Before you hire a digital marketing agency, there are some important questions you and your team should consider. Do you know what to expect from a digital marketing agency? Do you know what to ask a digital marketing agency as you consider a long-term partnership? These questions can help you understand the benefits of hiring a digital marketing agency like Silverback Strategies.

Do You Need a Digital Marketing Agency?

Before you begin your search for the right digital marketing agency, have a discussion with your team to make sure everyone’s on the same page.

What Problems Are You Trying to Solve?

Think more deeply about what you really want to achieve. Doing so can help ensure you and your team have a clearer picture of what you need for success. 

What Kind of Expertise Do You Need to Meet Your Goals?

Digital marketing is complex and requires a group of experts — technical platform specialists, creative strategists, content strategists researchers, analysts, designers (static + video), and developers — to achieve success across multiple channels. There is rarely one unicorn person that has expertise in all of those areas. 

You and your team should evaluate the expertise you already have in-house. What gaps need to be filled? What’s the path to building out full expertise in-house vs an agency? How do costs compare? How will you prepare for potential in-house turnover?

How Scalable Is Your In-House Team?

Can they do everything it’ll take to get you to your goals in 1–2 years? How many people would you need to hire to be able to hit your goals 2 years from now?

Does Your Team Have the Time They Need for an Agency Relationship?

While agencies can run the strategy and execution, they need the proper business inputs and feedback from your company to be successful. Do you have someone on your team that can be the agency’s main point of contact? Two-way communication is essential for a successful partnership.

How to Find a Digital Marketing Agency That’s a Good Fit

Now that you and your team are on the same page, here’s a list of what to look for in a digital marketing agency and what to expect from a digital marketing agency.

Go Beyond the Basics

Beyond the services offered and cost, think more deeply about what you value in a partner agency. Reflect on what you’ve liked and disliked about previous partners and use that to define a set of criteria that are most important to you. Consider skillsets, including soft skills like the agency’s approach to pushing back or how the agency reports to different stakeholders.

Test the Waters

Anyone can claim that they can come up with a good strategy and execute it effectively, but the proof is in the pudding. This proof can be shown in a few ways:

  • Looking at case studies that show previous outcomes
  • Asking the agency to do a light audit and share their strategy
  • Talking to client references

Common Objections to Hiring a Digital Marketing Agency

We know that hiring a digital marketing agency is a big commitment. Let’s address the most common objections you may encounter and how Silverback answers those objections.

“It’s Too Expensive”

The Silverback model is not for everyone. We deeply believe in the necessity of cross-functional delivery and the need for the right experts to be at the table to deliver a robust performance marketing service. As such, attracting, retaining, and deploying those resources to our clients requires a certain level of investment. 

“We Only Need Technical Expertise/We Can Do Creative and Strategy In-House Ourselves”

We are completely open to working with in-house teams. However, given the importance of creativity and strategy in today’s performance marketing landscape, we will need to be able to drive creative and content strategy ourselves to be successful. We are open to working with our clients’ in-house teams to execute, but it’s important for everyone’s success that we’re able to own the creative and strategy. 

“I Want to See the Full Strategy Before We Hire You”

While we offer a complimentary audit and high-level strategy review as part of the sales process, we cannot do a full strategy prior to signature. Our strategy requires deep research, time, and multiple experts to bring it all together. Our strategy is a huge part of our value. 

7 Questions to Ask a Digital Marketing Agency

Once you know you’re ready to hire a digital marketing agency like Silverback, keep this list of questions in mind. By knowing what to ask a digital marketing agency, you can make sure they’ll be a good fit for your organization.

What Does the Onboarding Process Look Like?

