digital marketingInvesting in your medical or aesthetic practice’s marketing is crucial. You may be able to handle some things “in house,” but you’ll inevitably need the expertise of an agency to take you to the next level. With so many agencies out there, how do I find the right one? More importantly, how do I avoid getting ripped off?

Before I get into my checklist, it’s important to understand the company you’re vetting. Are they an SEO company? Do they handle all aspects of digital marketing? Are they a one-man show? Do they cater to the aesthetic or medical industry? Get familiar with their structure and current clients.

As an aesthetic digital marketing agency, we’ve had many client come to use after having terrible experiences with other agencies. This has given us a ton of insight into the problems that arise when  you don’t account for the following:

Tip 1) Own your own website and content: This seems like such a no-brainer to me, but inexperienced practice owners often get taken advantage of when it comes to owning their own website. In some cases, where there are very generous payment plans (broken out of the course of a year), it’s understandable, since the practice hasn’t fully paid for the website. However, all too often I’ll see an agency – who uses WordPress – claim that their “software” is proprietary, so you cannot easily transition from them. Before entering into any kind of agreement, make sure you’re fully aware of which digital assets you own and how easily you can transfer them.

Tip 2) Make sure there are actual deliverables: This seems to be more of an issue with “SEO companies” than those that focus on other digital tactics; however, the deliverables for every component of your digital marketing need to be clearly outlined. From the number of blogs written to the amount of social posts to the level of syndication your press releases get. You also need to be aware of whether or not your monthly marketing package includes basic updates, and what constitutes a “basic update.”

Tip 3) Make sure there is constant communication: The key to most relationships is communication, and this is no different when working with an agency. You want piece of mind that the work is getting done in a timely manner, plus you want expertise and ideas. A top-notch agency will not only provide deliverables, but they’ll push you with new strategies, tactics, and opportunities that will further separate your practice from its competitors.

Tip 4) Do not settle for low level plans: You should have a rough marketing budget in mind for each year your practice is in business, and this includes both your traditional marketing, digital marketing, and software costs. Many agencies have their standard or top level packages, but will often throw in a low-level package for clients who cannot afford them. Be wary of these plans. They often fall in the $500-1,000 range and include very little. You might get 3 social posts a week and 1 blog a month in this plan. On top of that, your priority level when it comes to support will plummet. Is that worth $750/month? I would say no. Depending on the deliverables and communication, it’s possible that you might find an effective low-level plan. However, all too often I’ve seen these low level plans to be a waste, making it better to simply wait until you have the budget before you invest in digital marketing.

Tip 5) Make sure there are clear methods for tracking results: What’s your end goal? It should be leads (consultations) and ultimately ROI. For example, you spend $6,000 in a month of digital marketing and that generates 17 leads, which leads to 11 consultation and 7 new patients. These patients account for $35,000 in revenue and $20,000 in profit. That’s ROI. Before you can even get to a paying patient you need to start with visibility, then traffic, and then leads. These metrics can be tracked using Google Analytics (or other comparable softwares). Not only do these metrics need to be tracked, but they need to be analyzed at least once a month to evaluate performance. SEO ranking reports are nice, but what we really want to see is if there’s website traffic growth and lead growth. Leads result in more consultations, more procedures, and more revenue.

partnershipMake sure you ask for referrals, and call them, to properly vett any agency you’re considering. Ask these referrals about the turnaround times with work, the communication, the quality of work, and obviously, the results they’re getting. Also, get to know the team and organizational structure of each of the agencies you’re considering. Get samples of their copywriters’ work, web developers’ work, and case studies.

You should also check out the blogs of each of the agencies you’re looking into. If they preach about blogging then they should be doing it themselves, plus you can get a sense of their expertise. You can check out our blog by clicking here.

One final tip to leave you with is to find an agency who’ll be your partner in marketing. One who provides more service than simply an account manager, and one where you actually have an industry expert (who’s spoken at aesthetic events) that you can call on for advice.

If you have any questions about the tips for finding the right agency (and avoid getting ripped off) then drop TRBO a line here. You can also reach us directly at 877-673-7096.

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