With the spread of corona-virus and the unprecedented pandemic we are facing, many of us have had to face many difficulties on a personal and professional level. As members of the public many of us have struggled to connect with our usual suppliers and equally, businesses have struggled to communicate their products and services to the public. Companies have also struggled to maintain their steady stream of income with many physical locations and stores shut. Companies have swiftly tried to move their brands and products online so as to ensure some sort of relief and allow their businesses to float during this pandemic. Some have even taken advantage of the situation and “jumped” on the internet bandwagon with ads, SEO, Google Adwords, Social Media campaigns, and even live videos from their social media pages.

The internet is indeed on the rise, considering the increased amount of time we are now all spending exploring our options, revisiting old favourite sites, streaming movies, or simply shopping for household and other items. If you are also in the process, of exploring your options online, there are a number of things you should consider before hiring someone, a friend, or even an agency to guide through the “mysterious and unknown” waters of social media and the World Wide Web.

There are lots of reasons to hire a digital marketing company, and most of them are connected to what you are seeking to get out of your online presence. Gathering leads, selling products, and increasing awareness of your business are the primary goals for most companies but make sure you explore all elements of your potential new partnership.

Initial boxes they need to tick usually include their process, location, flexibility, availability, and cost. But how can you spot the strongest companies in a market with many options and quotes available?

Once you’ve found agencies that specialize in the right services, you’re ready for these hard-hitting questions! Have a look at 5 crucial questions we advise all our clients to ask any of their new potential digital partners.

Do you really know what you need?

Start by clearly identifying which aspects of digital marketing you’re looking to outsource. These might include:

  • Social media management (content creation, posting/scheduling, responding to comments/messages, reporting)
  • Social media advertising (boosted posts, ad campaigns, audience/targeting management, reporting)
  • SEO strategy and content optimization (on-page SEO)
  • Link building campaigns
  • Local SEO (optimization, Google My Business management, reporting)
  • Technical SEO (audits, 301 management, Google Search Console reporting, and fixes)
  • Content marketing (strategy, writing, images, optimization)
  • Google display or paid search ads (strategy, content creation, budget management, adjustments, reporting)
  • Email marketing (strategy, content creation, scheduling, subscriber database management, reporting)
  • Brand strategy (market research, strategic documentation, management, reporting)

Once you are clear on your goals and what you want to get out of your digital marketing strategy, consider your budget and ads to ensure you maximize your awareness online. Plan a long term (minimum 6 to 12 months’ strategy) and then start asking those crucial questions that mean a lot to you and your success.

Check their Google Testimonials?

Online reviews are a natural extension of “word-of-mouth” marketing and hence it is vital you find out what your partner reviews and online testimonials are. There will always be one, two, or even 3 negative reviews, nobody can please everyone in the world. But look at the majority of their reviews and also check if they respond to all their customers. Disgruntled or not. Rapport and communication are vital to a successful agency as they demonstrate their continued efforts to improve their services.

Are they knowledgeable in the field?

It’s worth your while to look for an agency that has experience in your industry like CFM Group. Not only will they know what your struggles are, but their strategies and expertise will help you to design custom marketing campaigns catered specifically to your target audience.

If you find an agency that has experience in your industry, ask them if they have had success on a conversion goal that’s similar to yours such as leads or online sales.

A strong background in your industry means the agency can not only help you build killer marketing campaigns, but also steer you away from ideas that don’t work.

Portfolio and Previous Work checked?

All the above might be good but you still need to like their design, style, and feel as a company. Do they have that quirkiness, cutting edge, and modern designs you are looking for? Have they got demonstrated experience in creating e-commerce websites or beautiful bootstrap designs? Always check a company’s portfolio and have a look at their previous work and websites, choose the elements you like from each design, and reference them to them when you meet. Also, a good agency will never be insulted if you show them a design you like, from another designer. They will gladly custom make that for you, in a better way, so feel free to ask why.

What kind of guarantees do they give you?

There are some promises a company can keep and some they cannot. Honouring a contract that has been signed, meeting deadlines, and completing a project to specifications are things that can (and should) be promised.

Unfortunately, there are scams in all industries and the same takes place in digital marketing too. Beware any digital marketing company or marketer with bogus claims that make claims like these:

  • Getting your site into position 1 or position 0 in search results
  • Achieving perfect technical SEO health for your site
  • Earning a specific email open rate or advertising click-through rate
  • Claiming they can build and design a perfect website in a week
  • Reaching specific numbers in social metrics (likes, follows, comments)
  • Claiming that can bring a twofold return in social media within a week
  • Achieving a specific domain authority

These are all of course attainable but your budget is always relevant to results. A company might have even been able to help another client achieve these goals but this is why they are called targets and goals. Any company that promises they can deliver an exact number or give you fast results is a red flag and should make you reconsider their services.

Digital marketing is a game of ever-changing strategies and numbers. Content marketing can take six months to years to show its first results. SEO takes ongoing effort, and every time a search engine changes its algorithm, it can change your performance. Open rates and click-through rates depend on many factors and require constant testing and adjusting.

CFM GROUP has over 8 years of experience in the Website Development market. Just read our testimonials to know you are in good hands. Every single website we create is bespoke because no single client is the same. Getting to know your business and your exact needs are integral to producing a beautiful website that looks professional and sells your services or products to your target audience effectively.

We’d love to hear your view so do not hesitate to contact us, subscribe to this blog for free, or click here to arrange a FREE Consultancy meeting. Keep up to date with the latest content by following our Social profiles on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram.