Whether you're already under a retainer with a digital marketing agency or looking to sign a contract with a new one, chances are you'll ask yourself: "how can I see return for my marketing investment?" Or, from a more collaborative angle, the question may be: "how can I work better with my digital agency?"
Regardless of your approach, any digital service you're outsourcing -- be it social, website development, SEO, content or advertising -- there are a few simple ways to make sure the digital agency is in line with your overall business strategy, that you know where the deliverables stand, and that you're getting insights which will help you down the line. Let's look at 4 ways you can get more from your digital agency:
1. Have Your Ducks in a Row
If you're setting off or already on your digital marketing journey, you should level-set and make sure you have all of your marketing activities in line. This includes the basics like your company branding, differentials, value statements, and budget on through your traditional marketing, events, and target clients.
If you update your agency as these things come around or change, they'll be in better position to make recommendations on how they can help connect and promote your other marketing and company-wide initiatives.
2. Lines of Command (and Approval)
Due dates and schedules are only valuable when they're respected and followed. You'll want to make sure your agency is giving you materials as promised, but how and when you review and approve that content is just as -- if not more -- important.
At the very least, make sure you have the right people in the room (or CC'd on email) when it comes time to review a piece of content. This will save you time explaining to your boss (or boss' boss) why you decided to sign off on something -- when, low and behold, it goes against what they had in mind. Once you're clear on who should be included in approvals, be realistic about your time line so the agency can turn them around on schedule.
3. Know What You're Aiming For
You should balance the amount you're spending on marketing with the value your digital agency delivers to your company. Before setting off on your campaign or digital activity, you should have key performance indicators (KPIs) in mind which would signal success and contribute to your company goals. This can be awareness, lead generation, engagement or any other end-game which meets the "S.M.A.R.T." criteria.
The number of leads generated, cross selling opportunities identified, the amount of traffic, or engagement received are just a few KPIs which may apply -- your agency can help define these based on your industry, previous activity and budget. If you know your conversion rate, the average cost of a lead, or previous results, you'll have information to benchmark the performance of your marketing and the agency.
4. Share Industry Insights
By the very name and nature, your digital agency of choice should be masters of their digital craft. So when it comes to the website development, social engagement, advertising targeting, or content creation, they should be able to craft a solution that best meets your company goals and vision -- but that rests on the information you share.
While there are agencies that specialise in industries, it's worth working with those that ask the right questions to learn about your business and industry approaches and wording. Those that treat clients as "one-size-fits-all" are worth avoiding -- and you should put in effort to share insights, including announcements, events, awards, news stories, or anything that would help give current event and context to what you live day-to-day.
Bringing it together
If you have these four approaches in order, you're doing what you can to get the most out of your agency. All that said, if the agency you're working with isn't up to standard, the quality of work and insights you're getting will also be sub par.
Have you struggled with an agency or have questions about working with one? Let us know in the comments below or use the form at right to see how Nexa may be able to help.