There are so many agencies and social media experts out there, so how do you know if you’ve found someone who is both the right fit for your business AND who knows their stuff?  These five questions will help determine if your digital marketing agency is going to help or hurt your business!

1.How do you measure ROI for ALL social media campaigns?

This is a non-negotiable!  It is so important that your digital marketing agency places an emphasis on measurement – and not just vanity measurements (traffic, engagement, reach) they need to be measuring how their content contributes to conversions. Your agency should be able to describe how they’ll track campaigns and measure success – and ideally any marketer you work with should be a data-geek

2. How does your digital marketing agency work with data?

There is SO much valuable information out there that if your agency is creating campaigns based on assumptions and gut feel only…. well that is a red flag.

Your digital marketing expert should be a data geek who can tell you why they are doing something based on numbers as well as their rich experience. They must be able to measure progress and you should expect to receive regular reporting based on the campaign.

3. How experienced is your digital marketing team?

There is nothing wrong with marketing grads cutting their teeth on an account alongside a senior digital marketer but some agencies are guilty of assigning your work to the least experienced people in the team or outsourcing your work to low-cost overseas based contractors without telling clients - and still charging a premium service fee.

At any sales meetings, ensure you grab the names of who will be assigned to your account and check them out on LinkedIn to get a gut feel of their true experience.   If they’ve only got 1-2 years in the workforce, are they really likely to be a Facebook advertising expert with proven experience in your industry?

If they do appear to be very green, ask who else will be working on your account.   And consider whether the pricing reflects the expertise of the person or team running your digital marketing.

4. How will your services help my business meet my goals?

It’s easy to promise the world in a sales meeting, but it’s far more important that an agency describes exactly how they will contribute to your business goals.  If it’s a one-sided pitch that sounds too good to be true…. well it just might be!

If you are heading to a meeting with an agency, a good question to ask is: How does what you have proposed address my specific goals?

AND if you are promised specific results by your agency ensure they are included in your proposal or otherwise documented in writing before signing up!

5. When will I see the results of your work?

This is a bit of a trick question – marketing is all about building trust, which takes time to grow. Many agencies offer short contracts or programmes of work because it is an easier sell – it is much easier to sign someone up for three months versus 12 months.

But remember that a three-month contract is really not long enough to achieve your business goals simply because it is not long enough to get everything that needs to be done, done! Digital Marketing is about the macro… the month on month results. Daily and weekly results are often fairly useless, especially in a small market like New Zealand.

If you do need to see results immediately, you will need to allocate budget to paid ads (potentially both traditional and digital) and you ask your agency about their quick-win strategies to get leads generated NOW (and expect to pay over and above for this kind of approach in both agency time & ad spend!).

At the end of the day both you and your outsourced digital marketing team need to be committed to long-term goals and have a long term plan to achieve them. If you want to chat to experienced digital marketers and other small business owners about marketing your business, then head to our free Facebook Group

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Rachel Gronback