What to Look for When Hiring a Digital Marketing Agency


By now, you’ve heard about SEO (search engine optimization), SEM (search engine marketing), marketing automation, PPC (pay-per-click) advertising and other digital marketing terms.

In fact, these activities form the work of most digital marketing agencies.

In general, these agencies are responsible for:

  • Expanding your digital presence
  • Earning strong search-engine rankings
  • Generating leads for your business using your digital assets

But as with most things in life, not all digital marketing work is the same.

Rather, the ability of your digital marketing spend to pull the right leads and, in turn, enable you to acquire clients is contingent on the quality of work provided by your digital marketing agency.

This aspect is critical if your business is at the stage where it must actively capture or gain market-share from competitors in your industry.

Ideally, you will have taken your hands off the digital marketing wheel and simply expect – and engage – the right leads as they come.

Be it your first true foray into signing on a digital marketing agency or a look at new pastures in response to a lack of performance or plateauing with your existing agency; you should look for the following factors in your digital marketing agency.

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Onboarding with Robust SEO Research & Analysis

Right from the start of your contract, your agency should execute an all-hands-on-deck effort to repairing or building communications, data awareness, SEO and conversion issues across all of your digital channels.

In a short matter of time, you should have a revamped digital presence.

You’ll notice below that your agency’s process should, ideally, be methodological and targeted to your unique needs.

For example, in terms of SEO, it isn’t enough that your agency will look for keywords on which your website can rank strongly.

Rather, the objective is to identify the keywords your potential customers are using to find products and services in your industry, and in turn, position your content to rank strongly on those search-engine results pages (SERPs).

SEO Keyword Research and Analysis

First, an exhaustive brand research effort aimed at identifying every issue, opportunity, and challenge affecting your core business activities.

Second, a thorough SEO audit with comprehensive keyword research, one that deeply dives into understanding the search-terms prospective clients are using with an eye for identifying their problems, solutions, and options.

Build a Digital Marketing Communications Strategy

Third, build a highly detailed communications strategy of your business, i.e., its products, services and key messaging that will highlight your competitive advantages.

Fourth, revamp your homepage messaging to align with the brand research, SEO audit and your communications strategy.


The Core Outcomes of Digital Marketing

core outcomes of digital marketing

Source: Accenture

Provide Tools for Digital Marketing Data Analysis

Fifth, implement (or repair) your digital data sources and build dashboards for real-time data monitoring for informed and valuable reporting.

Sixth, leverage strong technical competency to integrate your digital efforts with an array of modern tools such as customer relationship management (CRM) suites, user behavior tools, marketing automation systems, and other digital marketing technologies.

Although this is merely the first phase of a well-executed digital marketing strategy, you’ll see that it’s an exhaustive effort.

To accomplish this successfully, your agency will be able to leverage different teams of skilled experts dedicated to each area.

The ‘expertise’ factor must reflect technical skill as well as strong business insight such that your agency properly understands your industry, products, and services, and competitive advantages to firmly position you at top-of-sight and top-of-mind to the leads you want.

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In-House Website Content Writing

Upon completing its aggressive onboarding phase, your digital marketing agency should offer you a fully detailed and articulated content strategy.

This strategy should start with comprehensively mapping-out the right buyer personas using the buyer insights and market knowledge of your sales and marketing teams.

In tandem, the digital marketing firm will document a thorough Buyer Journey Funnel, giving a complete view of your industry’s critical decision-triggers and drivers on the path to purchasing your company’s products and services.

This insight – which also includes the communications strategy built under the onboarding stage – will be sent to a cadre of strong in-house writers capable of deeply researching your industry

and products/services to develop appealing content that is precisely targeted at your persona.



Pay special attention to the fact that there is an in-house team. Unlike outsourcing to external writers, an agency with an in-house team will have vetted its writers (for experience and ability) and build a methodological creative process from ideation all the way through to publishing.

The result?

Original, high-quality content that fully speaks to your brand voice and messaging while also precisely engaging your target buyer persona.

However, a strong digital marketing agency will go beyond simply meeting monthly or quarterly content quotas. Rather, you should expect your agency to bring consistently high-quality work, timeliness and persona-targeted precision to the weekly call, always.

Also, and just as importantly, expect your digital marketing agency to consciously reject stagnation and complacency.

Rather, your agency must commit to regularly (e.g. perhaps on a quarterly basis) review your content, persona and SEO strategies such that your company is always positioned with emerging industry trends and actual realities.

The mission of a solid digital marketing agency isn’t to build a digital presence for its own sake, but to deliver a digital marketing strategy to net promising leads and, in turn, achieve growth in sales, revenue, and profit for your company.

Proactively Begin Converting Web Traffic into Sales

By leveraging persona-driven content and precision-targeted SEO, your agency should display conscious efforts towards generating traffic into promising leads.

Make no mistake, this is not as simple as just tacking-on an email/newsletter registration button to your website. Rather, this is an inductive approach that relies on your Buyer Journey Funnel and SEO to ensure that the leads acquired are identified at the right stage of their journey.

For example, your sales team would love a lead that is ready to purchase a system to sign-on from a bottom-of-funnel page instead of a dozen completely irrelevant leads from a blog post.

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This is a comprehensive process that involves building a high-quality website that adheres to your brand along with appealing aesthetics and a responsive on-page experience to keep traffic on your website.

Coupled with well-positioned calls-to-action to valuable content offers (e.g. eBooks), your website will be a key asset in acquiring relevant leads.

Using Data to Drive Digital Marketing and Sales

Your agency will equip you with custom-built dashboards so that you can view valuable data in real-time. This should involve traffic, lead conversion and user/reader behavior on your website. Sources for Lead Data


Sources for Lead Data

sources for lead data

Source: Accenture



In fact, your agency will essentially equip you with a complete toolset of assets:

  • Real-time data
  • A thoroughly-detailed Buyer Journey Funnel
  • Original, high-quality content

This allows you to target the best leads (identified using objective data instead of assumptions) with highly relevant content sent at opportune times (e.g., Account Based Marketing).

In effect, your digital marketing agency should be at the forefront of increasing the revenue potential of your sales efforts.

Read More About B2B Digital Marketing:

Getting Started

At this point, it should be clear that your digital marketing agency should be your digital marketing expert, i.e., a one-stop-shop you delegate your digital marketing needs to with the simple expectation that you continually get the right leads for your sales team(s).

Not only should you be en-route to actively pursuing sales opportunities, but this should be the core focus of your company.

In other words, you should have enough confidence in your digital marketing agency to let it manage your digital channels, i.e., have your hands-off-the-wheel with limited concern over the granular details of the digital marketing process.

If you’re at this stage and are ready to work with a mature digital marketing agency, then contact Jumpfactor today. We will discuss your business realities and begin charting a map for building a strong digital marketing strategy for driving your sales and revenue growth objectives.

2019-09-18T23:51:27-04:00Inbound Marketing|Comments Off on What to Look for When Hiring a Digital Marketing Agency

About the Author:

Zamir is a seasoned entrepreneur with over 15 years of experience of providing expert inbound digital marketing advice to a variety of B2B clients. He has orchestrated the digital success of several organizations, with some clients getting 7000% ROI as a result. As a member of the Entrepreneurs’ Organization, Zamir also has over a decade of experience mentoring young entrepreneurs. As for his keys to success? Zamir credits everything to meditation and focus.
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