Chief Marketing Officer News (CMO), Growth Marketing
9 mins read

How To Choose the Top Digital Marketing Agencies in 2024

Eveline Smet

Founder & Growth Strategist

Over 5.3 billion people worldwide are active users on the internet. Does your business have the digital marketing strategy to capture attention from online users? Top digital marketing agencies can help you strategize and capture more traffic.

Your target audience doesn’t include all the billions of active internet users. But having a smart digital marketing strategy does help you find your niche audience.

An effective digital marketing campaign increases traffic, builds your audience, and increases sales.

Finding time to sort out which strategies work best isn’t easy when you’re running a business. Your industry is your specialty. Marketing may not come as easy.

Working with one of the top digital marketing agencies is an easy solution. You get marketing expertise without pulling yourself away from your business.

How do you know which digital marketing agency is the best? Which one is the right match for you?

Looking past all the claims and hype can take some work. Explore our list of ways to choose a marketing agency to find your perfect match.

Know What You Need From Marketing Firms

It’s tough to choose a qualified online marketing agency if you don’t know what you want them to do. Start by deciding what results you want. Do you want increased sales, improved brand awareness, increased traffic?

Now, figure out how you want to do that. Look at your current online marketing situation to sort out what you need. Here are some questions to consider:

  • What’s going well with your marketing strategy?
  • Which methods aren’t effective for you?
  • Are there online marketing strategies you aren’t using but want to try?
  • Which marketing strategies are confusing to you?
  • What do you think would make the most difference to your business?

If you already have someone handling your online marketing, consider that person’s strengths and weaknesses. Maybe that person does well with content marketing. But Facebook ads and social media marketing are foreign territory.

Knowing what you need helps you choose a company that can help. That information also helps guide the company that you hire to help with your marketing.

Check Out Online Marketing Agency Services

When you search “digital marketing agencies near me,” you’ll get lots of results, so you’ll need a way to compare them. What services does each company offer? Do those services match what you want and need?

Digital marketing agencies typically offer a range of services. That might include:

Check out the offerings at any companies you’re considering. Think about not only your current needs but future growth. What services might you need as your company grows?

If a company can’t grow with you, consider another option with a wider range of services.

Look at Company Specialties

Top digital marketing agencies may offer lots of marketing services. But not every service is their specialty. Where do they excel?

One agency might specialize in marketing automation tools. Another might lead the pack in social media marketing.

It doesn’t mean the company can’t handle other marketing activities competently. But knowing where a company performs well can help you find a good match for your needs.

Say you want to focus on link building to improve your SEO. A company with a proven track record in getting results with link building helps you reach that goal faster.

Compare Company Cultures

You’ve found a company with a quality portfolio. They offer the services you need. You’ll probably get good results.

But a culture clash could make the experience difficult. It’s tough to work with a company with completely different values.

Say your company culture values creativity and collaboration with an employee-focused approach. Imagine working with a marketing company that cares only about profits and treats employees poorly. You’ll likely feel uncomfortable in your interactions.

Check out the company culture information on the agency’s website. Then, pay attention to the interactions you have with them.

How do they treat you and their employees? If you like what you see, you may have a good match. If the culture seems negative, you may want to keep looking.

Verify Who Will Work on Your Account

A company you’re considering boasts about the top performers on the payroll. That’s great, but are those people the ones who will actually do the work for you?

Top digital marketing agencies employ a large staff. Not all of them have years of proven marketing experience. Some are junior-level staff just getting started.

Those junior staff members may deliver as promised. But it’s a good idea to find out exactly who’ll be working on your account before you sign.

If you start out talking to someone with lots of experience, it feels like bait-and-switch if the person doing the actual work is a junior staffer.

You’ll feel better if you talk with the same person who’ll do the work from the beginning. You get a better idea of what to expect because you start building that rapport early.

Some people don’t mind working with junior staff members. They have to get their experience somewhere, right?

Figure out how you feel about it. Check before you agree to anything to see who your assigned person is.

Analyze the Promises

Digital marketing agencies that guarantee unrealistic goals likely won’t deliver. Always pick apart the promises to make sure they’re specific and realistic.

Does the company guarantee you a first-place search result when you’re currently on the fifth page? Shooting up to the first spot isn’t easy, especially for high-competition keywords.

Think about what the company promises and how realistic that result is. Look for a company that can achieve what they’re promising.

Understand the Process

Digital marketing processes tend to be similar. But each agency does things a little differently.

Ask about the process the company uses before you choose. A clear understanding of the process helps you plan.

It’s also a good test to make sure the company knows what they’re doing. A top digital marketing agency should have a set process that works. If they’re vague or can’t really tell you what their process is, it could be a red flag.

The process should involve researching your company and understanding your brand to the core. They should define the strategies they’ll use for your campaign. They should also develop key performance indicators (KPIs) for the project.

