There is no doubt in this, that this era is the era of Digital Technology. Even businesses have relied on and are relying on digital technology for their most vital functions like marketing. This has resulted in the creation of a new field of study called Digital Marketing. But howsoever strong we think we are in these areas, it is at times advisable to consult an expert. And these experts are people who are well versed with the how about, tricks and stuff related to Digital Marketing, are called as Digital Marketing Agency. Just like, you would need a doctor to tend to your health, a CA to file your returns or a lawyer to fight lawsuits against you, the Digital Marketing Agency is the professional that would assist you in making decisions regarding what to do and how to do it. But how are you going to know which agency is best for you and your firm? Or how the agency is going to aid your marketing plan? Or whether they are genuine or just fooling around with you? These questions need answers but cannot be asked directly. So what should you ask your Digital Marketing Agency? That’s a really good question and we’ll discuss this shortly.
What is Digital Marketing?
A very new and intriguing field of study, booming at a fast pace, is digital marketing. As the name suggests, digital marketing means marketing efforts that have to do with digital technologies. So basically, digital marketing is using smartphones, laptops or other such devices with internet connectivity to access varied platforms of customer visibility like Social Media or Search Engines and thereby communicate your marketing message with them. This includes components like Search Engine Optimization, Social Media Marketing, Mailers, Public Relations, Search Engine Marketing, and Content Marketing. These terms are a bit difficult to comprehend but easy to understand. However, we’ll save them for another time. What we are concerned about now us about the Digital Marketing Agency.
What is a Digital Marketing Agency?
Digital Marketing Agency is a specialized service provider that expertise in matters related to Digital Marketing. It is nothing but a group of people who have resources and knowledge to provide a wide variety of services, related to Digital Marketing, under one roof. Businesses usually rely on them as a consulting partner. The business may lack in house expertise in digital marketing as it is quite a new field with not many special courses available for the same. Plus, as per recent trends, 70% businesses outsource digital marketing efforts. So, these agencies have a great scope in this area.
A typical digital marketing agency will provide you with services like search engine optimization, click and visit count increment, visibility on social media platforms, website optimization, content optimization, etc. But the main objective of the agency will be to reconcile with the sales goals of the client. Now, different agencies offer the same services in different ways. And with an ocean of Digital Marketing Agencies out there, finding the most suitable one for your business will surely be like searching a needle in a haystack! Well, let us try searching for it together!
What questions should you ask your Digital Marketing Agency?
The most difficult task in life is to make choices. It is difficult to distinguish between right and wrong and we can all use the help of some good criteria to evaluate our options. If you are hiring a Digital Marketing Agency, you should consider asking them the following questions in order to avoid getting let down or deceived by them. And a good agency will always have answers to these:
Since how long have you been doing Digital Marketing?
- As a first step, this is the most logical question you should ask your to be Digital Marketing Agency. You are going to put the Marketing of your business in the hands of this new firm. And so, you need to be very sure about their credibility. Knowing the number of years they have been engaged in conducting digital marketing will help you know the amount of experience they possess in this field and whether they will be able to handle the image of your brand properly or not.
Who were your previous clients?
- You should try to get a lead into the previous client base of the digital marketing agency. Most of them will already boast this part upfront. But you need to be more specific. Don’t get lured by the names if the big brands, rather keep pressing on what was the nature of work they conducted for these brands? What were the problems they faced? How they coped with them? What were the results derived? Ask for client reviews too. This helps you know about their major wins and their experience of working with good brands. Also, you’ll get a hint of how they work and how successful they are in their work. It builds more trust for the agency and will make it easy for you to decide your best one!
What clients have you served in our sector?
- It is not only important to know the clients that they have served before but more important to know which of them belonged to your business industry. This has a two-way benefit. One, it helps you know whether they have any experience in digital marketing for your sector firms because each sector has different needs and different customer bases. How they are targetted, requires a good hand in the are. And two, you get an idea about the competition for whom the digital marketing agency is currently working or has worked in the past. This helps you create plans that are different from your competition so that there isn’t any conflict of interest.
How many official partnerships do you possess with top search engines?
