So you’re ready to partner with a digital marketing agency in St. Louis, MO – Now what?
Where do you even begin looking for that perfect fit? Do you even know the specific marketing services you might need? How do you know which agencies are worth it? Do you ask friends? Do you search Google? Do you fly to Rome, throw a coin into the Trevi fountain, and wish for the answer? (Yes, we highly recommend all the above).
But if you want to find a simple answer from the comfort of your desk, keep reading.
First things first, we are biased. We know our team is great, but you can find great people in agencies across Saint Louis, Missouri and the entire country. We know our team is smart, but you can find smart people in agencies across the country, too. While we’d love to partner with every amazing company we come across, it’s just not possible.
A lot of inbound marketing agencies are recent start-ups, or unproven – so you’ll want to do your due diligence in selecting one. There are also the large, national marketing firms that may handle huge franchise businesses, and don’t have the time for anything smaller than that.
Whether you’re happy with your current marketing agency, haven’t worked with one, or anywhere in between, these are the characteristics that separate the exceptional agencies from the rest.
In any relationship, not knowing what the other person is up to can make you feel a bit uneasy. The same is true of your relationship with your marketing agency. There should be clear communication about expectations, goals, problems, and every aspect of their work.
A great partner will also be honest with you and tell you what the best strategy is for your business, even if that’s not something that’s in their wheelhouse. Need a video produced for a commercial? A great digital agency will give introduce you to the best video production team they know, even if it’s out-of-house.
If you’re hesitant to discuss something with your agency partner, that’s a red flag.
Generally, there are many marketing solutions that should be able to get you to where you want to be, but you want to start with the simplest, easiest solutions first and then go from there.
When it comes to digital marketing, prices are flexible, so be wary of strict contracts and how much any agency “takes off the top.” You should definitely receive budget estimates and a list of services provided, but after you sign off on expenditures, your agency should continue to clearly communicate how much they’re spending and why.
Marketing campaigns can be complicated, but your advertising agency should be able to break things down in a way that makes sense to you. If they aren’t able to explain their marketing plans clearly to you, then you may have a problem. Whether you are focused on lead generation, customer retention or just overall visibility – your marketing company should be able to help you find a solution.
Your marketing agency is an extension of your business, so they should be as concerned with spending your budget efficiently as you are.
Credibility and Experience
All agencies can talk the talk, but only the ones worth your time can walk the walk. Your agency should have a wealth of knowledge when it comes to all aspects of marketing. Additionally, your agency should have experience to back their knowledge up. If an agency has direct experience in your industry, great! If not, don’t be alarmed. Instead, ask how they would approach the new subject matter and judge accordingly.
Your marketing company should always develop a specific, unique marketing strategy that fits your business’ personal needs. Don’t look for a “one-size-fits-all” approach! At Digital Strike, each of our clients has their own, specially-designed digital strategy, which we use to achieve the specific results YOU care about.
In fact, the best agencies don’t necessarily specialize in one industry, but rather adapt and challenge traditional industry approaches. They take lessons from each client and apply that knowledge to future strategies.
That’s the kind of experience you want from a partner.
Another thing to consider are references and portfolios. Does your marketing agency have a few website designs that they can show you? Can you log on to these sites and check out the user experience? If this was your business website, would you be able to impress potential customers?
Are they able to prove that they’ve provided ROI boosts for previous clients? Be sure to ask as many questions you can to make sure your agency is legit.
The best digital marketing agencies are run by teams of smart people that love marketing, technology, and learning. Not only will they want to learn cutting-edge technology that can help your business, but they’ll also want to learn about your business’s unique challenges and industry practices.
You should feel confident that your business is in the hands of a savvy team that values your business as an in-house employee would.
If you already have a healthy relationship with your marketing agency, we guarantee you know it already. An agency partner should make your life easier, make marketing fun, and increase your business leads. Great agencies are full of unapologetic marketing nerds who are ready to tackle SEO (search engine optimization), PPC, web design/web development, content marketing, graphic design, social media marketing, and anything else you can think of.
As a small business, marketing is vital to success, and your agency partner should be a seamless fit. Any worthwhile relationship takes time, experiences trials, and involves a lot of personal growth. Building a healthy relationship with the right digital agency will take time, but we promise, it will be life-changing.
Want to see what it’s like to work with a great agency for yourself? Contact us today and learn why Digital Strike might be exactly what you’re looking for.