The demand for online marketing has never been higher. With the rise of social media and digital advertising, choosing a digital agency is vital to ensure your company has the best online representation at all times. While there are numerous choices for a digital agency, you want to be sure the agency you select has the skills and experience necessary, and that their values mesh well with those of your business. Here are some helpful tips for how to select the right digital partner.
Make a Plan
Before entering into a digital agency partnership, you want to be sure you have a clear plan for what you need, what you would like, and include your budget. This will help tremendously when you start to research different agencies. In this plan, be sure to set clear goals – do you want better reviews, better customer feedback, more exposure? Outline what you definitely need out of the partnership and things you would like to have, but may not be a necessity. Also include your budget for help in negotiating costs when you find an agency you want to work with. Without a plan, you could be searching aimlessly and end up wasting time and could even pass up the perfect agency.
Research the Agencies
Once you have your plan together, make a list of agencies that you have found or heard of that you think you might like to work with. Begin researching each digital agency, crossing off the ones that do not fit your needs. In this research, find out exactly what each one offers, things they do not do, and carefully review their portfolio. It is also a good idea to check the company’s website and social media accounts and find any available customer reviews. Be sure to pay special attention to any negative reviews you might find, not just the positive reviews or testimonials.
After researching agencies, set up interviews with the ones that are still on the list. Treat this as you would for hiring any other member of your staff. Even though the relationship you will have through a digital agency Partnership will be different, you will still want to be sure they will be a good fit. During this time, you will want to have a prepared list of probing questions to ask. It is also a good idea to ask about any negative reviews or comments you may have found during your research. Be sure to meet several members of the team, not just the best salespeople the agency has selected.
Just like with any other staff member hire, you will want to check references. Wait until you have your list narrowed down to just a few agencies that you would really like to work with. Be sure you also research the companies that are provided for references. It is also a good idea to ask for a client list during this process. This will give you an idea the type of work the agency has done and if it fits well with your company’s profile.
Time to Negotiate
Once you have found the perfect agency for your needs, it’s time to start negotiations. This is not just about the budget, but will also include terms of the contract, goals that you expect to be met, and of course the amount of money you are willing to pay. Have a clear list of deal breakers and a ceiling to your budget that you will not go over. It is also an excellent idea to include a break clause with your first project. This will ensure that you and the digital agency have a way out if the first project doesn’t go as planned. During this process, you will begin to work together as a team to come to the best contract that is fair to everyone.
Using the above guidelines will help you with your search for the perfect digital agency partnership. Though it may seem like a lot of time and energy to invest into the searching process, this will pay off in the end when you have a great digital agency that works hard to meet your goals and shows proven results for your online exposure.