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10 Questions to Ask When Hiring a Digital Agency

While you most likely already know why you should use an agency for your digital marketing, do you know how to choose the right one? If you’ve ever put an ad out, or Googled “Digital Agencies near me”, you’ll know that there’s absolutely no shortage of digital agencies. It seems that every second person you meet, “and their aunty”, has their own agency. In such a saturated market, how do you go about choosing the agency that best suits your needs, and can actually walk the talk? Here are some key areas to explore to find that perfect fit agency partner for your company.

Question 1: What type of companies do you serve, and in what industries or markets?
Question 2: What services do you specialise in? Is there anything you don’t offer?
Question 3: How do you measure success and ROI?
Question 4: Is any of the work outsourced?
Question 5: How available will I need to be?
Question 6: When can I expect to see results?
Question 7: What is included each month with my contract?
Question 8: What is your employee’s retention rate?
Question 9: Can you get me on page one of Google by next week?
Question 10: Will you work with my competitor?

digital agency staff

1. What type of companies do you serve, and in what industries or markets?

If the agency specialises in B2B and you’re a water slide park, it’s most likely not going to be a good fit. Many agencies try to be all things to all clients and never turn away business. But experienced agencies are very clear at what they’re good at and what they’re not. For example, at SOMS Digital we are well-rounded in different types of markets, but have most of our experience in the accommodation, e-commerce and lifestyle sectors.

2. What services do you specialise in? Is there anything you don’t offer?

Is the agency a Jack of all trades, or a one-trick pony? While every agency is better at some things than others, you do need your marketing efforts to be well-rounded, and for this, your agency should be fairly versatile in its capabilities. For example, what good is your flashy new website, if the content is riddled with grammar and spelling errors? You need your digital agency to ensure all your website, content and marketing efforts fit together seamlessly, and all be on par with the level of proficiency.

Some important digital marketing capabilities to consider when looking into a Company for Digital Marketing:

  • Web design and development
  • Website hosting
  • Search Engine Optimisation (SEO)
  • Paid search / CPC
  • Content creation
  • Digital strategy


3. How do you measure success and ROI?

A good, experienced agency will be more than happy to show you how they measure, optimise and track everything they work on. You could even ask for an example or demo of the metrics and tools they use so you can get a better idea of how they measure results.

4. Is any of the work outsourced?

Are any of the services outsourced, or is there a dedicated in-house team? While it’s perfectly fine and normal for agencies to outsource a couple of things, you will have much more comfort knowing if there is a dedicated team for the core digital services. For example, if there is a crisis on your website, an in-house team can put the flames out immediately, whereas outsourced services will take longer. An in-house team will also be more familiar with your brand, compared to outsourced individuals who might be working on your brand for the first time, and may not understand your CI as confidently.

5. How available will I need to be?

While it would be great if you could sit back and let the agency handle everything from start to finish, realistically hiring an agency requires some account management on your part as well to approve designs, content, collaborate on projects and provide feedback.

6. When can I expect to see results?

This is a good question to ask, to ensure you and the agency are on the same page with expectations. Sometimes, a client might be expecting their Google Ads campaign to start bringing in leads from the second day, not knowing that Google first goes through a computer learning phase for 2 weeks. Having an open conversation upfront about results will help ensure expectations are made clear from the very beginning.

Beware of agencies that promise you overnight results, as this reveals skewed expectations. For most digital marketing efforts, it takes time and effort to build a foundation that will yield real quality results through things like SEO strategy, Google ads maintenance, content creation, and web development.

7. What is included each month with my contract?

Contracts will vary from agency to agency, so it’s important to be aware of what deliverables are expected and when to expect them. For example, you’ve paid for an agency to manage your social media, but does this include creating and posting content to your platforms only, or does it include community management as well? Knowing what to expect can help keep your budget and projects in scope with no hidden surprises down the road.

8. What is your employee’s retention rate?

It’s important for your agency to become intimately involved with your brand and its products and services. While one or two staff members leaving is normal, agencies with a high staff turnaround are a red flag in that their staff members are being spread too thin. This creates inefficiencies in the relationships, and the team is not able to give your account the time and care it deserves, as they are simply churning out sausages in the sausage factory.

9. Can you get me on page one of Google by next week?

If the answer is yes, you’re probably talking to the wrong agency. No one can guarantee anything when it comes to Google, and SEO is a gradual and consistent long-term strategy that takes consistency, nurturing and constant fine-tuning. Anyone who promises that you will go from zero to hero overnight is most likely trying to take advantage of you, and will look for short-term SEO games rather than build an authentic content strategy that yields better quality leads and better long-term results.

10. Will you work with my competitor?

This is a tricky area that different agencies have different views on, so it’s worth asking about this, especially if you are set on having your chosen agency work not do any work on your competitors. At SOMS Digital, you can rest assured that once you sign with us, we will not work on any of your direct competitors.

Finding the right fit

We hope this list has helped provide a starting point to get conversations started, and if the agency has answered the questions openly and confidently, you should be in good hands. If you’re looking for a new digital agency for your business, reach out to us at SOMS Digital Agency – we’d be more than happy to answer these questions, and any others you might have!

Originally posted 2022-02-23 14:49:04.

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