Your guide to finding the best digital marketing agency.
Being an agency owner for the last 6 years, I have come across many digital marketing agencies, digital marketing professionals. In the 8 years prior to that, I have worked in the client-side and so in the last 14 years, it’s fair to say I’ve seen and been exposed to a ton of digital agencies, some good and some not so good.
In this post, I attempt to share with you answers for the following questions especially for businesses looking for a digital marketing agency based in Sydney or at least has some presence in Sydney but the concepts can be applied to anywhere as well.
- How to find the best digital marketing agency
- How to lock a deal with the best digital marketing agency
- How to know they are the right fit for you
- How to negotiate a great deal with the right digital marketing agency
- How to get the most from a digital marketing agency
Let me just preface this. Finding the ‘best’ people isn’t the hard part. The hardest part is finding the best people before they become too expensive and perhaps too unaffordable for some businesses. The old saying ‘you get what you pay for’ is so true especially in the field of digital marketing but at the same time, ‘you get what you can afford’.
To hit the jackpot, you really want to be able to find the best digital marketing agency before they ‘pop’ and become a big shot. A lot of agencies will offer lower rates to break into the market.
A couple of years down the road when they have an established name, their rates can double or triple or even go much higher. Think of it like a scout. Your job especially as a small or medium enterprise business is to scout for the best agency that’s not quite established so you can tap into hungry yet competent talent that’s willing to go above and beyond for you.
So, with that said, let’s jump straight into it.
1. How to find the best digital marketing agency in Sydney
There are a few ways.
The obvious one is Google Search. And you really want to do a good sweep of what is out there and not just the first few that come up. The first thing you want to do is go through their Google reviews and you want to be looking for quality rather than quantity. Anyone can write a review but a solid review that can help portray what you can expect and how happy their clients are is going to be very important.
The second place to look for agencies is Clutch.
This site is one of the best if not the best when it comes to agencies listings and reviews. Not only that, you also get a sneak peek on their range of services as well as their rates.
A digital agency that has solid reviews on both sites will probably be a legitimately good agency.
But reviews are not everything. You want to dig deeper and get more valuable insights. This is where the assessment and validation part come in.
2. How to assess and validate your shortlist of the best digital marketing agency
The first step is to visit their site which can tell you a lot. Great aesthetics, look and feel and site speed means a lot. If an agency has a poor or an old website, they’ll probably be behind the mark in other ways. If their site is creative and modern, you can have a greater degree of confidence that their design talent and capabilities will be on point.
Next, you want to look at their copywriting. How does their tone of voice come across? Are they fun, serious, confident, or my favourite one ‘too salesy’?
Next you want to check their blog. A great agency will have a great blog. It’s one of the best ways to tell if they practice what they preach and know what they are talking about. If their blog is poor and one dimensional, most likely they are not for you.
3. How to know they are the right fit for you
Being the right fit for you means that that digital marketing agency is not only the best in terms of capabilities but also how much they are going to charge you as well as the cultural fit. Just like when you look to hire someone and especially in bigger organisations, the cultural fit is always important. If they people you are bringing on board don’t quite fit with your values, vision, mission and how you communicate. You need to see this as an investment. Many businesses think that because they can hire and fire agencies, that this doesn’t matter. This is not an ideal way of looking at it. Instead, you should view it as a long-term investment. Having your digital marketing agency be a true extension of your workforce is instrumental to your success.
4. How to lock in a great deal with the best digital marketing agency
There are many ways to do a contract with an agency and surely every agency out there has one or two standard payment structure but there are times when you the stars align and both sides are exceptionally interested in working together that a great deal is worth pursuing. What’s important to note that you don’t push too hard in a direction that agency is not overly interested in. In saying that, if your business, product or service is exciting, unique and has great potential, that agency might be inclined to give you more juice because they can see the potential in your business. The elements you can use in striking a great deal are
- Contract length
- Success and milestone bonuses
- Success and milestone contract adjustments
Every digital marketing agency like to do 12-months and 24-months contracts. This gives them stability and certainty especially if they have to scale their human resources to cater for the additional work they have to do. On the other hand, you might not want to be committed for that long for whatever reasons including being not 100% sure about them yet.
What you can do in this case is counter offer them with another attractive offer. For example, you can offer an initial 6 months offer at a slightly discounted rate and if the KPIs are achieved, the contract is auto extended to another 18 months at a much higher rate.
Note: This is not legal advice and you will need to consult with your legal advisor on how to structure and vet your contracts. This is a rather idea of how you can structure your business relationship.
Another wild card which has personally been offered to me before, is equity in the business. This is a very complex yet attractive offer that comes at a cost for both parties. For the agency, this means they might have to heavily discount their rates in exchange for part of your business. For you as a client, it means that you give a way chunk of your business.
5. How to extract the most whilst working with them
Everyone wants the best bang on their buck but it’s important to know when to push and when to pull when dealing with partners like an agency. If your agency partner appreciates you, there is a high chance every now and then you’ll go outside their scope to help you to get things over the line. But expecting ‘too much’ can eventually sour the relationship. So, make sure you are fair and square in terms of what you expect.
That aside, getting the most from your agency partner will be directly correlated to how much you
- Trust them to achieve the expected results
- Enable them by streamlining your internal processes that might in the way
- Share your vision and future plans as much as possible
- Give them freedom to create and innovate
If you are looking to work with one of the best Digital Marketing Agency in Sydney, feel free to fill out our enquiry form and we’ll reach out to you..