5 tips to maximise the benefits of digital marketing services

As a freelancer for small and large businesses and creative strategist at a digital marketing agency, my two jobs make me well placed to offer advice to small businesses and startups working with digital marketing agencies.

An agency provide skills, expertise, and resources you can’t afford on your own, so they can be the perfect answer for many small businesses’ marketing needs. However, you’ll need to foster the right relationship with even the best agencies to ensure that they give you the highest possible service.

Here are 5 tips for small businesses who want to make the most of working with a digital marketing agency.

1) Every business owner, marketing or communication manager should get a basic understanding of how digital marketing works.

This will save time and money when dealing with a digital marketing agency, and it will speed up projects by helping you communicate easily with agency staff at the same level and make the most of their insight when replicating strategies in house. To start training yourself without getting overwhelmed, sign up to Google Academy Analytics and Adwords course, watch Moz videos and sign up to Overthink Group newsletter.

2) Digital marketing works best when you know your product and clients.

Digital marketing is a new form of advertising, but it doesn’t replace your old business plan, marketing mix, your 4 Ps (product, placement, price, promotion) and your buyer personas. Google (both organic and Google Ads), and Facebook are incredibly valuable tools for companies with great products and a solid understanding of the markets they operate in, but they do not do miracles.

3) Digital marketing is constantly evolving and no one has the answer to everything.

It’s actually about analysing data, problem-solving, and the ability to think outside the box to find new ways of doing things and learning from your mistakes. Do not expect everything your digital marketing agency does to be perfect all the time.

4) Make time for your digital marketing projects, or find someone in the company who will.

Digital marketing agencies are third parties who have less visibility over your day-to-day operations and business, they will need to be guided to support your strategy. In my experience, projects are more effective and less costly when you have someone on the client’s side who is managing the agency, checking in on them and helping them out if they need information that they can’t find on the website or on analytics.

5) Don’t get lost in the details.

It’s easy to forget about the big picture and spend ages on endless rounds of revisions, attaching too much importance to trivial details. Every minute of agency time will be billed, so pick your battles and prioritise tasks that you absolutely cannot do in-house, so that you can make the most out the agency’s time and of your money.

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