Things to consider when picking a digital vendor/agency
By Corey L Turner – McElvy Media Group
According to MindMeld, more than 60 percent of people started using voice search over the past year. That is just one of many growing trends in the digital marketing world that directly impact our businesses and how they reach new customers. Your online presence will determine what that means for you and your competitors in 2019 and beyond. If your goal is to not only stay in business, but to grow your business, proper digital marketing has become a requirement. In our last blog we gave “3 Reasons to Hire a Digital Agency.” It’s only right that we also share a few things to consider when deciding who that digital agency will be. McElvy Media Group is a digital agency (among many other things) and SEO campaigns are of the basic services we provide. That is clearly outlined on our website and I still receive dozens of calls and emails from digital companies each week who tell me they are ready to help us move me up the Google ranking to page 1. My personal favorite is the email letting me know they have evaluated our website and have some great ways they can help us reach new customers with SEO, social media or new blog content. Two minutes on our website would have saved them that email inquiry, but that is what digital marketing has become. A race to get as many customers as possible knowing most businesses aren’t aware of what to look for when making that important decision of who to give their business to. At McElvy Media Group, we understand that we can’t be a great fit for every business. Nor should we try to. We believe that establishing a good relationship with our customers is the most important aspect of creating a winning digital marketing campaign. Like most “buying” decisions we make, it comes down to who we like and who we can see ourselves winning with. I compare it to dating. Don’t hire a digital agency before getting to them know them.
A few questions to consider –
How long have you been in business? This is important because every month new digital companies are launched from eager and aggressive entrepreneurs. Many of them start with just a laptop and a good understanding of what it takes to successfully run a digital campaign. This isn’t a knock against new businesses. I love the entrepreneurship story as much as the next person. In fact, in some cases these are great options and a good fit for some businesses, especially if there is an existing relationship there. Just keep in mind that many of the digital agencies that are here today, won’t be here tomorrow. It’s a tough industry to grow a successful business in and you want to ensure your digital partner will still be around as long as you. An agency can’t run on digital expertise alone, so you want a proven business with staying power in your market.
Can you share some success stories or case studies? You want to know that the agency already has satisfied customers. Again, this goes to how long they have been in business, but if someone says they can drive results, be sure that comes from real world experiences.
What are the expectation of me as a client? Most questions are typically about what the agency can do for you. The question you want to ask every time is what does my commitment look like? I believe the best partnerships evolve when expectations are clearly set on the front end. Both the agency and the business need to put each other in the best position to be successful. Depending on the products and services needed, that should involve some level of client involvement that can usually be adjusted based on the business needs and resources. No matter how little or big that involvement may be, it is important to establish that on the front end to avoid surprises and frustrations later.
How can I track my progress? The best agencies have systems in place to make sure you either receive reporting or some form of ongoing updates on the marketing efforts. Some customers even like to have access to their own dashboard. Your marketing is one of the most important investments you will make as business. You want to know where you stand, and you want to partner with an agency that welcomes that kind of accountability. At McElvy Media Group, we believe in monthly strategy sessions or reporting sessions. Depending on the scope of work, we sometimes combine the two. The purpose is to make sure we stay in line in terms of business goals and that our clients know where their investment is going and how to run the business accordingly.
Who will I be working with? The right answer here should vary by personality type. I would argue the best scenario is knowing there is someone specific you can communicate with that gets to know you and your business. Because digital is about building a brand and driving a message through various channels online, I think having a connection with someone at the digital agency is becoming more critical in today’s content-driven landscape. You never want to be another client on the roster who is touched by a different rep each time you call. Ultimately, a winning relationship with a digital agency will come down to the results they provide. But you can save a lot of time and energy before going down that road if you answer a few questions before making that initial commitment. Give us a call at McElvy Media. After a brief conversation, we’ll know if we are a good fit, and we look forward to helping you capture this growing opportunity to reach new customers online.