It’s best when you keep all your business stuff inside your company, but sometimes, you just have to outsource some tasks to others. It doesn’t matter why you decide to do it – whether you have no specialists or you want to focus on your core business – in some circumstances, outsourcing is reasonable.
One thing that you may outsource is digital marketing. And if you happen to be looking for a good digital marketing agency Australia, let us provide you with a list of 10 things to consider during your research.
First things first, you have got to consider the digital marketing agency’s specialization. Needless to say, it needs to provide you with the services that you need.
Among the marketing agency specializations people are looking for are:
- Web development.
- Social media marketing.
- Email marketing.
- Content creation.
If you’ve sat and thought about what you need and which sides of your business you want to strengthen, you should already know what kind of services you need.
After you’ve chosen a direction, make sure to consider your specific needs. If you’re looking for an SEO agency to help you with off-site SEO, then make sure that the agency does have expertise in that area. SEO is a pretty wide field, and the capabilities and experience of each SEO agency may differ.
A 2018 survey by HubSpot (See Picture Avobe) shows that the more aligned your company’s sales and marketing relationship is, the more effective your marketing campaigns are likely to be. This will apply to your relationship with digital marketing agencies as well, so do ensure that they have expertise in the desired field.
Perhaps the best way of assessing how good a digital marketing agency is having a look at their presence in the field they promise to give you good results in.
Say a digital marketing agency specializes in content creation. Well, you just need to have a look at the agency’s website and see whether they have a blog section. If they do have one, if it’s updated frequently, and if it corresponds to what you are expecting in terms of quality, then you could be sure that the agency indeed knows how to do content marketing.
Another example is SEO. If an SEO agency promises an improvement in your Google rankings, check how they rank in Google for a few keywords. Run their website through a website analysis tool and see what keywords they rank for and how high they rank. If they rank high, then they are likely to be able to help you with your SEO tasks.
Pay special attention to the promise of the digital marketing agency. By merely doing this, you can find out whether the agency is just making loud claims or not.
You need to have some knowledge of the field yourself though to distinguish between a down-to-earth promise and something that’s virtually unreachable.
Let’s have a look at one example to demonstrate this.
Suppose an SEO agency guarantees that your website will land on the number 1 spot in Google for one or more keywords. This claim will sound suspicious to anyone who is more or less familiar with SEO. An SEO-savvy individual knows that the Google search algorithm is very complex, and no one outside Google really knows how it ranks websites.
On the other hand, an SEO newbie who doesn’t yet realize how difficult SEO is may not see anything suspicious in such claims.
What will happen next?
Unless a newbie and the SEO agency get extremely lucky, the former will most likely come across disappointment and will have wasted money.
Knowledge of how things are really done in the field is invaluable when trying to filter out poor marketing agencies. So when looking for a marketing agency, either make sure to do enough research to know how things work in the field or consult a specialist that will be able to tell you how things go.
An experienced agency not only will know what to do in their field but also will likely be able to craft a marketing strategy tailored specifically to your needs.
Having worked with a variety of clients, an experienced marketing agency will know how to satisfy very specific demands and how to deal with issues arising throughout the campaign. And yeah, they won’t waste your time with strategies and ideas that don’t work.
Ask the agency about their past projects to get an idea of how skilled its team is. Besides, if you have acquaintances in companies that have worked with the agency, ask them how things have gone.
Transparency is perhaps the most important thing to look for in a digital marketing agency.
A transparent agency will clearly outline their services and deliverables, first of all. Not only that, but a transparent company won’t behave all shady and will be open and communicative (without giving out confidential information, of course). If you feel that the agency isn’t completely clear with you, avoid it.
Speaking of being communicative, your experience with a digital marketing agency at the stage of research plays a key role in your final decision. Keep in mind that when inquiring from an agency representative about the details of the offered service, you are not only looking to find out about the offer but also about how the agency interacts with its customers.
First of all, pay attention to how quickly customer support representatives are getting in touch with you. If you have to wait half a day to receive an answer to a trivial question, then you probably won’t be able to have your issues quickly solved with that agency.
You may also want to check how the around-the-clock support of the agency is. After all, issues with your campaign won’t wait for you to catch up – they may happen at any moment.
With that being said, not every agency may offer 24/7 customer support, though many will.
