On your way to finding digital agencies for your business?
We’ve listed the top 5 things to consider in your search.
Struggling to know what to look for in digital agencies? You’re not alone but at least you’re on your way!
1 in 5 small businesses don’t utilise digital marketing – as worrying as this fact is, at least you can be sure you’re ahead of 20% of your competition.
Understanding your customer’s pain points crosses over into your entire business such as your customer service and direct sales efforts. You’ll be able to empathise & provide appropriate products or solutions to your customers.
Digital agencies that have worked with a similar business to yours will have some understanding of your target market and can carry out market research while staying unbiased/impartial.
If both of these apply to your business, you need to carry out market research;
1- A high average order value.
2- You need more than 4 touch points to make a sale.
Any product or service that requires up to 3 touchpoints can be done with some clever retargeting, although this may vary if your product is a niche or a new idea. If your solution fits within the low average order value and maximum 3 touchpoints rule you still need a solid marketing strategy.
Below is a useful sales/marketing matrix that should help you identify where you solution fits.
I can’t stress how important this is. Even if you decide to run ads or carry out content marketing – have a marketing strategy. You’ll save either money, time or both.
Digital agencies are able to provide a marketing strategy that can be monitored and changed based on results over time. Leave it to the experts if you don’t know where to start. Don’t forget, a marketing strategy is different to a marketing plan!
Guessing where your ideal customers are likely to go isn’t a strategy. Every channel has its own set of principles or methods that work for it, trying to replicate the same results from one platform on another won’t always work.
Paying for traffic is a tactic, not a strategy. Digital agencies can help bring you traffic but if you’re unsure on how you intend to convert users into customers, you can end up wasting a lot of advertising budget. Don’t fall into making assumptions – high click-throughs along with high bounce rates can impact your sites SEO performance, if this is the case, your messaging probably doesn’t tie into the actual solution you’re providing. Click baiting users is a terrible strategy and can adversely affect your site ranking.
The most powerful strategy is to build your messaging around your customer’s pain points and become front and centre of when they need your solution.
All digital agencies are supposed to be data-driven. Imagine getting told an accountant is able to track your finances? I should hope so!
The key difference between bad and good digital agencies is how good their average ROAS is (return on ad spend), this metric is calculated by the amount of revenue your business earns for each pound spent on advertising.
An assumption that many businesses make is that high advertising spend will bring better results. Some agencies charge a small management fee on a monthly basis – this doesn’t necessarily make them a better choice.
Some of the best agencies may charge double the average management fee but are able to target your audience to a much better standard. A lot of time and research goes into this, trying to quantify years of market research & experience into a dollar/pound amount isn’t fair to their craft.
One of the first things you should consider before working with a digital agency is to figure out your KPIs. Knowing the right key performance indicators for your business makes it easier for an agency to recommend strategies and tools to use.
This doesn’t mean you should track every metric possible. Picking around 2 to 3 KPIs to focus on is usually best. If you’re stuck on what you need, digital agencies are more than capable of advising you but you should know what matters most to your business. Sales & conversions are usually the most important KPIs to track (unless you’re a blog site, this might not be the case), but it’s worthwhile noting that for high-touch & high order value businesses, a well thought out sales funnel will be required as clicks don’t mean an instant conversion, especially B2B purchases where a lot of thought and research goes into it.
While everything can be effectively commoditised, creativity can’t.
One of the most important differentiators is how creative digital agencies are. While their main focus may be data-driven marketing; bad creative, whether it’s copywriting or graphic design makes all the difference in attracting customers.
Although elements such as creativity can’t be quantified directly, you can use other metrics to track engagement with your organic content or paid adverts.
Brand awareness and how the messaging makes you feel are useful elements to ask about when getting feedback from customers. It’s a qualitative process that can’t be boiled down to simple numbers and can yield amazing results in developing your branding further.
Let’s face it, you don’t enjoy working with people you dislike. Why should an outsourced provider be any different?
If you find an agency, instead of just an email or message exchange, get on a video call with them.
Are they rude or arrogant? Do they talk over you? Not because it’ll affect their ability to do the job but if things go badly you want to be able to reach a resolution quickly. Pay attention to how much they try to push a particular solution, some digital agencies may do this because they like to work with tools they understand; this doesn’t always mean it’s right for you.
Building a B2B relationship may seem purely transactional, but more often than not, it’s based on likeability and how well you trust each other.
Working with someone who searches for a scapegoat instead of a solution doesn’t help you in a time of crisis. Work with someone who is able to take accountability!
Make sure you communicate your requirements as much as possible, digital agencies don’t know your business as well as you, so you can’t expect them to interrogate you about every minor detail. If you’re unsure whether it’s relevant, tell them anyway, let them decide if it affects your marketing efforts in any way.
Bonus; Keep Reasonable Expectations
Digital agencies won’t propel you to new heights by magic. I can’t stress this enough but the growth of your business cannot be outsourced. Be hyper-critical of your business, get feedback from customers; is it a product that people are okay to purchase via digital methods? Are you leading customers to your physical location and how are you facilitating getting them from point A to point B?
Even in today’s world, digital advertising doesn’t work for every industry. Many businesses may find that out-of-home (OoH) advertising can work wonders.
There’s a reason that McDonald’s still uses billboards and outdoor signage!
Trying out different marketing channels is always a good start to know what works and what doesn’t. If Instagram ads work for your competitor, it doesn’t necessarily mean they’ll work for you. It’s always worth learning average conversions for your industry as they vary wildly, most digital agencies are able to check using a number of tools to find average click-through rates as well as potential conversion benchmarks.
You can easily expect to burn through some capital before you find your jam, it’s not going to happen overnight and once you do, double down on that growth channel as much as you can.
The law of diminishing returns also applies to advertising too; what works well will be copied, overused, and then forgotten.