How to choose a digital marketing agency?

The journey towards starting and managing a business in Australia can be described as many things  but not easy. It takes hard work to solidify your place in the competitive service-based industry and even more work to keep it going. No matter the size of your team, we all need a little help in aspects of the business that we aren’t pros at. Floodgate Digital founder and sales & marketing head at, Jacob Banks, has personal experiences with thousands of businesses across the country and found that 65% of them failed to invest in adequate online presence. Just a little less than half of them didn’t have any online presence to speak of at all! This trend is quite concerning and is a dead giveaway that local business owners aren’t investing in digital marketing agencies to help this very vital part of growing their business. If you are part of them, this blog is Floodgate Digital’s advice, from us to you, about where to even begin.

There are many reasons for the lack of investment in digital strategies but the main one seems to be that business owners find it hard to maintain. Marketing trends are changing every day and new online platforms are hard to keep track of. The best thing to do is to rely on a digital marketing agency that’ll manage all the technical stuff according to your business needs and goals. There are many digital marketing agencies across Australia, and it’ll be quite a task to find the one that works best for you. You need to be actively involved in the process of finding and choosing one because this is a VERY important part of your business. Both for the potential growth of sales and customers but also because the internet is an invaluable resource. Before you start looking outside your business for the right agency, look inside your business for what it needs. These are a few things to start with:

Know yourself and your business

We know you already have a medium to long term plan for your business which has a set of goals you’d like to achieve. Maybe you’d like to employ ten more people, you’d like to open another branch of your business, or you’re looking to renovate and expand your business property to accommodate additional services. A digital marketing plan is only there to help you achieve all these things sooner.  An agency should create a marketing campaign that aligns with those plans and more.

Know your budget 

As you are clearly defining what your goals are, you should keep in mind what you have capacity for. This includes financial capacity and that means being honest about what you are able (and willing) to pay a digital marketing agency. What are your marketing needs? Do they include a brand-new website, social media pages and online communication channels? If all those things are already sorted, maybe you’re more interested in techniques that’ll boost those platforms like ads, SEO, or other kinds of promotion? A good digital marketing agency can help you work through all of this and even accommodate maintenance and upkeep if it’s part of your budget. Settle on a monthly or yearly budget for marketing and then factor in agency costs, and work with that as a starting point before finding the perfect agency for you.

Know your local market

You’ve been operating your business in Australia for years and you have regular customers that you know on a first name basis. You might know these people like the back of your hand, but do you know what the average customer is like in modern times? If you haven’t already, you should spend the time re-evaluating the type of customer you want and how to attract them. You should also factor in who your local competitors are and how you are all sharing the market of paying Australians. If you’re looking to increase that market share or try expanding by targeting younger clients, you need to be certain of these things before approaching a digital marketing agency. Online marketing tools work because they target people very specifically with very complex IT systems. It’ll be easier to create a marketing plan that knows its audience well.

Now that you have spent some time strategizing on the above, it’s time to find the agency that will meet all your expectations. These are the three steps to finding one best fit for you:

  1. Narrow down a list of ten agencies you’re interested in. Find out from friends or family who they’d suggest, do an online search, or just keep your eyes open for any agencies advertising their services in your area. The agency should be transparent with what they can offer and at what rate on their websites or even if you spend the time to give them a call.
  2. Shorten that list as you identify what feels best for your business. Do some research and you slowly have a better idea of which agency could be the one for you. Asses what packages they are offering, how much they cost and if they have a history of successfully helping other businesses in the past. Have a look at their websites and social media pages and if their content looks like the content you want for your business, that’s a good indicator. Part of the research involves contacting the agencies directly and finding out for yourself.
  3. Engage with them directly and choose the agency with the best response.  Ask questions about past campaigns and request their portfolio. After you’ve cut the list to top three, send a ‘Request for Proposal’. This will be a detailed cost and skills document. Hold a meeting (or several) with the agencies and see what digital marketing campaign they have planned for you. Choose the best idea and let them get cracking!

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