Finally, pay attention to the answers the customer support representatives are giving. Are the answers what you are expecting? Or maybe the customer support representative seems to be not too involved with your cause? Needless to say, if you aren’t satisfied with the responses, then you should probably avoid the agency.
While a rich toolset won’t make an agency do wonders by itself, it’s a big factor in how effective a marketing agency can really be.
What kind of tools should you pay attention to though? Well, the kind of tools that do matter in the area you want to see improvements in.
Let’s again take SEO as an example. Among the good tools that an SEO agency may use are services from Ahrefs or Moz. These are some of the very best SEO toolset providers on the market, and they do have the features which can provide the SEO agency and you with stats on the campaign’s performance.
Needless to say, in any other field, the marketing agency needs to use tools relevant to the area you are interested in. This means that you need to be aware of what kind of tools and services are used in the industry, so make sure to do the research.
In-depth reports are a big part of the effectiveness of any marketing campaign.
In fact, stats are key in any field. You and your marketing agency will be completely blind without performance data. If you don’t know how your campaigns have performed, you won’t have grounds to make adjustments to them. You won’t even know whether they need to be adjusted or not!
What kind of stats the agency monitors is also crucial. Some data is better than nothing, but you want to have the stats that allow you to get a full picture of how the marketing campaign is performing in your field.
Among the performance metrics that you would want to have at hand are:
- Number of unique visitors. This metric allows you to evaluate changes in traffic. The more traffic you have, the higher your earnings are likely to be. Traffic alone tells you very little about your campaign’s performance though, but there are other metrics that do.
- Dwelling time. Dwelling time is an excellent metric in that it allows you to evaluate how engaging and valuable your content is to your readers.
- Traffic sources. While the raw number of visitors is by itself important, you may also care about where people come to your website from. A breakdown of traffic by its source, including organic search, social media, or direct visitors, can be insanely helpful if you want to, say, monitor and increase your organic traffic.
- Bounce rate. Bounce rate shows the percentage of visitors that leave your website right after landing on it. A high bounce rate could show that people don’t like your content. However, the bounce rate is only a statistical metric, and its value depends on how it’s defined.
For example, by default, Google Analytics counts a visit as a bounce if the visitor has only viewed one page on your website. People may be staying on a post for hours, but you will see their visits as a bounce if they don’t visit another page during that session.
You may change how Google Analytics counts bounces, but the important thing here is that this metric strongly depends on how it’s defined. Make sure to inquire about this from the marketing agency.
- Cost per click. This metric will be of interest to those who will be doing paid promotion. CPC is again a statistical metric, and it shows how much money you are spending per each click. If the CPC is very high, you’ll know that you are doing something wrong.
- Click-through rate. CTR is another ad metric, showing what percentage of those who’ve seen your add clicked on it. A low CTR may mean that your ads are targeted poorly.
There are many other metrics that you may be specifically interested in. No matter what you want, make sure that the agency does deliver on it.
The team size is secondary to the things we overviewed above, but it may be important to you as well.
Ideally, the marketing agency shouldn’t have a too small or too big team.
Small teams may not have the working capacity of a large company, but when it comes to communication and interaction, smaller agencies are easier to work with. Small teams don’t suffer from the bureaucracy of larger organizations.
Larger companies, obviously, tend to have higher working capacities and more specialists doing specific jobs, but they often aren’t as pleasant to work with. They are less flexible due to their larger scale, and it may be more difficult for you to get your problem solved quickly due to the high number of people involved.
200-300 specialists should be a pretty balanced number, but depending on your needs, preferences, and the features offered by an agency, you may opt for a bigger or smaller company.
Finally, consider the pricing of the services and tools offered by the digital marketing agency.
The pricing needs to be fair for your budget and expectations. You should neither go for an expensive agency nor for one that offers services in exchange for basically bread and butter. The former may offer more than what you need, while the latter may underperform.
To get a sense of what’s fair for you, go through the plans offered by a few contenders. Carefully consider what they offer and pick the agency that delivers the best value for the price.
To wrap up this post, we want to talk about the importance of facts.
Don’t let agencies fool you with hype and emotions. The only things that matter are stats and performance reports – only they can let you know how effective a digital marketing agency is. If you are an Australian though, you probably are already direct and fact-driven enough to realize this.
If you can’t logically connect A to B and feel that the claims of the agency are groundless, then you may want to follow your gut and look for another deal. Hiring a digital marketing agency is an investment, and you should weigh all the pros and cons before paying anyone large amounts of money.