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13 Things You Should Know When Hiring a Marketing Company

Marketing Company - Top Tips

Hiring the perfect marketing company is a tricky task.

Even deciding what your business needs from a marketing company can be tough in itself.

Fear not, this article will help you make the right decision.

There are so many marketing companies out there. All with very different approaches to how they help businesses.

You need a marketing company that’s a perfect fit for your business.

Now, when I say perfect, what do I mean?

Do I mean a company who will always deliver more than you ask? Or a company that’s just too good to fail?

No.

A perfect marketing company is the one who understands your business and its unique needs.

A perfect marketing company is willing to argue with you on a lot of different things and vice versa.

A perfect marketing company is willing to share their plans and strategies with you. They are also open to hearing your views.

Marketing Company - Hiring

There are generally two types of marketing company:

  1. Marketing consultant
  2. Marketing agency.

Understanding the difference between the two and what they have to offer will help you make an informed decision.

A marketing consultant acts as a mentor. They take time to understand your business, devise a strategic marketing plan with you and help your business begin to implement it.

What they won’t do is implement the running of this marketing plan. This may sound like a problem, but for small businesses this can be the ideal option.

Although you will pay a premium for the knowledge of the marketing consultant, the long-term cost can work out much cheaper.

As they don’t implement, a good consultant will have a wealth of knowledge about who you can hire. A part time marketing assistant can be an excellent asset to your company and work out as a much cheaper option ongoing.

Marketing Company - Many Hats

A marketing agency will usually take care of everything from the strategy to the implementation, meaning you don’t have to worry about anything when it comes to marketing.

As great as this sounds, this kind of approach does come with its drawbacks.

Good agencies come with a hefty price tag. You must make sure that your revenue will increase from the word go to offset the ongoing cost of the agency.

A bad agency can be a business’s kryptonite. As the agency would have full control of your marketing, mistakes they make can be much more disastrous. You must be sure that they know what they are doing.

Using an agency makes you lazy. If you are a business owner, leaving your entire marketing plan to an agency means you won’t learn fundamental marketing skills. Having a solid base of knowledge will enable to make better decisions in your business, help you understand what your marketing team is doing and help you make better hires.

Whether you decide your business needs a consultant or an agency, using due diligence when hiring a marketing company is the only way to really separate the wheat from the chaff.

Here are thirteen questions you should ask a marketing company before hiring them. The answers you receive to these questions will help you know if a company is fit for your business or not.

Question 1: What will be the email marketing strategy?

Email is almost 40 times more effective than Facebook and Twitter combined in helping your business acquire new customers, according to research by McKinsey.

Here’s what Christine Copertino, a spa director at Allegria Spa wrote about email marketing:

Marketing Company - Spa Director

When I visited Allegria Spa’s website, I saw how they are collecting emails.

Marketing Company - Emails

Don’t hire a marketing company without finding out their plans for collecting email addresses from your site visitors.

Crallan Family and Divorce Solicitors specialise in family law with offices in Bath, Bristol, and London. They collect emails on their website.

A good marketing company will use email marketing as part of their strategy.

If you are talking to a consultant, you can ask them to recommend places to find marketing freelancers to help you implement all of these things. Doing so, you will still have control over what gets sent to your email list.

If it’s an agency, you should know how they intend to use the emails collected. What kinds of messages are they going to be sending your email subscribers?

That is an important question you should ask because your business reputation is at stake here.

Will they be sending subscribers occasional offers from your business? Or, will they be sending them educational content on a weekly or monthly basis?

A few hours ago, I received this email from Thrive Market promoting their products.

I have no doubt that this is working well for them.

Email is a very powerful channel to market your product or service.

Make sure you have full access to your email list and if the marketing company is contacting your email subscribers, you should know the messages they are sending to them.

Question 2: What do they think about your site’s user experience?

When I talk about your site’s user experience, I’m referring to the totality of visitors’ experience with your site.

The UX includes how easy your site is to navigate, how fast it loads in web browsers, the friction visitors see when they try to complete whatever action on your site, etc.

Having a great site user experience means happier visitors. Happier visitors means more customers.

