What to look for when hiring a digital marketing agency

There are many reasons a business might consider hiring a digital marketing agency. When it comes to online marketing, even larger businesses can come unstuck creating marketing campaigns and optimising their online presence.

These struggles often come down to several common reasons, those being:

  • Not enough time to commit
  • Not enough money to put into marketing
  • Not enough knowledge to make the marketing effective
  • Not enough resources or manpower to consistently maintain marketing

Whatever the reason, partnering with an agency can easily remedy any of the above complaints, whether you’re completely outsourcing your digital marketingor complimenting a smaller, in-house team. But what should you look for when it comes to hiring the perfect digital marketing agency?

Planning your digital marketing strategy

First things first. Before you start scouring the web for the perfect agency, consider what you actually want to achieve. Web marketing is essentially a game of trial and error, seeing which combinations work and which don’t. This means you need to set a couple of achievable and realistic goals.

The best services that digital marketing agencies provide

Secondly, you need to find a agency that’s well suited to helping you meet these goals. If you’re looking to improve your social media engagement for instance, working with a company that only deals in web design might not be the wisest move.

A few fast-moving areas of digital marketing that many companies need help with include:

Content Marketing

A practice that is constantly evolving as new devices and features require users to adapt.

Search Engine Marketing

Potentially the most volatile area of digital marketing, search engines are constantly changing the rules, making optimisation a full-time job.

Email Marketing

Email Marketing requires a large level of resources to not only stay consistent but relevant. While it requires a large amount of set-up, it also needs constant maintenance that you might not be able to provide.

Social Media

As mentioned before, social platforms are always updating their timeline and feed algorithms, on top of changing formatting and available features. Obviously, social media also needs to be manned to provide a level of quality, consistent, content.

Look at what you need to achieve and find the right match for you. Some digital agencies will offer a full stack of services while some will be more specialised. Consider every option in relation to your goals.

Signs you should not trust a digital marketing agency


So, we know why we’re looking for a digital agency and we know how to get off to a good start. What about the red flags we should be looking for?

It’s true of digital marketing as any industry that while the vast majority of companies are knowledgeable, reliable and effective, there are exceptions to the rule. While you’re searching for your perfect digital agency, it can be a good idea to consider some of the following warning signs you might see.

No track record/previous examples of digital marketing success

It’s important to know that the agency you’re working with has the experience and the knowledge to successfully push and optimise your marketing. If you find an agency with no examples of previous work, case studies or even prior clients, be wary.

Poor performing websites/little to no social media activity

The marketing agency that you choose needs to be able to practice what they preach. If their website performs badly or runs sluggishly, you’re not going to want them designing one for your business. Likewise, little to no social media activity can show an issue with a more individual aspect of marketing.

Over-exaggerated expectations/poor communication

This final red flag takes into account the communication from the agency you have in mind. If you’re consulting with a digital marketing company and they guarantee to get you to the top of Google straight away, be careful! Look to partner with agencies that can offer ambitious but realistic goals.

Best Questions to Ask a Potential Digital Marketing Agency


So, you’re finally at the stage to start considering potential agencies. It’s important that the relationship gets off to a good start in terms of communication so with this in mind we’ve listed several important questions to consider asking potential agencies.

How do they measure success? What reporting do they use?

One of the most important things to consider is the reporting process. You need to ensure your partnered agency can deliver accurate updates efficiently and concisely, after all, you want to know how your hard-earned money is performing.

What is their specialisation? Does this meet your goals?

As we mentioned earlier in the post, don’t be afraid to ask the company what they specialise in or whether they offer a full-service agency experience. While it might seem counter-intuitive, having a few different specialist agencies collaborating might provide more success than a single jack-of-all-trades agency. It’s vital to establish the synergy between the agency and your goals so get it out of the way quickly.

How do they handle meetings? Do they give regular communication?

Strong communication is the most important part of the client/agency relationship. It’s a great idea to establish regular meetings or a method of communication that works for both parties. If you prefer face to face meetings, now is the time to find an agency that can come out to visit you.

What are contract terms and how does payment work? What are my cancellation options?

This speaks for itself. Once you’re in the know and happy with the terms, you’ll feel much more comfortable getting to work on your campaign.

Do they have a client portfolio? Can they use that to offer a ROI expectation?

If they can they show you past campaigns that were successful and have examples within your industry to offer a ROI expectation, you can trust they have the experience to guide your digital marketing efforts.

At this point, you should have a fairly good idea of how the agency works and how that fits with your goals. Online Marketing is quickly becoming vital for both growth and success, while expertise is obviously always favoured.

Remember to keep in your specific needs. Once you’ve found an agency that understands your goals, matches the services you need and is compatible with your brand, you’re underway.

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