Let’s face it. Not everyone is a digital marketing expert, even if they own and run a business. This is perfectly acceptable, and the reason why businesses such as digital marketing agencies exist. No matter what demographic a business is marketing to, having a strong presence online and an effective marketing strategy is highly important. If a proprietor or manager is unsure how to make the most of a marketing budget, bringing in an agency might just be the answer.

But how does a business owner go about deciding to hire an agency and selecting the right agency to work with? Use this primer to make the decision with the most information.

Does Every Business Need to Use a Digital Marketing Agency?

Not necessarily. Many businesses prefer to bring their marketing in-house and have a dedicated team working on it. Others may find that outsourcing certain elements of marketing, such as content distribution, is a better avenue for them. There is certainly no singular answer for every scenario.

The intent of marketing is to bring leads and revenue in to the business. When outlining a marketing strategy, there may be gaps that can easily be filled in by an agency. This includes, but is not limited to, graphic design, copywriting and copy editing, and media buying. All of these elements require some expert attention to make them actually sell, and agencies have built their business models to be able to deliver these collaterals in a timely and effective manner.

Hiring an agency can also save money over time. When viewing the “true” cost of hiring staff members, including benefits, vacation time, and sick pay, among others, the monthly retainer of an agency may begin to look more and more appealing.

However, there is much research that should go into hiring an agency. With digital marketing agencies seemingly popping up everywhere, how can a business owner tell if that agency will actually deliver on their lofty promises?

Selecting the Right Digital Marketing Agency

A quick online search will yield countless hits when searching for “digital marketing agency”. It can be intimidating for a business owner to find the right fit for their budget. Utilize some of the following criteria when making an informed decision:

Past case studies: Take a look at what sort of clients the agency has served in the past. Do these businesses seem like they have similarities to your business? Do an internet search for a couple of these clients. Do they look to be successful? Are their marketing materials crisp, clean, and effective?

Read their content: Not every agency is created equal. Many agencies, unfortunately, are focused more on quantity than quality. This won’t fly for true conversions. Take the time to read the materials the agency has put out. This includes web content, blogs, and social media copy. Does it read generic and low-effort? It should feel authentic and hit a tone with the consumer. If the agency is not accomplishing this, it probably isn’t a good fit.

Communication: How does the agency communicate? Are you waiting days for a response to an inquiry or email? Do they answer the phone? How about their promises to deliver? Do they seem too good to be true?

Taking these factors into account when making a decision to find and hire an agency will help save headaches in the long run. A digital marketing agency can be a huge asset to a business if utilized properly.

Ronn Torossian is the CEO of 5W Public Relations. 5WPR is a NYC based PR Firm.

Ronn Torossian


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Ronn Torossian is the Founder, President and CEO of New York-based 5W Public Relations. He has overseen the company's rapid growth and expansion to the Inc. 500 list, as well as provided counsel to hundreds of companies, including members of the Fortune 500, Inc. 500 and Forbes 400. His work spans global interests, corporate entities, high-profile individuals, regional business entities, government agencies and academic institutions - both on routine public relations matters and extremely sensitive issues. One of the foremost public relations experts in the U.S., Torossian is known for his aggressive, results-focused orientation, as well as his close working relationships with members of the media, influencers, decision makers, politicians and celebrities. At 5W Public Relations, Torossian's client experience has included programs for Coca-Cola, Microsoft, Anheuser-Busch, Barnes & Noble, Cantor Fitzgerald, IHOP, McDonald's, Evian, EDS, VeriSign, XM Radio, Seagram's, The Loews Regency, Bad Boy Worldwide Entertainment, Marriott Hotels, Vail Resorts, Pamela Anderson, Snoop Dogg, the Government of Israel, and others. Referred to by The New York Post as a "publicity guru," by Fox News as a "high-powered PR CEO," by Tyra Banks as a "crisis management guru," and by CNN as "a leading PR expert," Torossian is regularly featured in and quoted by the media, including by CNN, Fox News Channel, MSNBC, NBC, The New York Times, and others. CBS National News said "Ronn Torossian knows spin," and a New York Times feature story on Torossian referred to him as "The consummate hard-driving, scrappy NY publicist." Earlier in his career, Torossian was a Vice President/Group Director for one of The InterPublic Group's (IPG) largest PR agencies, where he was responsible for significant client growth and successful client programs, including work for Clinique, Fox News Channel, DHL, Hard Rock Café and others. A resident of Manhattan’s Upper West Side, Torossian was named to the Advertising Age "40 Under 40" list, PR Week's "40 Under 40" List, is a regular lecturer at universities and conferences, a member of Young Presidents Organization (YPO) and a board member of numerous non-profit organizations.