Ensuring virality, reaching the maximum audience, generating as much engagement as possible… These are the goals of any digital campaign! Given what’s at stake, most companies prefer to opt for outsourcing: professionals who master the techniques and will be able to accompany them towards the achievement of their targets. It is true that a poor choice of partner can literally destroy a business. So, how do you choose the right web marketing agency? On what criteria?
The way they market their own brand
It is often said that “the cobbler’s child is always the worst shod”. When it comes to web marketing, one should especially stay away from agencies that neglect their own brand. What it means: be curious and dig a little to know whether the agency takes great care of their image and services. If not, what’s the point of entrusting them with your brand?
View things from a digital critic’s perspective and wade through the agency’s website. Is it professional, user-friendly, relevant? (Well yes, the website of a marketing agency should effectively present its area(s) of expertise.) In our time, the use of images, infographics and video has become essential, particularly for web professionals. So pay attention to these elements while analyzing the website. Another important element to watch for is the presence of call to actions. Are they highlighted in an intelligent way so as to attract customers? It may sound obvious, but if the agency is not able to engage its own visitors, it probably won’t be able to do it for you either.
Furthermore, if the agency has a blog, it can be interesting to read its content. Are the posts well written? Is it up to date? If the most recent post was published several months ago, proceed to the next agency. Also, take a few minutes to visit the agency’s social media profiles to get a sense of how much effort is put into it.
Successes, references, experiences
When one talks about success, one obviously thinks about quantitative results. One way or another, your future web marketing agency should present its results and achievements. You should be able to check its references and speak with them. Even though they may not work in the same field as you, through their feedback, you will know whether you can trust this agency to handle your web marketing.
In terms of experience, the agency’s length of existence does not mean that you can choose it with your eyes shut. The relationship component and the interest they have in your project both deserve more attention. However, don’t hesitate to review the agency’s history. Does it have any experience with your activity type? This goes without saying: an ecommerce expert may not be the best for a local business. Thus even if the agency is young, experienced staff is a considerable asset.
Resources and expertise
The previous selection criterion brings us to another fundamental point: human resources. To find the right web marketing agency, it is important to know who you will be working with. The idea is simply to make sure it has a competent team, particularly an experienced project manager, to take care of your campaigns. Moreover, it is essential to have a dedicated contact inside the agency to facilitate communication. Do not be overly impressed by a large service spectrum. The important thing is that the agency has areas expertise you are interested in, and that are appropriate to your business.
When looking for reliable professional partners, a dimension that can’t be measured (although it plays an important part in the choice) is affinity. During the first contacts, if you’re not feeling it, there is little point going further. A web marketing agency is a (hopefully long term) partner who is going to manage your image and on which you are going to rely on to grow your business. It is obviously preferable to have a good feeling if you’re going to commit. Trust calls for that sense of assurance that tells you that everything will be alright, that you will get along et understand each other on the long road of growth. Indeed, if there is one area where things are constantly changing, it is web marketing. So it is better to be helped to serenely tackle any changes coming your way.
Last words on carefully selecting your web marketing agency
We are now coming to the end of this article dedicated to selection criteria of your web marketing agency. You will have noticed that the question of the cost was not mentioned at all. You are right! Most of the time, regardless of the size of your company, relying on an independent web marketing agency will be cheaper.
However, I think you will find that, when it comes to services or products, the cheapest is very rarely the best choice. So choosing your future web marketing agency on the sole price criterion could be a costly mistake. And a waste of time! Sometimes, it is worth investing more money to ensure a more satisfactory result. In this case, in order to grow your business, consider the criteria mentioned above to find the web marketing agency that will match your goals.
Article submitted by: Nicolas Finet
Nicolas Finet is a blogger and entrepreneur specialized in digital marketing and growth hacking. He’s the co-founder of Sortlist, an online platform that helps companies find local and reputable marketing and communication agencies. Follow him on Twitter: @nifinet