Hiring a Digital Marketing Agency? Stop and Ask These 9 Questions First

— May 23, 2017

If you’re at the point where you’re ready to hire a digital marketing agency, then it’s time to start the interview process. During that process, you’ll talk to people from competing agencies.


It’s important that you ask those sales reps the right questions. Otherwise, you might waste your retainer on a company that doesn’t suit your needs.


Here are 9 questions you should ask before hiring a digital marketing agency.




  1. What’s Your Track Record?


Before anything else, ask company reps about their track record. After all, nothing succeeds like success.


Does the company have a long history of “wins” in digital marketing? Can it point to clients who’ve achieved spectacular results because of the agency’s services?


If you’re interviewing reps from a company who can’t brag about their past achievements, that’s probably because they don’t have any significant achievements. Go find a company that does.




  1. What Kind of Experience Do You Have?


You should not only ask company reps about their level of success, but you should also ask them about the kind of experience they have.


That’s because the company might have succeeded with some “low-hanging fruit” from clients that didn’t expect much. Your situation might be far more complicated.


For example, you might need help with a number of digital marketing initiatives, such as pay-per-click (PPC), search engine optimization (SEO), content marketing, and social media marketing. If you need all of that and you’re interviewing a company that only specializes in Local SEO, you should look for another company.




  1. When Can I Get Some References?


Even a company with a great track record of success and lots of experience might falter when it comes to customer service. That’s why you should get some references.


If a company balks at giving you references, then you should cross that company off your list.


On the other hand, if an agency has a number of references ready to give you on short notice, that’s a good sign that it’s got a number of satisfied clients. You could soon count yourself among them.




  1. What’s Your Specialty?


Digital marketing is a multi-faceted discipline. Some agencies specialize only in certain aspects of it.


For example, some companies focus primarily on local SEO. Others specialize in conversion rate optimization (CRO).


If you’re looking for a special flavor of digital marketing, make sure you sign on with an agency that has a proven track record in exactly the kind of service you’re looking for.




  1. How Do You Market Your Own Business?


How a company markets its own business will tell you a lot about how it will market your business.


The good news is that it’s really easy to tell how well a company markets its business. Ask yourself how you found out about it.


Then, search around online and see how easy it is to “discover” the business. Do some Google searches. Visit the website and pay attention for retargeting ads as your browse on other websites.


Of course, you should ask company reps about their approach to marketing their own business.




  1. Who Are Your High-Profile Clients?


If you want peace of mind when you sign on with a digital marketing agency, then pick one that already has (at least some) some high-profile clients.


It’s a good idea to ask company reps about their most prestigious clients. However, you should also be able to tell who those clients are by looking at the front page of the company website.


Any company that takes marketing seriously will include the logos of its most famous clients right there on the home page. If you don’t see that, then either the company isn’t marketing itself very well or it doesn’t have any high-profile clients.


If they don’t have high profile clients, ask them about clients they have had success with in your niche. If they are a new company, ask them what they have done with high profile clients, or niche clients, before they started the agency.




  1. What Tools Do You Use?


Any great digital marketing company uses tools. Simply put, they can’t help you without them.


Ask company reps about the tools that they use. You should hear digital marketing brand names like Moz, SEMRush, Majestic, Screaming Frog, BuzzSumo, and others.


Your agency will pay to use those tools so that you don’t have to.




  1. What Questions Do You Have for Me?


“What questions do you have for me?” is a great question to ask if you’re a non-stop questioner during the interview process. Hopefully, though, you don’t have to ask it at all.


That’s because company sales reps should be asking you questions as well. Interviewing isn’t a one-way street.


You should take questions about your business model, your current approach to digital marketing, and what you’re looking for in a digital marketing company.


If you’re not getting a lot of questions from a company rep, you should probably exclude that company from your short list.




  1. What Kinds of Reports Do You Deliver?


You’re going to need a “bird’s-eye view” of how well your agency’s digital marketing efforts are working. That’s why you need periodic reports.


Ask company reps about the kinds of reports you can expect to see. What information will they contain? How easy are they to read?


Be sure to snag a couple of sample reports as well. That’s how you’ll know what to expect. In addition, ask them if they offer a custom dashboard.


Hire a Digital Marketing Agency Now


Digital marketing agencies can make you rich or waste precious time and money. If you do your due diligence and select the right company, it will be well worth the investment. Digital marketing agencies offer expertise, help with work overflow and often get excellent returns for businesses. Good luck in your search!

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Author: John Lincoln


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