Maintaining a strong online presence in this current digital climate is imperative your business moving forward. From your Google listing, to your digital marketing efforts, to your Facebook page–you are making an impression on potential and current customers, business partners, and competitors.
Creating and maintaining social media sites, developing a website, and marketing your business to the ever-growing online community can be a daunting thought. After all, you are busy seeing to the everyday efforts that keep your company running.
Bearing this in mind, many companies have moved away from delegating this task to someone in the office that probably doesn’t have enough free-time or understanding of how to truly help their business, and instead opted to outsource this work.
Though there are a myriad of national companies that could provide you with the digital services and fulfillment you’ll need to keep your online presence in good shape, choosing a local digital vendor to partner with could be an asset to your sanity and your business in the long run.
1. Products, services and fulfillment are directly comparable
Before you even begin considering a digital agency, assess your needs and come up with a concise list of what you would like to achieve through your digital efforts.
Do you want to build brand recognition and your overall online presence? Are you looking to digitally market your company and generate leads? Ask these questions for a more defined perspective of what you need and who is offering it.
A larger more reputable agency is going to have way more to offer in term of products and services, right?
Many smaller, local digital vendors use back end digital solution companies whose sole purpose is to act as fulfillment for the clients of the smaller digital agencies. This means your company has access to just as many digital solutions locally, as you do nationally.
2. Access to Analytics and Reports
Having access to your website analytics or reports on the click-through rates of an ad you are running is pretty important.
Your digital agency should be providing you with consistent reporting to monitor the success or lack thereof, of any campaigns you are running and your online performance in other areas like social media and Google ranking.
If you already have an agency and you aren’t getting consistent reports, it may be time to think about changing digital vendors.
If you are in the market for an agency, this should be a major point of conversation when looking to partner with one.
Previously having worked in print and digital advertising–I’ve sat through many a meeting where the client was unsatisfied with their current vendor and looking to switch to our agency because they never got reports, and had no clue what was or wasn’t working for them. If they did get report, it was like a foreign language and no one was there to walk them through it.
This is where having a local, real life human being as your account rep can come in handy. There is a certain level of accountability on the agencies part when you have rep with a name and a face.
This means someone to turn to explain these reports or directly hold the blame if you don’t get them.
3. Customer service and Accountability
Something as imperative as your business’s online well-being should be handled by someone accessible. If you can’t track down the person in charge of maintaining your digital assets, that’s a problem.
Partnering with a local digital agency means a local representative that knows about and is invested in your business. Your local rep will be available to sit down and consult with you.
This will be beneficial to your company to have a consultant that understands the local consumer landscape and what is needed to reach your target customers, taking into account the challenges you face and seeking actionable ways to overcome them.
Not to mention–not every marketing campaign you run online is going to be successful. A knowledgeable local rep will be able to pinpoint what isn’t working and make suggestions for future campaigns.
4. Having a partnership within the community
Every business owner knows having partners and allies within the community can be invaluable.
Local digital agencies are often part of or associated with print media companies. This is helpful to say the least when you have an up-coming event you would like covered or a press release to send out. A ‘you scratch my back, I’ll scratch yours’ sort of relationship can be utilized with this type of partnership.
Using a larger, far away company can seem nebulous, like you aren’t ever sure if you’re being helped fully. A local digital agency is tangible, their reputation depends on providing excellent service to their clients. Its advantageous to work with someone who has a little skin in the game.
Large national and even international vendors aren’t necessarily bad or not worth investigating as an avenue for digital. There is much to be said, however, on the benefits of staying local with your choice.
You’ll be keeping at least some of that money local, advantaging your local economy, in turn helping your business.
Ask other businesses in your field locally who they use and if they are satisfied. Look into a few different vendors to compare before coming to a decision.
After exploring your options, you’ll likely find local digital is the way to go.
Offering the same digital suites as larger, national digital agencies, a local vendor will come with benefits unable to be matched by these big players.
That being said–nothing beats having a rep you have a relationship with to make suggestions, consult, strategize, and generally make the whole process smoother for your company.
Make these considerations and if you see fit for your business–keep your digital local.