In 2020 alone, marketers and advertisers spent roughly 4.45 billion Canadian dollars on digital marketing and ad campaigns. At this rate, it is estimated that the digital ad expenditure in Canada will surpass the 12 billion dollar mark.
If you haven’t yet worked with a digital marketing agency, the seemingly infinite number of choices may be intimidating. We’re here to help narrow them down to an agency that perfectly suits your needs.
Now more than ever, the real estate, tourism, and retail sectors rely on digital marketing to promote their services. In Canada, one of the largest advertising markets globally, digital marketing has firmly cemented itself as an essential aspect of any modern company’s business strategy.
Alright then, sketch out a few slogans and take some staged photos on your phone, and that’s the job done quickly and in-house! After all, you’re already running a business with costs stacking up in all kinds of areas, so why commit even more cash to something you could DIY with a few online Photoshop tutorials?
It’s definitely possible, depending on your resources, to do your own digital marketing. But, creating an effective marketing strategy that yields a positive ROI while positioning yourself as the clear choice above your competitors requires a lot of trial, error, and experience in knowing what works and what doesn’t. Choosing to do things yourself while lacking industry knowledge can easily lead to you blowing through your budget and allotted hours with nothing to show for it, especially if your business is smaller or in its startup stage.
More often than not, it’s smarter to skip the guesswork and get the best results for your ad spending by hiring a reputable marketing agency. Let the professionals drum up leads and sales while you focus on running your business.
But when confronted with countless options, how can you tell that a particular agency is likely to help you realize your goals quicker than the others?
What is a Digital Marketing Agency?
Digital marketing agencies can help you improve your sales by using the right tools to track leads, customize ads, and create engaging posts on various channels on behalf of your company. The main aim of these agencies is to help you attract your ideal customers and improve your brand’s online presence.
Some of the common practices of a marketing agency include:
- Video advertising
- Mobile marketing
- Content marketing
- Email marketing
- Web design
- Asking the right questions to your online audience/ customers
- Social media advertising
- Google ads
- Market research
It is important to remember that different agencies can have different specializations when it comes to the services they offer. There are creative agencies, performance marketing agencies, market intelligence agencies, among many others. Each agency will also likely be entrenched within a specific industry or subset of industries when it comes to their clients and expertise. For example, if your business deals primarily with real estate, it may be worth filtering out agencies that have little-to-no experience with real estate clients.
Factors to Consider When Choosing a Digital Marketing Agency
Just as is the case with purchasing any other item or product, you need to consider some factors when choosing your ideal digital marketing agency. These include:
1. Determine Your Brand’s Marketing Needs
Before hiring a digital marketing agency, it is essential to know what the needs for your brand are. This way, it will be easier for you to make the right choice.
Before opting for a particular agency, ask yourself:
- What is the timeline of the work you need done?
- Do you have an established brand voice, position, and strategy?
- What sort of budget can you allow for ad spending and service fees?
- Do you have a target audience in mind?
- Which digital platforms are you targeting?
A good agency may pose a few of these questions during your initial stages of contact, but a great agency will go above and beyond to understand what your business requires to get started.
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2. Consider the Basics
Picking the right digital marketing agency for your business doesn’t have to be complicated. Before you reach out to agencies, you can look at some fundamental factors and decide whether a particular agency would be ideal or not. Here are some simple factors to consider:
- Does it have a portfolio of past clients and work with concrete results metrics?
- Who makes up the agency’s core teams and leadership; are they experienced?
- How accessible is the agency? I.e., are they in your timezone?
- What do Google reviews say about them?
- Are they promising realistic results?
3. Find a Digital Marketing Agency that Matches Your Needs
Finding a perfect agency for your brand is easy if you know what you are looking for. To start, you should explore your options by scheduling calls with each agency. This gives the agency a chance to pitch their services to you, and gives you the opportunity to follow-up with questions of your own—more on that later. If you end up with several options, then you can start by analyzing the packages that each one has to offer.
Once you find an agency that you think is in line with what you are trying to achieve, the next step is to carry out background research. This step is perhaps the most crucial. You want to find out a few things that will greatly influence your decision-making process:
- Does the agency practice what it preaches?
- What do previous clients have to say?
- Are you convinced on how the agency does marketing for itself?
- What is their digital presence like?
- Does the agency have experience with your target audience?
- Can they help you connect with international markets via bilingual marketing?
The number of personal recommendations you get for a particular agency is likely more important than any of these factors. It is much easier to trust an agency based on a friend’s referral than their appearance on a Google search. Colleagues and industry connections may have used a given agency’s services in the past and can offer you a clearer picture of the quality of their work and how they operate.
4. Seek Clarifications and Ask Questions
Don’t just ask questions, ask the right ones. If you’re going to be investing funds into marketing your business, you should get all the information you can from a prospective agency. Here are a few things you can inquire about before you make your choice:
- Request to see examples of their previous work with similar clients and projects
- Find out who will be your account manager and pay attention to how they conduct themselves
- Ask how long the agency generally works with their clients
- How does the agency guarantee its deliverables? How many revisions are permitted within cost until you are satisfied with the work?
- How will the agency measure its results and ROI?
5. Consider the Price
Receiving high-quality work and premium service always comes at a cost. And if it’s cheap or seems too good to be true, the result will inevitably not meet your expectations. The right marketing agency invests a lot of time and effort to ensure the best results for your business. By paying more for an agency that is invested in your success, you will end up paying less in the long-term with a lower cost per lead (CPL).
Now, digital marketing doesn’t have to cost an arm and a leg. But finding an affordable digital marketing agency can be difficult, and investing in a premium agency that cares for your wants, needs, and success is worth it in the long run. An excellent digital marketing agency continuously optimizes your ads instead of pursuing a “set it and forget it” mentality, as many agencies are prone to do.
Some “cheaper” agencies may charge less for their services, but you will end up paying more for leads in the long run. This can be attributed to rushed or flawed strategies combined with a lack of experience and attention. A decision about initial investment and ongoing costs is essential when deciding which agency fits your business.
So, which is the Best Digital Marketing Agency?
Ideally one that cares, listens, and truly wants what is best for your business. These tips can help you narrow down your choices, but we can help you narrow things down even further.
Suppose you are looking for a digital marketing agency uniquely equipped to provide an unparalleled level of service and results with experienced and dedicated staff. In that case, Periphery Digital is here for you.
We understand that choosing the right agency can be difficult. Our experienced team is proud to provide transparency at every stage, low cost per lead, and, most importantly, the best return on your investment. Contact us today to experience the very best a digital marketing agency has to offer.