If you’re about to spend a significant portion of your operating budget on a third-party digital marketing partner, you need to know they’re the right fit. It’s a big investment and you need to do your homework before teaming up with an external party.
Do some internal investigation first. What’s currently working and what isn’t in terms of your digital marketing efforts? What do you want out of this partnership and who on the team will be responsible for choosing, and ultimately working with, the agency? Once you’ve determined that, consider the following elements:
- Measurement metrics and reports. How will you receive analytics and results? Via email on a weekly basis? In-person once a month? Because tracking data is an intrinsic part of digital marketing, you need to know you can see the results as frequently and with as much detail as necessary.
- Your point of contact. It may seem insignificant, but it’s critical that you have a good vibe with the person handling your account. The company can do great work, but if you despise talking to your go-to person about updates and changes you want made, it can make the whole process a drag. Make sure the energy is right and that you start things off on the same page to make the partnership a success.
- Balance between experience and creativity. Make sure your partner has both the expertise necessary to navigate the digital marketing world, as well as the ingenuity to create engaging content. Choose one side over the other and you’ll either get boring and irrelevant content or a not-so-serious following.
- Marketing needs. Do you need a new website design? Want to start a blog or optimize SEO? Interested in email marketing campaigns? Is branding and awareness more important than leads and sales? Determine what you actually need to be outsourced and that will help determine if you need an agency with generalized or specialized services.
- Their own marketing efforts. A good sign of a digital marketing agency’s work is the work they do for themselves. Take a look at recommendations and referrals, where they rank on Google and how they present themselves on social media. It will give you an idea of how they’ll approach your marketing strategy and the types of tools they use.
Because this is going to be a long-term investment, you need to take the time to think critically about what this partnership will look like. Start things off right by clearly defining your expectations, requirements and needs. When you do that, you’ll find the right digital marketing partner that understands you needs and fits your budget.