The digital revolution has left no industry untouched. As the world continues to go online for everything from social connection and information to physical products, businesses have raced to have a presence online as well. Digital marketing agencies quickly formed to help businesses establish themselves online and reach their specific markets. In the face of an ever-evolving online landscape, professional help navigating its shortcuts and sure-wins can prove invaluable.
Digital marketing agencies typically provide clients with web development (including building and maintaining websites), digital ad creation and placement, search engine optimization (SEO), social media support, and a range of other services related to establishing a strong digital presence. Essentially, they help businesses reach new customers online.
And, not surprisingly, not all agencies are created equal. Here are five critical features to help you spot a great digital marketing agency:
They Have an Impressive Online Presence
Much like not wanting a doctor who neglects her own health, you should seek out a digital marketing agency that clearly knows what they’re doing by, well, doing it. Their website should be sleek, modern, and reflective of their brand’s signature style. It should also be replete with relevant and useful content since we know that the SEO landscape continues to revere “content as king.” They should have an active presence on some of the top social media sites, with content you can relate to and appreciate. And last, but most important, they should be easily found via a search on Google or Bing.
If an agency you’re considering is missing any of the above features, they still might be worth your time (especially if their pricing reflects these deficiencies). They could be a newer agency, which doesn’t immediately mean that they can’t garner you the results you’re looking for. Get clear in the beginning about who this agency is and if they have any proven successes under their belt yet.
They Are Specialized
Your digital marketing firm should be experts on who they serve. Having extensive awards in, say, beverage branding, doesn’t mean they can achieve similar results across industries. Digital Marketing is as nuanced as the people moving (quickly) through the online terrain. The specific language and visuals you choose to represent your brand in the digital world will either stop people in their endless scrolling, or have them swipe on by.
So take the time to find marketing experts in your field. Make sure they know your patient base as well as (if not better than) you do. Their marketing materials, strategies, and available tools won’t be useful if they don’t have an excellent handle on how your market reacts to online content and offers. If an agency has a list of clients from across industries, that doesn’t instantly spell disaster, but you’d be wise to look for any previous clients from your field to see what the company was able to pull off. In the end, your digital presence needs to do much more than “look good” — it needs to get results.
They Have Industry Experience
This one takes the previous note about specialization one step farther. Working with marketing professionals who have actual experience in your industry can provide you with a wealth of advantages up front. For instance, it’s not unusual for a marketing firm to spend the beginning of your time working together on gathering market data and field reports. This strategizing phase is important, but can be a lengthy process if an agency is “getting up to speed” with the details about your market.
Working with a company who has been on the inside of your industry changes all of that. Sure, there might be some relevant reports and strategy sessions in the beginning, but the entire phase of planning your approach is much more directed towards the actual execution of that plan rather than researching for it. The hearing industry itself is a unique (and rapidly changing) one, where overlapping scopes of practice, a limited number of manufacturers, and atypical patient behaviors create unusual factors to consider when marketing. Finding people who understand these aspects can be a huge time-saver, and promise better results in the long term.
They Keep You Informed
The entire purpose of hiring a digital marketing firm is to improve your reach and realize results in your business. You could try the DIY method, and devour an endless array of digital marketing articles, podcasts, and books yourself, but hiring a professional likely seems like the smart thing to do. And it is — so long as that agency returns your good faith with detailed communications about their activities and their results.
Not only should your digital marketing agency be measuring the efficacy of your online marketing campaigns, website traffic, and overall rating online, but they should also be clear in their communications with you. Sending you jargon-laden reports that you need to use an online marketing dictionary to decode is not clear. Providing you with abstract statistics and graphs without a thoughtful explanation is also unhelpful. Your marketing agency is responsible for collecting relevant metrics for your online efforts and then explaining what it all means to you. They should empower you to decide whether or not your combined efforts are proving to be worth their cost or not.
They Have a Reputation for Excellent Service and Support
You’ll have trouble finding an agency that doesn’t claim to offer great customer support, so this one requires a bit more digging to find out. Look for reviews for the digital marketing agency you’re considering in some of the most popular places: Google My Business, Facebook, and Yelp. Look for information regarding an agency’s track record for helping clients troubleshoot issues and the overall level of satisfaction from previous clients.
An online reputation is much like a personal credit score: not having any reviews is nearly as bad as having negative reviews. A firm without reviews is either too new to have gained reviews yet or isn’t delivering strong enough service to prompt their clients’ to review them. If there are negative reviews online, look for reasonable replies from the agency to get both sides, as some people are impossible to please no matter how excellent the service. In the end, the quality of customer support you get from your digital marketing agency can make a world of difference as you zero in on the perfect marketing strategy for your business and local market.
The need to get your business online is an undeniable one, but many people gloss over the need to be found online. Simply having a website (no matter how well-designed) won’t suffice as there needs to be specific ongoing activities to make it visible to prospective patients looking for your services. Hiring an agency to help you acquire patients online doesn’t have to break the bank and, when done right, will pay for quickly pay for itself.
With over 20 years in the hearing industry and a world-class team of digital marketing experts, we help our clients quickly realize the results they’ve been hoping for. From modern websites to complete SEO and digital advertising services, we have everything your business needs to get found online. Contact us to learn how to acquire new patients online.