Marketing is one of the most important elements for any small business. If you don’t have a strong marketing plan in place, you won’t be able to build your initial customer base, which in turn will make it hard to grow your business. While many small business owners choose to run their marketing campaigns themselves, sometimes you might be better off working with an agency.
An agency has the experience and knowledge of topics like local SEO, social media, and online advertising to help you get the most out of your marketing budget. But before you pick a marketing agency to work with, we have a few tips that may help you pick the right one.
One of the most important factors you should consider before hiring any marketing agency is its track record. You want to work with a marketing agency that has a history of success related to marketing businesses similar to your own.
For example, as a small business, it’s likely better to work with an agency that specializes in small businesses rather than large corporations.
There are a few ways you can learn about an agency’s past successes. First, you can explore their website, where they likely have a portfolio of previous work or some case studies. You may also be able to find reviews online for that company, where you can read about how they performed for other small businesses.
Finally, you can ask other business owners you know for recommendations. Chances are, if these business owners had a good experience with an agency, you’ll likely have a good one as well.
The next thing you’ll want to look for is a team that has strong communication skills. When marketing your small business, you’ll want to be in constant contact with the team in charge, which requires regular communication.
According to Exults, an internet marketing company for home services, “Regular communication is the key to any professional business partnership. The agency you choose should be open, honest, and available to communicate.
There should be someone available at all times, via email, chat, or phone. There should also be answers on the agency’s website to commonly asked questions, issues, and offer additional forms of support.”
You can start judging a team’s communication skills right from the start. See how quickly they respond to your messages and how clear they are with providing you with information. If you find that you’re struggling to connect with a specific team, consider sending your business elsewhere.
A Tailored Approach
Another important skill for the marketing agency you choose is the ability to tailor a marketing approach specifically to your business. Some agencies will attempt to apply the same strategy to all their clients, forgetting that businesses are unique and therefore need unique approaches.
The agency you choose should study your business and create a plan that’s suitable for your specific needs and industry.
For example, a small business that targets older adults will likely need a different approach than one that targets college students. Talk to potential agencies about what they’re going to do for your business that’s different from their other clients.
Also, make sure that they have enough time in their schedule to give your business adequate attention and that they’re not too busy with their other clients.
For many small businesses, their target audience is the local area. If you’re one of these businesses, then you’ll want a marketing agency that has knowledge of your area. When you work with a marketing agency from out of town, they may not know the nuances of your location or how to best approach your audience.
With a local agency, though, you’ll get a few advantages. First, they’ll be able to talk about your area confidently in your marketing materials, including ads and blogs. Second, they’ll know the best places to advertise your business in person, such as local billboards.
Finally, they may even know other local businesses you can partner with to promote your business. All of these advantages are strong reasons to choose a local marketing agency rather than one from out of town.
Finally, there’s the pricing. As a small business, you may not have a lot of space in your budget for marketing just yet. It’s essential that you get strong value for each dollar that you spend on marketing. Therefore, you’ll want to work with an agency that offers reasonable prices for the services they’re offering.
It’s a good idea to get a quote from each agency you’re considering, along with the list of services they’ll provide. This way, you can compare different agencies against one another and see which one best suits your business’s needs.