If your business has grown or changed and you’re looking to outsource your marketing, it can be a daunting time. There are so many “experts” out there, and the cold calling and spam emailing from digital agencies is at an all-time high. So where do you start?
Choosing the right agency is just as important as choosing the right employee – they will become a part of your business, so they need to be the right fit. You want an agency that can focus on long term strategies and help you take your business to the next level. Avoid the sweeping statements, buzzwords and larger than life promises – follow our top tips and you’ll be well on your way to hiring the perfect agency.
- Test the chemistry
If you’ve checked out an agency’s website and socials and like the look of what they do, pick up the phone. Appearances can be deceiving so it’s always best to actually speak to someone at the agency to get an idea of who you’ll be working with. Remember, if you do choose to work with them, that agency will become an extension of your business, so you want to make sure you click! See what kind of conversation you have with them – are they actively listening, are they suggesting ideas, are they asking the right questions? You should get a good gut feel from an initial chat that you can’t always get from an email.
- Ask questions
Even if you think you know what you want – ie some Facebook advertising – always ask the opinion of the agency and see what they recommend. It’s at this point they can really showcase their knowledge and perhaps come up with other ideas and longer-term strategies to help solve your problem. This kind of open conversation is always a good sign the agency is invested in the success of their work. From their responses, you’ll also be able to gauge if they really understand your business and your objectives, which is key to success!
- Outline what you need and expect
Be open and honest about what you want and why you want it. Don’t just say you want to outsource your social media; explain what challenges you’re having and what you want to achieve. That may be lack of strategy, lack of time, no content marketing plan, needing a social selling strategy etc. The more information you can give, the better the agency should be able to tailor a solution that will really fit. This kind of chat may also uncover things that the agency can’t do, and a good agency should tell you that at this stage.
- Find out what they can deliver
As about deliverables. How often do the agency report, what KPIs do they normally work to, how often can you expect to hear from them etc. Getting an understanding of what you can expect from them is always a good place to start. They should be honest about what they can and can’t achieve – so if you have a limited budget, the agency should be managing your expectations about what’s a realistic outcome.
Whilst digital marketing can pretty much be done from anywhere, and especially in these COVID times, using a local agency isn’t always essential. However, if you prefer the hands-on approach, chatting through ideas over a coffee and having face to face monthly meetings, you might prefer to use a local agency. Check out where the team are located and ask about their willingness to catch up in person once you start working together.
- Case studies
Ask to take a look at some case studies from some of their previous work. An agency should be able to give you examples of their past work, demonstrating experience in either your industry or a comparable campaign. You want your agency to have solid technical experience and if possible, experience in your industry.
If you’re feeling ready to go ahead with your agency, ask if you could speak to a couple of past clients or associates they’ve previously worked with. An agency worth their salt should have a few people that would be willing to chat about their past experiences. This is your chance to find out how the agency is to work with, did the get back to enquiries quickly, were they adaptive and helpful etc.
Once you’ve done the above, you should feel more confident about hiring an agency to work alongside your business. Now the fun can begin!
If you’re looking to work with an agency to amplify your social media presence, create a solid social media and content marketing strategy, or overhaul your copywriting, get in touch today. We’re more than happy to do all of the above and love getting to know our new potential clients!