A great marketing company should tell you what they think about your site’s user experience.

Is there a message they think will resonate better with visitors? Can they capture visitors’ attention better than you’re doing right now? Can they help you explain your solution clearer and quickly? Can they write a compelling call to action that will get visitors to click?

It’s important you ask these questions before hiring a marketing company so that you get an understanding of how they think about your business.

Question 3: What do they think about getting the faces of your team on the website?

This may not seem like an important question, but it is. It helps you test the knowledge and understanding of the company.

Web users tend to trust sites of businesses that showcase the faces of people behind them. It’s always a good idea to put your picture and story (a bit about yourself) and that of each member of your team on your website.

For example, here at Grow, our “About Us” page contains information about each team member.

Question 4: What are their social media plans for your business?

Social media marketing can boost your business in various ways. It will increase your brand recognition. It will improve loyalty in your company.

A good marketing company should be able to advise you on the best social media channels for your business.

According to a report published by Texas Tech University, brands who engage on social media channels enjoy higher loyalty from their customers.

A study published on CMO.com found that people are more loyal to brands that care about them. How do you show customers you care?

It’s through social media.

On social media, the loyal customer will follow, comment, share and post about your brand. The loyal customer expects something in return.

You lose your loyal customers when your company isn’t maintaining an active presence on social media.

The marketing company you hire should have an answer for how to best manage your social media activities. It can’t be inactive.

Will social media marketing be part of the package?

If not, you should ask who will do the social media marketing for your business.

Having your marketing agency agree to manage your social media activities is one thing. Knowing how they will use social media is another thing.

They shouldn’t be sharing random posts with followers of your company on social media. It is good to know beforehand what they will do so you’re not surprised to see things that don’t justify the investment.

Falcon Pools is a swimming pool design and construction company based in Addlestone, Surrey. I like how they use social media to display their work, awards and educate prospects.

Question 5: Is SEO included in the package? And what tactics will they use?

SEO is the process of trying to rank higher in Google and other search engines.

When your site ranks higher in Google for phrases related to your business, you’ll see more visits and customers.

You should discuss SEO with your marketing company because it’s an essential digital marketing channel.

What are they going to be doing to improve your SEO?

Different businesses have different SEO needs.

SEO is a complex field. So, I’m not advising you to learn how it works. But you should at least know that the agency knows what they are doing.

Question 6: Are they doing content marketing?

Content marketing is a technique which involves creating and sharing online content. This could be videos, blogs or free downloads.

This may be expensive, especially if you’re a small company with a limited marketing budget.

But that shouldn’t stop you from asking your marketing company their thoughts about content marketing and how it can fit your budget.

In fact, I’ve seen business owners create content for themselves. A limited marketing budget shouldn’t be an excuse for not doing content marketing.

Why should you care about content marketing?

You should care because it can grow your business in a big way that other marketing strategies can’t.

For example, Marcus Sheridan used content marketing to grow his modest pool installation company into a multimillion-dollar business within a few years.

If you pay closer attention to the above image, you’ll see that traffic to his pool company’s site continued to grow year over year. That’s what content marketing can do for your business.

So, ask about content marketing from the marketing expert.

What do they think about using content marketing for your business? What will the ROI be? How much will it cost? Are your competitors using content marketing?

Their answers will give you insights that will help your business.

Question 7: Are they planning to use video marketing

To be honest, video marketing can be expensive. But that also depends on your budget.

If you’re paying a marketing company good money, you may want to know if they are going to be using video marketing to promote your brand.

Using videos in your marketing campaign can boost conversion rates.

Question 8: Are they using an editorial calendar?

Let’s assume that an agency wants to do content marketing for you.

You should ask them the below question:

“Are you going to be using an editorial calendar?”

If the answer is yes to that, ask them you want to see it.

An editorial calendar lets you know the content the agency is creating for your business in advance.

Marketers use editorial calendars to plan content marketing strategically.

It allows them to tie content offerings to date sensitive events like holidays, company milestones, product launches, trends in your industry and a lot more.

