Top 7 Questions To Ask Before Signing Up with an Online Media Agency

You’re on the market for an online media agency, but amongst all the digital marketing companies, influencer marketers, media planning agencies and content creators, you feel a little lost on how to pick the right one for your business. In today’s Internet-driven world, an online presence is a must for every business, and for a time-poor business owner, an online media agency can be a godsend. However, pick one that’s not the right fit for your company and you’ll find yourself shelling out time and resources on a service that isn’t delivering the returns you wanted. To save yourself time and energy, take a look at some questions you should be asking any prospective media agency.

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Question 1: Will You Fit My Budget?

First things first, there’s no point signing up to an online media campaign that is out of your budget. One of the first things you should do is tell a prospective agency exactly what budget they should be working to. Alternatively, give your potential agency a budget range and have them plan a campaign for the highest and lowest budgets that you have set. Doing this can also help you test their ‘out-of-the-box’ thinking and how innovative they are when given tight resources.

At the same time, you should ask to see their fee structure up front so you don’t get any nasty surprises later on. You should also ask about the estimated return on investment (ROI) and set out any key deliverables you’d like to see.

Question 2: How Will You Help My Business Meet Its Marketing Goals?

This question will take your through an agency’s process in meeting the deliverables and ROI you set out above. It’s key to ask about the process, as this will show you the details of an agency’s strategy and highlight any potential red flags that aren’t in line with your business or needs. If an agency cannot take your through the details of what tools they intend to use and how much they will collaborate with your team, then that should be a warning for you to walk away.

Question 3: What’s Your Plan For Incorporating Social Media And Online Video Into My Display Ad Campaigns?

Alongside the details of an agency’s process, you should ask for specific about social media and online video integration. Why? Because both play such a key role in everyday consumers’ lives. 30% of all time spent online is on social media, according to the Global Web Index. According to KPCB, 74% of all online traffic is expected to come from video by the end of this year. Therefore, if your business isn’t already investing in these two channels, you should begin sooner rather than later – and also ensure any agency you sign up with has a plan to tie your social media and online video to your display advertising. Plus, if you’re short on time, why not try a cost-effective solution like $99 Social to bring your social media up to scratch?

Question 4: How Do You Intend To Incorporate Mobile And Tablet Into My Online Media Strategy?

Recent research by comScore shows that mobile now accounts for almost 70% of digital media time, and digital growth is nearly all through mobile. Portable devices fit in perfectly with the always-on-the-go modern consumer, so if your strategy isn’t optimized for mobile or tablet, then you’re going to miss out on a huge chunk of attention-time. Additionally, if your prospective online media agency has failed to take these devices into account, it shows they are way behind the times and you should therefore go elsewhere.

Question 5: How Do You Keep Up To Date With The Evolving Online Media Landscape?

Along with recognizing the huge growth of the mobile-first, social media savvy consumer, any agency you work with should always strive to keep up to date with the very latest trends and best practice. Navigating the fast-paced and every-changing online display space, along with the changes in audience behaviour, is a huge task – and not one you can dedicate enough time and resources to. Therefore, any agency you pick should be able to do the majority, if not all, of this legwork for you.

Any good online media agency will understand your industry and audience in great detail and should be implementing the latest techniques and technology to ensure your audience is reached with the greatest efficiency and ROI. Techniques like Dynamic Rate Marketing and Similar Audiences Targeting should be used as standard and your agency should always keep you up to speed with emerging developments.

Question 6: What Kind Of Multi-Channel Marketing Campaign Approach Would You Use To Reach My Target Audience?

This question helps identify a key trait of a great online media agency. Namely, the understanding that online media services are one part of a wider marketing approach than encompasses online and offline channels. Your agency should work closely with your own team to identify your marketing objectives, and see the other campaigns you have running, then devise a strategy that fits with your goals and unique brand. A great agency would also work with you to brainstorm multi-channel campaigns that uses the right online channels for your customers, with one clear and cohesive campaign message. Additionally, if you have more than one customer segment, your agency should devise a strategy to communicate effectively with each of them.

Question 7: How Do You Measure Success?

It’s all well and good having your campaign up and running, but how do you know if it’s been successful? A good agency will be able to detail exactly what tools they use to measure success and their Key Performance Indicators. Tools like DoubleClick’s DART can track post-impression and click activity on your banner ads that will help you determine if your ad has resonated with your audience.

Apart from asking what metrics are measured, you should also clarify how often they are reported and how the results are actioned. It’s not good enough to simply get the data and then sit on it – any insights uncovered should be put towards improving and refining future campaigns.

You should also ask when you could expect to see results. Steer well clear of any agency that promises exceptionally high ROI in a very short time span. If it looks too good to be true, it probably is.

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