One of the best ways to take your business to great heights in the 21st century is via digital marketing. This fact is still being ignored by a plethora of business owners in Nigeria and around the world(to their own peril). Whether you own a business that already has an online presence or one that is still in the process of doing so, you need to seriously consider how you can employ digital marketing for the progress of your business.
What really is digital marketing?
You must have seen many companies whose marketers flood the streets, sweating and working tirelessly to increase their customer base – these companies spend millions of dollars on these personnel.
However, the job of these marketers can be a whole lot easier and even yield a wider reach if it is done using the internet, multimedia, flash displays (electronic adverts), push notifications and other digital media – that is what digital marketing is all about.
There is a lot of work and training required to create and maintain a solid digital presence for your business; this could be too time-consuming and expensive for you and your staff to handle – that’s exactly why you need to employ the services of a very good digital marketing agency.
What is a Digital Marketing Agency?
A digital marketing agency unlike a traditional marketing agency is an agency that specializes in creating effective digital marketing communications using digital technology. Digital marketing agencies often focus on lead generation and brand awareness. They employ the use of creative strategies and effective digital tools to establish measurable ads that convert.
How to choose the right digital marketing agency
You could end up wasting millions if you employ the wrong agency to handle your digital marketing. Hundreds of digital marketing start-ups have flooded the internet claiming to be the next best thing to happen to any business that hires them, however, what most of these agencies can offer is all promises and next to zero results.
“I was part of the marketing team at an Ed-tech firm and this is what I learned from my experience. Investing on the wrong digital marketing agency can drain your funds and resources as they lead you down a path to nowhere.” – Saikiran
Here are a few ways you can avoid Saikiran’s mistake and make a wise choice:
Clearly, identify your marketing needs
What really do you need from a digital marketing agency? It is said that one cannot become what one cannot see. Don’t expect a marketing agency to work miracles for your business if you as a business owner cannot clearly identify your marketing needs.
Make a list of what you expect, such as the following:
What conversion rate do you expect from social media, SEO etc.? How much brand visibility are you expecting? What’s your target reach? Are you looking at reaching a global audience or are you looking at becoming popular locally first? How much are you willing to spend on hiring an agency? How would you measure an agency’s success or failure?
These are questions you need to answer before you begin your search for a marketing agency. Having written answers to these questions will go a long way in refining your search.
Do a thorough background check
This is one of the necessary steps you must take before you hire anyone, not just a digital marketing agency. Like was earlier mentioned in this article, there are so many agencies who cannot really do anything meaningful for your company if you hire them – this is why you have to do a thorough background check of the credibility of any marketing agency before you choose.
Look at their website; do they offer something similar or exactly what you’re looking for? Does their website verify their digital claims? You must have concrete answers to these questions before going ahead to contact a representative of the agency.
Widen your search
There are hundreds of digital marketing companies around you, so there’s no reason for you to get stuck bargaining with and interviewing just one agency. Widen your search, seek advice from a digital specialist. The best marketing agencies are usually not hidden, but it’s not advisable to get locked on just one.
Second opinions don’t work in the medical field only – apply them in this case. If you’re going to be spending so much on digital marketing, so it’s only sensible to spend it on the (affordable) best!
Don’t settle for cheap or overly expensive
Generally, the cheapest of the bunch are usually the most inexperienced. It takes a lot of training and strategy to create a successful digital marketing agency – this is why any good agency you find will definitely not come cheap. If you choose to go with a cheap agency, you might likely end up spending more in the end – due to zero productivity and results.
Marketing agencies whose services are overly expensive are also not necessarily the most productive – there are affordable alternatives who can get the job done with even more efficiency.
You must sharpen your negotiation skills to get the best price for your company/business – remember you must stick to your budget and not get bullied into excessive spending by some overpriced agencies.
Can they handle a long term partnership?
One way to get the best from a marketing agency is to negotiate for a long-term partnership or contract. This would make the agency come on board more like a team member or an employee. If a marketing agency is too busy to work with you in the long term, that’s a red flag! How sure can you be of their short term commitment?
The benefits of having a long-term partnership with a marketing agency cannot be overemphasized – they get to understand your business better and save you the hassle and cost of having to re-hire a digital agency in a few months when you need one.
Go for a successful boutique Agency
A boutique marketing agency refers to an agency that is smaller in size when compared to a large agency. When choosing a digital marketing agency, it is always advised that you work with an agency that would take out time to work committedly with your company and help it grow.
Unlike a large agency, a boutique agency will assign it’s best hands (or even the agency’s top directors) to work on your project. These boutique advertising agencies are more likely to understand your needs and work more closely with you to achieve your goals.
The result of the aforementioned is, you see more results, more leads and more sales.
The points above are salient and will prove invaluable if applied in your search for the right digital marketing agency. Always ensure you settle for experience, creativity, and proven results and you’ll find yourself on the right track.