Velox believes in establishing personal and long-lasting relationships with clients and taking the time to immerse ourselves into a business before offering advice.
Unfortunately, most SME’s rarely have the resources to establish their independent online marketing or development departments. For all such SME’s outsourcing their digital marketing and software activities to digital agencies that can provide professional services in different budgets.
Businesses with smaller budgets may be drawn to agencies that offer the cheapest rates for their services, which is often not wise. They must think of the digital agency as a partner that they will create a close collaborative relationship with and will have a significant impact on the brand image as well as the number of clients you can draw in. Therefore, it is essential that you take your time and find a company that suits your budget and complements your needs and business ethos. Here are some great tips that can help you find the right digital agency:
Start With Research
Diving in blindly is never a good idea when it comes to any aspect of your business, even if you are outsourcing an activity due to your lack of knowledge and skill. A smarter way to start your search for a good digital agency is research. Try to learn about the different basic concepts of online marketing and popular technologies such as Magento as a headless eCommerce platform, Content Marketing and technical Search Engine Optimisation. It will surely make a meeting with a professional much more insightful and much more valuable for both of you.
Whether you want to host an open source system yourself like Open Cart, or opt for the SaaS model and go for a cloud based enterprise product like Magento Commerce.
Osprey London tripled their online sales using Magento Commerce, by using a cloud based platform they could focus their attention on their business rather than on server performance and capacity. 
Having the basic knowledge of the field will help you identify your needs and which services you require. It will also protect you from being taken advantage of by digital marketing agencies who are just in it for the cash.
There is plenty of useful information available online that will help. Learn about your competition and your target market as the agency will want to know who you consider your competitors to be and who your audience will be.
Determine Your Budget
Before you start considering which digital agency is right for you, make sure that you have figured out the finances. Determine your project budget and how much will you be willing to spend on different types of online activities such as search engine optimisation, social media marketing, web development, systems integrations and others. Having an adequately planned budget will give you a clearer idea of what kind of agencies you can look at.
UK agencies can charge anywhere between £45 and £91 per hour on average. US agencies were also found to be up to 45% more expensive than their UK counterparts. 
As mentioned previously, avoid the urge to go with the cheapest option because you might be risking quality, performance and a bad outcome for the low price. Good quality services do not come cheap, but that also does not mean that you should only go for the most expensive options. The trick here is to strike a balance.
You can find countless local and international online digital agencies through a quick online search. Nearly all online marketing agencies make similar claims and promises. However, it is your job to learn as much as possible about the digital agency by reading reviews and considering their reputation. Reviews and reputation are the best ways to gauge the competence of a company. Look for reviews on social media platforms like Facebook and review services like Yelp and Google.
Team Up With Correct Type Of Digital Agency
There are digital agencies that cater to different types of business or niches, so make sure you find the right one for your needs. If you have a B2B eCommerce business, then make sure you can cater to the B2B eCommerce industry with developers and designers that are specialists in eCommerce. If you are looking for a cutting edge web app, make sure they have the capability and experience to facilitate your project requirements and can deliver an industry standard of quality.
This is important because the technical experience and credentials of agencies that cater to different markets may also vary remarkably.
Ask The Right Questions
When you visit the agency for your first consultation, prepare a list of questions that will help you in making a more informed choice. Ask the digital agencies about their previous work, their experience with businesses similar to your own. Does their work comply with Google’s guidelines? What is their preferred mode of communicating with you? Is their communication professional and courteous? Do they offer ongoing support? Will you receive monthly statistics and progress reports?
Common Mistakes to Avoid When Hiring a Digital Agency
Hiring a digital agency is equal to trusting someone to safeguard the reputation and future of your company. You cannot afford mistakes as your customers’ eyes are always on your company, and you have to assume your competition will use every opportunity available to gain an advantage. So with this in mind, be 100% confident about the digital agency that you are planning to start your project with; however, both big and small companies make the following common mistakes:
1. Too good to be true
No digital agency has a magic wand. If somebody is promising that they will fix all of your digital marketing and technology related issues and your company will have unrealistic results within an unbelievably short time. You should think twice before choosing any agency that has a pitch that sounds too good to be true.
2. Not choosing the right platform for your business
Some agencies will try to shoehorn clients into their preferred software of choice because they may have partnership or affiliate deals, instead of pushing the client to the best software for their project and their business. It would be hard for such an agency to remain unbiased and prevent them from looking out for your business’s best interest.
3. Not doing your homework!
No matter how busy or unwilling you are to spend the time to know different digital agencies in depth. It is highly advised that you do not rush the selection process and take your time to assess the best options before making the final decision.
If you're looking for an experienced agency for your next project, we'd love to discuss solutions that will supercharge your digital strategy.