Should Your Local Business Use A Digital Marketing Agency?

Should Your Local Business Use A Digital Marketing Agency?

In 2019, before the COVID-19 pandemic, approximately 128,000 new businesses opened. In addition, only 67.6% of new businesses will survive their first two years of operations.

To us, these statistics indicate that standing out in your market is crucial to the success of your local business. And effective digital marketing is the best way to stand out among your competition and meet your growing business’s goals. However, small and local business owners have so much on their plate that dedicating the time necessary to implementing a thorough and effective marketing strategy can seem impossible.

That’s why hiring a local digital marketing agency is beneficial to most businesses. However, knowing what to look for in a local digital marketing agency can be confusing due to the overwhelming number of options.

Researching agencies before choosing one is crucial. It will increase your chances of finding a team that can help you grow your audience, generate leads, and increase sales.

This is a complete guide to choosing a digital marketing agency for your local business. We’ll discuss the benefits of working with a digital marketing agency, which businesses will benefit most from one, and what to look for in a local digital marketing agency.

What Does A Digital Marketing Agency Do?

A digital marketing agency helps businesses with many different types of online marketing. This includes web design, social media management, search engine optimization (SEO), blogging, inbound marketing, and more.

There are marketing agencies that focus on one specific service or marketing strategy. But many offer a variety of services that can be used alone or together, depending on your business’s needs.

Digital marketing agencies can build a ground-up marketing strategy for new businesses, offer suggestions for changes to an existing marketing plan, or complete short-term projects.

A digital marketing agency seeks to provide the following results for clients:

    • Grow traffic to your website, both organically and through advertising
    • Find more leads and successfully move them through your sales funnel
    • Increase your brand reach by connecting with your audience
    • Resolve any weaknesses in your current overall marketing strategy

These positive outcomes can help any business meet its goals. Most businesses can benefit from working with a digital marketing agency. Let’s look at how you can determine when your business should hire a digital marketing agency.

Does Your Local Business Need A Digital Marketing Agency?

Most, if not all, businesses can benefit from working with a digital marketing agency. However, there are specific situations that make hiring a digital marketing agency especially valuable.

Small and/or local businesses could use the help of a marketing agency to fill the gaps left by small teams and limited time. When you’re running a business by yourself or with the help of only a few employees, implementing a successful end-to-end marketing strategy can seem impossible.

A digital marketing agency typically has a large, dedicated team that can help run your marketing for you so that you can focus on other business tasks. In addition, digital marketing agency teams are made up of knowledgeable marketers that keep up with the latest marketing trends and strategies. Therefore, if you don’t know how to carry out a specific project, a digital marketing agency has someone who does know.

For example, let’s say you want to get more leads from Google ads but don’t know how to write amazing ad copy. Look for a digital marketing agency that provides pay-per-click (PPC) advertising services.

Finally, your business may need the help of a digital marketing agency during big changes to your business, such as rebranding, building a new blog, or launching a new product.

These projects can be time-consuming and intricate. A marketing agency can help get the project done while you and your team can manage growth-focused activities, operations, daily tasks, etc.

Most businesses find themselves in one of the above circumstances at some point in their journey. Ready to enlist help with your marketing? Keep reading to learn how to find the right local digital marketing agency for your business.

7 Things To Look For In A Local Digital Marketing Agency

When you begin researching digital marketing agencies, you may come up with a lot of results. So, it’s important to know how to choose a digital marketing agency that fits your business’s exact needs. Let’s discuss what to look for in a local digital marketing agency.

#1 Services That Match Your Business Objectives

As we mentioned earlier, some digital marketing agencies will offer a variety of services, while others will specialize in one or two. Common services offered by digital marketing services include:

  • Website design and SEO
  • Social media management and advertising
  • PPC advertising
  • Video marketing
  • Content marketing and blogging
  • Email marketing
  • And more

Even though your business might benefit from any, or all, of these services, it’s important to know your goals for hiring a digital marketing agency.

Do you need to run an ad campaign? Does your website need a refresh or redesign? Do you want to start a company blog? Or do you need a full marketing plan and implementation? Maybe you need more website traffic or event registrations, but you’re not sure which tactics to use?

If you need help with a specific part of your marketing, search for an agency that focuses on that area. However, if you need a wider range of services, a full digital marketing agency is typically a better fit.

