Working with an agency, whether it’s your 1st time or 51st time, can be distressing. Mutual understanding and transparency are key to a successful working relationship, but how do you know you’re all on the same page and nothing is being looked over? That’s why we decided to do a quick 2-part series with guidelines on what an agency should be asking you, and what you should be asking your digital marketing agency. Today, we are diving into what an agency should be asking you. It’s important to understand whether or not you’re getting the complete service you deserve. By being aware of these necessary questions, you will know if your digital marketing strategies are in good hands. Also, be sure to stay tuned to our blog for the next portion of the series on what you should be asking your digital marketing agency.
- Have you ever worked with a digital agency before?
This is going to save a lot of time at the beginning of the relationship because it cuts down on tasks that have already been completed. This may seem rudimentary, but important nonetheless. The tools, tactics, and insights of digital marketing can often change by the day, so using new strategies could be the best option for your business. But, at the root of it, the agency needs to know whether or not you have utilized another digital agency before because there could be remaining pieces from the previous relationship that affect you in the future.
For example, old tracking code such as Google Analytics or Facebook Pixels could remain on and slow down your site. Other people outside of your organization or the contracted agency could have access to your data. Even if they don’t ever view your data again, those old code “snippets” on your website that run third-party tools will begin to slow down your website over time. This could mean bad news for your website, because, according to their official blog, Google uses page speed as a factor when they decide which pages to rank in the search engine result pages (also known as “SERPs”). Eliminating unnecessary tools is often an overlooked task, and your digital agency should be able to identify these for you upfront.
- Do you sell to the end-user of your product?
If the answer is yes, then all digital marketing tactics are on the table. But, if your answer is similar to “no, I use distributors, retailers, and other intermediaries between me and the end-user,” then your marketing objectives should work a little differently. At some point your team should discuss the possibility of hosting a co-op or reimbursement program for your distributors, where you offer either tactical support or monetary reimbursement of appropriately targeted and approved means, like pay-per-click advertising on Google. The price of many digital marketing tactics is often determined in a competitive auction in real-time at the very moment an ad should appear. If you are competing with your distributors or retailers for a particular ad impression, not only are you driving your costs up, but you are also making for a difficult time for the people on whom you rely to get customers of their own.
There is merit to the notion that you should be driving end users to your brand by any means necessary, no matter how they are meant to purchase it. A rising tide lifts all ships, so helping your distributors helps your end users, because they could be conceivably driving leads with little to no effort or expense on their part. That is certainly an attractive value proposition when trying to find new distributors or retailers. But, someone needs to make sure you aren’t competing with your distributors, and offers you a well-defined strategy that takes into account objectives, goals, and the competitive landscape that can keep this from happening by reporting regularly on what end users and distributors alike see online.
- Do you have a sales territory or other limitation on where your product or service can be sold?
For example, if you can’t sell products in Dallas, TX, then there is no reason to optimize your page or engage in any tactics that would target or make it be more visible to people in that city. Why is that important? That means that you don’t have to allocate the resources necessary for national search engine optimization (SEO) to compete with larger brands for online visibility in that city. You can instead focus your efforts on local search optimization for the cities where you can sell.
Even if you don’t have sales territories, we strongly encourage you to select a region where you think there is most opportunity and then focus your efforts there. That is where your involvement in this strategy process is crucial, because you know that better than any agency.
- What is your business’s version of an incentive?
Incentives are an important part of the lead generation process, but a lot of businesses believe that incentives only mean discounts off the cost of their product or service. That’s not necessarily the case. Incentives are anything that you can offer that would bring value beyond what they could get by considering a competitor. There are other common examples of incentives, like giveaways or invitations to events. But if you don’t really have anything like that, think about what else you can offer.
Some other great examples of incentives are:
- Case Studies
- Access to exclusive content
- Social Media mentions (because everybody, customers and vendors alike, are always on the lookout for organic social media audience growth)
- Sneak peeks at new products or services
- Customer spotlights that offer backlinks, which they could in return link on their own websites. Links to your site on other pages are crucial towards Google deciding where to rank a site. You cannot charge for backlinks without penalty, but part of “backlinking” is building a relationship with people related to your business, so this is a very strong incentive that you are able to offer.
Work with an agency you can trust.
The most important thing we could emphasize in this article is to find an agency you can trust to ask the right questions and get the job done. Are you ready to start utilizing a marketing agency, but you’re not quite sure where to start or who to go with? Why not try Squid Ink? We are an all-encompassing marketing firm that offers services from creative video-assistance to executing complex digital marketing plans and everything in between. Whether you need us for one project, or you want a full-time team of marketers that you can easily integrate into your company, Squid Ink is the answer you’re looking for. Schedule your consultation today to see the plans we have in store for you (remember, it’s free!).