13 Questions to ask Before you Hire a Digital Marketing Firm
Part of making important investments is forking out some money to hire professionals.
That’s the aim of moving forward, especially when such professionals help you gain some viable solutions. More so, if you’re trying to establish a digital, future-reaching presence in any market.
To that end, hiring a digital marketing firm or company is a masterstroke. Mind you, you can’t just hire any firm straight off the bat.
Hiring a digital marketing company is a major decision that could have a positive or negative bearing on your business.
You have to tread carefully in this direction because not every firm will take your business goals as you do.
Asking questions (of any nature) is a major part of the process. After all, you’re parting with your hard-earned money, and if you’re on a budget, it’s all the more necessary to inquire about the firm.
You’ve got things to learn about including lead generation, content strategy, account management, and much more.
We have taken pains to bring you some of the most popular and invaluable questions to ask Before you hire a digital marketing firm. Please read on!
1) Who is Managing my Account?
This question is pretty much one of, if not the first question you need to ask. That’s because, in the digital marketing world, a dedicated account manager is the individual that goes beyond customer service.
They are your brand’s confidant and tell you what strategies work best.
They also know your marketing goals and objectives by heart. Also, they will actively work to make sure they implement all your ideas or tasks to the highest standards.
Your go-to person
Are you interested in increasing your website traffic or getting your blog strategy right?
Know who’s managing your account because they can help you figure out the best possible ways to spend your marketing dollars.
Your account manager should be a strategic partner you can trust and count on during the duration of the contract.
2) Is any part of my Work Getting outsourced?
Outsourced work doesn’t necessarily come off as better or worse. Moreover, many companies have a strong in-house team with contract employees that can help pick up the pace during peak seasons.
Also, outsourcing may aid in more affordable pricing for your business.
The fact is having a couple of experts on standby or a network is smart business practice. It will make your business feel more covered and accounted for.
To that end, go ahead to ask the agency if outsourcing costs you more.
3) What services do you offer and what can you do Perfectly?
The digital marketing firm you choose should be well-rounded and versatile in all major proficiencies.
It also means that they probably have what they’re perfect at. Web development and design, social media strategy, hosting, SEO, copywriting, and branding are some services of a well-rounded team.
A good team will also have all their major services flowing seamlessly together. That way, your brand gets the results it deserves.
Settling for one company
It’s great to stick with one company and you should aim to do so. With multiple firms, you’ll experience a lot of inconsistencies.
Sticking to one also means they can focus on all the aspects that are fundamental to your business.
4) What’s the Best Turnaround Time on Projects?
When you hire any person or firm to do a job, the time span is important. What you want is to partner with a company that puts your time first.
As a busy professional yourself, the firm you hire should be able to make the burden of time feel lighter, not heavier.
How long can you wait to get served your digital orders? A company that gives you a time frame and sticks to it, is highly recommended.
Company’s that may go past the due date should be prepared to compensate accordingly.
5) Do you Have Client References?
This is another question you shouldn’t miss and should come in quickly. References are essential to any business’ credibility.
Also, people are always going to make inquiries about previous jobs done, and the kind of treatments clients received.
In line with that, take a long look at the firm’s work, their clients, and what they were able to accomplish.
You should also be interested in the duration of some relationships with their clients, and the Kind of marketing projects they worked on together.
Another way you can go about this is by reading their case studies and online posts featuring prior clients.
6) How Does my Business Compare to the Rest of Your Clients?
Seriously, the firm you choose should have existing clients. At least, that provides some proof of their ability.
However, if the first answer to your question is “What other clients?” run for it.
Depending on their answer, you’ll know whether to proceed or turn somewhere else.
If the contact reeks you you’re going to be their biggest client, ask these follow up questions:
- What kind of service should I look on to?
- How are they prepared to meet your needs?
- Will they seek help from another digital marketing firm?
They are legit questions even if there’s nothing wrong with being their biggest client.
