Unless you have years of tactical experience, digital marketing can be one of the most difficult pieces of scaling your business. As a business owner, your biggest challenge is time, not competence; while it may be possible to dig into help articles about ever-changing Facebook ads, for example, it probably isn’t the best use of your time.
As your company grows, marketing very quickly becomes a full-time job, and business owners are forced to ask the age-old question: should I partner with an agency, or make a hire?
Finding an Industry Partner
Many people may think that partnering with an agency is too expensive; they’d rather keep all of their digital marketing efforts within the building. You may be surprised to learn that it’s actually the other way around: by hiring an outside team, you’re getting more bang for your buck.
Unfortunately, there’s a concrete limit to the amount of work one person can get done in a day, and they’re also likely not a jack of all trades. This means that you may pay a full-time salary (plus benefits!) to a person who is a wizard at designing eblasts but has never run a PPC campaign, or who is amazing at writing blogs but hopeless at analyzing site traffic. Then you’re faced with a dilemma: do I make another hire to my marketing department? And another? The cost quickly outweighs any potential benefits.
When you hire an agency, you’re spending a monthly retainer to contract the work of several people, all of whom are experts in specific niches of digital marketing. Reputable agencies will have individuals who are fully dedicated to content strategy, search engine optimization, site performance, and PPC campaigns. This means that you’re handing off your marketing duties to a team who knows how to get the results you’re looking for, all for a lower price than hiring just one in-house employee.
Keep Up with the Changes
One of the most challenging components of digital marketing is the mercurial, ever-changing nature of its tech. Google Ads and SEO best practices evolve over time, and overnight updates to search engine algorithms can plummet your best content onto page two. Owners and individual marketing employees are typically too swamped by daily tasks to keep up with these paradigm shifts. Agencies make it their business to know about these changes the second they happen, and as a result are able to pivot your ad spend and content strategy at a moment’s notice. This means that you’re never wasting money on outdated techniques that don’t work.
Tips for Finding an Agency
Because marketers are experts at selling themselves, it can be difficult to figure out who is reputable (and who is hiding anemic strategy behind sleek graphics). There are a few questions you should ask before partnering with an agency.
Do you have experience in my industry?
This is probably the most important question to ask. Be sure that you’re not hiring a business that exclusively promotes musicians to manage your healthcare company’s digital presence. Ask whether the agency has worked with others in your space (including your competitors) is the surest way to identify a capable partner.
Will I receive reports? How do you measure success?
Any time you’re spending money in your business, you want to make sure you’re getting a solid return on investment. One of the best ways to track the effectiveness of your potential agency partner is through regular reporting. This will provide insight to the number of calls or clicks you’re getting relative to total spend.
What will it look like to work together?
Often, agencies and clients may have different expectations for what each contract should involve. Communication style can be an important point to hit. If you’re expecting to be hands-on and receive regular updates (or if you’d rather take a more laissez-faire approach), be sure that’s outlined in your initial meeting. Additionally, this allows you to be sure all tasks are covered in the initial contract (graphic design, the creation of newsletters, and social media posting all tend to be forgotten in the early stages of negotiation).
If you go into a meeting equipped with the above, you’re sure to get everything you need from your agency team.
Any more questions? Our team of managing partners can help with that. Call (949) 701-4714 to chat with them now.
Webconsuls is a full-service digital marketing agency based in Nashville, TN and Los Angeles, CA.