When you make the (smart) decision to put your marketing money into digital marketing, finding the right agency to partner with to create and execute a digital marketing campaign can be tough. I’d like to give you an idea of things to look for when hiring a digital marketing agency, but first here is the case for spending your budget on digital marketing.
In 2015, moving the majority of your marketing budget into digital is the wisest decision you will make, the businessman’s creative process and planning a business is about investing their money online in the last 10 years have seen astronomical growth, businesses that stick with the older marketing means or no marketing at all are plodding along in the same place? financially that they were 10 years ago. If they are still in business then they are probably not in bad shape, but they also probably haven’t grown in the last 10 years either. These business owners probably don’t think that’s a bad thing, but if you leave the life of your business to word of mouth alone, then you are always going to struggle to grow, as your business can only grow as big as your network of customers will allow it.
There’s a number of different reasons why you would hire a digital marketing agency and there is plethora of digital marketing agencies out there offering a multitude of services, but for me your decision should really come down to expertise – Can your prospective agency do exactly what you need them to do? For instance I feel that if you want to put together a PPC campaign in Cork, actually probably in Ireland, you shouldn’t be looking anywhere else other than at Legacy Communications. Why? “Google AdWords addict” – that’s what we are. We absolutely adore AdWords, I read and learn about it every day, we look at what the top agencies worldwide like disruptive advertising are doing and we try to emulate it, plus we use a host of different tools that will enhance your AdWords campaign. So, we can honestly say that if you want to spend money on AdWords, then look no further you’ve found the right agency!
A question we often get asked because I’m “young and hip with the kids” is do I offer social media campaign management, the answer is no. So maybe consider this, if you are looking to create a digital marketing campaign with multiple pieces to the puzzle, new website, PPC, SEO, social then ask your prospective agency straight up:
Can you offer all of these services?
Have you offered these services to other businesses?
What were the results?
Now it may not bother you if your prospective agency doesn’t offer all of the services you want for campaign, if they don’t they can probably recommend another agency that does for instance I can highly recommend instamedia for social media management (they create great video content as well, last summer they went viral with this) or Synergy web strategies. Now you might be happy to meet me and know that I focus heavily on PPC so you are comfortable that I don’t “dilute” my knowledge and you might be happy for me to recommend other agencies we can partner with to create a great PPC + Social campaign, but you might not want to have too many cooks and if that was the case I would recommend you a full service agency (I’d probably recommend a couple too if you’re asking)
The other thing to ask is what is their level of expertise on the particular service you are interested in, for instance I have built websites for a lot of customers in the past year, but if you were looking for custom web development to create “the next big thing” and more than a brochure website then you won’t get it here, so again ask the question straight up, “this is what I want, can you deliver it?” In this case I’ll recommend someone like Doodle or Grange Web Design because I’m sure you will be very happy with the end result and I’ll be more than happy to drive traffic to the new website they create with a belter of a PPC campaign!
On a personal level for me, a good indication of an agencies expertise is whether they show up on Google or not, if they don’t then they probably aren’t worth even looking at. In my opinion it’s a trust builder, like if you want an accountant you will probably go with someone that you’ve personally met or maybe an accountant that has been recommended by someone you trust personally. (If you are looking for an accountant in Cork by the way, I’d recommend you speak to Caroline at CPC or Gearoid at ODM) In my opinion for a digital marketing agency, showing up on Google is the only recommendation and trust builder you should need, because if an agency can do it for themselves, they can do it for you (I’d waive this rule if they concentrate solely on social media or video content though) for instance if you google “AdWords agency cork” PPC agency Cork” “AdWords specialist” or “AdWords agency Ireland” you will find Legacy Communication on Google’s first page, this is not an accident but then you as a business owner can see that we’ve done it for ourselves, so we can just as easily do it for you. I’d love to rank for keywords in bigger markets like “PPC agency London” or “PPC agency Boston” so I can expand my market, I’ve started targeting those keywords too, we’re not on page one yet, I will let you know how we get on!
If you are building a new website for your business then you’ll be met with a mass of people that can “build you a website” but so many of them are “bedroom agencies” that will cease trading when they get a better job offer, so hiring the right web design agency could prove to be a critical choice. With web design agencies especially, a big buzz word is SEO and SEO friendly, this really grinds my gears, I’ve lost out on projects because of this kind of bulls***. The difference being that I’m quoting to carry out actual SEO work that will take many hours of my time over many months and I expected to get paid for that time. My competitors quote had SEO on there but “SEO” on the quote meant nothing more than preparing a nice website with nice clean code, no actual SEO work and I can report that approx. 10 months later there is no sign of that companies website on the first page of Google for any relevant keyword (In case you haven’t met me, I don’t like losing, so I’ve been checking), so if you hear “your new website will be SEO friendly” make no mistake, this is probably nothing but a bid to dazzle you with things you don’t understand so your next steps are.
1. Google web design cork (or whatever their location is) and see how “SEO friendly” their own website is, if they are not there then move onto an agency that is.
2. Call bulls*** and ask them “Will my website show up on Google’s first page”, if the answer is anything other than an honest no, then move on, if they say “no, BUT we can get it there eventually by doing A, B and C” then sit back down at the table, they are honest and trustworthy.
At the time of writing I’m sitting on a plane from London to Cork and realize that I’ve probably gone off on a bit of a tangent but it’s late and I’m going to be too tired to edit and re-write this, so to summarize the above you need to decide what you want, then decide whether you want to do it with multiple agencies or one full service agency then hire based on their expertise and results. I’m only writing this for my own SEO to be completely honest, have you noticed how I’ve squeezed some of my targeted my keywords in there and added some links to other great websites? That’s part of my SEO strategy, an article a day keeps Google’s page 2 away!