- This question will give you an idea of which search engines are targetted bu the agency. For good reach, you need to rank higher on a favorably used search engine. If you rank high on Firefox, maybe that won’t be a very big thing, but if you rank higher on Google, that can create a manifold impact on your sales! So be aware of who are the official search engine partners of your Digital Marketing agency so that you can get an added advantage.
Are you aware but of Google Web Master Guidelines? Do you follow them?
- This is a technical term and might seem new to you. But it is necessary to fo your homework before choosing the agency, as it will convey a message to the agency that you are no amateur, and have sufficient knowledge. You will never be cheated. So, Google Webmaster Guidelines are nothing but a set of rules that Google suggests to be used while you make your website so that it is user friendly as well as Google friendly. It really can help you reach the top ranks on the Search Engine. So your digital marketing agency needs to know about this.
Would you provide us with some samples of your Content and Posts?
- Samples are important to judge the work they will provide you. Digital Marketing Agencies will provide you with samples of their best work. You need to not only judge the work but also ask them how would they relate this to your product or service. Their creativity is the key to your successful Marketing. So go in for samples of content and posts before signing the deal.
How often would new Content be published on our website?
- Campaigns are fine but a strong campaign may also fail to provide results without consistency. Make sure that new and fresh content gets added to your website every now and then to fuel in the results. Ask your digital marketing agency on how often will they refresh your website with new posts, content, and blogs to maintain the flow of visits and offer newer stuff to your customers.
How is Content Optimised?
- Merely filling in words for content is not enough. The digital marketing agency may have writers with marvelous writing skills but what is important is that your site should rank higher on the Search Engine or else, no one is ever going to actually read that content. So, the Content needs to be optimized with keywords and other SEO techniques. Ask the agency to list down their unique ways of optimization to be sure of their plan.
How much of your work do you outsource?
- As a business, you are outsourcing Digital Marketing by hiring an agency to do the needful. But you need to be sure whether the digital marketing agency you are relying on, carries out its work in-house or outsources it to others. There may be instances of agencies outsourcing the work of website creation to other firms. But you should know about the quantity they outsource and also the quality. Transparency is very important in such cases.
What is your take on the industry changes?
- Digital Marketing is a volatile area of knowledge. With changing technology, daily there are changes in this area that can set a huge chain effect of differences for you and your brand. So, you need to know how is your digital marketing agency going to cope with the volatility of the industry and what will it do to protect your brand from hitting low in times of unfavorable changes
- What will be our day to day work procedure?
- Daily coordination is quite a necessity. Without that, there can be miscommunication which can lead to terrible disasters. With that, you should also ask your digital marketing agency on how they plan to coordinate daily and make changes to the plan if needed. Also, decide on the number of hours they will spend on your campaign to be sure the work is done as planned.
To what extent will you improve the conversion rate of our website and our ranking on the search engine?
- Ask them for numbers. Because numbers give you surety. The digital marketing agency should be able to give you calculated promises for an increase in the conversion rate of your product and your ranking on the Search Engine. These numbers give you a clear view of the campaign’s stability and you can track the campaign easily. Based on this, you can set targets for them.
When can we expect starting to see results and What metrics will you use to convey the results?
- Results are as important as objectives. Ask your Digital Marketing Agency to provide the forecasted time within which results would be visible. Also, negotiate on the metrics (units) for declaring the results. Commonly used metrics include Cost per Click, Ad positions, Conversion Rates, Keyword counts, Landing page keywords, CTR, etc. Easy to read reports would help you know how your paid search campaigns and paid promotions are performing.
How would you help us in case of penalization or other such extreme situation?
- : Ask the digital marketing agency about their plans to combat an unfavorable situation like your site being blocked, data loss, hacking of social media accounts or any penalties. At such times it is necessary that your agency works smartly to get you out of the mess. Or else you may find yourself falling deep. Also, be prepared with backups of your data, posts and other content because it’s the technology and it can fail anytime!
These questions are not exhaustive. You may add any doubt from your mind to the list. But be fully content before making a choice. And also, do not forget to do your homework before getting the deal done. The more you are informed, the more your chances of being fooled get reduced. And you will certainly not be clueless as to what is happening and what is your agency up to. So be informed and do make a wise choice for your Digital Marketing Agency.