How to Get the Most Out of Your Digital Marketing Service Provider [CHECKLIST]
Most brands and businesses look for a ‘digital marketing service provider’ to optimize and manage their digital marketing campaigns. A good digital marketing service provider can help you to increase the return on your digital marketing spend.
So how do you make sure that you are getting the right results and helping the service provider to make things work for you when it comes to digital marketing?
Regardless of your marketing plans, there are few simple ways to make sure your digital marketing service provider is in line with your overall business strategy.
This will help you to deliver the best digital marketing results for your business – be it social media marketing, search engine marketing, content marketing or website design and development.
Let’s look at 7 fool-proof ways to get the maximum value out of a good digital marketing agency:
1- Schedule, schedule, schedule
- Scheduling tasks equips your digital marketing partner to make better recommendations and produce high quality content for marketing campaigns. Allow them time to produce good quality campaigns.
Look for a good project management tool like Asana, Basecamp, Trello, Podio , Wrike, to help them understand the urgency and nature of tasks.
It is good to build a marketing calendar on a monthly or fortnightly basis to align your service provider with your digital marketing objectives.
If you update your agency about the possible changes in your approach they can even support other units of the organization (like the sales team) in achieving their goals in a better way.
For instance, if you plan to go on a seasonal sale, inform your service provider at least 10 days ahead so that he/she can prepare ideas about promoting the sale offer.
According to Coschedule:
- The people who document their process are 466% most likely to succeed
- The people who set goals are 429% most likely to succeed (81% of who do goal settings, achieve them)
Most of your marketing success depends on making a schedule and then sticking to it.
Due dates, schedules and deadlines are valuable only when they are followed.
Make sure you have a line of command and give timely feedback/input to your service provider on their work.
Also, make sure you get their deliverables (tasks) approved from the right people (ideally those who have some experience or knowledge of marketing).
2- Plan Ahead and Stay Ahead
- Half of online marketing is planning and the other half is its timely execution. You need to help your service provider first to enable them to help you.
When we think of digital marketing as a new and more measurable form of marketing compared to the traditional methods, we tend to forget that the same rules of planning ahead apply in the digital sphere as well.
This is how the breakdown would look like if we dissect the total time spent on a digital marketing campaign:
– 30% of time should be spent in planning in coordination with your agency to help the team write and understand a good creative brief about your logo, website or social media graphics.
– 50% should be spent in executing the plan
– 20% should be spent in discussing the results and debriefing about how the next campaign or task can be better than the previous one.
For the planning phase try to interact with your service partner as much as possible.
Communicate your expectations, Have them sit at your office once or twice a month (if possible) to help them understand the organization and business.
3- Value-Driven Approach
- Measure value of the entire digital marketing service package irrespective of the number of deliverables you were able to get done in a particular time period.
Some businesses make the mistake of setting the quantity of content as a yardstick of marketing success.
This approach is outright wrong!
It is important to define the ‘key performance indicators’ (KPIs) considering the overall value being provided by the service provider.
For instance, a digital marketing agency might give you a provision of getting 10 social media posts designed per month, but the agency might be achieving the target through 5 posts per month. In a case like that, look at the results; not the quantity of posts!
(Pro Tip: You can always request the service provider to adjust the unused posts for other forms of content like blog posts, GIFs or anything else that can generate value for you.).
The survival of your relationship with your digital agency depends on a value-driven approach.
If your service provider is helping you create loyal, meaningful online relationships with your potential audience and translating them into quality leads then chances are that the right set of value-driven marketing strategies are being employed.
4- Evaluate, Test, Change
- Digital marketing is mostly about patience, persistence and consistency in content generation. Even if you are spending peanuts, you need to make sure you are spending them in the right direction to drive results in the long run. A/B testing is very important!
Any substantial online marketing campaign for a new business or business that was not digitally active before needs at least six (6) months to show tangible results.
It won’t be realistic to expect some sort of digital marketing magic in the first few weeks.
There are a number of factors that define the success of an online marketing campaign.
If you are running a B2B business, chances are that a good inbound marketing strategy can immensely help you acquire quality leads when coupled with paid marketing (like search engine marketing and social media marketing).
If you are running a B2C business, you can get quick results through social media conversion campaigns, but you still need to work on your inbound marketing strategy to ensure decent organic traffic on your website and digital media channels in the long run.
You need to evaluate and test the online marketing strategies according to the results they are driving.
For example, if you are planning a Facebook ad campaign, ask your service provider to help you achieve maximum conversions at the lowest possible cost.
Continue with those campaigns/ad sets that are driving better results for your brand/business. If you think that you are not getting the bang for the buck, ask your service provider to change the creative descriptions and target audience for the campaign.
A/B testing is very important and you should always request your digital marketing team to do A/B testing.
5- Share, Refine, Discuss and Execute
- The best thing about your digital marketing is that you can always compete with higher budget brands/businesses through creativity and ingenuity.,
Sharing, refining and discussing ideas collectively with your outsourced marketing team can help you to achieve good results.
If you have ideas that you think can further amplify your digital marketing campaigns, you should share them with your digital marketing consultants.
They can help you in channelizing your efforts in a way that drives maximum benefit.
At times discussing ideas also results in refinement.
Digital agencies usually work with multiple clients/industries at the same time, therefore, they share industry insights with you as well based on hands on experience.
They should know what your business aims for so that they can use their experience and knowledge to help your business reach where you want it to be.
Making your campaign’s ideation phase more open and collaborative will make execution friction free.
6- Trust Versus Control
- Controlling your digital marketing service provider all the time might get a bit irksome for them. Instead of micromanaging, invest more time on giving the right brief, timely feedback and discussing ideas.
Many people think that managing a digital marketing campaign is quite easy due to the easy access to promotional tools like Facebook ads manager. However, when you are busy running a business there are too many moving parts in a valuable digital marketing campaign.
You need support for not overlooking critical elements of the entire campaign and that is where the experience of your digital marketing service provider counts.
Maintaining a healthy relationship with an agency – that was hired for its experience/expertise in the first place and ultimately being micromanaged by you – can get a little tricky.
You definitely need to know what is going on, but you also need to trust your digital marketing service provider with a few things if there is transparency in ‘reporting and delivering work’.
Like most of the professional relationships, trust with a digital marketing agency is earned through a consistent pattern of good measurable results.
If you have a reliable digital marketing partner you are quite lucky and should try to retain a good relationship.
7- Be Open about Your Concerns
- Try to give the right feedback at the right time and request for improvements if anything seems wrong. Approving everything even when you feel it is not good enough for your business is unfair with both your business and the service provider.
The biggest pro of hiring a digital marketing service provider is that they handle your marketing work in a way which helps you in sparing time for other aspects of your business.
For instance, you do not have to monitor your ads daily when you know someone is already optimizing them for you.
If there is something that doesn’t sync with your overall business goals, inform them and look for solutions to improve the marketing campaign along with them.
A diligent digital marketing service provider can help you in promoting your business online in a creative way. However, it needs some effort from your side to make the most out of it.
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