The best companies eventually ride on the back of a professional team of marketers to reach the top spot. This doesn’t automatically spell success for the other side – the digital marketing agency. Several boxes shouldn’t go unchecked for one to become a marketing company that customers line up to get services from.
While the actual checklist would easily stack hundreds of items to clear, we compiled ten that should be enough to help any company with the decision-making process of selecting a digital marketing and social media management partner.
Let’s dive right in!
1. A Great Sales Process
Before any papers come out, contracts and money alike, the sales process adopted by a potential marketing partner should be the first gateway into how they handle business. Some companies will rush you into taking up free trials, while others will propose that you pay months of subscriptions in advance. Already you can tell the difference between the two. Also, while they may not have penned and perfected a robust process, never be pressured to get into any contractual agreement.
2. Realistic Digital Marketing Agency Customer Reviews
Even with a one-legged sales process, you can overlook any confusions if and only if their reputation says enough for you to commit. Keep in mind that being marketing companies, they would have had adequate time to apply the tools and tactics they’re selling on themselves; so, you will most likely find perfect reviews. Go deep on social media profiles and see what their past clients have to say about them. If you can overlook the 2% failure rate, then walk right in, else you must look for a better fit.
3. A Short But Effective Onboarding Phase
The first month can be the best reflector of how your entire relationship will be comprised of. The all-important onboarding phase. Even on a free trial, expect to experience your services professionally. It may be okay to bury some red flags, but as soon as you begin doubting, try to get clarity or move on.
4. Ask For Dedicated Support
From day one working with a digital marketing agency, they must not leave you with space to make educated guesses on the status of your account or what the next step is going to be. A digital marketing and social media management firm that puts communication first will have a high customer retention rate and often always outperforms their less chatty competitors.
5. They Should Be Focused On Results
A lot of fraudulent digital marketing companies will look forward to the account refresh date more than they anticipate campaign milestones. Some even only get in touch through the sales team. Expertly sucking your funds dry. Do a quick search of bad customer reviews, and such companies will pop up. Keeping away from these companies is in your best interest.
6. Digital Marketing Strategies You Can Understand
Although you approached them for their expertise in digital marketing, some agencies will make it easy for you to understand what exactly it is that you’re paying for. If they’re outsourcing certain elements of your account’s campaign, they will come out in the open. As such, be wary of experts doing magic to get you the results you need. Such companies use unethical methods that will eventually work against your domain’s authority. Some could even get you blacklisted; you don’t want that.
7. A Digital Presence Better Than Yours
This one should be among the first things that attract you towards them – for social media presence help, your digital marketing agency of choice should have a presence close to or better than what you wish to have. Otherwise, you’re better off working on your presence on your own.
8. Who Doesn’t Want Reasonable Pricing
Look to get value for every coin moving out of your bank account. While you shouldn’t expect to get services for free, think about this; what makes a digital marketing agency such as 99 Dollar Social offer social media services at just under a hundred dollars with proven results, and other companies go out to charge a thousand dollars for the same results and sometimes less?
Even when your company can afford to go all out and hire a social media help for a couple of thousand dollars, I’d rather have the last laugh paying a fraction for the same results.
9. Specialized Services Providers, And Why They’re Better
This is an important one. Most digital marketing agencies will try to present themselves as the one stop for your strategy needs, but mostly they have a strong arm keeping the lights on. Such deals will cause other elements of your account’s digital marketing to fall weak. You’re better off going for a social media focused company. Then outsource SEO to guys and girls that have dedicated their lives to chasing Google’s algorithm changes in the name of ranking high. In the long run, should anything go wrong with one client, your digital image doesn’t fall to ashes without warning.
10. A Good Marketing Agency Should Have A Dashboard – At Least
Tools. Most companies will claim to have built a piece of software that makes their services stand apart from the rest. Ask to see these tools. In the very least, they should present you with a dashboard for you to keep a close eye on the activities and results in exchange for your ritualistic subscriptions.
To conclude this checklist, I feel it is worth mentioning that unless a company has a decade or more years in existence, they can reasonably fall short on a couple of the above sub headings. As such, the more items satisfied the closer a company approaches the perfect agency class. Either way, most such companies inflate their costs to keep stable client numbers and avoid the number of times heads roll for failing to keep a customer appraised on each upcoming milestone. Be sure to go with value.