Are you planning to hire a digital marketing agency this year? Here’s what I’ve learned from working on thousands of projects that can help set you up for success.
1. Talk Amongst Yourselves
One of the first things to do is to brainstorm internally about what you want from your marketing agency. You’ll be looking at areas like:
- in-house capabilities
- strategic goals – this is important!
- whether you have buy-in from the right people (you don’t want your strategy to fail later because you didn’t get all the necessary approvals)
Think about who will take responsibility for managing your relationship with the agency. It helps to have a main point of contact and someone with the final say, in case of issues later.
If your business is multi-faceted, divvy up the areas of responsibility before you talk to the agency. That will avoid wasting time when the agency sends you content for approval.
The bottom line: sort out internal issues and minor turf wars in advance so you present a united and coherent front right from the start. That’s less confusing for everyone and will result in a smoother working relationship
2. Prepare a Brief
Share your thoughts on strategy with the agency, making it clear which points are hard-wired and which are available for their input. This will help the agency to come up with a digital marketing strategy tailored to your business. Expect some back and forth before you nail down the strategy.
3. Foster Collaboration
Marketing is a collaborative effort. You know your business and some of the ideas you want to communicate; the agency knows marketing and can help flesh out your thoughts. Help the agency by providing background information and context so they can do a better job when creating content for you.
Don’t make the agency beg for new info; keep them in the loop! Let internal content producers know it’s ok to share information which the agency can drip feed to your social media profiles and blog. Work together and you can create a great online profile for your business and enhance its authority.
4. Communicate Often
Especially at the start, spend some time working with the agency so you can identify any issues. Respond to emails promptly because in this time-pressured social environment, delays can make content less relevant and downright boring. It’s worth setting up regular phone or video meetings or face to face chats to keep the strategy on track.
5. Trust the Agency
I get it: your company is your baby and sometimes it’s hard to let go. But when the agency communicates issues, listen and act. The best digital marketers are experts at what they do, have worked with dozens or hundreds of businesses, and are always willing to put that expertise to work for you.
Think of your digital marketing agency as a trusted nanny who will look after your business as if it were their own. After all, a good recommendation from you means more business for them.
6. Be Realistic
Keep your expectations manageable. No agency in the world can guarantee a top three Google ranking in a couple of months, or thousands of followers for your social accounts overnight. What they can guarantee, especially if you use their expertise, is more attention for and awareness of your company. More attention means more leads – you’ll have to take it from there to convert those leads into sales.
Put these tips into action and you can have a beautiful working relationship with your digital marketing agency, executing a strategy to put your company on the map.
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