The second method involves adding up the approximate cost of marketing tasks. If you take the example with 10 posts on Instagram as a basis, it will look like this:
- (3 long posts × $ 50 per post × 4 weeks) + (5 entertainment posts × $ 20 × 4 weeks) + (2 advertising posts × $ 20 × 4 weeks) + $ 200 for split testing + PPC ($ 5 per day × 30 days) = $ 1,510 in the first month and $ 1,310 per month thereafter.
5 dollars a day - the minimum cost of advertising on Facebook
and Instagram. If you need advertising on Google or other services (designer, targetologist, SEO), then the budget can increase by 50-100%.
Step 2: Types and specialization of agencies
All marketing agencies can be conditionally divided by their specialization, direction within the specialization and size. In terms of specialization, agencies are divided into those who engage in traditional advertising
(television, radio, outdoor advertising, print media) and those who promote goods and services on the Internet - digital marketing agencies
and boutiques. For eCommerce, in most cases it is better to choose the last option.
There can be exceptions only if your target audience is not used to buying your products online. This may be the case if you enter an emerging market with low Internet coverage (Africa, South Asia and partly South America). In such places, it’s better not to neglect traditional advertising.
In addition, agencies can provide comprehensive services (i.e., work with all channels) or specialize in a certain direction, for example, SEO, SMM, content marketing, paid advertising or video content in the case of digital marketing.
Since we need a marketing company to grow our business, it is better to opt for integrated promotion agencies.
Such companies can be relatively large - from 20 employees or small - about 5 employees (they are also called boutiques). Again, since we need an agency for growth, it is best to choose a company with a large number of employees. In this case, we will be sure that with an increase in the scale of the advertising campaign, the agency will cope with the increased load.
Step 3: Search for Potential Candidates
Where to look for
. Having decided on the type of agency and budget, you can proceed to a direct search for the contractor. This is best done in two steps. First we filter out those who are not suitable for specialization, size and budget, after which we analyze in detail the suitable options in order to choose the best one in terms of price / quality combination. You can search for artists in the following ways:
Who to look for
- Referrals. First of all, you need to ask colleagues, partners, friends or relatives if they have worked with marketing agencies. If the answer is “Yes” and they are satisfied with the results, then you should ask for company contacts.
- Search engines. In Google, Yandex, Baidu, Yahoo or Bing, enter the query "marketing agency" + eCommerce "+" region ". The region is important because the local agency is most likely more familiar with the features and characteristics of your region. For example, what kind of social network, platform and messenger do they use, what words does the target audience say or is there something in the local advertising laws that must be taken into account in your case.
- Web listings of companies. Marketing agencies specializing in eCommerce can be found on GoodFirms, AgencyList, and Clutch. This is a more useful source than search engines, since there is usually a brief description of the company, as well as ratings, reviews and a list of completed projects. You can also search for an agency on Craigslist, OLX, and other online bulletin boards.
- Agency ratings. You can also search for artists on The Drum Recommends and The manifest sites or on the list of marketing award winners: AME Awards, MarCom Awards, The Effie Awards, Muse Creative Awards, AVA Digital Awards, Cynopsis Digital Model D Awards and others. Most importantly, remember that not all rewards are equally valuable. Most of these rewards mean nothing (fake rewards can be found in the listing THE PENGUIN AWARDS).
- Social networks. Every eCommerce marketing agency must have a Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, and Twitter page, as well as WeChat, QQ, and Qzone if they work in Southeast Asia.
. During the initial selection of candidates, you need to pay attention to the legal status, portfolio with a list of successful projects, the availability of information about staff and owners, as well as experience in eCommerce. For convenience, compile a table in Excel to mark in it all the found candidates.
The table is needed to systematize information, and also not to waste time re-checking previously verified companies. You are unlikely to find out the cost of services without a call (unless very approximate), therefore it is better not to take this factor into account at this stage.
Step 4: Analyzing Portfolios and Reviews
Portfolio. If you want to know what a marketing agency can do for your business, then the best way to do this is to see what they have done for other customers. Therefore, a portfolio with an extensive list of use cases is the first thing you should pay attention to when analyzing a potential candidate.
Here's what you need to look at in your portfolio:
Reviews and comments
- Is there any experience with eCommerce, in which niche.
- What customers are used to dealing with: marketing goals, size, industry, product, region, target audience, marketing channels.
- How detailed are the use cases: baseline conditions, marketing goals and objectives, metrics, channels, tools, involved employees.
- Are there customer contacts in the portfolio, their reviews and comments.
- The scale of advertising campaigns, projects, actions.
- Cost of services provided.
. The second thing you need to pay attention to is the evaluation of the agency’s work by its customers. Good reviews can usually be found on the company's website and on pages on social networks. You should pay attention to them if the company and the position of the author are indicated there. In addition, reviews can also be found on:
- AgencyList, GoodFirms, Glassdoor, Clutch and other online listings where companies are looking for customers, partners and contractors.
- Fairygodboss, Glassdoor, Vault, CareerBliss, JobAdvisor, WorkAdvisor and other sites where employees provide feedback on employers.
- In groups on LinkedIn, Facebook and other social networks where users discuss marketing and everything related to it. Sometimes in such groups you can find a detailed analysis of various marketing agencies.
In addition, you can find the contacts of the agency’s clients and call them personally to learn first-hand about the experience of working with the company you are interested in. Usually people are willing to make contact and talk about everything except cost.
Website, blog, page in social networks. It will be very strange if a good marketing agency has a bad site and low activity on social networks and a blog. Therefore, when studying a candidate, pay attention to these elements:
Research and public activity
- If the site and blog adapted for various platforms and devices.
- How well the site looks, how fast it works.
- How regular are blog posts and social media posts (normal if 1-3 posts per week, and bad if 1-3 posts per month).
- How popular are articles and posts on social networks (number of views, reposts, likes, comments).
. It will be a big plus if the company is engaged in intra-industry research and surveys, participates in exhibitions, seminars and conferences
, and also creates training courses on Coursera, Udacity, Udemy and other eLearning platforms.
Step 5: Call and In-person Meeting
The last step in finding the best marketing agency with an eCommerce specialization
that will help you grow your business is a personal call and meeting. They usually use WhatsApp, Slack, Skype, Viber, Hangouts or another service with the possibility of video calling, because this way you can get more information about the person you are talking to and the company (appearance, facial expressions, condition and layout of the room, number of employees, equipment, etc.).