There are many digital marketing firms out there from which to choose.
So, how do you know which one is right for you?
There are some key questions that you should receive from your digital marketing firm.
These questions will let you know that they are selective to find the right clients for their firm to do their best work.
Below are the questions your digital marketing firm should be asking to do an effective job representing you.
That’s a pretty broad question, but sometimes a digital marketing firm needs to start here before even agreeing to take on a client. We often visit with clients who have not yet worked out their brand or their business, and they are struggling to identify who they are as a company.
The following questions may be able to help you fill in the gaps before even visiting with a digital marketing firm to be sure that you are ready for a marketing strategy.
What products and/or services do you offer?
How is your brand unique from your competitors? (In other words, what is your unique selling proposition – what makes you different or better?)
What social media platforms do you see as popular in your industry?
Do you currently have any place for your audience to interact with you (e.g. a blog, forum, social media profiles, etc.)?
What is the personality and voice of your brand? If your brand does not have an established voice, what would you like most portrayed in the voice of the brand (e.g. boldness, integrity, loyalty, witty, etc.)?
How has your brand voice changed in recent years?
These questions will help you determine if your brand is ready to launch a digital marketing strategy.
Perhaps first you want to work with a digital marketing firm to define your brand and voice. Perhaps you are not even ready for that step.
Agreement on focus and branding within a company and its decision makers is essential to move forward with a great digital marketing strategy.
No marketing firm (digital or traditional) can help your business if they are not familiar with your target market.
Your target market is not always easy to define, either. You should be able to work with your digital marketing firm to identify who your target market(s).
It may vary between the different services or products you provide.
Your marketing firm should have a solid grasp on all parties you are working to reach to create a successful comprehensive marketing plan for you.
Knowing your target audience reaches far beyond gender, age range, marital status, occupation, and level of income.
Those are all important to know, but your digital marketing firm should be interested in much more about your target audience.
For example, the questions below can help both you and your digital marketing firm get to know your target audience better:
What are the goals and values of your target audience?
What are some challenges they face?
Where does your target audience go for information?
What kind of blogs and websites do they visit?
What books are they reading?
Who do they look to as gurus for information?
What kind of conferences are they attending?
What are their objections to the sale?
If you cannot answer these questions, it will be harder for your digital marketing firm to represent your voice effectively.
If your digital marketing firm is not asking at least some of these questions, how will they know who to reach?
Again, this is a pretty broad starting question, but you have to start somewhere.
A digital marketing firm should be interested in what you are currently doing to market your company. They should want to know the current online channels you use for marketing and how that process is managed. They should also be asking about your current website conversion rates and bounce rates.
Other questions that can help hone the focus of the current marketing strategy is as follows:
What channels are currently producing the most traffic for you?
What is the goal of having a customer visit your website: purchase a product or service, fill out a contact form, subscribe to a newsletter, etc.?
How is your business currently performing in online searches?
What are the results of your current digital presence?
What offline marketing do you currently utilize?
All of these questions can help your digital marketing firm get a feel for where your business has been and where it currently is with marketing strategy.
A successful strategy will only be formed after considering these things and moving forward with the questions that follow.
This question can help manage expectations of both you, as the client, and of your digital marketing firm.
Initially, many clients may see the only measure of success as a direct increase in sales. This is often a measure in more traditional advertising and marketing methods.
However, the very way in which sales cycles progress has changed significantly in recent years.
Social media, specifically, has affected purchasing decisions much more significantly, often more influenced by user-generated content than brand-generated.
This question can often also serve as a springboard to a necessary conversation between a client company and a digital marketing firm. Having the same goals from a digital marketing campaign can mean much more success for a client company and digital marketing firm.
Other questions that can contribute to this conversation are these:
Are you currently working with a public relations agency?
If so, what services do they provide for you?
Would we be able to communicate and collaborate with the PR agency?
Have you worked with any digital marketing firms before?
If so, why did you terminate the relationship?
What would you like to see us do differently than any previous partnerships?
This part of the conversation between the digital marketing firm and the client will help to ensure that the client’s goal is something that can be realistically accomplished with digital marketing.
This may be more logistics than strategy.
However, this part of the conversation is also essential. Putting the right people in touch with the right people, making sure that content isn’t being duplicated, and working efficiently are the goals of this part of the conversation with a digital marketing firm.
Some of the questions that can help with this are these:
Are you currently making any changes to your website?
Do you have in-house web developers or designers?
Are you currently creating or have created content in the past that can still be useful going forward?
With what organizations or associations do you connect?
Who will serve as the main contact for our firm?
Is that main contact a decision-maker or strictly a communicator?
How often would you like to hear from us for updates and/or adjustments to the digital marketing strategy?
All of these questions can often lead to more questions and discussion to be sure that everyone is on the same page.
Even though we have listed many questions here in this post, these are likely questions that will be discussed over a series of meetings.
Working with a digital marketing firm is a big and often necessary step in the success of your business.
Expecting these types of questions can help you be prepared for what that partnership will entail. It can also help you determine if you have found the right digital marketing firm for your particular brand and business.