When you start working with a new online marketing agency, there’s always the question of what items you need to provide and how much you need to give an outside agency access to. This is called the onboarding process. Onboarding can sometimes be a big change in the way you do things, as well as a slow process, so you might even wonder why you’re entrusting so much to an outside agency in the first place.
Hiring a digital marketing agency is a smart move. So in order to help you not get bogged down in the onboarding process, we’ve put together a few ways to navigate the onboarding process with ease. Here’s a few things that will help you and your agency work better together:
Your Brand’s Style Guide
In digital marketing, adhering to the look and feel of the brand is imperative. When you work with a digital marketing agency, they will need access to all of your logo files, with specs for print, web, and social media.
Before you hand off your logos and assets, review your brands style guide and make sure it is up to date. Providing your agency with a style guide will inform them of everything they need to know about your brands voice, look and feel, which will help them stay on-brand in their marketing communications.
Besides the style guide, it’s also valuable to include other materials like brochures, specific images, alternative logos, and more. This can save time and effort in the future because you’re providing your online marketing agency everything they need in one go.
Existing Online Marketing Strategies
Do you already have an existing online marketing strategy developed in-house that’s working for you but that you can’t execute yourself? This is definitely something you should be providing your digital marketing agency with. Your online marketing agency might be able to improve this strategy and take it a few steps further, but it’s always nice to provide work in progress so that your digital marketing agency can understand where you’re coming from.
For example, your current online marketing plan may include a weekly blogpost, a week newsletter, daily social media execution and tracking, and a monthly webinar. Your chosen agency can build upon this, but providing them with this information in advance is helpful.
Specific Goals: SEO, Value Proposition & More
What are your business goals? Is there a specific action you would like your visitor to take? What keywords are you targeting for SEO? Thinking about these questions in advance and preparing informative answers can greatly aid the on boarding process. Having a clear vision of your goals and outlining your value proposition will help the digital marketing agency you hire better serve you.
Your Brand’s Voice and Tone
Every brand has their own unique voice. This voice is a part of your social media, your website, and any content that you post on your website like blogposts and articles. Your online marketing agency will need to understand how to mimic this voice and keep the tone of your brand consistent across all platforms. For example, your content may include specific word choice. It may include a lot of links to outside sources, or none at all. It may be formal rather than informal, or be written in a more academic style rather than conversational. All of this needs to be taken into account when handing over materials to an agency.
Furthermore, what is your brand’s story? Your story will have a specific voice too. Your brand’s style guide will likely include this information, but if you have specific rules about how you talk about your company, services, products, or clients, it is important to outline this for your digital marketing agency.
Data: What’s Worked and What Hasn’t.
Your past online marketing efforts are crucial in understanding how to execute future ones. Use tools like Google Analytics to gain insights about which blogposts or webpages on your site have been the most popular. You can also track which of your social media posts got the most engagement, which of your webcasts was the most attended and so on. The more data you collect on what has worked for you, the better it’ll inform your agency.
Similarly, there might be some campaigns or tactics used in the past that haven’t worked for you. Tracking what didn’t work also informs your digital marketing agency on what not to do, so it’s important information to include. For example, if your newsletter isn’t generating any sales, nor is it bringing new eyeballs to your website, the content of your newsletter likely needs to be restructured.
The best way to provide all of this information is to make a list of all your past marketing activity, categorizing them into What Worked, What Didn’t, and Not Sure. Then add in data for all your marketing endeavors that support this list. Handing this information to your digital marketing agency on a platter will make future marketing endeavors quick, strategic, and more likely to succeed.
Access to All Things
Sometimes you need an online marketing agency to do everything. From social media, to web-design, to SEO, to content, an agency can do it all, and sometimes that’s exactly what you might need. If this is the case, however, you will need to give them access to everything. This can be daunting and can make you feel apprehensive. But don’t worry. Your online marketing agency will probably understand how delicate this handoff is and the trust that is involved in it.
The biggest thing you need to provide if you want your online marketing agency to take over everything marketing related is usernames and passwords to things they will need to access. This includes social media accounts, webinar accounts, video platforms like YouTube and Vimeo, log-in access to your website, and access to any CMS or ecommerce plug-ins that are integrated into your website. With access to everything they need, your agency will be able to easily execute campaigns and build your brand up.
We’re Here to Help
Onboarding can be an overwhelming process. But it doesn’t have to be. With the right information and guidance, you can streamline the onboarding process to serve both you and your new digital marketing agency.
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