At Silverback, our onboarding process balances finding “quick wins” to implement within the first 30 days while also taking the time to do the necessary research and auditing to inform a robust long-term strategy. Below is a high-level outline of what this looks like:

  • First 30 days: surfacing as a partnership and implementing “low-hanging fruit” opportunities while conducting in-depth research and auditing for the future
  • 30-45 days: our strategy is presented based on our research findings and your business priorities 
  • 45-60 days: the initial phases of the new strategy are implemented
  • 60-90 days: the next phase of the strategy is rolled out and data informs what changes to prioritize next
  • Day 90: after the first 90 days, we move out of our onboarding phase and into a cyclical 90-day sprint delivery process 

Who Will Work on My Account/What’s the Team Structure?

Today’s digital marketing landscape requires a wide range of expertise to be successful. Our Media Team includes platform specialists, creative strategists, designers, and analysts who work together to strategize and execute a full-funnel media strategy. Similarly, our SEO team includes technical SEO specialists, content strategists, copywriters, developers, and analysts. While all team members will be involved with the account, you will be assigned a main point of contact to ensure effective and efficient communication. 

How Often Will We Communicate?

Depending on the needs of the client, we will either have dedicated weekly or bi-weekly calls that we use to cover results, go over recommendations, and share status updates. Our team is available in-between calls for both written and verbal communication touchpoints. 

How Soon Will We See Results?

The time to achieve results is relative to the type of results you’re hoping to achieve. Generally speaking, for media, we expect you to see initial incremental wins within the first 45 days, with larger wins around the 90-day mark. Media optimization learns from itself, so we’d expect the learnings and wins to start gaining momentum after the second 90-day sprint. 

SEO takes longer to see performance impact given the time it takes for Google to crawl, index, and rank content after changes are made. You should expect incremental improvement in months 3-6. SEO performance should really start taking off around month 12 if recommendations are being implemented consistently. 

What’s the Gameplan for the First 90 Days?

While we have a standardized process for how we onboard clients, the strategy we take is customized based on your goals, priorities, and – most importantly – your target audience’s behaviors. We understand that choosing a new agency is a big commitment, so as part of the sales process we seek to gain a solid understanding of your goals and audience so we can do a complimentary audit and preview of what exactly you can expect us to focus on in the first 90 days. 

Do You Have Experience in My Industry?

We understand that a digital marketing strategy is only effective if it’s tied to your business and marketing objectives, and that’s easier to do when the agency already has a level of experience with your business model. As part of the sales process, we take the time to understand your business model and whether we’d be a good fit for you based on your particular goals. When we are a good fit, we have case studies we can walk you through to showcase how we’ve worked with similar companies and how we’d apply those learnings to your account. 

What Makes Silverback Different From Other Agencies?

We know our clients’ customers as well as we know marketing platforms. Understanding our clients’ customers via research and data will deliver audience insights that supercharge our core services in a way that in-house marketing teams and other agencies cannot compete with. 

Questions We May Have for You

We want to make sure that each of our clients is a good fit for the Silverback experience. That’s why we may ask you some questions.

  • What have you liked and disliked about your previous agency experience?
  • What does an ideal agency relationship look like to your team?
  • What problems are you trying to solve from a business and/or marketing perspective that this engagement will help solve?
  • What does success look like 6 months into our engagement?
  • What does your marketing team structure currently look like? Who will we work with?
  • How will you compare agencies?
  • Taking a step back outside of channel-level goals, what is the business’ north star for this year? What is marketing’s role in hitting that goal? 

Learn More About What Silverback Can Do For Your Company

Silverback is a digital marketing agency committed to high-performance marketing for your company.  Learn how we can work with you to optimize your digital marketing strategies and improve your company’s performance. Call us today at 571-234-5784 or 215-709-9559, email us at info@silverbackstrategies.com, or fill out our convenient online contact form. Let us show you how we can work together!

Jordan Crawford | Director of Strategy & Development

Jordan is passionate about helping clients achieve their goals in the constantly-changing digital marketing space. Bringing a decade of digital marketing experience, Jordan serves as a resource for our clients throughout their life-cycle to ensure their needs are met.

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