How to choose a Marketing Agency
What a marketing agency should do for you
Build your business, increasing your profitability so they can partner you long-term this is how they earn and how good agencies work.
Encourage you to start slowly and gradually build a working strategy.
Be aware of your budget and keep within its constraints, not push you to spend, spend, spend.
Be upfront about the risks of any strategy and not make overly enthusiastic projections which persuade you to spend more.
Initial consultation: What they should discuss with you
Before your meeting they should have carried out a preliminary audit of your website, if you have a poorly designed site with lousy UX (user experience) no matter how hard the agency work to drive people to it once they land they are going to bounce.
The very first thing they should ask is are you prepared to make any changes needed to your website to take clients from landing to placing orders (or what is the point of hiring a marketing agency?)
See the Mekablog article "Who do we design for?"
Then identify your specific needs and how they can work alongside you providing you with tailored digital marketing strategies.
They will explain how they can get your goods or services moving into the marketplace within the costs you specify by using effective analytic modelling (seeing how your website really works), targeted advertising and placement.
The bottom line
What they should offer
Verified testimonials from current and past clients as proof of service.
A within budget package which will cover the combination of platforms they believe will be most effective in your case this should include at the very least:
- Email marketing
- Social media platforms
- Effective content management
- Usage of blogs
- Affiliate marketing
If your budget allows it, an effective PPC (pay-per-click advertising) campaign, to run alongside your other marketing streams.
What they should explain
The following should be made clear, what they are, how they use them and how they benefit your business. This needs to explained in jargon free, easily understood language.
If not then how can you tell if they are baffling you with science or blinding you with bullshit?
If an agency cannot make itself understood then how do you know what you are paying for?
Walk away and find one that treats its clients as knowledgable adults, not as dimwits who need patronising.
With online marketing data is crucial, your marketers must make sure you have correctly installed analytics which give vital data about your website. Who is visiting, how and where from, monitors their behavior once in your website and identifies key performance indicators (KPIs) enabling them to target and modify areas for better performance.
Converting visitors into customers. This means looking at your visitors journey through your site, enhancing the user experience (UX), identifying how you can enable their decision process leading them from landing page to checkout and refer others to your website.
As a small business or start-up, paid advertising and pay-per-click can prove costly and ineffective if mishandled. Your marketers should study the analytical data that measures the effectiveness of any proposed PPC campaign, your CPA (cost per acquisition) rates and other factors to see how best to use your budget to meet your needs. They need to advise on less costly keyword alternatives and look at other affordable ways to increase market awareness.
A good way to get your product or service to market is to pay commissions to others who already have a web presence attracting people who will buy your product (Affiliates). A good marketer will help you to find affiliates who will drive traffic to your website in search of what you are offering.
Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat You Tube, Google+ etc... All have a role to play in digital marketing, using effective social activity as part of an integrated marketing strategy increases your web presence and your market.
You should be advised on the benefits and costs of paid social advertising and be guided you if you choose to opt for this route.
There are many other platforms , some free, some affordable and some needing a larger budget eg:- You may need to make professional quality videos; have an RTB (real-time bidding) budget to pay to put your adverts in the right place at the right time; Brand awareness, developing your brand and USP.
Mobile apps have become a key marketing tool for many businesses, will yours benefit from one? Can your marketer design an app to meet your requirements or suggest a suitable one to enhance your business.
Monetizing your Website
Generating other streams of income by the intelligent placing of market relevant advertising, affiliate links from related products and other paid products, ensuring that even those visitors who do not complete a purchase with you can still contribute to your websites revenue.