How to hire a digital marketing agency

Getting marketing support for a small business can be expensive, we discuss what to look for and how to hire a digital marketing agency so you don’t make the mistake of partnering up with the wrong fit for you.

What we will cover

Let’s cut to the chase, When you’re planning how to hire a digital marketing agency for your new website or digital marketing strategy there are three basic routes you could go down:

  • Hiring a freelancer (or several freelancers)
  • Working with a small digital or local web agency
  • Working with a bigger agency

Let’s look at some key things to be aware of so you know how to hire a digital marketing agency.

Why choose a Digital Agency for a small business

You can guess which choice we think you should make so we’re not going to list out the pros and cons of each strategy here. However, these are the advantages you get when you hire a (good) small digital agency:

Less pricey than a large agency

With large digital agencies comes overheads. To compete for the best talent, wages have to be competitive and employers often add company perks into the mix (onsite gymnasiums, pool tables, offsite team activity days,etc.) Anyone want to guess who ultimately pays for that?

You need to make sure you will be a priority and the right fit for your agency, don’t pay over the odds and end up with a lack of support from a bigger agency.

Smaller agencies don’t need to push that boat quite as far out and can therefore offer better rates for their clients. This doesn’t mean there is a sacrifice of talent either. Small web agencies often attract people with experience of working for bigger companies but who prefer the vibe of a smaller team.

Wider set of skills and styles than an individual freelancer

There are many talented freelancers out there but they will all have their own area of specialism. For example, they might have a strong design background, be meticulous coders or excel at social media marketing.

While you could achieve a better skills mix by outsourcing a project to various different freelancers, you then have to play the role of co-ordinator. With an agency, the team managers and collaborative software handle this aspect of the project.

With an agency, each employee will bring their unique set of skills to each project. The end result is a more balanced website or digital marketing approach with each element given full attention.

After all, web designers are aware of the latest trends in design, the most effective content management platforms for different types of business, the best use of colour, font and space to create visual impact, etc. Marketing professionals are adept at managing the engagement with customers that all businesses need to thrive. Copywriters understand how to use words to persuade customers to take specific actions or to convey the tone of a brand, but only by these people regularly being brought together as an agency do you achieve synergy.

You could compare this approach with renovating a house. You could employ a single builder with some skill in each area but you are more likely to be happy with the final result if you get a building contractor in who can orchestrate electricians, carpenters, plumbers and the other trades.

Working with you and your team

The quality of the final product will depend as much on the relationship between your project team and the digital agency involved as it does on the collective skills of the digital agency.

Do you have the budget to pay for all the copy to be re-written for example? If not then find an agency who you form a connection with now, because they may have to politely nudge you for your contribution to the project later down the line.

Choosing what is right for your audience, not you

Be cautious with anyone promising the world or paddling easy answers, a healthy marketing relationship will challenge you think about your business from your customers perspective, it should challenge you to think and do differently.

If your website and marketing is self-serving and based on personal preference rather than what website visitors want. You might be delighted with the appearance of the final product but feel let down when the expected interest doesn’t materialise into new leads or sales which is what you will ultimately judge it by.

Set goals and treat your extended team like “we are all in this together”

As always from our perspective, if you have somewhere you want to get to, then the best way is to do that thinking work and ask frankly if that is realistic to you selected agency. Questions like, “what budget would I need to increase turnover by 10%?” may be far more valuable than “can you make a website that looks like this?”.

Our largest clients work with us closely, treat us like we’re part of the core team, and we all have a collective mentality of setting targets and measuring our progress, with the feeling that it is a shared success when we get there.

Making the Relationship Work for you

So, does that help with how to hire a digital marketing agency? We hope that you or your team get the balance right for your project?

In short, make sure you will be a priority, set goals and truly offer a partnership like you would an employee. If you want a relationship like this with us then check out the Vu Tribe, if the ethos and budget fit then we might be just what you’re looking for.

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