How to Choose from All of the Digital Marketing Companies
Modern Americans are obsessed with the Internet. They use it for everything from paying bills to keeping up with friends. More relevantly to business owners, the vast majority of consumers also use the Internet to research stores, restaurants, service providers, and other companies. That’s why it’s so important for companies of all sizes to put their best feet forward online.
Unless they work in the tech industry, most business owners don’t have any experience with online advertising, though. Most turn to digital marketing companies for help with creating and maintaining websites, social media pages, and more. Business owners who want to improve their companies’ online reputations can read on to find out how to choose the right one.
Step One: Determine a Budget
Modern consumers tend to associate quality with cost. Thankfully, that’s not always how things work in the digital arena. Business owners on a strict budget can still find digital marketing companies that cater specifically to small and medium-sized businesses. A marketing agency that caters to this crowd will typically charge less than its larger, better-established counterparts.
Step Two: Define Goals
While “drive more traffic to the company’s website” is a solid starting point, business owners should do a little more brainstorming before they start looking into digital marketing companies. Some companies specialize in SEO optimization, while others focus on social media marketing or online reviews and reputation. Business owners who define their goals in advance can use that perspective to choose a company that offers the right services to fit their needs.
Step Three: Learn About the Company
Check out the company’s website and search for it on Google. A good digital marketing agency will have plenty of experience helping similar clients and, more importantly, it will practice what it preaches. Its website should come up on the first few pages of Google results, and the company should have a high-quality website free from serious typos and broken links. If the company’s online presence or marketing materials don’t inspire confidence, look elsewhere for help. Otherwise, it’s fine to proceed.
Step Four: Check Credentials
The company’s employees should have plenty of experience in the industry and its clients should be happy with the results they’ve seen from working with the agency. Read through some case studies if they’re available or head to a third-party online review site to see what previous clients have to say. Better yet, ask for references and call to follow up on them. This gives business owners the chance to find out exactly what to expect.
Step Five: Listen to the Company’s Pitch
Business owners who have already done their background research on a particular company and like what they see are ready to give them a call. Tell a representative about unique goals or challenges and ask how the company will create a plan to address them. The company should be ready to provide these things:
- A tailored approach
- Creative solutions
- Proof of credibility
- A detailed, transparent budget
Step Six: Learn About Communication Strategies
Some business owners like to take a hands-off approach to digital marketing and just let the experts handle all the hard work, while others want to check in regularly for updates and offer creative insight. Make sure the company’s communication strategy will fit business owners’ needs. Ask about the potential point(s) of contact, preferred communication methods, how long clients should expect to wait for updates after requesting them, and who will actually be working on the project.
Step Seven: Evaluate the Fit
Use the information gathered in the above steps to evaluate how well the company will be able to meet its clients’ needs. If they’ve done their homework, business owners should have a few options that fit within their budgets, so don’t make the final decision based on price alone.
Instead, narrow the list of potential service providers to those who will be the best fit. Final contenders should have a reputation for excellence, a history of helping businesses in similar industries succeed, and a dedication to working with clients on their own terms to improve their online reputations, drive more traffic to their sites, and turn casual browsers into loyal brand enthusiasts.
The Bottom Line
There are a lot of digital marketing companies out there, but not all of them provide the same level of service and not all of them will be a good fit for every company. After narrowing down the field to those contenders that offer the right services at the right price, balance the company’s unique needs against the digital marketing agency’s strengths. Only work with a company whose representatives will take the time to explain clearly what concrete steps its employees will take to create a comprehensive solution for improving the client company’s reputation and helping it grow.