How to Choose the Best Digital Advertising Agency

As the demand for agile and technology-driven digital marketing grows, more and more companies are choosing to outsource this part of their business strategy. If you fall into this category, choosing the right digital marketing agency can be what makes or breaks your success. So how do you do it?

In this article, we’ll break it all down for you. We’ll start by going over what exactly a digital marketing agency does, things to look for as you vet potential agencies, and how to know which one is the right one for your B2B business.

Quick Takeaways:

  • Digital marketing agencies handle many different service areas, like content marketing, outbound prospecting, SEO, email marketing, campaign management, and more.
  • Some digital marketing agencies offer generalized services, while others specialize in specific service areas.
  • Important things to look for in a digital marketing agency include a proven track record, high cultural fit with your company, price/budget alignment, and innovation.
  • Review sites and client testimonials can help you objectively evaluate potential providers.
  • Once a digital marketing agency checks all the practical boxes, you should trust your instincts about which one is right for your unique business.

What Does a Digital Marketing Agency Do?

A digital marketing agency wears many hats, catering to the multifaceted world of online advertising and brand promotion. Agencies are responsible for managing and optimizing several key service areas.

Colorful graphic listing different types of digital marketing services

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  • Content Marketing: Creating high-volume, high-value content like blogs, ebooks, videos, and other forms of content designed to engage audiences and establish the brand as an industry thought leader.
  • Outbound Marketing: Executing proactive strategies like cold emailing, video prospecting, and appointment setting to generate potential leads and create new business opportunities.
  • Pay-Per-Click (PPC): Implementing paid advertising campaigns, where brands are charged based on the number of clicks received on their ads, typically displayed on social media, websites, and search engines
  • Search Engine Optimization (SEO): Enhancing a brand’s visibility on search engines like Google, this service aims to drive organic (non-paid) traffic to a website by optimizing content, technical elements, and off-site factors.
  • Social Media Management: This involves curating, publishing, and monitoring content on platforms like Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, and Twitter to engage followers and amplify brand presence.
  • Email Marketing: Generating and nurturing leads and maintaining customer relationships through targeted email campaigns.
  • Individual Campaign Execution: Handling initiatives like product launches, promotional events, or seasonal campaigns to ensure maximum impact and ROI.
  • Analytics: Tracking, measuring, and analyzing data to gauge campaign effectiveness, user behavior, and ROI.

The benefit of a high-quality digital marketing agency is their ability to handle these types of services in a cohesive way. More often than not, agencies can seamlessly integrate their technologies with your key systems to ensure consistent communications and brand representation, executing key initiatives for you without disrupting other marketing or sales efforts.

This ease of implementation is one of the reasons that more than a third of companies now outsource digital marketing in some form or another. It’s the third-most commonly outsourced business process of all, behind only accounting and IT.

Bar chart shows that 34% of businesses outsource digital marketing

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It’s important to remember that no two digital marketing agencies are exactly alike. Some specialize in particular service areas, while others are more generalized. One isn’t better than the other, but some are better than others for specific companies.

The key to success lies in evaluating potential agencies first on standard quality, but then also on how well their solutions can fulfill your unique needs.

Key Things to Look For in a Digital Marketing Agency

Reputation and Track Record

When evaluating a digital advertising agency, reputation and track record is paramount. An agency’s past performance is often indicative of their future results. Client testimonials, often available on agency websites or third-party review sites, offer objective insights into an agency’s reliability and effectiveness. 

Additionally, many agencies publish customer success stories that demonstrate exactly how they’ve helped clients succeed in the past. These deep dives into specific campaigns can give you an even clearer idea of their strategic approach and outcomes.

You might also look for awards or recognitions the agency has received, which can underscore their expertise and commitment to excellence.

Cultural Fit and Communication

Outsourcing to a digital marketing agency requires ongoing collaboration and partnership. As such, the right cultural alignment and fit is essential. When an agency has similar values, communicates in ways that align with your current processes, and has that intangible something that makes them easy to work with, it will reflect in higher productivity and marketing performance.

Budget and Cost Considerations

Financial considerations are, of course, pivotal. Digital advertising agencies typically offer a range of pricing models, including retainer-based, hourly rates, and project-based fees. It’s crucial to understand what exactly is included in these costs.

Are there potential additional expenses, like ad spend, service add-ons, or third-party tool subscriptions? Ensure that there is always transparency to avoid unexpected costs and that you get the expected value of your investment.

In addition, be sure to analyze the value of your investment in direct relation to the savings it delivers in overhead costs and other internal resources you’ll no longer need. Cost is the top reason companies choose to outsource, so it’s important and practical to keep this at the top of your priority list as you vet potential providers and get approval from company leaders.

Bar chart showing that cost is the top reason companies choose to outsource

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Specializations and Innovations

Every agency has its strengths. Some might specialize in specific industries, catering to, for instance, SaaS companies, or small businesses, or healthcare organizations. Others might excel on particular platforms, be it Google Ads, LinkedIn marketing, or another niche. Knowing an agency’s specializations can help you determine if they’re the right fit for your unique needs.

Beyond specialization, an agency’s commitment to innovation is equally critical. The digital landscape is ever-evolving, with new platforms, tools, and strategies emerging continually. An agency that prioritizes staying updated with the latest digital trends can offer you a competitive edge in the market.

How to Choose the Right Digital Marketing Agency for You

Selecting the ideal digital advertising agency is more than just finding a company with a shiny portfolio or a roster of impressive clients. It’s about partnering with an organization that understands your goals, resonates with your brand’s values, and has the expertise to drive meaningful results. Here’s a guide to help you make an informed choice:

      1. Define Your Goals

      Before you start your search, outline what you aim to achieve. Whether it’s increasing website traffic, improving conversion rates, or expanding brand awareness, having clear objectives will enable you to find an agency that aligns with your ambitions.

      2. Do Your Research

        Look beyond the agency’s website. Browse third-party review platforms, check their presence on social media, and analyze their own marketing strategies. This gives you a holistic view of their capabilities and brand persona.

        3. Ask the Right Questions

          When in discussions, inquire about their team’s expertise, their approach to challenges, the tools they use, and their reporting methods. Understanding their process can provide insights into their proficiency.

          4. Check for Flexibility

            The digital landscape is dynamic. Your chosen agency should demonstrate adaptability to emerging trends and be willing to pivot strategies when required.

            5. Value Partnership

              A successful relationship with an agency is a partnership. Choose an agency that’s as invested in your success as you are. They should be eager to understand your industry nuances, competitors, and unique selling propositions.

              6. Negotiate and Understand the Contract

                Before sealing the deal, ensure you thoroughly understand the contract terms. This includes deliverables, timelines, costs, and any other obligations. It’s also the time to negotiate terms if needed.

                7. Trust Your Instincts

                  Lastly, while data and facts are essential, trust your gut feeling. The vibe and chemistry you share with the agency team can be a good predictor of the future relationship.

                  How RevBoss Can Help You Win

                  As you move forward in your search for the right digital marketing agency, remember that it’s all about balance. You have to find an agency with the right expertise and capabilities, but also one that genuinely aligns with your values, needs, processes, and future goals.

                  If you’re looking for an outbound agency to help you drive growth, RevBoss can make it happen. Our outbound marketing and lead-gen services are custom-built for SaaS companies, marketing agencies, startups, and other high-growth B2B organizations.

                  Schedule a quick call with us to learn more and get started.