My dad runs his own accounting firm, and has been really successful at it. But he’s one of those people who doesn’t seem to really understand the internet. He’s thought of developing a website, or writing a blog, but information online is really overwhelming to someone who can barely open a text message.
The reality is, the landscape of online marketing is ever changing and evolving. For example, Google launched over 600 improvements to its search algorithm last year, consumers share an average of 27 million pieces of content every day, and there are now more smartphones purchased than computers.
If that wasn’t enough to make my dad’s head spin, there are over a billion people on Facebook, 500 million on Twitter, 300 million on Google+ and 230 million on LinkedIn. It’s no wonder that companies are beginning to consult with digital marketing agencies to help them navigate online, and why finding a credible marketing agency is like a needle in a haystack full of needles. Every agency is the best, and they’re happy to let you know it –12 different ways.
Since I’ve been working at our top notch agency (TopRank Online Marketing) and had a chance to see how one really operates, here are some things any business owner should be looking for in a digital marketing resource to attract and engage more customers. Whether the internet is still a bit of a mystery or you’re a master of your own digital universe, here are what I see as the characteristics of smart, creative agencies that get results.
1). Leveraging Teamwork & Collaboration Internally
Creativity isn’t limited to a person or a position, neither is knowledge. Someone in the agency is bound to be better at the technical aspects of a website, while someone else may demonstrate an affinity for social media, and another still could have a voice that resonates with readers.
Leveraging teamwork allows the agency to pull from all of those pools of knowledge to develop a program that can attract and engage your audience. It has the added bonus of providing more points of contact for you, and creating a higher degree of support for your program.
2). Demonstrating Passion in a Searchable Way
A company whose employees and executives are vocal on the channels they’re trying to convince you to use is extremely important. Their social media presence demonstrates their passion for the industry, can indicate if they’re committed to staying up-to-date, and showcases their real-life knowledge of how digital marketing works.
The more diverse an agency’s presence and the more employees who have established themselves online speaks to the agency’s dedication to education and confidence in their ability to succeed in a digital marketing landscape.
3). Engaging in Constant Contact
It is important to work with an agency that sets expectations in terms of what you can expect from them, and what they expect from you. Follow-ups, frequent meetings and reporting can help make sure all objectives of your program are being met and shows the consultancy’s dedication to your success, not just your check.
An agency that does so is more likely to share relevant industry updates with you, and take the necessary steps to update your program so your online presence stays as relevant, up-to-date and effective as possible.
4). Organizing & Presenting Data
A consultancy that is committed to recording umbrella analytics, as well as the nitty gritty of every page on your site & their relevant keywords, and where your site (and your competitors’) ranks on various search engine won’t matter if that data isn’t translated into a language you understand.
Finding an agency that can convey data in an organized, comprehensive format is essential to understanding your program and how it’s benefiting your business.
5). Maintaining a Diverse Book of Clients
A diverse book of successful clients indicates that an agency is able to understand various industries, appeal to an array of audiences, and tailor their programs to fit your unique needs.
Spending the time to look deeply into what makes agencies tick and evaluate their internal teamwork, organization, and commitment to communication can provide essential insight into how they will treat you as a client. Making sure you choose a digital marketing agency with a strong online presence and diverse book of clients will demonstrate that the agency has the necessary experience and diverse skills to bring success to you and your business.
When you’ve hired outside expertise, what organizational habits did you find to be the best indicators of success?