How to Make Best Use of Your Digital Marketing Partner

By Jamie Ann Phillips
A digital marketing agency can be utilized as an extension of your internal marketing department. At Papercut, that’s what we strive to be.
 
The more your agency is involved in your overall marketing strategy, the more you will get out of the relationship and the agency.  
 
But how do you find the right agency and collaborate most effectively? I’ve got some tips that I hope will help.
 

What is a digital marketing agency?

 
There are marketing agencies of all types.
 
A digital marketing agency is different from a traditional advertising, marketing or public relations agency. This type of agency is geared exclusively towards online marketing and offers services such as website development, social media marketing, search engine optimization, pay per click advertising, email marketing and more.
 
These days, all marketing leads back to the web. You can’t afford not to make your digital strategy a priority, and that’s what a digital marketing agency is here to help with.
 
If you want help creating, executing and measuring results of a highly targeted online marketing strategy, find a digital marketing agency. Their focus will be on improving your online presence and building a funnel to ensure you see the results and return on investment you expect.
 

How do I find the right one?

 

When looking for an agency partner, find one that has a diverse set of skills that would add to your existing team’s expertise.
 
A digital marketing agency isn’t meant to replace your team but instead act as a valuable asset that can fill the gaps in knowledge and skill. It’s best to assess what your marketing goals are and where an outside vendor can most strategically be used.
 
Unless you have unlimited budget (which is rarely the case), recognize the difference between the tasks you need outside expertise to complete and those that your team can handle. You’re paying for the agency’s time and expertise, so keep smaller scale day-to-day tasks in house. To best use your marketing dollars, look to your partner for help with bigger strategic initiatives that you need additional resources to plan and execute.
 

How do I make it a beneficial relationship?

 
If you are uncomfortable with giving an agency free reign, start with small projects to test the waters. Once you start seeing success, think about increasing your spend and project size.  
 
One way to see if an agency is right for you is to hire one to perform digital marketing research on your behalf. This will give you a better understanding of the online competitive landscape from an objective third party. It will also show you where the agency’s strengths lie and how they could help you reach your goals.
 
This will help you see if you can trust this agency working on your behalf. And if you’re not thrilled with the results, you don’t have to continue your relationship.

 

How do I empower my agency to do its best work?

 
You have to trust your agency. I know. It’s tough for me to even write that out.
 
But, as someone who works at a digital marketing agency, we pride ourselves on our experience and knowledge. When we’re given the freedom to do what we think is best for a client, we find that the client is more successful.
 
Once you have established trust with your agency partner and given them what they need to do their job, there’s no limit on what you can achieve together.
 

How do I collaborate effectively with my digital partner?

 
One way Papercut has found that helps us stay closely aligned with our clients is setting up regularly recurring meetings. This allows us to stay engaged with the client’s goals and to consistently measure our recent projects’ successes. The more feedback and face-to-face contact, the more we’re able to grow a client’s digital marketing.
 
An agency partner can be a successful piece of your overall marketing plans. That partnership can carry your business forward in exponential ways - if you let it!
 
Jamie Ann Phillips is the operations director at Papercut Interactive, a web development and digital marketing company founded in 2001. Papercut services include website audits, custom website development, search engine optimization and digital marketing. Learn more at papercutinteractive.com.