If you've defined your goals, listed your priorities and you know your budget the next stage is to find the right digital marketing partner. There are a few things you should look out for and some questions worth asking before you make the final decision and sign on the dotted line.
- Don't be railroaded into choosing an agency, a push agency won't be the right partner for you. Of course, every digital agency will be trying to sell you their services but if you feel pressure now, imagine what that will be like in the future!
- Ask to see examples of how they've performed in the past, with genuine case studies and contact some of the companies to see if they were happy with the work done. If their reputation precedes them, it will become very clear when you talk to someone who's used their services.
- Check their website. Do they have any credentials or certifications? Look at their social media presence too, if they promise to grow your social media presence but they don't do much on their own social media or have few followers or little engagement then that should raise a red flag.
- Do they speak your language? We're not talking about English or French or German – we're talking about how they explain what they can do. There are plenty of digital agencies that throw out a load of technical jargon that sounds good – but what does it actually mean? You need an agency on your level, who you can clearly understand and who doesn't try to blind you with technical science.
- Can you do a trial run? Tying yourself into a 12-month contract is quite a big responsibility especially if you're paying a lot of money. Some agencies might offer you a trial 3-month period. It's always worth asking. The long-term ideal is that you build rapport and trust, and therefore a lasting relationship.
- How well do they know your market? There's no point in choosing an agency who doesn't specialise in your area or at least understand your area. There are agencies that specialise in finance or e-commerce, or education, choose one that works in your sector.
- What services do they offer? If you want an agency to focus on a few areas, check that they cover what you need. There's no point in contracting a digital marketing agency to focus on your SEO if you want them to overhaul your website too. It's better to select an agency who can cover a variety of services, so you don't have to look elsewhere in a few months.
- How do they measure results? You want results obviously so ask how your agency is going to measure your results and how often. What will the key performance indicators (LPIs) be? What will the results be measured against? Will they send weekly reports or monthly reports? How will they format the reports and ask to see examples to make sure you can read them.
As with an overall business strategy, digital marketing needs to be examined very regularly to make sure that it is working. Likewise, if you are employing some methods that aren't performing for your business, rather than discarding them, it's worth spending some time to find out why. Perhaps they're not being implemented as well as they could be? A top-performing digital marketing agency in Canada will also look at everything you do as a company and make their own suggestions. Along with your own digital marketing strategy and their initiative and ideas, if you choose a really strong, professional agency you should see a sizable shift in results fairly quickly. Based on all of the above points, if you're struggling to select a digital agency in Canada, rate them on each digital marketing area to help you assess which will work best for your needs.