, and 2) what you expect of them. This will help both of you better understand the role the internet marketing company is expected to play in your business objectives.
It will be easier for you to select a digital marketing agency when you have a checklist of requests and requirements that you can match them against. For example:
- are you expecting them to handle the entire marketing process, or do you just want them to create the content?
- are you expecting them to brainstorm the internet marketing strategies, or do you just need them for implementation and execution?
- do you expect them to have the tools and equipment needed to shoot videos, or is that a negotiable item?
Having a list of capabilities that you can match the agency against can help you narrow down your options faster, consequently speeding up the selection process without compromising the quality of the results.
Related Content: How to Set Realistic Expectations with Your SEO Company
3. Decide if You Want a Specialty Firm or a Full-Service Agency
Some agencies offer only one specific type of web marketing service i.e., content creation, social media management, video production, and so on.
Other agencies are called “full-service” agencies, and they do exactly as their name suggests; they provide full internet marketing services.
What you should choose depends on your business goals and your marketing needs.
If you’ve dabbled in internet marketing before or you already have some solid strategies in place and you’re just looking to carry them out, a boutique digital marketing agency might be the best choice for you. Their focus and in-depth industry expertise regarding their specific online marketing disciple can be extremely advantageous for businesses looking to stand out in a specific niche.
However, if you’ve never really tried digital marketing or you don’t have any existing internet marketing strategies in place, a full-service agency might be better suited to you. Their “jack-of-all-trades” nature makes it so that they can help you possibly explore all internet marketing basics, and their holistic approach to it means you can potentially dabble in numerous disciples at once.
In the end, “the best” online marketing company for you ultimately depends on what you’re looking for in an agency. So before you even look at credentials, reviews, and track records (although these are important, too), you need to first define your own business needs.
Related Content: The Beginner’s Guide to Working with an Online Marketing Company