Not gonna lie, but it can be pretty wild, wild west in the digital marketing landscape. 

We’ve got digital marketing cowboys cracking their whips on the left, and then we’ve got our marketing bros on the right with their lassos of distrust and (mis)information. And in this climate, if you’re looking to outsource your marketing, it would be kinda hard to figure out the facts from the noise. 

But don’t worry. I got you.Sure I could say a good digital agency should be experts, and they should have experience, yada, yada, yada, we know this already. But there are other things business owners should consider with how to select a digital marketing agency, so let’s ride, and let me share with you my top picks.

 

They have receipts E.V.E.R.Y.W.H.E.R.E

A great place to start is to determine an agency’s reputation and to start looking for their receipts. 

Do they have positive reviews on Google?

Do you know of another business that has worked with them before?

Do they shout out their clients on their socials on the ‘reg (hint: only happy clients will want a shout-out)

In an ideal world, you would run your own marketing in-house, but if you can’t, when it comes to how to select a digital marketing agency look out for client testimonials and case studies. There is a lot of gold in there. 

And if they don’t have any receipts, ask them. Take them up on their discovery call and ask them how they have worked with businesses similar to yours, or how they can work with you to reach your goals. You’ll figure it out pretty quickly if they are a good agency to outsource to.

 

They walk the talk, but can they explain it to you?

I’ll be the first to admit that in digital marketing we got a lot of jargon – CTR, CPM, ROAS – and all this lingo has got a business owner head-scrathin’ with a WTF. 

I’ve even heard of some agencies who will provide you with a table of results, but give you nada insights into what the data actually means.

When deciding on how to select a digital marketing agency, start with speaking to them. Don’t just listen to them talk on their ad or read about what they posted on their socials, speak to them. This will give you a pretty good idea on their communication style and how willing they are to listen to your needs and goals.

 

They don’t over-promise

“We will 10x your business”

“We will triple your sales in 1 month”

It seems to be getting harder for business owners to select a digital marketing agency, especially when it comes to expected results, with promises of huge returns or overnight performance. 

It’s not to say that these promises are impossible to obtain, but rather they are not realistic for every type of business and don’t take into account:

  • How established is the business
  • How strong the brand recognition is
  • How solid the social media presence and strategy is
  • How much work they’ve done in understanding their customer’s needs
  • How do they manage their stock inventory
  • The macro-environment factors that impact consumer discretionary spending
  • And how much media spend they have available

A good digital agency will always ask you about your goals and what it is that you’re trying to achieve by outsourcing. A good digital agency wants to collaborate with your business to help generate positive outcomes. A good digital agency will identify opportunities to help you reach your goals. And a good agency will help you optimize your marketing spend that’s realistic to your business.

 

They don’t bad mouth other agencies [even the cowboys]

Want to know the most underrated thing about digital marketing is? It’s knowing that there is more than one way to get a message across and more than one way to obtain reach a goal.

When we onboard a client who’s worked with another agency or when we’ve done a health check on someone’s Facebook account, it would be easy to fall for this trap:

But a good digital agency can put ego aside, they can celebrate the wins of a competitor or the industry, and they can say “I can see what you were trying to do there”.

As marketers, we will always be guided by experience and best practices, but sometimes we won’t get it right the first time (shout out to all my marketers who onboarded new clients in March 2020, bet ya didn’t see that hellabaloo!). Sometimes it takes time to get all the parts right, (the right message, to the right audience, in the right place), and a good digital agency won’t knock another agency for trying. 

 

So I hope I’ve given ya a few ideas to consider to select a digital marketing agency so that you can saddle up with an agency that’s right for you. Wanna know if TDP is a good fit to be in cahoots with? Then check us out on LinkedIn or come say howdy in our DMs, we’d love to hear from you.