Are you getting what you really need from your relationship with your digital marketers? Digital marketing agencies exist to make your life easier, but they can do their job best when you’re working together efficiently. And when your digital marketers are working efficiently, they’re a big part of improving your brand reputation and growing your bottom line.
7 Ways to Get the Most From Digital Marketing Agencies
1. Know What You’re Expecting Them to Do
When you sit down to talk to digital marketing agencies, don’t speak in generalities. Having only vague goals, like “get some more social media likes” or being unsure of how your digital goals are related to your long-term business goals, keeps your marketing agency from helping you effectively. As you discuss strategy, expect a good marketing company to ask you specific questions as they nail down exactly what you want them to accomplish.
If one of your goals is to increase the number of followers you have on your social media accounts, good digital marketing agencies will immediately want to know why. Are you hoping to find new customers? Do you want to use social media as a way to deepen your relationship with your existing customers? Are you just trying to increase brand awareness? Your specific goals will determine what your marketing agency can do for you.
Maybe you know you need to be producing more and better blog posts, but again, why? Do you need them to drive traffic to your site? Are you hoping your blog will be a source for lead generation as people sign up for updates? The more specific you can be, the more you empower your digital marketers to generate the results you’re looking for.
2. Be Completely Honest
Good digital marketing agencies have seen it all: the good, the bad, and the ugly. You can’t surprise them with a failed strategy you’re a little embarrassed about or a public relations snafu you’re hoping no one remembers. But if you aren’t upfront from the beginning, you’re really only wasting your own time and money.
Don’t force your digital marketing partner to reinvent the wheel and stumble over marketing techniques that you already know don’t work for you. Be sure they know about any major public relations issues so they can protect you and find ways to bury it so you can move forward. And always be honest about the challenges facing your company.
3. Try Not to Micromanage
Few things are harder on a professional than when someone without much experience insists on grabbing the reins at every turn. You’ve probably experienced this with your own clients or customers, from the person who’s sure their low-resolution image will print perfectly on a giant flyer to the one who wastes half the day of your roofing project telling you how to do your job.
Of course, you should be involved with your digital marketing partner, and at every step, and your needs and goals are paramount. But you’re hiring marketers because they bring expertise to the table that you’re lacking. Let them do the job you’ve hired them to do.
How to Manage Without Micromanaging
Whenever you’re unsure of why your agency is trying a specific approach, don’t hesitate to ask. Great digital marketers can explain their strategies clearly. But remember that they’re professionals who know what they’re doing, and once you have a plan in play, it’s usually best to stick to it unless there’s a compelling reason to divert. Think of your marketing partners as you would a team within your own company. The best team leaders are the ones who clearly lay out the goals, choose the right people for the job, and then inspire and empower them to do what they do best.
4. Be Realistic About What Will Happen
Some digital marketing agencies are quick to make pie-in-the-sky promises about how quickly they can double your revenue or triple the number of Facebook followers you have. If the promises sound too good to be true, they probably are, and the companies who make them tend to view you as just another notch in their belt or number of dollars in the bank.
It takes time to build a great website and make it fully functional. It takes time for Google’s algorithms to notice your changes and give you the bump in rankings you need. It takes time to grab attention on social media. Trust the company that clearly views their relationship with you as a partnership and wants to work with you to steadily grow your business so everyone benefits.
5. Be On Time and Demand the Same of Them
When you’ve got meetings scheduled with your digital marketers, don’t skip them. They’re crucially important, and you shouldn’t work with any agency that doesn’t also treat them that way. But being on time also means producing necessary materials when they’re needed.
Some things the agency wants from you might seem like really low priorities in the bustle of the hectic workday, but those photos or bios of your managers or the graphics of your logo are important. Until you send them to your marketers, you can’t get that change to your website, that press release, or that updated business listing that will improve your brand reputation and generate more leads.
6. Let Them Know When Things Change
Remember that your marketing partners aren’t sharing the office with you. They won’t know you’ve developed a new product or made a major update to one of your services unless you tell them. If you make a new key hire or open a branch office across town, they need to know fast so they can update the necessary business listings as well as your website.
In the digital age, every second counts. If someone else tells a story about you or one of your people before you can get the story out there, then they control the narrative. By keeping your digital marketing partners in the loop, you can stay in control of your image and reputation online.
7. Be Open to Integration
One of the biggest reasons companies struggle to get the online reputation they want or generate the traffic they need is that they’ve siloed all their digital channels instead of treating them as a contiguous whole. While Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and your own website do need different things and require their own strategies, they should be integrated with your business and controlled by one, over-arching strategy.
If that’s been your habit up until now, expect your digital marketers to ask about bringing them all together and incorporating your social media accounts into the very fabric of your business. Be open to this. You probably contacted the agency because you needed help with your digital marketing, so let them bring their expertise to bear.
Get the Most From Your Digital Marketing Agency
At Digital Marketing Collective, we work hard to get to know you so we can all benefit. Our goal is nothing less than helping you grow your business and revenue by using our expertise to take advantage of everything digital marketing can do. Contact Digital Marketing Collective today to get started getting the most from your digital marketing agency.