As a business owner, you need to effectively market your brand and get in front of your target audience in order to be successful. In Malaysia, more and more businesses started to move online in 2020 and the trend of investing in online marketing is consistently increasing in 2021. Businesses know that they need to leverage digital marketing strategies to sustain their business. Moreover, people are spending more time online and actively searching for products and services to purchase.
Whether you’ve just launched your business or running your businesses for a decade, you need to have solid digital marketing strategies in place to stand out. Unfortunately, the workload involved with digital marketing is more than what your in-house marketing team can handle. Moreover, if you choose to gather an experienced digital marketing team, it’s going to be extremely costly with the current situation. You need to choose the right digital marketing partner to handle your online marketing efforts.
Digital marketing is not about getting images published on social media accounts with the expectation to appear in front of thousands of potential customers. The digital marketing space is complex, and it requires years of working knowledge and expertise to make it work. Luckily, there are hundreds of digital marketing agencies in Malaysia that can help your company’s digital marketing efforts and place you on the right track.
But, how do you choose the right digital marketing agency in Malaysia?
It depends on your business nature and business goals. You need to be specific with what you want to achieve with digital marketing. Before looking at the best characteristic to look out for in Malaysian digital marketing agencies, you need to know your goals and realistic outcomes.
Determine your business goals and desired results
Every business is unique. Even digital marketing agencies are unique with specific expertise. For example, at Magnes Marketing, we only provide search-focused digital marketing services. If your business needs social media marketing services, we are not the right one to work with.
However, there are some digital marketing agencies that provide full-stack digital marketing services that cover every aspect of digital marketing. So, before choosing the digital marketing agency that fits your requirements, you need to understand your business goals and what kind of results you’re expecting when you work with an agency (realistic results!)
The best way to understand your business goals is by breaking them down into deliverables.
What is the outcome of those deliverables?
Once you completely understand them, it will be easier for you to communicate what you’re expecting from digital marketing efforts.
When a digital marketing agency recognizes and understands your needs, they know whether their expertise can help you achieve your goals without beating around the bushes. Most reputable digital agencies are extremely cautious working with clients and only work with the ones that they are sure of delivering results.
Here are some examples of goals you can achieve by leveraging digital marketing.
Example 1: Drive Quality Inbound Leads with Business Blog
As you know inbound leads are the best leads with a higher conversion rate. Let’s say you want to focus on driving inbound leads to your website using your business blog. You want to hire a digital marketing agency that can develop and implement a content marketing strategy. You want to blog to become your company’s lead magnet in generating more customers. For this scenario this is how the goal-setting structure looks like:
- Business Goal: To attract more inbound leads (quality traffic) to your website by publishing high-quality content.
- Deliverable: A complete workable content marketing plan and implementation.
- Expected result: Business blog becomes the top source of generating new customers.
Now you know what’s your business goal and what to expect from the digital marketing agency you want to hire. This will help you choose the right agency that can work on achieving your business goal and produce the right results.
Example 2: Improve brand awareness with paid advertising
Some organizations are more focused on getting their brand name out there rather than focusing on sales in their initial stages of digital marketing. They just want to get in front of as many people as possible. Paid advertising is one of the best digital marketing methods that can amplify brand reach to a huge audience. For this scenario the goal-setting structure will be slightly different than the earlier one:
- Business goal: Get in front of as many people as possible and increase brand awareness.
- Deliverable: Amplify brand reach through paid search and paid social with multiple creative campaigns.
- Expected result: Increase in social followings, traffic to website, email list subscribers, and more.
For this goal, you can look for digital marketing agencies that are experienced in helping brands to amplify their reach to bigger crowds using social media advertising, influencer marketing, etc. So, your focus should be in searching for digital marketing agencies that provides creative solution for businesses because you need to have attractive visuals and copywriting to appeal to a large audience.
Without having the right business goal, you’ll face difficulties in hiring agencies that can produce desired outcomes. Just imagine wasting your money and time when the agency of your choice unable to give you what you’re looking for.
That’s why it’s important to identify your goals and desired results before hiring a digital marketing agency.
5 best characteristics of a good digital marketing agency in Malaysia
Now, you’ve identified your goals and know what outcomes to expect from digital marketing. So, let’s discuss the characteristic you should look at is hiring the best digital marketing agencies.
Let’s get started.
