Outsourcing to a digital agency: how to know you’re ready
- What is a digital agency?
- What services do digital agencies provide?
- Identifying the problem
- Signs that you might need a digital agency
- Your current efforts aren’t producing the results you want
- Your website is old and outdated
- Your team is lacking in some skill sets
- Your competitors are overtaking you
- How do you know when you’re ready?
- Short-term vs long-term goals
- Types of partners
- In-house resources
- How can we help?
“We’re driving traffic to our site but conversions have been static for months…”
The Crucible team often hear this from our clients. In this example, the client is not seeing the uptick in conversions they would like. They’re successfully driving more traffic to their site, but conversions aren’t increasing (or worse, they’re decreasing). If you relate to this, diagnosis – in most cases, via a website audit – is the key first step. Among many other reasons, it might be time to consider outsourcing to a digital agency.
Your website is your online shop front. It’s the first impression your audience has of your brand, so it’s important to get it right. Investing time and resources into driving traffic to a website that doesn’t align with your brand values, mission and goals can be detrimental and leave you with a ‘leaky bucket’ – a website so poorly optimised for conversion that it won’t respond to marketing investment and loses traffic and users left, right and centre.
However, if you’ve spent time investigating your marketing activities and still can’t find the silver bullet to improving your conversion rates it might be useful to bring in some outside support. First, let’s take a look at what an agency is and how hiring one could help.
What is a digital agency?
Digital agencies are the outsourced powerhouse comprising strategists, designers, creatives, analysts and developers. They are consultive partners to clients looking to transform their online presence by building innovative digital products and websites.
What services do digital agencies offer?
Services offered can vary greatly between agencies depending on their specialities. But most commonly, they tend to offer the following:
- Branding and design
- UX and UI design
- Wire-framing and prototyping
- Website development & deployment
- Website maintenance and support
- Search engine optimisation (SEO)
- Performance marketing including PPC
- Account-based marketing (ABM)
- Content and strategy
- Digital strategy development
- Digital transformation consultancy
All agencies are unique and some might be more suited to your business than others. It’s important to note that the best agencies will help you design and build the right products to achieve your business goals. It takes time to find the right agency but it’s possible! We’ve written more on that here.
With the backing of a digital agency, you’ll be more able to achieve your goals and future-proof your business. But how do you know when to bring in an agency?
Identify the problem
Are you seeing an increased churn rate? Perhaps it’s time to invest in CX solutions. Are you noticing a decline in conversions? It might be time to look at your website’s UX. Whatever the problem is, there is usually either a suitable digital solution or a specialist agency that can help.
As a digital agency, our mission is to help guide brands to make sustainable decisions that lead to revenue growth. This could be through completely redesigning their current website to drive conversions, by developing a mobile app to improve customer experience, or even making subtle adjustments to their marketing campaigns.
Signs you might need to start outsourcing to a digital agency
If you’re still not sure if an agency is right for your business, here are some signs that it might be time to take the leap…
Your current efforts aren’t producing the results you want
If you’re spending time creating content, optimising for SEO, or running paid ads and still not seeing the results you need, it might be time to bring in a fresh perspective. A marketing agency would help you to identify gaps in your current marketing efforts and enable you to build a realistic roadmap to get you to where you need to be.
On the other hand, if you already have an idea of why you’re not seeing results but don’t know where to start – having solid, confirming and validating reasoning with an agency before investing in costly campaigns can be beneficial. A good agency will help to audit your current performance, collaborate with you, and steer you towards a solution that will help you to reach your business goals.
Your website is old and outdated
If it’s been a few years since you’ve spent time on your website, it’s time to consider an update. On average, businesses update their website every 2-3 years. This means that if you haven’t touched your website in over 3 years, you might be losing out competitively. Websites work similarly to creative campaigns – other than a few key examples, all advertising creative will have its effectiveness reduced over time due to changing trends and viewer fatigue – it’s the same with your website.
It’s important to keep up-to-date on market trends and new technologies so that you have the best chance of reaching and converting your target audiences.
Your team is lacking in some skill sets
A lack of resource and time is common among busy brands. It might be that your marketing team is short-staffed or perhaps there is no marketing team at all. If your marketing team is lacking in certain skill sets, perhaps you are investing resources and budget into freelancers to gain the needed skills. This is often time-consuming and may not yield the results you need. By working with an agency, all of a sudden, you get access to a wealth of knowledge and skill that you can trust, as the strongest agencies are focused on delivering for your business’s interests.
Your competitors are overtaking you
If you’re beginning to see your competitors overtake you on SEO, PPC or social media, it’s time to take action. If you notice this, it could mean that your competitors are investing in new digital solutions, and updating their content and website.
The market adapts to new technologies and your target audiences will invest in brands that stay up-to-date. It’s more important than ever to stand out from the crowd and be known as the thought leader in your field.
How do you know when you’re ready?
You’ve identified the problem and can relate to one or more signs that you might need an agency. But when do you know that you’re ready?
Depending on what stage your business is in, it’s important to look at the following when deciding if now is the right time:
Before choosing a digital agency, it’s important to factor in their costs. Some agencies charge per hour while others estimate based on projects. It’s good practice to have an understanding of what your budget is before reaching out to your preferred agencies.
- Short-term vs long-term goals
What are your current business priorities? If you are looking for fast results then there might be a quicker solution at this stage than working with a consultative partner such as an agency. However, if you are prioritising the business’s long-term goals, investing time by working with an agency can get you to where you want to be. On the other hand, brands can often opt to work with an agency to achieve faster results, where perhaps internally there are fewer resources, skill sets or dedicated time.
- Type of partners
It’s important to consider the types of partners you have worked with in the past and the budgets for projects going forward. If your brand has invested in partners such as freelancers or commercial partnerships, perhaps it’s time to look at investing in an agency that may better represent your brand’s values, style and budget.
When looking at outsourcing to a digital agency, a good rule of thumb is to aim for budgets over £10k as most agencies’ fees will exceed this for an impactive project.
- In-house resources
If your calendar is populated with trade shows, events, conferences and networking opportunities then your team might not have sufficient capacity to get the best from a digital agency. With all hands on deck, it might be that at this stage, there just isn’t enough time to dedicate to working with an agency. On the flip side, take a look at this carefully: if you aren’t able to prioritise key marketing channels, it might be essential to pull out all the stops to outsource and onboard a digital agency to free up internal resources. Working with an agency is an investment and it’s important to dedicate time to ensure the partnership is a success.
How can we help?
Crucible is a digital agency that builds bold, user-focused websites and digital products. We offer website design and development, digital marketing, digital strategy, and website support services. We work with our clients to deliver unique projects that convert users into customers.
Crucible is different because we work with a combination of consultative and executional services and have extensive experience with cross-sector work. The Crucible team are collaborative and creative, and working with us means you’ll reach your goals and future-proof your investment.
We hope this blog has been a useful guide to knowing when you might need to consider outsourcing to a digital agency. If you’d like professional advice or fancy a chat with our team, get in touch by booking a call below.