Hiring or selecting the right digital marketing agency can be a daunting task. When shortlisting one, you have any doubts, whether they’ll be able to deliver the results, whether they’re capable, who’s working on your account, what’s the ROI and many others.
Before moving onto how you should select the right digital marketing agency, let’s discuss one more important question.
Should you hire a Freelancer or a Digital Marketing Agency?While many think, it’s better to hire an individual or a freelancer than to hire an agency, but it’s always better to hire a marketing agency to do the work as that comes with a guarantee of the results, promising ROI, industrial experience, professional team and many more advantages than a professional who might be in-house credibility, but an agency will be you much more than that which again makes sure that you get the best for what you paid for.
In recent times, choosing the right digital marketing agency has become even hard than ever. There are hundreds and thousands of competitive media agencies working out there.
Digital Marketing is about the 3 R’s: sending the right message to the right person at the right time.Tweet
Despite the huge availability of marketing agencies, choosing the best agency remains the most difficult task. But do you really need a digital marketing agency? Okay, let’s answer this as well.
Do you need a digital marketing agency?Imagine a headphone company wanted to reach music-loving millennials, so they released the videos online, which were seen over 28 million times. What’s the marketing agency role in this? How did the marketing agency help the brand?
1. Did they use data to figure out what music trends millennials would like?
2. Or did they found online magazines popular with millennials that could post and share the videos?
3. or both (1) and (2)
If you chose 3rd, you’re right. In this case, media agencies can use data to help brands discover what their audience value is, such as certain music trends, and find the right ad placements and partners to work with.
A media agency knows which ad placements will get your target audience to think about and what your product, and understand what makes it different from companies’ products. This can help you get a better return on investment (ROI).
The process: Finding the right digital marketing agency
- Marketing Goals
Think about your marketing goals and how an agency can help you reach them.
A marketing goal can be anything,
Building brand awareness,
Generating a high volume of qualified leads,
Establishing thought leadership,
Attributing marketing activities to revenue generation,
Increasing brand engagement
- Hunt for marketing agencies
Make a list of potential agencies online, you’ll find many through the Google maps or even a normal google search. Look for recommendations from local marketing organizations, check their testimonials & portfolio, and check which agencies are winning industry awards for doing successful, innovative work.
- Think size
A large agency may have more reach and experience with big ad campaigns, but a less personal relationship with you, besides having a larger cost for your campaigns. Whereas, a smaller, nimbler agency might get up, close, and be personal with you, comparatively affordable but their reach could be small.
- Agency culture
You’ll be forming a relationship and partnership with whichever one you choose, so make sure the agencies you’re looking at, align with your company’s values.
TipGet to know the recent work of every media agency you’re considering, and make sure they’re on top of the latest marketing trends and innovations.
You probably don’t want to work with an agency that’s still in the Friendster era of social media marketing.
Finalizing the agency
Now that, once you’ve narrowed down your media agency list, it’s time to create a brief. It’s a set of guidelines that describes your brand, objectives, and the project.
A good way to start your brief is to give the background of your brand – your mission, target, audience, things your brand would never do, and what makes you different and better than competitors.
Next, give project details. What are your business goals? What are your marketing goals? What’s your budget and timeline? What are important project dates, deliverables, and requirements?
You should also include the research you’ve done that a media agency could help you explore and refine, the media habits of your target audience, and what type of media buy you think might change the way your audience views your brand.
After your brief is ready, prepare a request for proposal, or RFP.
What is an RFP?An RFP is a document you send to select media agencies that let them know you’re looking for a new agency partner. You then review all the responses to your RFP and select finalists who pitch to you in person.
Your RFP should have your current brand identity and position, your main products and services, and whether you’re looking to hire an agency on a retainer or for a single job. It should ask for referrals and examples of previous work.
After selecting the best agency
Once you’ve chosen a media agency, brief them at the same time as your other agencies (creative, PR, etc.) This will allow them to discuss the project together. Then, if possible, let all agencies write a formal joint response to the brief with their thoughts.
Once the project is underway, you can take a few steps to help set your campaigns up for success.
First, be open to new ideas from your marketing agency. Remember, you’re working with them because their expertise lets you explore platforms and strategies you haven’t tried or considered before.
Also, choose metrics to measure your goals. For a direct response campaign, you might look at cost per action for sales, signups, or downloads. For a branding campaign, you could look at brand awareness, intent to use or buy, etc.
And lastly, plan for the future. Is this media campaign a one-off or will it be a part of a larger strategy? If it’s part of a larger plan that includes different media and campaigns throughout the year, figure out how all the pieces fit together.