A great digital marketing agency can do wonders for your business. But with more creative agencies popping up all the time, how do you know if a digital marketing agency is really as great as they claim to be?
Here are five qualities to help you spot a great digital marketing agency:
1. A Kick-Ass Website
Any good digital marketing agency should have a current and up-to-date website. If they are using good SEO practices, you should be able to find them easily on Google by searching for their core services and their geographic area. Their website should be modern and engaging, and have all the key elements of an effective inbound marketing strategy: an active blog, responsive design, intuitive navigation, and effective conversion strategy with calls to action, etc.
2. A Powerhouse Team
A great digital marketing agency is made up of a team of diverse talents and expertise. Check out their team—can you see them online? A great agency will be proud of their team and will put them front and center. They should be a multi-disciplined team, with unique experts in their respective fields—design, development, SEO, content strategy, social media, brand development, etc. Is the owner or founders involved, and are they accessible to you?
3. Tools — And The Expertise To Use Them
They’re set up with tools to get job done, and the experience to know how to use them. Ask what they use for project management, and what their team uses to measure website performance and SEO (Google Analytics, Moz, Hubspot), inbound marketing (Hubspot, Marketo), social media analytics (Sprout Social, Hubspot), email marketing (MailChimp, Constant Contact, Hubspot), CRM (Salesforce, and did we mention Hubspot?), etc. Vital is a Hubspot Partner Agency but we are also a Moz shop with a Moz Pro subscription and we also subscribe to Sprout Social, Salesforce, and Marketo. But any agency should be comfortable with all these tools— they should also know when they can and should ignore them. Many tools use analytics to judge content or data based on averages, but seasoned marketers will know from experience that thinking outside the tools can put you on the cutting edge and reap much greater results.
4. Relevant Experience
Take a look at their messaging and how they talk about themselves—do they speak your language? Do they address your needs? Check out their portfolio for experience with clients of your size (will they think you are too small or too big a client?), and even within your industry (will they be familiar with your challenges and experienced in solving them?). When you meet with them, is their presentation tailored to your needs—have they done their homework?
5. A Culture You Can Hang With
Your digital marketing agency will be working closely with you and your team for a long time, if all goes well. So it’s important that their culture jibes with yours. This is a much more subjective aspect to measure, but is nonetheless important. Does the team have extracurricular interests that they talk about on their website? Do they look like they are having fun when you meet with them in person? Chances are, if they have fun together, they work well together—and will work better together for YOU.
Choosing a digital marketing agency can seem overwhelming, but it can also be a fun process. Do your homework, ask around, and you’ll find the one that proves that they are the best for you. And if you have any questions, we’re always here to chat—find us on Twitter or send us a note.