Evaluating A Digital Marketing Agency: Top Advice From Experts

Anyone with even a little experience in digital marketing will attest to how finding the right agency is important. You want your business to be working with an agency that has the potential to be a partner on your journey. 

The right agency can help inform, guide, and point a business towards scripting a digital transformational story. The wrong one can drain you in terms of money, time, energy, and effort.

With how important digital marketing has become in our times, choosing the right agency is probably the most important decision, a business owner or CEO is likely to take. 

In this resource article, we are going to cover two major sections that will help you evaluate a digital marketing agency. Specifically, we will discuss some signs to see and questions to ask an agency before you hire them. 

If you are a business owner, CEO, or marketing head exploring options for a new agency, this article will help you. 

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List of 5 Signs that can help you Evaluate the Credibility of a Digital Marketing Agency

  1. Customer Testimonials on the Agency’s Website- 

The first sign that you need to look for is customer testimonials on an agency’s sites. Great agencies never shy away from showcasing their successes and they know testimonials build credibility. If there is information, be sure to cross-check the same with a simple Google search. If the agency’s website has customer testimonial videos, you can rest assured it is credible. 

  1. An Informative and Active Blog Section- 

Successful agencies strive hard to educate and inform their audiences on all aspects of digital marketing. One of the ways they do this is by publishing high-quality articles on their blog sections. As someone who is looking to hire a Black-Owned marketing agency, you can simply go to the blog, read the articles, and form a positive opinion. 

  1. Check for Social Media Links on the Website- 

While some agencies are very active on social media, others are not. what you should be looking for here is the mere presence of social media links. Good agencies have profiles on platforms like Instagram, LinkedIn, and Facebook. This demonstrates that they are credible. If they do not have this, it should be a cause for concern and you should avoid them.

  1. Presence of Case Studies and Success Stories- 

At the end of the day, digital marketing is all about formulating and executing strategies that yield results. Successful agencies are eager to share their ‘secret sauce’ with anyone that visits them. Make sure that you look for the presence of case studies on their website. Cross-check the same with the clients that they have already mentioned in the testimonial section. 

  1. Partnerships and Certifications from High-Authority Businesses- 

If you want the agency to run an AdWords campaign, you need to check whether they are a Google Partner Agency or not. On the other hand, if you want them to execute your SMM activities, you need to look for HubSpot certifications and partnerships. Good agencies work with some of the best names in the business and this alone points to their credibility. 

Businesses need to pay attention to the website of the agency they are researching or shortlisting. Simply by going through the website, you will be able to learn a lot about the agency. This can help you with your final selection. 

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List of Questions you need to ask a Digital Marketing Agency before you hire them

Simply looking at the above-mentioned signs might not be enough. By combining the same with the right set of questions, you will be able to make an informed decision. 

Let us now look at some questions that you should be addressed to the agency and its professionals during your face-to-face meetings- 

  1. What is the process you are going to take to help my business reach its goals?

When it comes to questions, you need to start with the exact nature of processes that the agencies will help you with. The goal is to get deep insights into the exact nature of strategies that the agency is going to help you with. This is an exploratory question that will shed light on the vision and direction that the agency has in executing client projects. 

  1. Do you have prior experience working with a business in my niche?

You will be surprised that an agency which was great in representing a fashion client was a disaster for an energy drinks company! Yes, it happens. This is why you would be better off with an agency that has worked in industry niches like yours. If they say yes, ask them about their track record and success rates. If they have any case studies, go through them. 

  1. How are you going to establish a working relationship with my brand?

If there is one headache that is sure to cause you sleepless nights, it is project management. Good agencies have a defined process when it comes to client communications, reporting processes, sharing creative inputs, and engaging in data analytics. Make sure that your vision of working together aligns with theirs. This arrangement should work for both of you. 

  1. What are the charges, fees, and commissions that they charge?

Agencies are notorious for charging hefty commissions simply for executing ad campaigns. Getting an idea about the budgets and prices will help you set the correct expectations. One small insight- the cheapest one is not the option you should go for! Ask details on ROIs expected, terms of engagement, contract terminations, and other important bits. 

  1. When can I start seeing results and how are we going to measure the same?

This is a two-way street. You need to set realistic expectations and your agency needs to deliver on the same. Agencies that are just out there to win your account will give you unreal timelines. Good and credible agencies know that authentic results take time. They will give you realistic timelines and make sure you get access to data through regular and convenient reporting. 

Depending on the answers to the above questions, you will be able to gain a lot of insights into the agency. Look for confidence, eye contact, and a generally positive vibe. Experts that have been in the game long enough will be able to deliver on all the above questions. 

The Bottom Line

Choosing the right agency can only happen once you have put all the shortlisted ones through the above tests. Once you assess the answers and competencies, you will be in a much better position to make a selection. Remember, what worked for your friend’s business might not be the best for you. This is why you cannot depend on anyone other than yourself. If you have any more questions that need to be answered on the topic, let us know in the comments below.