Internet Marketing

How To Find A Full Service Internet Marketing Agency Today

Finding the best full-service internet marketing agency in Canada is not an easy task. Each agency has different expertise, areas of focus, experience and working culture.

Moreover, the agency should be able to help you achieve your marketing as well as business goals, all the while saving you time, money and resources, increasing your return on investment, and protecting or enhancing your brand.

While there are many internet marketing agencies in Toronto that can do all of the above, you need to find the one that’s right for your business. That’ll be an agency with experience in your industry, and a proven track record.

You need to take the time to screen any marketing firm before agreeing to work with them. This article will provide you with practical tips to help you find the right full-service digital marketing partner.

Why Do You Want To Hire A Full-Service Internet Marketing Agency?

So you want to hire a full-service digital agency. The first and most important question is, “Why?”

You need to define what are the business goals that you’re looking to accomplish. These goals can be –

  1. Increase revenue by x%
  2. Expand to a new market
  3. Launch a new product or service
  4. Cross sell or upsell to existing customers
  5. Get x% of lead conversion rate

While the list above is not exhaustive it will most certainly provide direction when communicating with a potential digital marketing agency based out of Toronto. An internet marketing agency should take the time to understand your goals and suggest relevant metrics to measure success.

There can be other reasons to outsource your internet marketing as well –

  1. Lack of in-house expertise
  2. Lack of time to manage a digital marketing strategy
  3. Not getting the required return on investment from your digital marketing efforts

If you are looking to replace your current agency, then you need to reflect on what is working and what isn’t working. Use that experience to hire another one that would be a better match.

Typical problems in a client-agency relationship include:

  • Communication problem that leads to unmet expectations
  • Agency isn’t generating results or reaching objectives
  • Dispute over fees
  • Agency lacks understanding of the brand or the industry

Look for An Agency That Provides The Right Expertise

You have an abundance of choices when it comes to choosing a full-service digital marketing agency. Moreover, you also have a large selection of marketing channels to promote on. These include content marketing, search engine optimization (SEO), lead generation, paid advertising, website creation, email marketing, and many more.

There are also different kinds of agencies to choose from:

  1. Branding Agencies – these agencies focus on building an identity for your business or product. The primary aim is to build a positive reputation for your brand in the market, and make it resonate with the right target audience. Branding agencies are usually considered boutique agencies.
  2. Inbound Marketing Agencies – Primarily focused on building a stream of leads using timely and relevant content, inbound marketing agencies are a great way to attract visitors from your target market, and if used smartly, to build thought leadership as well.
  3. Advertising Agencies – Planning and media buying is the area of expertise for advertising agencies. These can be print or television or digital ads.
  4. Full Service Internet Marketing Agencies – A holistic marketing agency that covers all aspects such as – internet or digital marketing, inbound marketing, advertising, as well as branding.

Ask the agency what methods they are going to use that will produce the best returns for you. You may not need all their internet marketing services right away. But it’s good to know they have more services that might help your business in the future without having to hire another firm.

Don’t be mistaken into thinking that more services offered means they are more experienced. So make sure that they have expertise in the chosen marketing methods. It’s only useful to you if they’re good at the service they offer.

A Full-Service Digital Marketing Company That Keeps Up With The Trends

The digital marketing landscape is very competitive. It’s continually evolving because platforms make updates frequently. Old-school methods aren’t effective anymore. And new strategies appear.

An important element in digital marketing is also trends. Trends come and go, and a few of them make a massive impact on the marketing landscape. By keeping up with the trends, an internet marketing agency can help you stay up to date with the strategies and the content that’s most viral at the time. You can get an increase in conversions for your campaign. If it’s paid advertising, you’ll enjoy lower cost to acquire leads and sales.

For instance when it comes to a platform strategy, Google has changed its SEO algorithm several times. In the past, you could get a page to rank by getting a lot of backlinks. These are links from other websites that link to the article you want to rank. Many people exploit it by driving suspect links to their page. Today, this strategy doesn’t work well anymore. In fact, it may even get your site penalized.

A few digital marketing trends to keep an eye out for this year are –

  1. Social Commerce becomes mainstream – Social shopping or social commerce done on platforms such as Instagram, TikTok, and YouTube will replace the brick and mortar experience.
  2. The rapid rise of TikTok – TikTok is reaching 1 billion users and counting. So whether you’re a B2B or B2C business, now is the time to start taking it seriously.
  3. Metaverse and marketing shake hands – A virtual world where people can meet and connect with each other, is only the beginning of the metaverse’s capabilities. Marketers need to make the most of the AR and VR revolution that will be powered by the metaverse.
  4. Understand your data with Google Analytics 4 – Aimed at helping marketers get better ROI from their long-term marketing, Google Analytics 4 brings better Google Ad integration, machine learning to drive insights, and includes privacy controls

While the above list is by no means exhaustive, these are some of the trends that you should be talking about with your potential digital marketing agency. A working knowledge and expertise in these areas is sure to give a boost to your marketing efforts.

