If you want to succeed in growing your online store, you might need to work with a marketing agency.
You need an agency that can take you to the promised land: one that doesn’t just claim to know what they’re doing, but someone who has a proven track record of providing excellent results.
After all, with the right marketing agency, you’ll be able to generate truckloads of leads and sales, and you can even ensure (to some extent) the efficiency of your marketing spend.
And so the question becomes, how are you supposed to find the right marketing agency for your eCommerce store?
If you’re eager to find out the answer to that question, then this guide is for you. Read on.
1. Client testimonials.
When it comes to believability, there is a massive difference between companies tooting their own horn, compared to other people saying good things about a company.
The former doesn’t carry THAT much weight to it because anyone can say whatever they want about their brand.
The latter, on the other hand, isn’t easily manipulated since the testimonials are made by real people.
As you can probably imagine, if the eCommerce marketing agency is getting truckloads of positive feedback from their existing or previous customers, chances are, they’re providing excellent work. When the eCommerce marketing agency has real testimonials — and several of them, I might add — you can somewhat ascertain that the agency knows what they’re doing and that they have value to bring to the table.
Quick note: Even testimonials can be fabricated. So be sure to do a bit of digging to validate whether the person in the image is the real deal. Simply searching on Linkedin with the person’s name, and the company would show you the LI profile of the person.
2. Established an online presence.
If the eCommerce marketing agency itself doesn’t have a solid enough online presence, what makes you think it can do the same for you?
I mean, sure, their site could have been just newly built, and they might be focusing on something else right now; that’s why their online presence isn’t established yet.
However, if we want to ascertain (to some extent) that the company you’re working with can help grow your eCommerce website, then they should, at the very least, be able to establish their online presence.
While there are several ways to learn how established a company’s online presence is, one of the best ways to determine this is to view its website traffic.
Online tools like Similarweb can help you with this.
In this example, I entered BBC.com (a news website) just to know how much traffic they’re getting monthly.
Here’s what happens when you enter the site in Similarweb.
The sample website above shows a significant amount of monthly traffic, to the tune of 377.33 million.
When shortlisting an eCommerce marketing company, pay close attention to those that have solid website traffic.
After all, if they can increase their website’s traffic, then chances are, they can do the same for you.
3. Professional-looking and high-performing website.
An eCommerce marketing agency’s website tells a good deal about them.
If their website looks professional, then you can hypothesize that they can create a professional-looking eCommerce website for you, as well.
Considering how important a website’s aesthetics is to increase your online sales, this is something that you can’t ignore.
The idea is, the more professional-looking your website is, the more trustworthy it looks. If you want to convince your audience to buy your products, you need to establish a level of trust with them — your website’s looks can help with that.
You can also view the marketing agency’s website performance by using a tool like GTmetrix.
Let’s take a look at GTMetrix, for example.
I typed in CNN.com as an example just to show you what kind of results the tool will get you.
As you can see, GTMetrix shows you truckloads of insights about the site that you’ll enter in their platform.
By typing in the website of the eCommerce marketing agency, you’d be able to size them up better. You would know if their load speed is acceptable, or if there are poor/unacceptable practices that they’re doing.
You can even use the tool to check out your website once it’s been handed to you by your eCommerce marketing agency.
Scroll a bit, and you’ll see that GTMetrix also has a section that suggests how you can improve your website’s performance.
If the results from using tools like GTMetrix shows you that the marketing agency’s website has stellar performance, it can be an indication of how they can give you the same level of output when creating your website.
4. Substantial company portfolio.
Looking at the portfolio of a company will help you get a better grasp of the quality and level of work they produce.
For example, if you’re looking to get more mentions for your eCommerce business from other sites, you’d be better off working with agencies who have contributed to other websites — and has a portfolio to show for it.
Talk is cheap, after all.
Everyone can make claims of how they’ve done this and that when they haven’t really done anything significant.
By looking at the eCommerce marketing agency’s portfolio, you’ll be able to set your expectations, plus, have some solid proof of the quality of their work.
5. Have the right toolkit.
As you shortlist the eCommerce marketing agencies that you think are great to work with, take the time to ask them about the tools they’re going to use to build and grow your eCommerce website.
Marketing agencies who know what they’re doing, as in, those who are worth their salt, will know about reliable eCommerce tools.
For example, in the aspect of SEO, they’d most likely be mentioning the Yoast plugin.
When it comes to eCommerce website builders, they will most likely mention the BigCommerce plugin.
For your eCommerce business to flourish, your eCommerce marketing agency needs to be using the right toolkit for the right tasks and projects.
If they aren’t, working with them will become more costly, and they would be far less effective in growing your eCommerce business.
6. Significant follower base.
If a company produces exemplary results, then people are likely to flock to them. They will follow the company, like their posts, or engage with them.
That is why having a solid follower-base is one of the marks of a trustworthy eCommerce marketing agency.
A significant amount of followers and likes can speak for themselves. They’re great indicators of an agency’s solid online presence and a good relationship with their customers.
It would be difficult for eCommerce marketing agencies that are oblivious about growing eCommerce businesses to garner that much likes and followers.
7. Competent and professional staff
“A business is just as good as its employees.” There is wisdom to this quote.
After all, the level of professionalism and skill level of an eCommerce marketing agency’s staff dictates the quality of their output.
One way of getting insights about the level of skills and industry experience that marketing agency staff have is to go on LinkedIn and look at their profiles.
You can take a look at their skillset, endorsements, and recommendations from other users, licenses, plus certifications (among other things).
Checking LinkedIn profiles will help give you a feel for their staff’s disposition, what they can bring to the table, and how they are in the professional environment.
Regardless of your need, whether you’re looking to work with eCommerce marketing agencies for a short term or long term engagement, determining the competence and professionalism of their staff is crucial to meeting your expectations and growing your business.
While the list of traits shared above is far from being complete, just by considering them when prospecting for an eCommerce marketing agency will help you increase the likelihood of landing the right one.
What are some of the crucial things you look into before partnering with an eCommerce marketing agency?
If you have some ideas or strategies to share, please do so in the comments section below. Cheers!
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