PS: This post may contain affiliate links. If you click through my referral link, at no additional cost to you, I may earn a small commission if you make a purchase. Thank you for supporting South Street & Co. Read my disclosure policy.
When finding a digital marketing agency for small businesses, there are a couple of things you should search for and ask. Here’s how you should determine whether a particular one is the right fit.
Looking for a digital marketing agency for small businesses can be a daunting task – believe me, I was on the other side of the table, like you are, about 6 years ago (Can’t believe it’s been that long!). And I was looking for a marketing agency that could help my old company grow through SEO and digital marketing in general.
I interviewed a lot of them and finally settled on one out of North Carolina (I never thought to look here in Orlando when doing interviews!). They did a great job and their communication was great… at first. Then I started looking into what they were doing behind-the-scenes, and my opinion changed.
I found, after looking over to make sure we were on the same page, that they had misspelled a title tag of a location wrong. Granted, we had multiple locations at the time, but still, this was a huge issue. I confronted them and they got back to me about it, but didn’t respond how I would have liked. They said it was a simple mistake, but the problem was, they didn’t catch it and how long had it been wrong and what else was wrong?
After that, we decided to look in another direction. We came across another company that was out of California. They had a lot of good things to say, also had great communication, and once again, we were back on track. However, after a few short months, we began to decline… a lot.
They didn’t remember me mentioning to them that we were doing blogs through the company and they said, “What we were doing counteracted what they were doing.” I remember thinking, “What??”
I, once again, had to go back to my boss and explain that we weren’t doing what I had hoped we could do with the marketing company. He then responded, “Why don’t you just learn and then you can do this instead of me paying them.” And so I did.
But, in doing all of these things and in looking for a digital marketing agency for small businesses, I learned a few key things to look for. Here they are so you can determine, with confidence, who’s the right agency for your needs.
Write Out Your Needs
Getting clear on what you want them to do for you is a huge thing that you should think of before even reaching out to them. You should know what you want to accomplish and what you want them to focus on.
If you want to do social media in-house and you want them to handle SEO, tell them that. If you want them to create strategies for you and you don’t know where to start, tell them that.
The more clear you are on your areas of opportunity (not weaknesses!), the better the relationship.
Ask About Their Processes
Processes are an important part of the marketing strategy and how you communicate. Ask about how they write content, how they have you edit the content and how they communicate what has been done over the last month or week.
Ask About Communication
Communication is #key when it comes to a great relationship. Establish if you need to have weekly, bi-weekly or monthly meetings.
For us, it depends on the strategy the client wants. If we’re doing more items, it’s more often. If we’re doing less items, it’s less often. However, in the beginning, we have a monthly meeting set for the first 90 days to ensure we have a meeting time on the books to ensure all questions are asked and to learn how the other person works.
Ask About Testimonials
Truth be told, this should be done before even reaching out to a digital marketing agency for small businesses. You’ll want to look them up online, research case studies and their portfolio and you’ll want to read what people are saying.
This all comes into making sure they’re going to be a good fit for what you’re looking for.
Look At Their Portfolio
This is very important because if you’re hiring someone to do design work for you or create your logo, you want to make sure that the digital marketing agency for small businesses’ style is similar to yours.
If they don’t have a portfolio on their website, look at their social media sites. A lot of times, these are a great indication of their work and their style. Remember that the agency itself has its own style and you want to make sure that you like it and can get what you want out of their creativity.
I speak with a lot of small businesses and some have goals and some don’t. Make sure you know what your goals are and what success looks like to you.
Here’s an example: If you’re having a marketing agency do your social media posts, what do you want out of it, because it can be SO MANY different things! Do you want them to:
- Write posts
- Get you more leads
- Gain exposure
- Have people call you
- Have people fill out the form on your website
All of these items are important to different people and may not be important to you. Make sure you set numbers or expectations from the beginning so everyone’s on the same page with what your needs are and what you’re looking to accomplish.
Make Sure You Ask Them Their Thoughts
I love it when people ask us how we feel about their company’s needs. It gives me a place and a chance to “sell” why they should use us OR it gives me the opportunity to show them that I don’t think we’re a good fit based on their needs.
Whether I do think we’re a good fit or I don’t, I always tell them why and offer to either 1. Move to the next steps OR 2. Introduce them to a partner agency who I feel would be a better fit for their needs.
If you don’t ask a digital marketing agency for small businesses if they’re a good fit, you’re almost assuming that they are. Have them answer questions, have them share their insights and opinions and have them prove to you that they are.
If you’re in search for a digital marketing agency for small businesses, look no further (but ask questions!) LOL We are geared towards helping small to medium businesses grow their reach online.
If you’re interested in learning more and seeing if we’re a good fit, fill out the form below to schedule a free 30-minute call with me to learn about your goals, mission and how we can help you succeed!