How to Hire a Digital Agency

Tuesday, January 06, 2015
iainmiller

Hiring a digital company for state-of-the-art PR, marketing including social media, advertising, and all round accretive services can seem like a relatively daunting task. Technical developments, new platforms, and even new languages to describe these 24/7 revolutions, conspire to make even the most diligently informed business’s knowledge quickly past its sell-by date. So how do you ensure you’re adding value? Here are some key tips on how to hire your next agency and to get the most from your new relationship.

One of the key advantages to hiring a digital agency, if you get it right, has already been highlighted: in taking on the right agency, you’ve just boosted your problem-solving capacity, diversified your talent pool, and effectively made it someone else’s job to deliver on the latest tech and social developments. As noted above, the pace at which PR and marketing is evolving, makes keeping up a challenge. So, above all, look for an agency that’s something of a thought-leader, and is engaging with technological developments, one with industry contacts and a passion for digital habitats.

Of course there’s no point in awarding your business to the David Attenborough of digital companies if your choice can’t tell you in clear, precise terms what they do without baffling you with technobabble. As well as an agency that prides themselves on their knowledge, you need to hire one that can tell you in no uncertain terms which campaigns are likely to work for you, based on their demonstrable experience with similar clients, and what is working for you, as the campaigns are running. This means you need to look out for an agency’s staff.

It might sound obvious, but when you have limited time to spend hiring, don’t rely on word of mouth recommendations alone – although these are of course important. Look at the talent on offer at the agency. Team members will have been hired for specific business acumen, technical knowledge, or their proven track record creating brilliant, original, award-winning campaigns. Having access to a hive of diverse, brilliant creatives, problem-solvers, and seasoned PR pros, is the real advantage to hiring an agency to work for your business. So, take up offers of face-to-face meetings in their offices. Find out how much time they’d have for you, who would be on your account and therefore brought into design and deliver for you.

Metrics for marketing and PR can be confusing so you need an agency committed to showing you, not just telling you, why a particular strategy is working: what likes, shares, retweets, sales, and reputational and profile wins translate to in business terms.

As digital companies will usually scale their remuneration to your growth, this makes it cost-efficient, especially when you take into account that you’re buying access to a team of creative problem-solvers, who will get their heads together with your staff, as well as the specialist technical skills and know-how set out above. Choose right, based on this reasoning, and you should be looking at highly cost-efficient campaigns.

Download our Initial Brief Template to get the ball rolling.