Review The Agency’s Past Work Thoroughly

Experienced marketing firms are proud of their past successes. They display their client logos on their website. They write case studies on their website on how they were able to achieve results for their clients.

Proof of previous work is a great way to assess whether an agency has good standing in the industry. Ask for their portfolio of work to understand the pedigree of work. If you’re a business in Toronto, the portfolio should have a healthy customer based out of the Toronto region.

While most agencies won’t have detailed case studies published on their website, they’ll be happy to showcase the work in details if you ask.

Ask for references as well. While you can always check out Google reviews, an agency which is proud about their work will happily share a list of glowing client references.

These are great resources to review. The best case is if the firm has worked with a business similar to yours. For example, they’ve worked with a company in a similar industry, targeting the same geographical area, or a brand with similar goals.

Have an Honest Discussion about Budgets

Before engaging any agency, you first need to determine your marketing budget. Then you can discuss with the agency if the project can fit with the budget you’ve allocated.

Keep in mind that the fees to the marketing firm don’t include other expenses like paid advertising. It’s vital to be clear on what is included in the fees and how the fees are structured. Some agencies charge a flat retainer fee. Some include a percentage of advertising spend. And some agencies charge based on results.

A good full service Internet marketing agency should also be able to guide you on how much you  should spend to achieve a designated marketing or business goal. These forecasts should be based upon sound analytics and research.

The budget will be based upon the cost per lead in your industry, the platforms you decide to leverage for your outreach, and the advertising model best suited for your business goals (PPC, display, programmatic etc.)

If you have a large marketing budget, don’t be afraid to ask if the agency is open to running a test project. You can feel how it’s like to work together before you commit your entire budget.

Transparency For A Long Term Working Relationship

Choosing an agency is not all about skills. It’s also about how well you can communicate with them.

Check if the firm has a mailing address, phone number, and other indicators of a legitimate business. But also keep in mind that they don’t need to have a fancy office. Many professionally run agencies now have their team working remotely.

Some agencies produce reports that are intentionally vague to the point of being misleading. Or they won’t spend the time to explain the metrics to you. These are red flags. If your marketing campaign is performing well, the agency should have nothing to hide. But if you feel something is off, feel free to question and ask for clarification.

You also want a feel about how transparent they are about the methods and reporting. Although the agency is the expert in marketing, the strategy that will be implemented has to make sense to you. Don’t be afraid to ask for a sample report and see if the details are to your satisfaction.

Define Your Ways of Working

It is important to know who will be the account manager for your company and how many resources the agency will allocate to you. Some agencies further outsource their work to freelancers. While that isn’t bad (and is actually common) it is important to know who’s working on your team and their credentials.

Furthermore, the agency should share a communication plan with you which outlines regular weekly sync ups, emails communication, reporting cadence and more. This is usually laid out in the contract but knowing and negotiating these things beforehand can go a long way in building your relationship with the agency.

A good internet marketing agency will assign a responsive and understanding account manager, and will also be willing to share the strategy and KPIs with your team.

At the end of the day, you should feel reassured that your digital marketing is in the hands of a responsive and smart agency team, that has your best interest in mind!

Become Comfortable with Data

You should know how many dollars are being spent by the agency on your campaign, down to a per ad level. Gaining an understanding of the components that make a media buy is a great way to know how well your campaigns are being optimized. And your agency should be willing to share this with you.

While costs and attribution is a bit difficult to figure out when it comes to programmatic advertising, don’t let your agency to hide behind the numbers. It is the agencies job to understand the complexities of the advertiser’s market and decipher that for you, and it is your right to know where every dollar of your marketing budget is being spent.

Metrics such as cost per acquisition, cost per leads, cost per conversion are important ones to start enquiring about. Ask the agency for these metric from their previous clients in a similar industry.

Decide Your Marketing Partner Carefully

When engaging a full-service internet marketing firm in Toronto, you want to get it right the first time. Switching agencies can be expensive and it wastes a lot of time. The importance of doing your homework and the research required cannot be overstated.

On the other hand, choosing the right marketing partner can lead to a revenue windfall. Put in the work upfront in the agency selection process and you’ll be rewarded with good marketing performance.

If you’d like to discuss a digital marketing strategy that’s tailored to your business, we’d love to help. Take the first step by booking a call with us.