Hiring the right marketing agency today will seem more like an art than science. This is whenever marketing experts explain the content and social media marketing.
Many former SEO firms and traditional marketing firms are restyling themselves. They shift to new careers as social media and content marketers. You need to look closer at their qualifications and abilities before hiring them.
Subject matter expertise
The marketing agency should understand the important details of their client. These include brand name, company vision, industry, and marketplace. With these aspects, they can create high-quality content.
How do you know if these marketers are really experts? Look at their track record. Read reviews and testimonials from their former clients and employees, if any. Review their social media accounts. Look at the number of complaints or dissatisfied customers or employees, again, if any. How do they respond to comments and online discussions? One red flag to spot is the complete absence of any complaints or dissatisfaction. This is simply impossible no matter how good the company or product is.
A Marketing Agency Must Always Practice What They Preach
Since you’re already poring over the marketing agency’s profiles, reviews, testimonials, and social media, try to see if they are applying what they discussed with you on their own sites. If they preach about content marketing and branding initiatives, see if they’re doing this to market their own company. How a marketing agency promotes itself is an early indicator of its competence – or incompetence – in social media marketing.
Ask the firm to tell you about clients with similar challenges as yours
This is the right of every company to determine “proof of performance” from any firm that claims to have worked with every kind of client challenges. You can also conduct your own investigation by looking for the firm’s case histories. If for instance, the firm used to delve into online virtual assistant jobs and suddenly is into social media marketing, this could be a red flag for inexperience.
Search within social media groups, online forums, and LinkedIn groups for former employees of the firm
What are you searching for here? If a marketing agency has a high atrocity rate for its employees (employees stay only in the company for a maximum of 2 or 3 years before finding other employment) then this is a red flag that the firm isn’t run the right way, and this will affect any long-term social media marketing campaign they may be running for you in the future. If the atrocity rate is small, try to find out why the employees left. Most likely these were either terminated for infractions or were offered juicier salary packages by other companies.
A marketing agency will allow you to see actual content created for clients
The content here is the most important. See if the content they made has delivered the bottom-line results for its clients. Don’t be afraid to press for relevant data showing how content has increased in a certain area in so and so sales with so and so brand.
Video Source | YouTube Video
10 Characteristics of an Ideal Digital Marketing Agency
1. Great Staff
A marketing agency’s success is dependent on the skills and success of its staff. Your staff should work well together, understand each other’s individual roles, and be able to rely on one another to fulfill those roles. To meet all of a client’s needs, your staff should be varied in their talents and abilities. A successful marketing agency needs to have staff members who are experts in the fields of design, copywriting, data analytics, sales, and more.
2. Good Communication
You cannot run a successful marketing campaign without good communication. This pertains to good communication within your team, and also communication with your clients. One important aspect of developing good communication is ensuring that you have a present and personal connection with your team and clients. While so much communication is done digitally, it is important that those digital avenues are building upon established relationships, rather than defining them.
Creativity is what ultimately will make your agency stand out. You need a team of people who think outside the box and push the boundaries. A fresh and original idea will likely win a client over more than any other marketing skill. Does your team keep a lookout for the latest trends and react to those initiatives, or does it set the trends? If you find your team is constantly playing catch-up, it may need some fresh blood.
4. Ability to Execute
A great idea will bring a client in the door, but long-term success will never happen if you fail to execute those ideas. A successful marketing agency has tried-and-true processes in place that allow it to deliver on promises to clients – and to do so within the promised deadline. Clients need to know that they can count on you to deliver results. Is your team all bark and no bite? If so, investing in producers should be a priority.
5. Problem-Solving Skills
No marketing campaign is going to go off without a hitch. It is not the ability to avoid problems that is important to a successful agency, but rather the ability to deal with problems as they develop. It is important to be able to recognize and address problems quickly so that you stay on track with promised deadlines.
6. Strong Online Presence
If you are going to show that you can market another business or product, you need to be able to market yourself. A successful marketing agency will have a strong online presence. You should consistently rank high on search engines and should make a big mark on social media. Any time that you are putting out material about your agency, it should be work that you would be proud to present to your clients.
7. Mastery of Data
The use of big data is a must for marketing agencies. You need to be able to use data management to gain a broader understanding of your client’s audience and customers. This will, of course, include parsing through Google Analytics to find areas in need of improvement, but it will also involve competitor and industry research. What does your client do, and how does this approach differ from its competitors? They’re going to ask you, so you better make sure you have the answer.
8. Global Branding
To be greatly successful, you need to reach a global audience. This does not mean that you need to have physical locations around the world, but you should be able to connect digitally to a worldwide audience. Knowing how customers from around the globe connect with your brand and understanding their digital behaviors, will help you expand your reach and provide clients with a broader customer base.
9. Digital Fluency
A successful marketing agency will meet the various marketing needs of a client, ranging from print to television to social media. Of course, all of these things have a digital connection, so digital fluency is a necessity. You should have a mastery of the latest technology while also anticipating and responding to technological changes as they approach. If your team finds itself scrambling every time that Google releases an update to its search algorithm, you may want to take some time to evaluate why you’re having to constantly change your approach – rather than anticipating what’s coming next.
10. Good Value and Transparent Billing
The bottom line in business almost always comes down to money, so an important trait of a successful marketing agency is value and transparent billing practices. Be upfront about your charges and make the billing process simple so that clients understand exactly what they are getting and for what price. While you don’t have to be the cheapest agency around, you need to offer services at prices that are comparable to other marketing agencies, unless you can demonstrate a clear reason for any pricing discrepancies.
LSI helped Rebecca’s Dream create a well designed and functional website. Our site reflects who we are and the great work we do. It’s easy to use, visually pleasing and modern. LSI has also assisted us with curated content for the website and social media along with newsletter design. They have been responsive, friendly, reliable, creative and supportive to our goals, mission and efforts as a non profit. I would highly recommend LSI.
Kathleen Illes, Executive Director | Rebecca's Dream
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