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There’s no way around it: To find the best digital creative agency for your B2B company, you’ll need to do a bit of homework. On the upside, the time you invest will pay off when the agency you hire not only generates ads and content that leads to sales but also feels like such a good fit that, at times, you forget they’re not on your payroll.
Just in case you’re wondering: A digital creative agency provides creative (that’s just industry speak for “advertising”) for online – and not print – consumption. The agency’s creative can include everything from website design to social media posts.
It may go without saying, but you’ll obviously want to choose an agency that’s good at what they do. That said, choosing an agency is about more than pure expertise. Much like hiring employees, it’s also about fit. You want an agency that gets you and your company.
To accomplish those goals and more, use these tips for finding the best digital creative agency for your company.
6 Tips for Choosing the Best Digital Creative Agency
- Know What You Want
- Search for Solid Candidates
- Run a Background Check
- Seek Versatility
- Evaluate Internal Processes
- Ask for Case Studies and Client Testimonials
1. Know What You Want
Finding a great digital creative agency is a little bit like online dating.
Before you can swipe right or left, you first need to know what you’re looking for. Otherwise you can spend hours scrolling your options, but never narrowing down the candidates.
You’ll want to know your budget, of course, as well as a few other factors:
- The type of marketing you think you want. Each creative agency will specialize in different marketing formats. Some, for example, will focus on online marketing such as SEO or social media, whereas others might excel at print ads, billboards, and television. On top of that, an agency might primarily handle a particular type of business, such as B2B (business to business), B2C (business to consumer), or SaaS (software as a service). Or they might know more about tech and medical device industries and less about, say, HVAC.
- The feelings you want your brand to evoke. Are you looking for something whimsical and fun? Or marketing that’s more serious? Once you know the vibe you seek, you’ll be able to see if a digital creative agency has done similar work in the past.
- The expertise you need. Maybe you already have an in-house social media team – and you’re not looking for a creative agency to fill that role. On the other hand, perhaps you don’t employ SEO specialists. Ideally, you want a creative marketing agency that patches your weaknesses – and doesn’t make your company’s existing strengths redundant.
2. Search for Solid Candidates
If you google “digital creative agency,” you’ll end up with 280 million results.
Well, that’s overwhelming.
Thankfully, the research you did in step 1 will help you to narrow all of this down.
Start by refining your search as well as filtering out companies that don’t offer what you want.
Let’s say you’re looking for a digital creative agency that specializes in SEO. Then you’ll want to include “SEO” in your search.
To refine things even more, consider adding your industry, location, or business type. Keep refining things until you end up with a list of candidates you feel good about.
3. Do a Background Check
Now it’s time to vet your candidates. Check out the website for each digital creative agency on your list. Make sure to look at their…
Does their team fit your team? Do they produce quality and creative work? Who are some of their clients? Are they producing work that matches up with the vibe you’re looking for?
Again, this is a little bit like dating. You’re going to be spending some time with this agency. As a result, you’re looking for people you want to work with, and ideally people you wouldn’t mind having a beer with.
You want to ensure the agency will get along with your team and deliver the best results for your brand and clients.
4. Seek Versatility
Some digital creative agencies specialize in just one area, such as website design. Others come to the table with a wide assortment of skills and expertise, including:
- SEO (search engine optimization)
- Email marketing
- Newsletter marketing
- Social media marketing
- Brand development
- Public relations
- Display advertising
- Digital advertising
We’re not saying that agencies that specialize only in websites are bad. If all you want is a website, they can be a great option.
On the other hand, if you need more than that, it’s helpful to pair up with an agency that offers a wide range of marketing services.
Another factor: Is the agency more like a chameleon that can rebrand clients (and change fonts and colors) as needs arise? Or is it more like a hammer that does one thing and one thing really well? If you think your brand may shift over time, you’ll be better served by a chameleon than a hammer.
5. Evaluate Internal Processes
Make sure the agency has procedures in place for reviewing, editing, and revising work.
Ideally, the agency will remain flexible, putting your needs first.
6. Ask for Case Studies & Testimonials
Case studies or client testimonials show how the agency helped their client achieve results.
For example, at Altitude, we devote an entire section of our website to case studies. That’s because we want to make it easy for potential clients to see what we’ve done in the past, as well as decide whether we’re a good fit for their needs.
Conclusion: Know Yourself
To find the best digital creative agency, fit matters. You’re looking for an agency that not only delivers great results, but also gets your company values, mission, and vibe. So think about who you are and what you want long before you go shopping.