For example, John Lewis created a video content on how to lay an Easter table and use the page to promote relevant products they sell such as tablecloths, dinner sets, water glasses, etc.

Taylor Made Cakes of Tenterden, a bakery in Kent shared a Facebook update that promoted their Easter special offer.

Orders were already pouring in through this Facebook update alone.

A good marketing agency should be willing to share an editorial calendar of your content marketing campaign with you.

Question 9: What kind of pay-per-click (PPC) advertising will they use and how?

PPC is an advertising model where advertisers pay each time one of their ads is clicked.

There are different PPC platforms such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook Ad, etc.

PPC is more complex than SEO and social media because it offers you various methods and options of targeting customers.

Because PPC is complex and expensive, you need a marketing company to advise you on the best way to approach it.

Question 10: Will they use remarketing and how?

What is remarketing?

“Remarketing, also known as retargeting, is a form of online advertising that can help you keep your brand in front of bounced traffic after they leave your website. For most websites, only 2% of web traffic converts on the first visit. Retargeting is a tool designed to help companies reach the 98% of users who don’t convert right away.”

WordStream’s direct traffic increased after they started using remarketing.

Before then, they had invested pretty much in almost every marketing channel, but their brand was still unknown. Remarketing changed that. It boosted their repeat visits and conversions.

Ask your marketing expert if they’ll be using remarketing. If their answer is “no,” they should tell you why.

It could be that your budget is too small to use remarketing. Asking this question lets you know what you’ll be getting from the company and what you won’t be getting.

Question 11: Will they analyse the competition and send you a copy of their analysis?

No matter how smart or experienced your chosen marketing expert may be, the level of competition for your business can also determine success.

If your competitors have more talent and resources, you may find it difficult to compete with them doing what they do.

A great marketing company should do a competition analysis and send you a copy of their research.

Most of their decision-making process will be based on the information they’ve gathered about the competition.

There are many things you’ll learn from a competition analysis report.

You’ll identify direct and indirect competitors, their strengths and weaknesses.

You’ll see how you can outperform competitors in different marketing channels.

Question 12: Will they get your business listed in local business directories?

Getting listed in local business directories where your competitors also have listings will help you get in front of customers.

Many directories are free.

Yell.com and Yelp.co.uk are examples of free local directories.

The marketing expert should be willing to get your business in relevant and reputable directories.

Question 13: What are the metrics they prioritise in Google Analytics?

Google Analytics is the most used web analytics service on the internet. You need it to evaluate the work of your chosen marketing company. Your marketing consultant will install Google Analytics.

Google Analytics provides a variety of reports. However, reports are useless unless they are converting into real money value for your business.

It’s good to get a sense of the metrics your marketing agency will be tracking and improving, and know what each means for your business.

The metrics they track tell you a lot about their plans. If you feel those metrics don’t align with your goals, you may want to consider continuing your search for the marketing agency whose plans and goals match yours.

Nevertheless, here are some metrics you should pay attention to:

  • Users: The total number of visitors who visited your website. An increasing number of users is a positive sign.
  • Pageviews: The total number of pages viewed by visitors.
  • Average Session Duration: This records the average length of sessions in hours, minutes and seconds people spent on your website.
  • Bounce rate: This is the percentage of single-page visits registered on your site. It means people who visited only one page on your site and left. A low bounce rate is good for business.
  • New Sessions: A high percentage of new sessions shows that your brand is being discovered by people who don’t know about it before.

These metrics give you insights into what your marketing agency is doing. What you need is more sales, customers, and profits. But these metrics are a good place to start from in Google Analytics.

Marketing Company - You're hired

Conclusion

A great marketing company should provide answers to these questions.

Your chosen marketing company should tell you what they can and can’t do. They should tell you what you’ll be getting from the very beginning. You should know their plans for your business.

A lot of things also depend on your budget. You may not be able to get many of the services listed on this page.

The answers you get to the above questions will tell you if a marketing company has the potential to lead your company to growth or not.

Here at Grow, we offer one of the best digital marketing services you can find on the web. Contact us today for your digital marketing needs.

Thank you for reading.

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