5 Questions to Ask Before You Hire a Digital Marketing Agency

Imagine leading a marketing department where you and your team are responsible for a wide variety of marketing efforts across the organization. You’re in a busy season and struggling to meet deadlines because your small team is spread thin and details are falling through the cracks. On top of meetings and endless emails, you’re finding it especially difficult to stay on top of important digital marketing projects like blogs, email newsletters, social media posts and optimized website content.

You make an effort to recruit an additional marketing position, but you aren’t getting any applicants with the exact digital marketing skills you need to round out your team. You also don’t have time to train your current team on technical skills like SEO, schema, content marketing techniques and user experience research, because they’re too busy trying to keep up.

The business doesn’t stop just because you’re short-handed, so you do what you can with your current team and resources, but your analytics reveal that your digital marketing strategies are becoming more and more ineffective. You simply can’t keep up with all the search engine updates, digital trends and social media best practices.

If this scenario sounds familiar, it might be a sign you need to hire a digital marketing agency that can provide specialized expertise and implement technical digital marketing strategies. They can also help gather and interpret important analytics and data points in order to help you meet and exceed business goals. We’ll discuss some of the benefits of working with a digital agency and share our top questions you should ask when selecting a marketing agency to help with your digital strategies.

5 Signs You Need to Hire a Digital Marketing Agency

1. Your Marketing Team is Struggling to Meet Deadlines

If you have a talented marketing department that is consistently struggling to meet deadlines, that may be a sign that your business is growing! It might be the perfect time to look outside your company for some additional digital marketing expertise.

2. You’re Thinking About Hiring Another Marketing Team Member

Many companies think the best solution for getting help with the marketing workload is to add to their marketing team, and that may be true! But partnering with a digital marketing agency might be a better choice, especially if you’re looking for help with specific digital efforts. Working with a digital marketing agency means hiring a whole team of digital marketing experts instead of just one marketing professional with a limited skill set. Even with all the extra resources, the right agency partnership will simply feel and function as an extension of your in-house marketing team.

3. You Need Specialized Expertise

Oftentimes, a marketing department does a great job handling traditional and most digital marketing strategies. However, when it comes to more technical digital efforts, such as search engine optimization or UX research, you’ll start to see the benefit of working with a digital marketing agency. Digital marketers are experts on these topics, and they also invest time in learning about the latest digital trends and industry best practices.

4. You Need More Useful Data and Reports

There is almost no limit to data collection with digital marketing. Marketers at a digital agency will use data and analytics to help you get more leads, track conversions and test different campaigns in order to figure out what strategies produce the best results and the best return on investment. Because they look at analytics on a daily basis, the experts at a digital agency will be able to pull insights most casual users never knew existed.

5. You Need a Better Understanding of Your Audience

From attending conferences to obtaining numerous certifications, digital marketers constantly acquire specialized expertise about the ever-changing digital world, especially when it comes to understanding online users and target audiences. Digital marketing has evolved to support specific targeting options, and hiring a digital agency can help you navigate promotional targeting best practices.

Top 5 Questions to Ask When Selecting a Digital Marketing Agency

Trusting an outside and unfamiliar team to help with your digital marketing endeavors is a big commitment. Before you dive into contracts, expectations and strategies, remember these questions to ask when selecting a marketing agency to help with your digital efforts:

1. What expertise does your digital marketing team have that sets you apart?

Most marketing agencies will differentiate themselves by offering unique services or specific digital marketing offerings. When you are looking to hire a digital marketing agency, be sure to ask them if they have any specialties, such as video production, social media management, web development or content marketing. You’ll reap more benefits when working with a digital marketing agency whose speciality aligns with your business’s marketing needs.

2. How often can I expect to hear from my agency?

There’s nothing worse than being ghosted by a company you just hired. Having an agency contact ignore your emails is enough to make anyone want to dump that agency and find one that’s more responsive. Contact may vary, but it’s important to work with a digital marketing agency team that stays in touch on a regular basis.

Every client is different, so there’s no prescription for a certain amount of communication. In our book, consistency and clear expectations are key. At Blue Compass, our clients have a designated Account Executive who acts as their clients’ main point of contact and is readily available. Your designated contact should stay in touch via phone, email and in-person meetings.

3. How will I know if I’m achieving my marketing goals?

Some agencies implement digital strategies for clients, and then let the campaign run its course for the duration of the contract. One of the benefits of working with a digital marketing agency is having a team of experts constantly reviewing data and optimizing strategies in order to achieve the best possible results. We believe digital trends and best practices are constantly changing and evolving, and we know it’s important to help clients adjust their digital marketing strategies in order to accomplish their business goals.

Regular reporting guarantees we will always know what’s working and where there’s room for improvement. Our team organizes monthly or quarterly reporting updates with our clients to keep them in the loop. This gives us an opportunity to meet face-to-face, discuss the progress we’ve made and showcase the great results our efforts are achieving for their business.

4. Will I receive invoices showing how my money is spent?

Many agencies lock down a specific number of billed hours and don’t provide any reports about how they used that time. We believe in the importance of transparency. Before you select a digital marketing agency, ask if they provide detailed billing information that explains how much money went towards ad budgets and the amount of time our team members spent working on each project.

Sharing detailed invoices encourages an ongoing dialogue about your clients’ marketing goals and how you can better aim to execute strategies that achieve results for each client. Flexibility is key, and if a client wants to change what they’re spending their money on, we can switch things up and offer different digital strategies — all while considering their budget.

Additionally, we believe all clients should have access to any advertising accounts containing payment information, such as Google Ads, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc. If they’re not willing to share passwords to these accounts, that could be a sign you need to hire a different digital marketing agency.

5. Does your digital marketing agency also offer design and development capabilities?

When you invest in a new agency, you want to make sure you ask about the full range of services they offer. Although not all digital marketing efforts are directly tied to design and development, it’s important to understand the depth of the agency you’re working with. We notice how much our clients appreciate the breadth of our digital expertise since our award-winning web developers and designers work cohesively with our digital marketing experts on all projects to provide comprehensive digital solutions.

Graphic designers have the best expertise to create social media images, web graphics, videos and more. Web developers have the necessary knowledge to implement advanced technical SEO techniques and fix errors that prevent your website and marketing campaigns from performing their best. Additionally, if you need a website redesign down the road, you’ll be working with the same team members that are already familiar with your website and brand.

Choose Blue Compass as Your Digital Partner

If you’re looking for a partnership with a digital marketing agency that’s honest and transparent, we would love to work with you! We aspire to create valuable, long-term relationships by acting as an extension of our clients’ teams. Reach out to Blue Compass to get started and learn more about the benefits of working with a digital marketing agency. Our team is excited to work alongside you to provide a clear digital direction for your brand.