But if your brand is worth millions in annual revenue and the urge locally owned or a small firm, you’d want to know how they can deliver.
Big digital firms
If the agency deals with major companies running into millions in revenue, you’re a smaller business, ensure your account is just as important as other clients.
Get to know if your business will have its own account manager. Besides that, consider if the agency is prepared to work with your budget.
If you’re not sure or get some negative feelers, don’t feel forced to do engage them.
7) How will you Measure Results and ROI?
The success of a marketing campaign often seems like a very difficult thing to measure.
To that end, how do you measure concepts like brand awareness, attitude toward your brand, or how many people like your content?
The answer isn’t far-fetched. With analytics, it’s possible to have perfect results and answers.
That’s why a good digital marketing firm will have all the necessary tools and skills to measure key performance indicators (KPIs).
That includes things like the number of unique visitors to your site and your bounce rate.
If you thoughtfully hire a reputable company, they will do well to work closely with you to identify the KPIs that are relevant to your marketing goals.
Then they’ll go-ahead to apply such results and drive progress and inform future campaigns.
Your marketing goal
If you have a goal to raise your CEO’s reputation as a leader in your industry, the perfect KPI to track would be inbound links.
You’ll get to know how many other sites are linking to your content. Another one to check is the specific conversion rate.
You’ll learn how many people come to the site and sign up for your newsletter.
If the top thing you want is brand awareness for your products, the relevant KPIs might be more social media-oriented.
Part of the process includes Facebook likes, retweets, Twitter mentions, and other measures of what people are saying about your product.
You want the truth
Let your digital marketing firm have a transparent attitude to measuring your KPIs.
If things don’t go as planned, they can always shift tactics or directions.
8) Will you work With me to Set and Achieve my Goals?
Without mincing words, the best digital marketing firms are strategic partners.
As such, they have a definition of marketing that includes an expansive and inclusive experience.
That’s why it’s okay to grant them the ability to brainstorm and tackle your business conundrums, even beyond generating leads and getting conversions.
All geared towards your goals
The thing is, every deliverable should relate back to your company’s goals and expectations. Every action item must reinforce your vision.
What you want at all times and intervals, is a firm pulling in the same direction as you. Before hiring anyone, check for signs of alignment from the beginning.
9) What’s Your Process for Building Audience Personas?
You can get the best or most perfect team out there to execute your ideas.
However, not even the best digital marketing firm can deliver without connecting to your audience.
Not only connecting with them, but also in a meaningful and inspiring way.
Important audience personas
There are many ways to create personas. Also, you’ve for a vast variety of tools to do so. HubSpot, Sendinblue, and others are some of the platforms to help do that.
But the firm you hire should have the perfect persona strategies for your digital marketing plans.
Helping them out
The fact is that you know and understand your audience better than anyone else even if you don’t realize it yet.
That’s why developing your audience personas should be a partnership between you and your marketing firm.
If you come across a digital marketing agency willing to do it on their own, they’re not the right fit for you.
10) Which Marketing Software are They Specialized in?
Like we mentioned up there, the firm you select has much software to choose from. If you already use one and want to switch, ask them which one they specialize in.
For example, HubSpot is a very popular inbound marketing software with a CRM.
It also carries built-in automation and ranks its 2,050+ partner agencies based on different tiers.
You need a firm that’s great with different platforms and seasoned with at least one.
11) Do They Have More Arrows in Their Quiver or Just one?
Versatility is often an understated trait. But it’s one of the most important deciding factors.
Marketing doesn’t work in a vacuum and thrives via a combination of disciplines and capabilities.
One, many, or nothing
Every firm is better at some things than others. However, to have your marketing efforts well-rounded and potent, your agency should have a group of proficiencies at its disposal.
Totally avoid hiring a one-trick pony. Seek out a quiver with many arrows.
12) How do you generate new ideas?
Sure, they have ways of setting things up. However, this question is more than you can imagine.
