How to Choose the Best PPC/Digital Marketing Agency

There comes a time in a company’s existence where they need to make a decision on whether or not to work with a Digital Marketing Agency. With today’s levels of competition and market saturation, it is not enough to have a good product or the best prices anymore. Your product or service must be the most visible and easily found on search engines and on social networks. There’s a difference between being visible on the web, and being visible to your specific target market audience. 
What a digital marketing agency does is it provides your company greater exposure in a global audience using tools, techniques, tried and true methodologies, and expertise to achieve these results.
 
1. Determine Your Company’s Marketing Needs
First and foremost, it’s important to know at what your company’s marketing needs are going to be for the short and long term. After you’ve figured that out, then you’ll be in a position to know how to select the best Digital Marketing Agency that offers services that will solve your problem.
As you already know, digital marketing is a broad field and includes various approaches and solutions such as SEO Marketing, Website Development, Inbound Marketing, Social Media Management, Content Management, Reputation/Review Management Blogging, and much more.
Understanding where your company is in need of these services is a good starting point. This will help you to better assess which Digital Agency does what you need better than the rest of their competitors. For example, if your need is on social media marketing, you can hire an agency that specialize in that area. The same holds true for agencies that do website development, email marketing, social media management, etc. Be aware that you may come across agencies that only specialize in one solution or work in a small niche industry.  
 
2. Analyze the Success Cases
Good digital marketing agencies take pride in who they work with and what kind of work they do. Moreover, they usually show their work to the world. Social proof, like previous customer testimonials, etc. This can give you a deeper understanding of what it is like to work with this agency. In order not to take into account only the testimonials and sales arguments of the agencies themselves, it is worth contacting the customers to verify the relationships and the level of satisfaction with the agency.
In addition, it is important to investigate whether the agency has any experience with companies in your industry.
 
3. Research the Company’s Reputation
The next step is to analyze the agency’s reputation. It is always good to look for the history of the agency you are going to hire.
There are a few things that you can do to research these agencies. Check out their Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and or LinkedIn business pages for complaints or praise about their work. In addition, you can also contact other customers to ask if they are satisfied with the service provided.
Take into account the following factors:
Awards: In this day and age, awards and accomplishments are very important in the marketing world. So, before choosing your ideal agency, find out if they have won any awards that attest to their competence.  
 
4. See How the Agency Does its Own Marketing
It should be reflective of the agency and how they market their services to their target customer base. Look for things like the type of posts they make, the content on their website, messaging to a broad base of customers, how they rank for keywords on search engines, how they appear on social media, and the type of branding they are known for. What does it say about this agency?
Another way to get insight into the agency is to look at their social media presence across all major platforms, visit the company’s blog page, check out how their Instagram posts and email marketing campaigns look like, etc. You’ll get a pretty good idea of how they rank after doing some research.
Here’s a few tips you can use to analyze a digital marketing agency:
       1. Website: Is their website optimized for mobile devices, is it fast and does it have good usability and functionality?
       2. Social Networks: What types of posts does the agency post? Are they innovative and strategic? How do they relate to their  followers and                       audience?
       3. Blog: Is the blog content of high quality? Do they provide different materials, such as eBooks, whitepapers, testimonials, case studies, etc.
       4. SEO: are they well positioned on Google, or do they even rank?
       5. Were they easy to find on the web?
 
6. Have a Conversation with the Agency and Learn About their Processes
It is very common for prospects from a marketing agency to have a discovery call or even visit the offices of the agency for “territory recognition”. When scheduling a call or visit, make sure you have a number of questions ready to ask in order to qualify the agency to make sure they will be a good fit for your business. Some basic questions that you can start with are: What services do you offer, what do you specialize in, what industry have you done most of your work, how do you charge for services, how long does it take to build a website, can I pay for services on a monthly basis, do I have to sign a long-term contract, what software tools and technologies do you use, what kind of results can I expect from your services, etc. 
Try to feel out the organizational climate of the company, and how they operate and treat their customer and prospects. If you get the answers you are looking for, this can be a positive sign. After all, friendlier environments and people tend to be more productive.
 
7. Compare Budgets
Last but not least is your marketing budget. If your company doesn’t have enough money to be serviced by an agency, then it probably isn’t a good fit for you. Consider for a minute the cost-benefits.
It may be that a more expensive agency will bring you even better results and enable you to scale your business in less time. In addition, many of these agencies offer plans or packages to accommodate your budget. You can always start with a cheaper package at the beginning and work your way up as needed.
A word of warning, always be wary of agencies that charge a price well below the market rate. This should be a red flag to anyone looking to hire a digital marketing agency. This type of low-ball value often signals that something is wrong about this agency: Either they are not experienced enough, or they do not do quality work. In most cases, it’s inexperienced staff that are learning as they go.
 
In Conclusion
Choosing a digital marketing agency is not a simple and straightforward task. Take precautions and do your due diligence and try to find a find a balance that you will be happy with and a digital partner that you can trust and build a successful long-term business relationship with.