We are a boutique digital marketing agency based in San Antonio. Our digital services include SEO, PPC and web design. Call (888) 427-2178.
Step 1 - Have clear goals for your digital marketing.
Have some S.M.A.R.T. goals that you can discuss with your digital marketing agency. "Smart" goals are specific, measurable, attainable, relevant and time-based. Having goals such as "I need more leads", or "I need more traffic to my website" are not specific enough. Your agency should be able to help you craft your objectives into digital marketing Smart Goals, such as "I would like to rank for 5-10 keywords in my industry in the next 6-12 months", or "I would like to get 30 leads per month for $100 or less per lead" are great examples. A good agency will be able to tell you if these goals are realistic, or "attainable".
Step 2 - Be prepared to discuss a budget range.
Companies looking for digital marketing agencies sometimes avoid budget questions early in the process. This leads to potential over-engineered solutions to your marketing problems, and can cause sticker shock on the first pass of the proposal. Getting multiple proposals from agencies without a budget is going to result in multiple scopes and prices making it very difficult to compare "apples to apples". Instead, give your agency prospects a budget, or budget range, and let them build the scope. It's easier to compare scopes that are all the same price, versus different scopes at all different prices.
Step 3 - Look for core values, and make sure problem solving is one of them.
Find an agency that aligns with your core values, that way you will both be on the same page when it comes to how to approach your problem. Digital marketing is rife with difficult problems that need to be solved, from analytics and tracking issues, to why are my ads not converting, to why your organic traffic fell off a cliff. The best digital marketing agencies are those who approach problems differently, and have a methodical plan to reach the solution.
Step 4 - Find experts with a wide range of experiences.
It will be tempting to bring on an a digital agency with a specialty only in your vertical. They typically deploy a myriad of tactics out of a standard playbook developed for your industry. The question becomes, what original thinking or strategy are you getting for your company? Are you getting more than a templated website with copy and pasted content, or replicated ad campaigns? Look for a digital firm that has a wide variety of campaign experience, a high-level of business acumen, and a mindset where strategy drives the solutions, and analytics drives the decisions.
Step 5 - Require transparency and data ownership.
Many digital agencies will set up your accounts and turn-key the whole process for you. The client writes one check to pay for everything. Fast-forward a year or two, and you decide you want to change agencies, and you quickly find out you're stuck. You don't own the analytics, you don't own the ad campaign, history or account structure, and you may not even own your website or landing pages. To leave means starting over. Make sure this doesn't happen to you by demanding ownership of the analytics, ad accounts, hosting and website files.
Step 6 - Choose based on value, not price.
Before you make your final decision on a digital marketing agency, you'll want to determine the value of the proposal you have. If the agency can solve your problem, what is the value to your business? What high-value items is the agency adding to the scope at no extra cost? Are you working with industry veterans, or rookies? Are you being sold things you don't need? These are questions that can help you assess the value of the proposal and compare other bids.