Communication is key to any relationship. To get the most out of working with a digital marketing agency, it’s important that you are open with your expectations and that the company is truthful with their capabilities.
The relationships where you get burnt the worst are when there is confusion between the parties. The company might think they are doing a good job, but they are doing what you didn’t want. But when you didn’t tell them, you end up working against each other.
Having a long conversation with your agency before signing on is critical to ensure a productive work relationship.
Ask to see some previous work
As a client, it can often be difficult to gauge how competent an agency is. The only way to find out is to experience it yourself, but seeing examples of previous clients can give you a good idea.
Hopefully, the agency will be able to show you some examples of their work and perhaps even data of how their work impacted the website.
Seeing previous work should also help to adjust your expectations so that you know what you should be receiving.
What they are going to do
Figuring out the tactics that your digital marketing agency is going to use is a great way to do your research. Once you know how they will be working, you can ask others for their opinion.
For example; if an agency told you they were going to be commenting on a few hundred blogs each month you might think that sounds reasonable. But if you asked for a second opinion from someone in the industry, they’d quickly tell you to avoid that agency.
Getting a better understanding of exactly how the agency operates is crucial to avoiding low quality and even dangerous work.
You want to find an organization, like ourselves, who creates high quality content that they can use to market your business. The last thing you want is an agency who is willing to take shortcuts that will hurt you years from now, long after you’ve made your payment and they’ve disappeared.
Who is going to work on your business
Just as you want to understand what they are doing, it’s always reassuring to find out who is doing the work.
This conversation will give you a chance to form a relationship with the account manager and understand what makes them capable of working on your business. You can ask them specific questions and measure how much you trust them.
How long it will take
One of the biggest complaints about SEO is that it takes too long. The nature of digital marketing, like most marketing strategies, is that it takes a while to see the results you want.
Some clients have unrealistic expectations of timelines and become frustrated when their budget begins to run out. It’s important that you have a sensible discussion with the agency about schedules and deadlines.
You don’t want to feel cheated. It’s vital that both parties understand how long they have to work on the project. This understanding will help the agency to form a strategy that fits your business and demands better.
What you should expect
Once you’ve seen some of their previous work, you should have a better idea of what to expect. However, every business is different, and some have complexities that can change what is possible.
To avoid any dissatisfaction, contact the agency and discuss what they think is realistically possible to achieve within your timeframe.
It’s still necessary that you saw previous client work if possible, this helps to prevent them from lying to you to make their job easier.
Having a general understanding of the type of work they are doing will allow you to have a more realistic idea of what you should expect.
How much it will cost
Finally, the budget that you give the agency will have the greatest impact. Discussing cost can be awkward to some business owners, but you need to have a set price before you begin.
Try and avoid any agency that refuses to give you a strict price. They should be able to quote you a price for the required work, rather than working per hour or on a less transparent basis.
Having an agreed to price upfront allows you to sign a contract that makes you feel comfortable.
Having a fixed cost, time frame and a list of deliverables should go a long way to preventing any issues.
Don’t make the mistake of relying entirely on reviews or previous clients experiences. It’s always beneficial to talk personally with someone from the agency.
Your business is unique and will pose its challenges. Having an open discussion with the marketing company and giving them as much information as possible will give them the best chance at giving you what you want, at a fair price.