how to choose the best digital marketing agencies

There is no shortage of Digital Marketing Agencies in Australia. Today, there are thousands of digital agencies all vying for your attention with promises of grandeur and outlandish sales tactics. So, how do you find an online marketing agency that knows what they are doing?

Before you start throwing money at the digital marketing agency that can supply the most compelling proposal or sales pitch, we have put together some tips that you need to keep in mind when choosing your digital marketing partner.

Work with a Specialist

Whether you are investing in search engine optimisation or website design, you need to choose an online advertising agency that specialises in those services. Before you throw money at your problem, it’s essential to understand what you are looking to achieve, and which channel will be best for your business. Here is a good rule of thumb to follow:

• Looking to invest in SEO? Partner with an SEO Agency
• Looking to invest in Facebook Ads? Partner with a Facebook Marketing Agency
• Looking to Invest in Google Advertising? Partner with a Specialist Google Ads Agency

You wouldn’t hire a plumber to do your electrical work, and you wouldn’t call an electrician to do your landscaping work. It may seem obvious, but you need to choose an agency specialist in the field you are looking for.

Many businesses choose to work with a full-service digital marketing agency because it means one point of contact. However, the problem with this approach is that large full-service digital agencies do not have the specialised knowledge to deliver at the highest level.

jack of all trades, master of none

For instance, at Safari Digital, we only offer search engine optimisation services to our clients. So whether that is Local SEO, Enterprise SEO, or E-Commerce SEO – we do one thing. We specialise in SEO because it is complex enough on its own without offering 3-4 other digital marketing services.

The best digital agencies in Australia are the ones that limit their service offering. So be wary of companies that offer to make your website, run your Facebook Advertising, and create your digital assets – it’s a recipe for disappointment.

Choose an Agency That Cares About Clients, Not Appearance

It may seem appealing to work with a digital marketing agency with an expensive office, kombucha on tap and table tennis set up for staff. But what does this mean for your business? Sadly, not much.

Many large digital marketing agencies have substantial financial backing, which can make them look appealing to potential clients. Live the dream and sell the dream – right? Wrong! Your digital marketing agency should be a specialist in their field. Don’t worry about which agency has the best staff amenities or the most expensive – choose the agency that cares more about their clients than their image.

hallmarks of overstaffed digital agencies

We see hundreds of new ‘agencies’ pop up each year. Of those, many use paid marketing channels and financial backing to lure in unsuspecting clients. The problem is that the agencies allocate around 90% of their time to onboarding clients and 10% of their time to doing client work.

Rather than focussing on the size of their office or the quality of their LinkedIn-influencing, focus on what they can provide your business as a service. When you are looking for an agency that can deliver revenue-generating results for your business, look at the ones that perform well in their own industry. Look at client testimonials, online reviews, and ask for case studies of client success stories. Don’t pick an agency because their founder drives a Ferrari – choose an agency because their founder knows how to deliver digital services to their clients.

Choose Transparency

Far too many digital agencies claim to have the secret recipe for online success. This means that small to large business owners have to go through an extensive vetting process to separate the agencies that talk the talk from the agencies that walk the walk.

At Safari Digital, we empower prospective clients with information and digital solutions. From there, it is up to them to decide whether we will be the right fit for their business or whether they are better off partnering with another company.

choose an agency that is selective with their clients

One of the most significant issues with the digital landscape is that agencies are willing to take on every client that approaches them for services. For example, at Safari Digital, we only work with around 20% of companies that approach us for search engine optimisation services. Not because we don’t want to work with everyone or don’t like them, but because not everyone is the right fit for our services.

Transparency is the most essential ingredient in a successful agency/client relationship. Rather than selling you a best-case scenario, your digital agency should provide you with options and empower you with solutions to your problems.

Our process begins with learning about your business and your unique business goals. From there, we can develop a customised SEO strategy that is tailored towards your industry and your individual goals.

Choose an Agency Staffed by Marketers – Not Salespeople

Does your digital marketing company employ salespeople or do they employ marketers?

One of the most common things that we see is that digital marketing agencies in Australia employ more account managers and salespeople than marketing specialists. The issue is, digital agencies are allocating an excessive number of resources to selling their services but not allocating any effort into delivering those services.

marketers not salespeople

At Safari Digital, we do not employ any salespeople or account managers. Our marketing strategy is simple; we rank for some of the most competitive SEO industry keywords in Australia, so that leads come to us naturally through organic Google search. If you call us, you will speak to one of our SEO specialists – the same ones that will do the work on your website. By employing SEO professionals, not salespeople, you won’t get any pushy sales tactics, and you will speak directly with a professional that can provide honest, valuable advice.

One of the most important questions that you can ask a prospective marketing agency in Australia is: “Who will be working on my website, and who will be my point of contact?”. Hint: it should be the same person. If someone is implementing changes to your website, then they are the ones you should be talking to. You shouldn’t be two or three degrees of separation away from the people working on your site.

Choose an Agency that Won’t Work with Your Competition

You wouldn’t see Sydney FC and Western Sydney Wanderers sharing a coach, a locker-room or a game plan – so why are digital marketing agencies doing it?

We see it all too often, agencies that are working with multiple businesses in the same industry and location. The problem is clear – a conflict of interest. How can you possibly expect to outperform your competition when they are implementing exactly the same strategies as your business?

One of the most important questions that you need to ask your digital marketing partner is:

Are you working with any of my competitors?

If they answer yes, then that should be the end of your interaction with them. Any digital marketing company worth their salt will tell you upfront if they are working with someone in your industry. You wouldn’t expect a parent to choose a favourite sibling, so a marketing company should not be doing the same for their clients.

It doesn’t matter whether you are working with a PR agency, or a marketing agency – choosing an agency that works with your competition is a big NO. In addition to the obvious conflict of interest, how will your digital marketing agency choose who to prioritise when an earned media opportunity comes up? It’s a dilemma that they should not need to face.

work with an agency that does not work with your competition

Review Your Options of Digital Marketing Agencies

Have the above points struck a chord with you? If so, it may be time to review your digital services provider. At Safari Digital, we have expertise in one single aspect of online marketing – search engine optimisation. If you are looking to improve the number of clicks your website receives at scale – SEO is an excellent solution for your business. SEO is the most scalable and cost-effective way to grow your business.

If you are looking for other digital marketing services – we may not be the best fit. But don’t be afraid to get in touch for an assessment of your website or ask us about who we know in the industry. Chances are, we can put you in touch with a specialised in the area of online marketing that you are looking at.

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