HOW DO YOU SELECT THE RIGHT DIGITAL MARKETING AGENCY?by Wilson Moore Writter
When did you last select a digital marketing agency for a new website? How did that work out?
For many organizations, selecting a new digital marketing agency is not easy. There are so many providers, with so many solutions. It is often difficult to separate the wheat from the chaff.
How do you determine which agency best suits your organization? Ask yourself the 12 questions and follow the 7 tips below, and you'll be fine.
Many of these principles also work for the selection of other service providers, such as an advertising agency.
If you are satisfied with your existing digital marketing agency, you will of course first talk to them. But for this article, I assume that you are looking for a new digital marketing agency to realize a new website.
Start by making a pre-selection of 5-10 digital marketing agencies. Always start by asking acquaintances who have a good website about their digital marketing agency and their experiences with that agency. The information you get from relationships you trust is the most valuable you can get.
You can then visit websites that most SEO & Digital agencies do, such as giddyup.co.za, or creativepeppers.com. Or search on Google. Visit the website of every agency that appeals to you at first sight and ask yourself the following questions:
1) Does their own website appeal to me?
And then not whether you like the colors, but whether the internet desk looks professional and whether the texts and design evoke a good feeling in you. Does it all inspire confidence?
2) Do they have the capacity to deliver the work?
You have to be able to trust that the digital marketing agency has enough capable people to handle the assignment. A good agency provides this information on their website.
3) Do they have the right experience?
If a digital marketing agency already has experience with projects that are similar to yours, that is a big plus. The learning curve is lower, which means they can work faster and more efficiently.
4) Do they show enough work that they have already done?
Is there enough work on the website of the digital marketing agency that they have done for other clients? Do not hesitate to call such a client and ask about their experiences with the agency.
5) Does the design of the websites they build appeal to you?
Determine on the basis of their previous work whether the digital marketing agency will be able to deliver a design that fits the brand experience of your company.
6) Are they able to deliver the technology that your website needs?
Determine on the basis of their previous work whether the digital marketing agency has the technical capabilities to realize all the functionalities that your site probably needs. Especially if connections have to be made with existing back-end systems that your company already uses.
7) Is their website traceable in Google?
A good digital marketing agency has its own SEO company in order. Always check whether they are easy to find in Google, especially if you find good findability for your own website important.
The keywords that are important to them are usually in the title or in the meta description tag. Open an incognito window (Ctrl + Shift + N) in your browser and search for those keywords. (Why an incognito window? Because Google adjusts the search results to who is logged in, for example in Gmail. You will not get an average search result). If the agency is not among the first twenty results, they are not in good shape with regard to findability in Google.com or local search engine Google.co.za (South Africa). Example: Search "SEO Company Cape Town" in your local search engine (google.co.za), after finding nearby your local companies.
8) Is their website fast?
Speed is one of the most important factors in pleasant user experience. Certainly on smart-phones with slower 3G connections. Unfortunately, too few web designers have enough eye for this more technical aspect. That is why most websites are unnecessarily slow.
That was evident in any case from our mobile speed test of the websites of the top 200 companies and 75 of the larger internet marketing companies. Therefore, test the agency's website with Google PageSpeed Insights. If they do not score at all points in green, that is not a good sign.
9) Do they control responsive web design?
Always open the website of the digital marketing agency also on your smart-phone! And check whether the site is suitable for smart-phones. In 2019, every self-respecting web design company must be able to realize a good responsive website.
Also, view their portfolio. If there are no responsive websites, that is a big red flag and you will at least have to ask a critical question, should the agency appeal to you.
10) Can they empathize with the client?
When you look at the work of the office, do you get the feeling that it all fits well with the clients? Or do the designs seem more intended to show how cool they are themselves? A good digital marketing agency knows how to make even a boring company interesting in a credible way.
11) Do they think content first?
We have been insisting for years on the importance of good content before you start a new website. But the old method of the first building and then filling appears to be persistent. With a content-first approach, you prevent problems and the end result is much better. Therefore, ask yourself whether the agency you are considering does think content first.
12) Do they have a good reputation in social media?
Search Twitter, Linkedin, Instagram and Facebook for comments and mentions about the SEO Company or digital marketing agency. In particular, also look at how active the people at the office are with social media. If they are inactive in social media, that can, of course, mean that they are too busy delivering great work to tweet. But it can also mean that they barely have a feel for their profession.
7 tips for successful desk selection
As soon as you have completed your pre-selection based on the previous 12 questions, it is time to talk to the agencies. The following 7 tips will help you with successful desk selection:
Tip 1: Do not request random offers
Once you have the preselection, don't ask for a quote from all those digital marketing agencies. Also, read our article with handy do and don'ts about preparing a desk pitch.
Drawing up a good offer for the realization of a new website takes a professional digital marketing agency a lot of time. Depending on the complexity of the assignment from a few hours to a few days. Therefore, first, get to know the agencies in your preselection via e-mail or even better: by telephone.
Invite a maximum of 5 agencies for an introductory meeting and then ask 2 or 3 agencies to prepare a quote. Explain this procedure well, so that these agencies know where they stand. The quality and mutual comparability of the bids will be much better this way.
