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How to choose your next digital marketing agency

Any effective and experienced digital marketing agency you choose to handle your online brand profile needs to develop a strategy that dovetails perfectly with your business plan.

Your website content needs more than just appeal and optimisation to reach an audience and get your website to page one of Google – it needs to be supported by other credible sources, too, with the deft deployment of the most up-to-date social media tools and digital marketing techniques.

Therefore, as well as the amplification of your website, you need a digital marketing agency that will ensure the profile of your business is promoted to your target market on the right platforms at the right time.

In an ideal world, you will be confident to leave the digital marketing of your business to a team of experts well versed in the intricacies, trends and shifts of online branding and promotion.

Your first step is to need to ensure the agency fully understands your end goal – and your target audience – as well as you do. So do ensure the agency spends time taking into consideration your aims and objectives before designing a tailored digital marketing strategy that will promote and amplify your brand’s key messages on the relevant platforms. One size does not fit all!

Now an integral part of any marketing campaign, the branding of a business needs to meet criteria across all platforms, all devices and with an online presence that reflects your most successful customer experience. The inclusion of any reviews and testimonials are therefore a major component of a successful digital marketing plan.

Shaz Memon is the creative director of Digimax, a creative dental website design agency that believes it is vital to actively stay abreast of all digital developments and trends.

He says: ‘Millennials have been brought up in a digital world where online reviews shape their purchasing. This age group is hugely influenced by their peers and also expects transparency when it comes to products and services. They not only massively rely on reading the opinions of others, but they also generate reviews and share extensively, too.

‘Millennials want to interact with the products and services they buy. They pin products on Pinterest, follow a brand’s Facebook page, Twitter feed and Instagram accounts. They promote things they like and cyber-shout about what they don’t.’

Check out their online profile
Therefore, if relevancy and on-trend thinking is key, then start your search by checking out an agency’s own online profile. Is its website easy to find? Do they have a strong presence online? Are they on page one of Google when you enter their name into the search engine? How active are they on social media – and what platforms do they utilise?

Take a look at their previous projects as well. Browse their portfolio on their website and read any testimonials and Google reviews.

You may wish to consider using a digital marketing agency that already works on behalf of businesses in your market. An agency with experience in your industry can create immediate trust – their expertise and knowledge already tried and tested by brands presumably hoping to achieve the same end objectives as you.

Google’s evaluation of your website is based on how many domain names your website links to and, together with keywords, proves a powerful combination. Link building, therefore, provides added value to a brand so do ask an agency about its track record.

Does it build a database of websites that have linked to yours in the past and, if so, will it nurture those relationships. Will the agency guide you in your website content with these strategies in mind and add keywords and link building strategies before publishing.

In the first instance, will the agency audit your website to check if its design and function are fit for purpose and appropriate to your audience.

The website itself should be built with users and SEO in mind as well as give prospective customers a reason to buy into your brand.

What’s new in digital marketing?

  • Artificial intelligence (AI) can analyse things rapidly
  • Chatbots for customer service or in more of a sales capacity
  • Website optimised for voice search
  • Local market targeting long-term campaigns and promotions
  • Rich content, such as videos.

Social media
People turn to social media to be entertained, educated or both. Has your digital marketing agency experience in working this way rather than aiming to make a sale with every post? Digital storytelling is a skill that involves the use of digital tools to create a personal narrative and share it with your target audience. Customer relationships are built on cultivated trust so any digital marketing agency you use should invest time and energy into a strategy that adds value to their experience.

Video is of paramount importance, too. There is huge promotional potential that comes with high-quality visual content. A variety of rich content is an undeniable key essential for your marketing. Customer testimonials, for example, are gold dust.  There is nothing more powerful than the video review, which offers the opportunity to ‘show’ as well as ‘tell’.

In a Hubspot survey, researchers found that 90% of consumers use product videos to make a purchase decision, with 80% of viewers able to recall a digital video they had viewed within the past 30 days. 

With eMarketer estimating that 43.2 million people in the UK will watch digital video content via any device at least once per month, businesses should be using this as a way to convey its brand story – and make a lasting impression.  Team videos or a video tour of your company shows the public what a typical day might involve. Product demos/releases and live Q&As allow your target audience to experience your brand. All of these will help to bring you closer to current and potential customers. 

Will your chosen agency leverage video content across multiple platforms and turn it into other forms of content, such as audio, blogs, infographics and so on? YouTube and Instagram are key platforms on which an agency can showcase your video content.

Survey results
A survey by specialist web design and marketing agency, Digimax, reveals that 5% of SEOs do not having the foggiest idea what SEO is – with 42% believing SEO was simply about adding keywords to a website. Despite the race for social media advertising, web searches still drive 300% more web traffic than social media, creating more than half (57%) of all business leads.

Conclusion

If the first step for many of us in any given consumer journey is to ‘Google it’, then demonstrating a progressive approach to digitally enhancing a customer experience of your brand is essential. 

The ultimate aim of any brand is to improve visibility online. With the help of a digital marketing agency, you can appear on the top ranking of any major search engine. Your chosen agency needs to provide useful information to relevant users where they are looking for it.