How to evaluate a digital marketing agency?

evaluate a digital marketing agency

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Signing up with a digital marketing agency is an important decision for your business. This is because the creative and technical aspects of the digital marketing agency are particularly reflective in your business and campaigns as soon as you associate with a marketing agency.

A marketing agency brings a lot to the table. Whether it’s an appealing marketing campaign you want to build for your business or an extra pair of creative brains to build content for your industry. 

The truth is that a marketing agency has the potential to take a lot of trouble off of your shoulders.

An important question that arises, however, is how you can evaluate a digital marketing agency? What things do you consider before hiring a digital marketing agency? 

Every agency promises flawless services, great content and copywriting, better data translation, and comprehensive project management. But what are the real factors that differentiate a good one from the rest of the crowd?

What matters the most before partnering with an agency? 

The answer to more conversions and sales isn’t always more ad spend. 

Every agency provides different kinds of services, which is why their approach to scaling a business also differs. Most times, an agency will try to provide you with the growth solutions they did for a client previously.

But here’s the thing – Every business is different, not to mention the difference in the industries.

A strategy that works for a finance industry won’t exactly work out every time for an e-learning business.

Before you consider a marketing agency to partner with, notice how well they are trying to understand the fundamentals and objectives of your business. A comprehensive marketing agency provides highly personalized roadmaps to help you achieve your goals. 

6 key factors to evaluate a digital marketing agency

Choosing a digital marketing agency is like finding somebody for the first date. While you may like what they do or how they present themselves, you don’t know whether you’d be compatible with them in the long run or how much they will understand you.

The same analogy applies to a marketing agency. To assess a marketing agency in the most ideal way, you need to consider a few prerequisites. 

Here are a few of them:

1. Identify what you are looking for

Because of how you define success for your business, you need to understand and lay down a few important ways to achieve this success as well. 

Whether you want to improve the content of your business, build a personalized social media strategy, or optimize your ad campaigns for a better ROI, the truth is that it needs to be ruled out before you even think about partnering with an agency.

Most times, our clients come up to us with goals such as:

  • We want to generate a better ROI from our ad campaigns
  • We want to increase the engagement across our social media accounts
  • We want to rank our business online organically

It’s not always important to have a long-term goal. Especially if your business is new, there’s no need to sweat on trying to make everything work. 

Instead, you can try to lay down your goals in the short term. From ranking for low-competition blogs to gaining your first 1000 organic social media followers, start from the basics.

2. Explore the portfolio of the agency

As you are planning to partner up with an agency, it’s important to know and explore the kind of work they do. 

You can’t expect an agency to provide you with content marketing services when they don’t even provide those services. In the same way, you can’t expect an agency to create the kinds of designs they haven’t ever created for anybody. It’s a bad gambling choice.

Don’t partner with an agency if you aren’t a fan of the choices that they make. Look over the recent work that the agency has done for its existing clients. Figure out if this work is something you’d be interested in. 

If yes, go ahead and get in contact with the agency to discuss your project.

If not, skip the agency and find the one that is known to be an expert in the kind of projects you are looking for.

3. Pick the right type of agency

Surprisingly, some agencies provide a wide variety of services in the field of ‘advertising’. This includes your PPC ads, social media ads, traditional advertising, video ads, and other forms of advertising.

On the other hand, other agencies provide services in very specific niches, like Pinterest ads, TikTok ads, or local search engine advertising. 

Though it doesn’t mean that the latter won’t be okay in providing other forms of services. But for the time being, they are sure to help you excel in these specific fields because they know where their expertise lies.

Picking from either of the aforementioned agencies is directly proportional to what kind of services you want. 

Here’s the thing – Not every marketing agency provides every service you’d want. That’s why you need to identify your goals and approach the right agencies that have the expertise in these services that you are looking for.

At Dot Hacks, we provide all the major marketing services like Google Ads consultation, SEO, social media, and content marketing. But if a client approaches us for Vimeo marketing or building funnels, we would have to develop a personalized strategy for the client just to make sure our services complement their marketing goals.

4. Look if there’s chemistry between you and the agency

Agencies provide a variety of services that don’t require a lot of supervision. If you are looking for content writing assignments, all you’d have to do is create a brief with a set of instructions for the writer and let them work on your project to finally deliver it in a particular time frame.

On the other hand, if you have such a project that requires the agency to work across all your digital marketing channels, the most important thing is to have a dedicated project manager.

A project manager not only supervises the work that’s going on, but they also understand your goals and regularly communicate with you regarding the performance of your project. 

Not to mention it even includes taking regular feedback from you to tweak the campaigns from time to time.

At Dot Hacks, we allocate a dedicated project manager for every client we have. Most importantly, each of these project managers has their expertise in specific industries, preferably to the industry your business belongs. 

This helps the project manager to understand your business well and you as a business owner/manager to reap the maximum potential from your campaigns.

5. Understand the reporting procedures

Even though you’d have a dedicated project manager, you also need to understand what the agency is working on from time to time. This includes taking timely updates and data interpretation from the agency.

One of the best ways to do that is by deciding on a reporting day on any day of the week. 

Usually, you can ask for weekly meetings on Mondays and the agency should be alright with that. Weekly updates are great for you to figure out the performance of your campaign, giving the agency enough time to work as well.

For other kinds of communication, staying connected through emails or other forms of communication is also ideal. This allows you to regularly provide feedback to the agency when required.

6. Consideration involved with the pricing

An ideal marketing agency gives you personalized rates after understanding your objective

That’s right! After understanding your objective

Not after your very first discussion where they hand you a sheet with a bunch of prices.

Since every client is different, their requirements are too. 

To help you better understand this, consider two clients, A and B with the following requirements:

A – Social media management (including 100 posts), blog management (including 60 blogs), and SEO for 6 months 

B – Social media management (including 85 posts), blog writing (including 75 blogs), and SEO for 6 months 

Both these clients would have different, personalized pricing plans. No two clients have the same pricing plan. As a client, you’d want to understand:

  • When would you be charged?
  • Which services you’d be charged for?
  • What are you being charged for exactly?
  • For how long would you be charged at the same price?

Getting a price breakdown always helps. You wouldn’t want to hire a digital marketing agency that just throws a random number your way. 

Understand what exactly you are paying for and how many days of the month would the agency dedicate to your project. If everything seems according to your preference (and budget), go for it.

Selecting a digital marketing agency

Before you consider partnering up with a digital marketing agency, try to evaluate whether the objectives of growth and scalability for your business are mutual between you and the agency.

Now that you know what kind of marketing agency would be right for your business, it would make sense to start looking for an agency that values your time and money to provide you with the best results. 

Good thing, we at Dot Hacks are a creative marketing agency that offers services such as content writing, social media marketing, Google Ads management, SEO, designing and so much more. 

Most importantly, at Dot Hacks, we have a very transparent working model that could help you stay on top of the project and witness the scalability of your business in real-time.

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