A checklist to appoint DM Agency
Using digital marketing for business brings an important question with itself – should it be done in-house or should businesses outsource digital marketing (DM) Doing it in-house will call for studies and research, modelling, strategic planning, team building, budgeting, operational planning, monitoring, etc. It becomes a small department on its own. And more importantly, it will divert resources and possibly hurt the focus on leadership and bigger business goals.
Done right, like outsourcing of any other business process, digital marketing outsourcing too can prove to be efficacious for companies. Companies’ routine involvement comes down to monitoring progress and performances delivered by these external agencies. The experience of handling digital marketing projects for various clients give these DM agencies an upper hand in attaining domain expertise.
However, hiring a DM agency can backfire too. The growing importance of digital marketing has also led to the emergence of new players. And also, the experience and expertise of handling digital marketing projects by an agency in one particular industry might not be relevant in another industry.
Given below are a few key checkpoints for consideration before hiring a digital marketing agency:
1. Do they have the Required Expertise?
Before setting out to look for a digital marketing agency, the marketing department must be clear about what it wants to achieve through digital marketing. These digital marketing goals must resonate with the expertise and experience of the agency under consideration. Different agencies might have expertise in different areas of digital marketing – SEO, SEM, SMM, content management, email marketing, etc.
Matching business expectations with the expertise of a digital marketing agency enhances the probability of better understanding and better results.
2. Do they have Relevant Industry Exposure?
Agencies having prior experience in the same industry as that of the client will not only help the client enterprise make better strategies and campaigns; they also stand to gain a better understanding of customers’ pain points. To put in simply, a digital marketing agency working effectively for clients in the insurance industry may struggle to do the same in the FMCG industry. Exposure and experience in the industry give these agencies insights into what works and what doesn’t work in it.
An experienced digital marketing agency will have stories to share about their experiences, their successes, their failures, the nature of their current projects, and most importantly, how they learn and improvise.
3. Do they have the Necessary Resources?
In digital marketing, tools play an important role. Different tools are coming up these days with different features and capabilities in terms of planning and implementation, monitoring and tracking, measurements and metrics, etc. The agency under consideration must possess the latest tools and technologies with their latest or most relevant versions.
Apart from the tools and technologies, they also need to have an expert team who would handle and operate the digital marketing campaigns.
4. Check their Website and Social Media Pages
The website or the business page on various social media platforms of a DM agency can provide a preliminary perspective of who they are as an entity. The important sections to be explored in a business website are – about the company, about their services, about their clients (and testimonials), about their leadership, etc. Most importantly, this gives an idea of how an agency operates its own business.
Suppose an agency for content marketing is under consideration. Checking their blogs and other content can shed light on how they do it for themselves. Similarly, if an agency for SEO is being considered, it should be worth checking how the agency is performing in SEO for itself.
On the social media front, do not focus on the number of followers and likes but instead ask relevant questions like – How active is an agency’s social media presence? How long has been their journey? What is the frequency of posting? Is the creativity of their social media posts appealing?
5. Analytics Offerings of the Agency
With a number of campaigns capturing different metrics for different objectives, it is important to integrate analytics with digital marketing tools. Digital marketing analytics gives a detailed picture of campaigns’ performances and thus, makes the clients’ campaigns agile.
Some of the key digital marketing metrics for a website’s performance are the source, the number of visitors, page views, traffic by device type, time on page, bounce rate, etc. which can provide clarity on the user experience journey, pain points of the audience, device-friendliness, content engagement, locational constraints, etc.
Similarly, there are various metrics for social media marketing and content marketing. Agencies should be equipped with advanced analytics tools and features relevant to different digital marketing campaigns.