Graphic of a chart including SEO, PPC, graphic design.

Look At These 5 Things When Looking At Digital Marketing Agencies

You have an amazing idea for a service, and you want to bring it to the masses. How do you market your genius idea? You hire a digital marketing agency.

We’re in the electronic age where everyone is online and they can find everything they need online, too. So it’s a no-brainer: you need an online presence to reach people. In a world where everything from recipes to videos on changing out your car’s transmission are available online, a digital agency is the way to go. To make a splash in an overly saturated internet, you need a team of people who know how online marketing works — and how to use it to your advantage.

Whether you’re a startup in Silicon Valley, California or a small business in Youngstown, Ohio, there are some universal questions to ask yourself when searching for a marketing agency. It can get overwhelming thinking about ways to build brand awareness, so leave it to a marketing team made up of experts who know how to conduct (and utilize) market research.

There’s so much information that goes into digital advertising, but don’t worry. We’re going to look at five different areas to help you vet the top digital marketing agencies for your idea. That way you can pass the torch and let your marketing team run with their approach.

What Are Your Digital Marketing Needs?

Internet marketing is the way to go. Identifying which marketing channels you should and want to use will help you reach your target audience. Are you B2B (business to business) or B2C (business to consumer)?

Oftentimes, it’s best to hire an advertising agency as opposed to bringing in one person in-house to handle everything. Why? Because there are so many moving parts and different approaches you can take for your marketing plan.

Ask yourself this: Which marketing channels should you use – social media, a website, ads on a host website or an email campaign? It’s OK if you don’t have an answer. This is why it’s helpful to enlist a marketing team at a full-service digital marketing agency to create brand awareness. Different types of strategists make up teams in agencies.

Believe it or not, there are differences between types of marketing agencies. Let’s take a look.

What Does A Digital Marketing Agency Do?

A digital marketing agency lends itself to building a marketing strategy and looking at the execution. This is done in a handful of ways.

    • Pay-per-click, or PPC campaigns. This is a type of performance marketing when a digital marketing agency places an ad for an amount of money on a hosting website, then a user clicks the ad.
    • SEO services, or search engine optimization, is monitoring and studying unpaid, organic traffic to a website. When you typed in the search words that led you to a Google ranking of sites, then you clicked on GetLifted and you ended up here? That’s SEO. Pretty cool, huh?
    • SEM – search engine marketing. This is by paid ads.
    • Email marketing consultants send information and calls to action to subscribers.

An SEO agency is a bit more data-driven.

Thinking Outside The Box With A Creative Agency

Creative agencies are more visual-driven, but handle different aspects of marketing.

    • Social media marketing strategy – How are you going to reach your target audience on social media? Is this through an influencer who can sway your conversion rate? Your strategy can also include an agency overlooking social media management, which is a fancy way of saying they’ll handle posting content and interaction on different platforms.
    • Public relations, or PR – Maintaining a business’s public image.
    • Graphic design, video production and photography – The agency incorporates these elements into the plan.
    • Web design and web development – Creating websites that enhance the user experience through images and copywriting.

Lift Marketing is unique because we are a creative agency within a digital marketing agency. We have strategists who craft marketing campaigns, website design and project management. It’s not unusual to have clients stop by for a quick picture or record a voiceover.

Lift_iSynergy staff working in the studio.

What’s The (Resume) Experience?

It’s important to have an understanding of the scope of work from the digital marketing agencies you’re researching. Test out the merchandise, so to speak, by checking out their website. Some things to check out:

  • Agency size. Is there a team members page with each person’s job title included?
  • Is there a client roster with reviews and partnerships?
  • Client testimonials: What do each of them say?
  • Previous clients: Can the agencies share work they’ve done?

What Are Their Values And Culture?

We all want to make money. It’s not a secret that’s why most people work. You want to make money on your idea, right? That’s one of your business goals.

Keeping your own goals in mind, ask what the digital marketing agencies you’re looking at are striving to achieve. Do they have principles and ethics that align with your own? It’s OK to ask what they hope to achieve in a year, five years, or 10.

Check social engagement and company pictures of events on social media, like LinkedIn and Facebook. This will give you a feel for company culture. Happy employees will produce strong results. Marketing professionals who are happy at work will want to help take your brand to the next level because they value their workplace.

Are They Up-To-Date?

When paying for a service, you want the best experience, right? Of course. The same goes for an advertising agency. What makes them experts? It’s a good topic to bring up when talking with any digital marketing agency.

While it’s helpful to look at each company’s experience, it’s good to ask about ways the team of marketing experts stays on their game. Look into how they upskill their different teams. This also can impact how productive and enthusiastic employees are to get the work done.

  • Are they participating in webinars?
  • How progressive is the approach to lead generation and content marketing?
  • Do they use the latest versions of software, including WordPress?

What’s The Cost Of A Digital Marketing Company?

It’s important to stay within budget during your digital marketing agency search. Since you’re spending money, it’s OK to ask which digital marketing services are included at various price points.

Remember earlier we asked if you are a B2B or B2C? Here’s where that’s important. According to the U.S. Small Business Administration, B2C companies should plan on spending a little more than B2Bs. We suggest planning on spending about 10% to 12% on a marketing budget.

As you research different agencies and see one has lower pricing, ask why. Do they only have a staff of one or two people? If so, what is being offered? Will the digital marketing strategy at a smaller agency that offers limited digital marketing solutions be enough for your idea?

On the flip side, perhaps you find an agency that offers the entire gamut of digital marketing – SEO, link building, photography and video, public relations and content. That will likely be more money and could include a retainer.

Get Ready To Bulk Up Your Marketing… And Business

Now you have some basics of what to look for when searching for a digital marketing agency. It’s not too bad when it’s laid out, right?

You don’t need to search New York or San Francisco for an agency – you have Lift Marketing with the capabilities to do it all. As a great thespian of our time once said (and we’re slightly paraphrasing), “We’re here to pump your business up.” We’re a full-service digital marketing agency. Contact us today to start your marketing strategy.