How to Choose the Right Digital Marketing Services for Your Small Business

How to Choose the Right Digital Marketing Services for Your Small Business

Digital marketing can seem overwhelming for small business owners. You know you need it to reach customers online and grow – but where do you start when hundreds of agencies promise they can deliver that for you?

It’s the classic small business dilemma. Investing in digital marketing is crucial in this day and age, but choosing the wrong provider means wasting precious budgets on ineffective campaigns.

On the other hand…

Finding the perfect digital marketing services for small business that understand your customers, and your brand, and have the expertise to fuel real business growth through online channels? Well, that changes everything!

When you can align with an agency that knows how to get results for small businesses specifically – you have the potential to not only amplify your reach exponentially but significantly boost sales in your market.

But how do savvy small business owners find these digital needles in the marketing haystack? How should they go about evaluating and choosing digital marketing firms? And what key considerations set partnerships up for long-term success?

In this comprehensive guide, we’ll cover:

✅ The key types of digital marketing services and what they do
✅ Questions to ask potential agencies
✅ Ways to evaluate past campaign results
✅ Pricing models – from hourly to commission-based

Follow our step-by-step advice, and you’ll feel empowered to choose the right digital marketing services for small business needs and positioned for growth. Let’s get started!

Types of digital marketing services and what they include

Before you determine the right digital marketing service, it’s helpful to level-set on the wide range of specialized services that exist. Depending on your business goals, you may need one or more of the following:

Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

This is how people find your business organically in Google and other search engines. An SEO expert will:

  • Audit your website for optimization
  • Improve page speed and mobile responsiveness
  • Create keyword-targeted content
  • Get other high-quality sites to link to you

The end goal is to make your website rank higher for industry keywords so you pull in buyers searching for your products or services.

Pay Per Click (PPC) Advertising

With PPC campaigns like Google Ads, you pay to have your ads show at the top of search results. PPC experts set up and optimize campaigns across search engines and social sites. They manage daily budget caps and improve click-through rates to your site. If it is done right, you get cost-effective sources of website traffic targeted to those most likely to convert.

Email Marketing

One of the highest-converting digital channels out there. Email marketing services involve:

✅ Creating opt-in newsletters, promotional campaigns
✅ Crafting compelling email content
✅ Automating nurture and welcome email sequences
✅ Analyzing open and engagement metrics

This keeps you front-of-mind with contacts in a cost-efficient way. The range of marketing options today is vast. An ideal partner will help identify which services should be used now versus in later campaigns based on your current budget and priority business goals. They will help you determine whether you will need additional services like social media management, web design and development, reputation management, video production, etc.

Questions to ask potential agencies

When you get on calls or meet up with potential agencies providing digital marketing services for small businesses, make sure you ask plenty of questions before signing any contracts! Any agency worth working with will happily answer questions from prospective clients.

Start off by asking about their experience specifically working with small business clients in your industry. A big flashy agency might seem impressive, but you want to know they understand the unique needs and constraints of businesses on a smaller scale. Dig into the specifics of existing client success stories that are relevant. If you’re a local plumbing business, ask if they have experience helping regional service businesses generate leads through Google Ads.

And speaking of ROI – don’t forget to ask about results reporting! Any good digital marketer should provide detailed analytics on spending, conversions, return on ad spend, changes in site traffic and rank, etc. Will you have a dedicated account manager or speak to a different random person every time? Are they connecting you right to the specialists doing the work?

The goal is to evaluate real competence, transparency, and commitment to client success – not just take marketing materials at face value. Getting the right answers to tough questions now sets your potential relationship up for great success.

Evaluate past campaign results

When considering digital marketing services for small business, one of the most useful things you can do is dive into the actual results they have gotten for clients in the past. Don’t just take their word for it that they can achieve your goals – put their work to the test!

Ask for specific examples of performance metrics from 2-3 client campaigns that were similar to what you need. If you want to boost local ecommerce sales, request to see reports showing the increase in revenue and conversions that other local retail clients saw.

Dig deeper too – assess the lift in site traffic and online visibility month-over-month. Review the increase in rankings for target keywords. Check if they hit certain KPI milestones named in initial strategies. Numbers don’t lie!

Also, get in touch with business references that potential partners provide. Set up quick phone calls and ask about their first-hand experience. Did campaigns exceed expectations? How was account management and strategic adjustment throughout? Would they recommend this agency to other small business owners?

You can learn a ton just based on the transparency level of agencies. Reputable digital marketers will gladly showcase past performance and connect you directly with happy clients. If there is any hesitance or making excuses on campaign metrics, you can move on.

While you can’t fully predict future success, evaluating past results builds confidence you have found an agency partner capable of and committed to driving real ROI.

Pricing models – from hourly to commission based

When comparing potential digital marketing partners, make sure you understand and assess the different pricing structures:

  • Hourly: You pay for a set number of hours each month, additional time billed at hourly project rates.
  • Monthly Retainer: A fixed monthly fee for predefined core services. Additional efforts would be billed separately.
  • Commission Only: The agency charges a % of the sales their campaigns directly generate. Risk is lower, but incentives can be misaligned.
  • Value-Based: Billing is tied to reaching certain pre-defined milestones. It is based on the evidence of clear expansion of business value over time.

All models have their pros and cons depending on business needs. For small businesses, having some retainer basis combined with commission incentives can make sense. The key is determining what best aligns interests for your growth goals and risk comfort level.

Choosing the right digital marketing services for small business is a strategic decision. It sets the foundation for how your business can leverage online channels. While the options may seem complex, taking the time upfront to clearly evaluate prospective partners is important.

The expert consultants at Mgadz are here to help assess your situation and goals to get your digital marketing headed in the right direction. Reach out today to get started!

Let’s Grow Your Business and Revenue!

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