Tip 2: See an introductory meeting as a first 'date'
An introductory meeting with a digital marketing agency is like a first 'date'. Your goal is to determine whether you would like to take the next step with them. And that step is to enter the quotation process. It is important that you get a 'click' with the people at the office.
Building a website today is to a large extent a form of intensive co-creation between client and agency. You will probably have to work very intensively with these people for a few months and as soon as the new website is live, it will hopefully be the start of close collaboration for many years.
Tip 3: Send an intelligent briefing
Send an intelligent briefing to the 2 or 3 desks that came out as the best during the introductory talks. The best briefings are not too detailed. Don't write too much about it. They describe the problem, possibly supplemented with some thoughts about possible solutions supplemented with the question “what are your thoughts about this?” This enables the digital marketing agency to make a few creative proposals about the direction in which they think. Show that you are open-minded and that you are out to get the best out of the collaboration.
You also get a better picture of the creative capacity of the digital marketing agency. Are these inventive people? Or is it a factory that makes exactly what you ask for, without thinking for yourself? Personally, I think the best question a designer or programmer can ask me: "Are you sure?" That means that he has thought through the consequences of my request and suspects that I have not seen all of them properly. He thinks along proactively with me. Expect this attitude also from a good desk.
Tip 4: Be open about your budget
I used to experience it often enough that I spent an hour animated with an enthusiastic prospect about his new website. The most fantastic ideas came to the table. Until I asked the question “this seems like a great project! But what exactly is your budget? ”Then I suddenly felt like that broker who spent an entire afternoon with a possible customer viewing beautiful villas with a sea view, to finally be told that the budget is barely enough for a small apartment 3 high behind in a 'beautiful neighborhood'.
That is of course precisely the reason why brokers always ask you first how much you want to spend before they start working for you. Without that crucial information, he cannot look for a suitable home. This is also the case with a website. You can have a website made for $500, but also for more than $600 million.
Therefore, be open about the available budget. It is very tangible that you prefer to keep your financial cards close to your chest during the first negotiations. But in practice, it is usually counterproductive if you withhold this information.
A digital marketing agency will always try to estimate your financial scope to determine what solutions they can think of. But just as a real estate agent cannot estimate what your budget is for your new home when you walk into his office in your casual wear, a web builder can guess your budget based on your briefing.
And if you have not set a budget? Then start the conversation about this at an early stage. Say that you have not set up a budget because you have no idea what to think about. But indicate how much you can afford. Because you can create a website in so many ways. It is very difficult for a digital marketing agency to make a good offer if they do not know one of the most important limiting factors - budget.
Tip 5: Do not set a random deadline, but agree on it
Only set a solid delivery date if this is essential for business operations. For example for a very important exhibition or the launch of a product. Make sure you start the desk selection long enough in advance.
But don't set a random deadline. Because a digital marketing agency will interpret it as being cast in concrete. And that can have two negative consequences:
- The deadline is met, but at the expense of quality, while this was actually not necessary.
- The deadline is not met, which immediately draws a bill on the still-young relationship between you and the agency.
- It is best to set a realistic deadline together with the agency. Because without a deadline a project is rarely finished. Don't expect the agency to get started right after selection. They will usually have to plan the work first.
Tip 6: Don't make a competition out of it
It is very tempting to ask a few digital marketing agencies to pitch a design without paying. For architects, isn't this usually the way it is? Yet this is a very bad idea. Without an intensive preliminary process, it is impossible to come up with the best solutions for your website.
In the end, you make a choice from a number of solutions, none of which is the right one. Moreover, the best digital marketing agencies, who are already busy, will not want to participate in such a pitch. You therefore immediately exclude a lot of talent.
And let's face it, if your toilet is leaking, don't you first ask a couple of plumbers to show that they can close a leaky pipe?
Tip 7: Avoid tenders
Tenders seem fair, and sometimes they are prescribed by the governments, but in practice, they usually turn out wrong for the client. It rarely happens that the best agency wins. In fact, the best digital marketing agencies would rather not participate in such tenders. They don't feel like it at all.
You will not get any idea about what it will be like to work with a certain digital marketing agency. And that while the realization of a website requires close cooperation between client and agency. It is very bad if you can only ask questions via e-mail and that they are then passed on to all parties and that everyone can answer them. So impersonal. The best digital marketing agencies do not want to participate. So you already rule that out.
The creation and maintenance of websites is very much about close cooperation between client and agency. A good personal relationship is of vital importance for these types of projects. An official tender is therefore fatal for entering into such a relationship.
If writing a tender procedure is unavoidable, try to create as much room as possible for longer-term cooperation. Consider the long-term framework agreements in which the service can also change during the term. For example, as is usual for other service providers such as catering companies, accountants or employment agencies.
Creating a website today is often a complex process in which the client and digital marketing agency or SEO company must work closely together over a longer period. Traditional procurement procedures such as competitions and tenders usually have an adverse effect on close cooperation and almost always have an unfavorable effect on both the client and the agency. The choice of the right digital marketing agency is very important. Therefore pay sufficient attention to it. Hopefully, the tips in this article will get you started.
Created on Oct 3rd 2019 05:04. Viewed 508 times.
No comment, be the first to comment.