Choosing a digital marketing team or consultant for your business is a huge decision, not to be taken lightly. Here is an effective guide on helping you to make the right choice:
Define Your Goals
If you are looking to hire a digital team or a SEO consultant, you need to know why you want to hire them, and what goals you want the agency or consultant to accomplish for your business.
Reasons can include: Your business lacks an online marketing department, you’re not happy with your current results, sales are stagnant, etc. If you recently worked with an “Agency” and you are looking for a change or you’re looking to hire a new agency; then make a list of the areas that your current agency is strong at. The focus should be on the areas that you would like them to improve on.
Organize Your Goals into a List
Now that you have a better idea of your goals and what you want the agency or consultant to accomplish, organize your thoughts into a two column list.
Column (1) Write down your list of goals that you want to accomplish in the order of priority, the most important being at the top.
Column (2) You will give each candidate a rating from 1-5 based on how they meet your needs or you can simply check off if they meet the needs you desire (i.e. do they have social media planning and strategy? Do they offer SEO?)
Zero in on Your Options
After interviewing a minimum of three candidates, it’s time to take out your two column list and put it to work. Look at it objectively and see how each candidate ranked based on your priorities. By doing this, you should be able to have a better idea on which agencies or consultant’s best suit your needs. It’s time for round two of interviews!
Now that you’ve narrowed your options, it’s time to interview your top three candidates again. This time ask them for more specific questions such as:
- How often will I see my account executive?
- How much experience does he or she have?
- What ongoing training do you provide for your staff to ensure that they are current on the latest approaches?
- What will you do to get to know my business?
- How much can I edit creative work? Any limit on revisions?
- What resources or tools do you use to share information?
- Do you outsource any portion of the work? If yes, how much of it?
The Problem with Outsourcing
Even though there is nothing wrong with agencies or consultants outsourcing some of their work, it is always better to have someone domestic to manage the core of your account, so that you can speak to them in your time zone. When most or all of the work is done in a different time zone or overseas, communication can become an issue and can cause a huge disconnect.
Is the agency on the same page as you are? Find Out! It’s important that the agency or consultant you hire to work with, is on the same page as you are and understands what it is you are trying to accomplish. Some agencies are all about ranking and generating traffic. This is great and all, but it doesn’t really mean anything if they aren’t increasing your sales and profits.This is why it’s a good idea to ask them how they plan to deal with your competitors. Make your goals clear to them, then ask them how they plan on approaching your account and the strategies they’re planning on implementing. This is one way of seeing how agencies or consultants think on their feet and it gives you a clear indication of what you can expect from them.
Long-Term Contracts VS. Short-Term Contracts
The use of long-term (annual) contracts is quickly becoming a thing of the past. This is because short-term contracts give you more freedom and flexibility while building a trustful relationship with your agency. Not happy with the results? No problem! You can easily move on and hire an agency that will get the job done.
Hiring a digital marketing team or consultant for your business is a huge decision. But a good digital team can provide great resources and expertise that may not be readily available to you. So take your time, do your research, and get started on your list