#2 Credibility & Expertise

In addition to finding an agency that specializes in the services your business needs, you also need to find an agency with demonstrated knowledge and experience. There are a few different ways that you can determine whether an agency has the credibility and expertise that your business needs.

First, you will want to check to see how the agency talks about their specialties. The agency should have specific information regarding their strategies, and they should align with your business and marketing goals.

For example, if you need help with Google Ads, look for an agency with Google Partner status, which indicates the agency’s history of providing revenue growth for its clients.

Or if you need help with branding, look for a digital marketing agency that talks about storytelling, bringing your company’s values and mission to life, and how they can set you apart from your competition.

If you’re not exactly sure which services your business needs, you may want to look for an agency’s credentials and certifications. This might be proof that they have completed marketing programs from reputable sources (Google, Facebook, YouTube, etc.).

We also recommend checking the company’s portfolio or work samples. These should provide you with evidence of the agency’s results for its clients. If the company doesn’t provide full case studies, do they display client names on their website or marketing collateral?

While any evidence or proof of results is helpful, finding an agency that has worked in your industry or on a project similar to yours is a bonus.

Last, check customer reviews. Reviews and testimonials can give you insight into the results you might see, especially if you hear from a client that received services similar to what your business needs. You’ll also get a feel for the type of relationship and level of communication you’ll have with the agency.

#3 Local Marketing Knowledge

Local businesses must be aware of their geographic area and local marketing needs when considering what to look for in a local digital marketing agency.

When you’re trying to attract an audience in a specific area, it is crucial that you choose a marketing agency that has a complete knowledge of your community. For example, the agency may have worked with other businesses in your area.

In some cases, the agency may even have their own presence in your area, which should indicate that they have an in-depth understanding of your local market. However, even if the agency is not located near you, they may still be able to help you with local marketing.

Take some time to review their website and marketing strategies. Note any mention of local marketing tactics. This includes local SEO, Google My Business, social media marketing, and other ways to engage with your local audience.

#4 Responsiveness & Flexibility

While all businesses need to have a solid marketing plan, the plan needs to be flexible enough to make changes if a strategy isn’t working for your business.

Therefore, a good local digital marketing agency will understand how to measure the effectiveness of marketing strategies and when it’s time to make changes.

A marketing campaign has to run long enough for your business to see results. However, sometimes, data may show a consistent lack of results. Your digital marketing agency should provide enough flexibility in their services to change your plan in these cases.

Unfortunately, many marketing agencies restrict clients by setting a fixed price for a core marketing service. Then, they will charge more for add-ons or changes. As a result, be cautious about an agency’s pricing and how it would affect your budget if your services need to be tweaked.

In addition, consider how responsive the agency will be if changes need to be made. Will they complete the changes quickly? Or will they put your project off until after their other client projects are complete?

Ideally, the local digital marketing agency that you choose should be flexible in their strategies, services, and pricing structure. They should also respond to your marketing results quickly and fully.

#5 Effective Communication

Just as your digital marketing agency should be responsive to your marketing results, they should also be responsive to client communication and requests.

One of the most important aspects of what to look for in a local digital marketing agency is the team that will be working on your project. They should be knowledgeable, professional, and motivated to help you reach your goals.

When you begin working with a marketing agency, make sure you know who will be your main contact at the agency. Ask the following questions:

  • Will you meet regularly? How often?
  • Can you request last-minute meetings if something comes up?
  • Will you be able to contact your team by phone or email?
  • How long does it take for the agency to respond to complaints or requests?

Customer reviews can often give you an inside look at how the agency’s customer service functions. However, sometimes, it can come down to the individual team members that you work with. If the agency’s website doesn’t introduce their team members in detail, you may be able to find them on LinkedIn. Make sure you choose a team with experience and enthusiasm that will communicate with you regularly to keep you updated on your project’s progress.

#6 Realistic Projections

Unfortunately, there are some untrustworthy digital marketing agencies that use their websites to lure customers with promises of unrealistic results.

It’s crucial that you’re able to recognize red flags and understand that some results are just not reasonable, even if you work with the best marketing agencies.

Many reputable agencies can provide you with proof of past results. But if an agency promises you specific, too-good-to-be-true results without knowing your current situation or industry, that’s a red flag. Even if a marketing agency is able to provide you with reason to believe their promises, those results likely wouldn’t have a long-term effect on your business. The agency may even use short-term, unethical marketing tactics to get you the results, which can hurt your business.

