As per the latest Digital 2019 report by Hootsuite and We Are Social, on average, internet users spend 6 hours and 42 minutes online each day, with a total of 4.39 billion internet users in 2019.
Undoubtedly, these massive numbers indicate a huge potential for businesses to include digital marketing into their overall marketing strategy.
Often, it may not be feasible for a company or business to do online promotion by themselves, and the need to outsource it to a digital marketing agency arises. However, before selecting the right service provider, one has to be careful about a lot of factors.
Let’s take a look at some of these essential factors as below:
The first & most important step is to ask yourself a few questions like
Q1) Is digital marketing really needed now?
Q2) If yes, how do you plan to do it (through SEO, SMM, PPC, etc.)
Q3) Can you do it in-house, or do you need to outsource it, or will be it a mix of the two?
Q4) What will be your KPI’s?
Q5) What’s your expected budget & how do you plan to take care of it?
Only after doing a sound cost-benefit analysis of the above questions, should you decide to move any further.
About the Agency:
With so many digital marketing agencies in India, how do you select the right one that fits you? The answer lies in conducting a thorough research. Below are some of the points you should check.
How did you come to know about the agency? Was it through word of mouth or from the Internet? How reliable is the source according to you?
Visit the various online platforms where the agency is present, starting from its website to its social media channels to its reviews on Google business listing.
On the website, check out their loading speed, their website layout, its user-friendliness, colors used, quality of Images, Content (quality, grammar, value addition), mobile-friendliness of the website, customer testimonials, etc. You will get to know a lot about the agency by doing this only.
With respect to their social media, check out the number of platforms where they exist, their activity status, engagement level, frequency of posting, number of followers & customer reviews on each of it.
Offline Customer Reviews:
If possible, connect with 1-2 of their clients to know more about the company.
Checdk with the agency about their experience and background of their professionals.
Do they have specialization in one field or many? Do they cover all the things that you need for your digital marketing efforts or not?
Get to know about their total client base, the different industries that they currently cater to, and if they can provide any client case studies.
Trust & Transparency:
This is one of the most significant factors in the success of any project. The agency should maintain regular communication with their clients at all times and should be transparent in their actions.
Simultaneously, to be successful in your digital marketing efforts, you should be willing enough to share explicitly as much relevant information as possible with the agency. You should tell them about your goals (what exactly you are looking from the agency), time frame, budget, your business, your competitors, your customers, your industry, in general. All this is just to ensure that they understand your problem & can provide the required solution accordingly.
Every business is different. On top of that, no two companies in the same industry are the same. Hence, the agency should also endeavor to come out with a customized solution for your problem. An agency that undertakes a standard approach might not prove to be that effective at the end of the day.
Moreover, once they put their plan into practice, they also need to constantly monitor, measure and keep optimizing to achieve the best results.
Your budget will vary according to your willingness & the phase that your business is going through. But if you are serious about your digital marketing efforts, you should not reduce it to a level that you are left with hiring a sub-standard agency as this could negatively impact your brand image.
Additionally, you should always have a copy of an agreement, signed by both parties, with you. This will establish, in writing, the terms that both the parties have mutually agreed upon (For example, the scope of work, service charges, etc.) & will also act as binding in case anyone defaults.
This goes without saying that the agency should be up to date with the latest trends & practices in digital marketing.
If you are still unsure whether you have chosen the right agency or not, it’s better to ask them to work for a short trial period (1-2 months) before finalizing them. Doing so, you will get to know a lot about them like:
Q1) Is their approach towards the work professional or not?
Q2) How is their Service Quality?
Q3) Do they deliver on time?
Q4) Are they organized?