A few years back, I met a man who had just created his very first company. For the sake of this story, let’s call him Jerry. Ever since he was a teenager, Jerry had dreamed of owning his own business. He wanted to be his own boss, create his own schedule, and make an impact with his very own business. So after years of contemplating becoming a full-time entrepreneur, he finally decided to pull the trigger. Feeling both nervous and excited, he quit his 9-5 job and started his own company. He worked day and night creating his business plan, designing his product, talking to manufacturers, and completing every other task awaiting a brand new business owner. It wasn’t easy, but boy was it rewarding. The day came when his product was perfect and his business was ready to launch. The only question left—what should he do about marketing? Jerry, like many business owners, had used his own savings to fund his business venture. From what he had researched up to this point, marketing was not going to be extremely affordable. What was he to do?

Many business owners go through the same experience as Jerry. They have poured their heart, soul, and—a lot of times—their own savings into the business venture. When it comes time to promote the product they’ve put so much time and effort into, they feel lost. Ideally, they would love for the top marketers in the world (we’re looking at you Seth Godin and Gary Vaynerchuk) to promote their brand. But as a new business owner who has a limited budget, they may realize they have a caviar appetite on a tuna fish budget. They worry that if they hire an affordable digital marketing agency, they won’t receive the top-quality services that some of these larger, more expensive agencies provide. But what if I told you that you could have your caviar dinner and not break the bank? That’s why it’s so important to know how to effectively vet affordable digital marketing agencies.

Here are three things to keep in mind when finding and vetting the perfect affordable digital marketing agency for your business:

Communication

One of the most important factors of any partnership is communication. You’ll want to be sure that communication does not turn into an obstacle when working with a digital marketing agency. You should receive responses to your emails in a reasonable amount of time and be able to schedule calls with your team whenever necessary. If you work with a large marketing firm and are investing quite a bit of money, it should be a given that you will have weekly calls and a constant flow of communication. With smaller, more affordable digital marketing agencies, it’s not uncommon to see communication be made a lower priority since the team will be more focused on spending their time executing their service. Be sure to ask potential agencies what the level of communication looks like. The best affordable digital marketing agencies are the ones who—even on a smaller budget—still make communication a top priority.

Expertise

Let’s be honest, when researching affordable marketing agencies, it can be easy to ask yourself, “Why are these guys so affordable?” The last thing any business owner who is investing in digital marketing wants to find out is that the “agency” they’ve hired is really just a college student trying to make a few extra bucks. When vetting marketing agencies, make sure you ask about their experience. How big is their team? How long have they been a company? What other companies have they worked with? What success have they achieved for other businesses? Do they have any case studies? Do they have reviews on Google and Facebook? Can you talk with any of their current or past clients? Hearing the right answers to all of these questions will help you learn more about the agency you are considering hiring and give you some much-needed peace of mind in your decision.

Time

Like most service industries, part of what your investing in is the amount of time your agency will spend on your account each month. Based on your budget, digital marketing agencies will generally determine how much time their team is allotted to spend on your marketing each month. Simply put—the higher the budget, the more time the team has to spend on your account each month. It’s important that the agency you hire is transparent in how they will be spending their time each month. Feel free to ask them exactly that—How much time will your team spend on my marketing each month? Keep in mind, phone calls and emails count towards that allotted time. So it’s important to establish at the beginning of the relationship what the most efficient forms of communication are. The last thing you want is to hire an affordable digital marketing agency only to find out they are spending just a couple of hours a month on promoting your business.

If you need any more advice on how to find and vet an affordable digital marketing agency, contact Set Fire Creative today and speak to one of our client strategists. Set Fire Creative is an affordable digital marketing agency that specializes in making businesses’ small budgets feel huge. Contact us today to learn more!