In other words, ask the agency team how they arrived at their projections or predicted results, as well as the methods they will use to achieve them. If they can’t provide transparent answers, it’s time to find a different agency.

During your search for a local digital marketing agency, make sure you understand what a realistic result would be after achieving your marketing goals. When you know which results you are likely to see, you are better prepared to avoid scam agencies.

#7 Transparency

We’ve mentioned or alluded to transparency several times in this blog. That’s because it’s so crucial in what to look for in a digital marketing agency.

A few ways to vet digital marketing agencies for transparency include:

  • Website. The agency’s website should give you a clear idea of what you can expect to receive if you work with them. Additionally, you can read about their services and which strategies they prioritize and recommend.
  • Past clients. A list of clients and client testimonials shows you the agency’s experience and which industries they’ve worked in.
  • Case studies. These can give you a detailed look at the types of results they are able to get for their clients.
  • Contact information. Is the agency’s phone number, email, live chat and social media updated and easy to find? Take note if not.
  • Pricing. Some marketing agencies don’t publish their prices online. But you should be able to have a simple conversation with the agency’s team and get a quote for your project. And they shouldn’t surprise you with unexpected charges after you’ve started working with them.
  • Metrics. How will the agency measure and communicate the performance of your project? Will you have access to marketing data? How often will you be given performance updates? What happens if you aren’t seeing the results you want?

Overall, a good local digital marketing agency should make a good first impression. You should have a good idea of what to expect fairly quickly. If you aren’t sure of what it would be like to work with an agency after a little research, it may be time to move o

3 Ways To Research Local Digital Marketing Agencies

Now that you know what to look for in a local digital marketing agency, it’s time for you to do your research and find an agency that matches your business and marketing needs. Take a look at these methods for finding an agency.

#1 Ask For Referrals

Your network is always a great resource for finding new business connections. Ask colleagues and even customers for recommendations of good marketing agencies. Asking your customers, or even working with them, is a great way to give back to them and promote loyalty.

Posting on social media is an easy way to reach your network. Use your personal and business profiles to let everyone know that you’re looking for a marketing agency to help you accomplish certain goals or complete a specific project.

#2 Search Online

Searching for digital marketing agencies online is easy. However, make sure that you conduct searches that will give you the best results for your business and goals.

Once you’ve established at least a rough idea of your marketing goals, you can use them as keywords for your search. For example, if you want to redesign your website, you could search for “best website design companies” or “website design services”.

In addition, you can search to find agencies that work with businesses like yours. Local businesses could search for “digital marketing agency in [location]” or “digital marketing agency for [business type]”.

#3 Delegate To Staff

If you don’t have the time to conduct research yourself, consider asking your employees to do it for you.

To get creative, you could turn the task into a contest by offering a prize for the employee who finds the winning agency. Have your staff research possible agencies and choose one that they think your company should use. They can have a conversation with the agency team to get pricing, insight into their process and potential results. Then, your staff can pitch their chosen agency to you.

This is a win-win method. Your staff gets to practice their research and presentation skills, and you save time on the tedious vetting process.

Speed Up Your Search For The Right Local Digital Marketing Agency

The research process can be tedious. And you have sales to make, leads to attract and website traffic to generate. Get a jump start on all of that by working with OMG. Our local digital marketing team specializes in helping local businesses grow.

With our Google Partner status, we provide a variety of local marketing strategies, such as local SEO, responsive website design, optimized Google My Business and other business listing profiles, and more. We strive to make it as easy as possible for your customers to find and contact you.

In addition, OMG clients have access to a real-time reporting dashboard, which makes it easy to see how your marketing strategies are performing at any time.

We understand that local business owners and leaders are limited in their time and resources. Hiring a digital marketing agency can help you grow your business without taking time and attention away from your other projects and duties.

Need help implementing a sustainable and effective local marketing strategy? Fill out the form below to learn more about OMG’s digital marketing services.

Need expert assistance with marketing your local business? We’d love to help you.

Just complete the form below and we’ll schedule a time to chat.

About O’Rourke Media Group

O’Rourke Media Group operates in six states with a full-service digital agency and 24 publications and hyperlocal websites. Our team of marketing experts specialize in providing customized digital marketing strategies and solutions for any size business and budget. We’re also a hyper-local community news publisher with an engaged audience of print subscribers, digital subscribers, website page views, social media followers, and email newsletters.