15 Dec 2015

A Guide to Hiring an Online Marketing Agency

Are you planning to hire an online marketing agency but feeling already stuck at the starting point? Agreeably, the process of finding that perfect match of an online marketing agency can seem intimidating and equally a real minefield. The reason why you’re finding it difficult is probably because you need to grasp the basics of hiring—the armor of hiring an online marketing agency the right way! Here’s the insider guide.

1. Define your targets

Start off by asking yourself what it is you want to achieve. Why are you hiring? For instance, here is what you might be considering in terms of goals:

  • Are you in need of an agency to work with you in developing marketing strategies particular to your business?
  • Do you need help with performing with regard to pay-per-click marketing campaigns?
  • Are you looking to establish a long term business relationship with an online marketing agency to help you build your brand?
  • Do you need help with marketing a just launched product?

The list is long but it’s very important that you do a thorough evaluation of your business in terms of what you intend to achieve. Once you do that, it becomes even easier to work with your preferred online marketing agency. If you’re still in doubts about what your needs are, then finding the right marketing agency is going to be even more intimidating.

2. Do you want to work with market specialists?

Say you’re after a marketing agency to assist you in developing effective marketing strategies. The most probable question that follows is whether you need the online marketing agency to have specific market specialization. There are several benefits and drawbacks of choosing one that is specialized in a particular market. Take a look:

Market Specialization Benefits

  • These ones have experience working with companies that have close to similar issues that you want solved. The online marketing agency can easily offer a solution thanks to the experience gathered from working with past clients in the same market.
  • They come with a detailed technical understanding in your target industry which may result in a more rapid understanding of your business, products, services as well as customer related problems.

Market Specialization Drawbacks

  • Specialization is good but you may want to consider the fact that it might restrict “free roam” thinking which leads to better solutions. For example, if your business falls in the construction industry and work with an online marketing agency that’s experienced in the construction industry alone, there are chances that you’ll struggle to get original ideas.
  • A detailed understanding can make way for the development of material that won’t resonate properly with your potential customers. Consider the fact that working with an online marketing agency can result in marketing material that’s more effective and easier to understand.

A wide range of online marketing companies tend to specialize on serving particular types of industries. One such popular specialization is B2C vs B2B (Business to Consumer vs Business to Business). Marketing techniques that work for businesses that deal with expensive products and services can be totally different to others that work for companies that sell products or services directly to their customers. If you sell multi-pound software solutions to businesses, would it make sense partnering with an online marketing agency that sells protein powder or even mp3 players to consumers?

3. Are You Knowledgeable Enough?

It can be daunting trying to select the right online marketing agency when you lack proper marketing knowledge. It can be difficult drawing on the knowledge or experiences of someone else who helps you select an agency. Of course, you don’t need to be an expert, but spending your time reading on online marketing and learning the online marketing aspects can get along easily. There are several online resources that you’ll find important when carrying out online marketing research. At the end of the day, the more you know, the higher the likelihood of finding the right online marketing agency.

4. Does the marketing agency deliver on its promises?

In the process of uncovering your business potential marketing partners, consider finding out whether they really deliver on their promises. Do they practice what they preach? For instance, if as a business you’re looking for an inbound online marketing agency, find out whether they employ the inbound marketing methods to attain leads for their respective companies. If not, then you might want to ask, why not?

5. Do you cope well with the marketing agency’s team?

It’s imperative that you meet with the online marketing agency that you wish to hire. It’s not demanding to schedule a meeting, particularly with the employee who’ll be managing your project. Do this prior to signing contracts. Getting along with the team that handles your project is also another deciding factor. This means you fully trust the team to deliver on your project.  If for any reason the online marketing agency is reluctant at scheduling a meeting, be wary. Most importantly remember that the agency is an extension of your team which adds to the value of getting on well.

6. Is the agency Reliable and trustworthy?

Be sure to do your homework. Look up for more information regarding the preferred online marketing agency, particularly bad reviews, negative press as well as forum posts. Quick checks might reveal little known secrets about the agency with might be very helpful in deciding on whether to cancel or continue with hiring. This is where most people get it wrong and it never ceases to amaze.  If anything unsettling comes up, talk about it during the meeting and let them clarify it.

7. Decide how you’ll measure the results?

Talk about the return on investment with the agency and let them talk, in fact demonstrate, how they intend to be of value to your online marketing. If they are unable to offer convincing solutions or a demonstration of concrete ROI on your project, be wary. Of course, online marketing can only make sense when the right processes and tools are executed, and should be anything but guess work.

Follow the steps outlined in this guide and the process of hiring the right agency will be a breeze. Agreeably, we can never be well informed or too prepared when hiring. What you need is some time to think and talk with the online marketing agency and doing your homework. All these can massively cut down the expenses that come with hiring, time and major problems that might crop up years down the lane.