After delivering the marketing products, the company should follow up with testing. This period shows any adjustments that need to be made to maximize your ROI.

Check Out Their Work

One of the easiest ways to check out the work of marketing firms is to look at how they handle their own business.

What does their website look like? Does it rank high in search results? Do they use video, infographics, and other multimedia?

Think about the work you want them to do. Then, look at how well they do that thing for their own business.

Looking for help with your social media marketing? Check out their social media channels to look at followers, engagement, and quality.

Are you looking for help with content marketing? Comb through online marketing agency blogs to see how well they use content marketing themselves.

If they have their own online presence under control, look at their clients. Many marketing firms include portfolios showing past work. Check out those companies.

When you look at those past clients, do they have anything in common with you? Seeing results with similar companies is a sign that this marketing agency might be able to help you, too.

Say you’re a small business looking for growth. Are most of the clients of the agency also small businesses? Did they see the growth they wanted?

You can also ask for referrals. Check with those people to see what it’s like working with the company.

Ask for Data

Seeing work the company’s done isn’t always enough. Ads can look pretty, but do they convert?

Does the company help clients reach the first page of search results with their SEO strategies? About 95% of search traffic goes to first-page results. If that’s what you’re going for, you want a company that can deliver those first-page results.

Any company can claim they’ll give you those results. Does the company you’re considering have the numbers to back it up?

Ask for data to back up the company’s claims that they’re a top digital marketing agency. Do they have case studies showing results with past clients? Can they give you figures to show how well past marketing campaigns worked?

Seeing the results in black and white shows you what the company can do. Every campaign is different, so don’t expect the exact same results. But if the company shows a history of success, you can expect the same for your company.

Find Out About Communication

How does the agency keep in touch with you while they work on your project? How often can you expect to hear from them? How do you get in touch if you have a question or concern?

Ask the details about how communication works during a project so you know what to expect. Then, think about how you best communicate. Do the two line up?

Communication is also important after the agency completes the work. How will they share the results of the campaigns with you? How will you know how well the campaign is doing?

Maybe the company will send you a report weekly or monthly. Maybe you’ll have a login with access to data on the company’s website.

The type of information in those reports is also key. Is it pure data? Looking at a report full of numbers probably won’t tell you much.

Or does the company explain those numbers? Do they give you insight into what they mean? Do they provide strategies based on those results?

Consider Value Not Just Price

You no doubt have a marketing budget. All businesses do. But don’t look at price alone.

You can find a lot of cheap digital marketing agencies out there. But top digital marketing agencies won’t be cheap.

First, the price isn’t always accurate.

Two companies may charge the same amount for a content marketing campaign. One does thorough keyword research and offers quality writing. But they only produce 10 pieces of content.

For the same price, another company produces 15 pieces of content. But they don’t do adequate keyword research. The quality of writing isn’t as good, either.

The second agency sounds like a better deal because you get more content for the same price. But will that content do much for you if it’s not well-researched and well-written?

An agency without the necessary skills produces sub-par work. You save a little money. But you also aren’t going to see a big boost in sales.

You may end up redoing the work yourself or spending more money on a different agency.

Spending a little more on a higher quality agency gets you better quality work. You’ll likely see a bigger increase in sales. You recoup those extra costs plus more when you choose the right company.

Looking long term, it’s best to invest upfront to know you’re getting quality work.

Ask for a Proposal

A proposal helps you look at what the company has in mind for your business. It’s a way to see the specifics of whether or not it’s a good fit.

When you fill out a request for proposal, give the digital marketing company as much information as possible. Detailing your brand, your goals, and your needs helps the company create an accurate proposal.

Try a Test Project

Still a little worried about choosing the right digital marketing agency? You don’t have to go all-in with the company immediately.

Ease into the relationship with a small-scale test project. Agreeing to a smaller project means less commitment. You might have the company audit your website or create a content marketing post. That small project gives you firsthand experience with how the agency works. You can see the process in action. And you see the results of their work.

If the test project goes well, you’ve found your agency. You can send over the rest of the marketing work you want them to do. If you don’t feel comfortable with the process or the results, you may want to keep looking.

Compare Top Digital Marketing Agencies

Deciding between top digital marketing agencies doesn’t have to be difficult. Look at the different aspects we outlined above to narrow down the choices.

Contact The Growth Agency to get more information on our digital marketing services. We use a data-driven model that gets results.

Questions? Comments? Ideas! We’d love to hear from you! do not hesitate to drop us a note 😊

Eveline Smet

Founder & Growth Strategist

Eveline is our founder and the one who eats strategy for breakfast. She is in charge of budgets, KPI’s and growth plans. During her high school years, Eveline was wearing baggy pants and listening to 2PAC & Biggy. We have proof. Just ask. If you ever catch her looking off into the distance, it’s either because she wants to order sushi or she’s hungry thinking of ways to increase your profit. She’s also the biggest victim of marketing. But the biggest office sweetheart.

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