You want ideas that don’t turn out bad. Also, the firm should have a host of plans, especially for long-term engagements.
Ready to act
Any digital marketing firm worth their name should have a go-to process or exercise to create ideal plans.
To that end, they should be able to set up a meeting or conference and explain how they’re going to go about putting their ideas together.
Remember, let it be a cross-pollination of ideas between you and the firm.
Ideas and plans should be based on:
- The ability to execute plans, particularly if it’s going to need a handful of experts like writers or tech professionals.
- The impact probability ratio to capture ideas within stated times of actualization.
13) What’s the Format for Meetings?
What should be the ideal time to meet? This point flows from the previous one because, after ideas and planning, both sides need to meet to execute them. Ask the digital marketing firm how meetings are planned and arranged.
What you prefer also matters. Do you like holding a video conference meeting, having simple calls, or physical meetings?
If you’re going for videos, which video conferencing platform do you use? What you pick must have a convenient ring to it.
Whatever the case, proximity is an important factor to consider.
Let the firm you pick have an office that’s easy to reach, especially for potential in-person meetings.
14) How Available do I Need to be?
For a raft of key decisions, policies, and implementation, you’ll need to be present.
The fact is many people often have to ask the digital marketing firm whether they’ll be available to respond to their calls and emails.
However, flip things around to know how much time you’re willing to devote to the project. Moreover, you may have to approve lists, designs, and content.
Get involved with the process
Hiring a digital marketing firm isn’t all there is to it. You also have to play a role in account management, too.
Even if you’re too busy approving designs and collaborating on projects, get someone else on your team who you trust to coordinate a major part of the communication.
15) What Role do Backlinks Play in your Campaign strategy?
If you’re familiar with a good part of the process, you’ll know that backlink strategies are tricky. Why? They’re both time and labor-intensive.
For the most part, they’re also totally out of your control. It’s not possible to force a prominent web authority to link to your content.
However, some outreach companies try to force this process and subsequently send a negative signal to Google. This is bad business.
As such you need to question their link-building strategies. In the meantime, you can get the ball rolling and build rich backlinks that point to your content.
Set it off
You can always get the ball rolling and integrate a backlinking strategy. All you have to do is prioritize the process of acquiring backlinks along with the firm you choose.
As such, you will help your company increase its visibility and rankings for organic searches. That’s still one of Google’s key ranking signals.
Backlinks are more like upvotes from other companies to show that your content is informative and helpful.
For other sites to cite you as an authority, your content must be both superlative and relevant to theirs.
The more you get, the merrier. Besides that, you’ve got many ways to go about integrating a backlinking strategy.
You can try these tips:
- Broken link building. This involves finding outdated 404 pages, emailing the blog or content linking to the error before doing a piece of thought leadership written by your rand that’s is relevant to replace that link.
- Getting to create a high-quality and well-designed infographic. It provides another avenue to build and increase your backlinking profile. Besides, infographics are ranked at the top for content generating links.
- Getting signed on Haro will also save you the time you might have spent on email outreach. Another exciting perk with Haro is that it gets journalists to come to you.
16) Do you Advocate for Short or Long-form Blog Posts?
For a while, the inbound marketing debate whether to produce short-form (300 – 1,000 words) or long-form (1,000 – 3,000) content rages on.
They both have their advantages and disadvantages. For example, short-form content helps you to increase your posting frequency and keeps you top of mind.
On the other hand, long-form content has been proven to increase your chances of making it to the coveted first page of Google.
The power of rankings
Rankings are powerful and the post that ranks well for a high-traffick keyword has more pulling power than five posts that have never gotten out there.
As such, beware of short posts with no meaning. Don’t be too eager to tick a box over creating content your audience will love.
It’s our hope that you find these questions helpful. They should guide you towards a successful, collaborative relationship with your next digital marketing agency.
Depending on the peculiarly of your business and plans, go ahead to ask a raft of them