Small Business: Are Local Marketing Companies Better Than Large Agencies?
When small business owners hit the web to find a digital marketing company, the options are endless. It can be overwhelming for someone who is seeking advice, a digital marketing plan, but not sure who to pick and trust. Here are some great tips on what to ask a Digital Marketing Company and what might be the best options for your business.
Already Have a Website – Ask For a Free SEO Audit
Many companies have software that can run a general overview of your online presence. This can include how your website functions for viewers if it’s up to the current technology — like being mobile-friendly, and how well you show up for words you want to be found for on Google — your services or products. A Digital Marketing Company should be able to do an SEO Audit for free if not, it might not be a company up to date on the current technology. After an SEO Audit, an in-depth analysis of your business marketing is done called a Digital Marketing Strategy Plan. This plan acts as a guide on how to improve your current digital marketing position. These are normally not free and can give you some great tips on how to improve your marketing efforts.
Choose Local Over Corporate Agencies
Corporate digital marketing agencies and big online digital marketing companies may have tempting offers — but how do you figure they can offer a service for so cheap? What kind of return on investment can you expect with a large marketing agency? As a previous employee at a large ADA approved digital marketing and web design company, I can tell you first hand you will not get what you pay for.
Some large companies can offer cheap SEO services because they automate processes or do the very basics. Others may employ people who aren’t qualified but are just there to read the numbers. The big problem is they act more like a “puppy mill” by using templated processes and way too many accounts to maintain. This typically means not enough time dedicated to your account for actual growth, which may not be the best strategy for your business. This can be a huge waste of your money and times with very little ROI (return on investment).
Local Digital Marketing Companies can offer a strategy that tailors to your business. Since they are local, they have the advantage of knowing your target audience and geological target. Most local digital marketing agencies are small enough where you can get the attention needed to have a successful campaign. Typically local agencies will have the same type of software available to your larger agencies and will have fewer clients. This actually works in your benefit since most local companies wont overextend and are selective in their clients workload, giving your business more attention and a better strategy plan.
What Extent of Information & Training
Not everyone knows how to do SEO or knows what digital marketing includes. That’s why you’re searching Google. Many agencies will tell you what needs to be done but the better agencies will tell you why with necessary training. Knowledge is power and a powerful campaign comes from educated businesses. A marketing agency that is able and willing to train you or your team about how things work are truly looking to improve your campaign. Now, they won’t share all their secrets. By providing some training will help make better decisions on the businesses end provided they understand the schematics of the data.
How Much Does It Cost
Like any equipment needed to run your business, digital marketing is an investment. Keep in mind that cheaper doesn’t necessarily mean better. Ask about the budget required to implement the campaigns that they want you to invest in. Inquire on the estimated return of investment and if there is a contract. Most companies will charge a setup fee or initial fee to get the campaign going. Typical setup fees vary from $250 to $500 per account. SEO and Adwords are usually twice as much from social media account setups. While some companies will try to sell you every service they have, you may not have the budget nor the need for every service. Ask about different levels of aggressiveness for their suggested campaign.
How Will They Measure The Success of The Campaign
When talking with a prospective agency they should be able to support their recommendations with data. Ask about metrics and analytics that support their strategy and how often you’ll receive reports on these growths. Listen to their answers. It will soon tell you if they can provide the measurements you want to see that are relative to your business or just another “cookie-cutter campaign” that isn’t tailored to your marketing goals. Conversations with a prospective agency should be well explained in detail, not vague or leaving you confused. A great digital marketer will take the time to explain a suggested strategy, duration, how it can provide a return with data to back it up.