Because of how business has evolved over the past two decades, digital marketing is essential to the success of a small business. It's also complicated. There are millions of techniques and tools, and just as many service providers to choose from. We should know, as we're one of them; providing digital marketing services for our small business clients.
To help you choose the right digital marketing firm, here are four steps to take before entering into an agreement:
1. Set A Budget
One of the first questions a digital marketing firm will ask is "what's your budget?" They will ask this not only to determine if you would be a fit to work with but to understand what techniques and tools will become a part of any potential digital marketing plan.
Imagine going into a car dealership without knowing what you have to spend. The salesman wouldn't know whether to put you in a brand new BMW or a used Toyota Carolla. Your budget is the gas that allows your marketing plan to move your business forward, and without knowing exactly what you have available to spend, a service provider can't give you a clear picture of what they will be able to do for you.
2. Know Your Market
After knowing what your monthly budget is for digital marketing, you will need to clearly outline who you're selling to – your target market. For example, if you're selling to teenage women, a heavy focus on social media will likely be a major part of your plan.
At Mavidea, we have clearly defined profiles for our target market, called avatars. Our avatars have names, occupations, projected annual income, and other details. We even have large cardboard cutouts of what they look like. They help us stay focused on recruiting the clients we want to work with.
3. Have Your Own Plan
Believe it or not, you should have a basic marketing plan in mind when looking to hire a digital marketing firm. This plan will detail how your team believes your marketing budget should be spent. The digital marketing firm's job is to execute this plan effectively. The right firm will act as your partner and will help you shift the plan as you both learn what works and what doesn't.
4. Decide How Much Risk You're Willing to Take
If a firm's prices reflect the effectiveness of their services, then the higher-priced firms should in effect be less risky than firms with low prices. For example, we spend a large amount of our marketing budget on content. We could hire a writer overseas to create a blog post for $5, but there's a lot of risks involved. Instead, we have writers on our team that we can rely on. If you are okay with taking on risk, you may be able to spend a little less and work with a smaller firm or freelancer. If digital marketing is a priority for your company to drive sales, which for most businesses it is, you may not be able to take on much risk.
By following these four steps, you will know your budget, who you are selling to, have a rough plan in place and know the type of firm that will best fit your company's needs and goals.
Need additional help? Contact Mavidea today and we can help you navigate this process.