List of past clients or portfolio
Digital marketing agencies often want to publish the clients they’ve worked with as it provides the authority and credibility. If they can show people that they have worked with some of the top brands in the country, it will be easier for them to attract more clients.
Although it is not compulsory for you to know their past clients, it’s a red flag if you’re unable to find examples of past works.
How do you expect an agency to produce the results you’re expecting if they are unable to show the work they’ve done for other companies?
Even if you’re having a limited budget for digital marketing campaigns, still you need to have assurance that you’ll be working with the right agencies.
We understand that some companies do not allow their digital marketing partners to showcase the work they’ve done for them. Even some of our clients have signed NDA not to showcase the digital marketing work we’ve done especially SEO and Content Marketing. However, we were able to show some case studies of previous clients without providing complete details on how we get it done.
A client list in a digital marketing agency is a good indication that they’re experienced and have the skillset to provide high-quality digital marketing services.
Note: It’s hard to find complete case studies on digital marketing services like SEO, Google Ads, and Content Marketing. However, other services like website development, app development, and graphic design can be easily put together as their portfolio. If you’re unable to find any example, just ignore the service provider and move on to the next one with a portfolio that aligns with your expectations.
They have experienced and skillful team members
Only some of the top digital marketing agencies in Malaysia show their entire digital marketing team on their About Us page. It’s essential to make sure the agency of your choice has a talented and experienced team that can work on your digital marketing campaigns.
For example, you wouldn’t hire an agency to implement SEO strategies to your website if they don’t have an experienced SEO.
Even if they don’t publish their team information on this website. You can look for them on LinkedIn by searching for their agency name.
If you look at our About Us page, we’ve only included the name and the position of each individual working for our agency. We are still new though some of our members have more than 10 years of experience in digital marketing. For example, our digital marketing project manager, Naven Pillai has been in the digital industry for more than 10 years and has worked with various multinational companies. He exhibits his expertise and knowledge with his personal blog, Navenpillai.com. Having such an experienced individual in our agency increases the authority and credibility of the entire agency.
If you’re unable to find the people working for the digital marketing agencies you’re shortlisting, you can always ask them directly during initial communication. Some digital marketing agencies are 100% remote like Magnes Marketing and might not have team members that are working full-time.
You need to have a deep insight into what the digital marketing agency is actually doing. If you’re approaching a digital marketing agency for a content marketing service how do you justify, they are the ones right for the task?
Apart from reviews, testimonials, and even client list, you need to know whether they are doing that for their own agency. For example, if you’re an SEO agency, you should be ranking for keywords related to SEO. We understand that SEO is a competitive niche and it’s quite hard to rank for certain keywords. However, as an experienced digital marketing agency you need to have a significant presence on search engines.
If an agency provides social media marketing and management services, they should be active on social media channels promoting their agency as well. We’ve seen some agencies give excuses that they are busy with client work and don’t have the time to do it for their own agency. You can trust an agency if they can show that their digital marketing strategies are working well for them and they can do the same for your brand.
And that’s why most of the top agencies in the world are focused on consistently working on increasing the online presence of their agency.
For example, top digital marketing agencies like WebFX, Thrive Internet Marketing Agency and Vayner Media have content marketing strategies in place and continuously producing content to stay on top as the best digital marketing agencies.
A well-designed website with valuable content
Will you hire an agency for content marketing if they’re implementing it t their own site?
Will you hire a digital marketing agency to improve the conversion of your website if they don’t use CTAs strategically in their website?
The best digital marketing agencies know how important their website is. If they fail to implement the strategies they’re preaching to their internal projects, how can you expect them to deliver something exceptional for your business?
This is important if you’re looking for web development or creative design services.
Take a look at their complete website and determine whether they’ll be able to deliver the results you’re looking for.
You should focus on working with the agencies that value the services they are providing. If they’re unable to provide the best user experience with their website, how do you expect them to do it for your website?
They don’t make unrealistic promises
The constant changes in the digital marketing industry make it hard for any agency to make outlandish promises or guarantees. If any agencies offering guarantees or promises, listen to your instincts whether it’s possible for them to do so. Or they are just throwing in those promises just to make the sales.
For example, any agency that claims to get your site on the first position of Google for a particular keyword within a specific time frame, it’s a red flag. SEO is a long-term process, and no-one can make claim or promise a number one position in Google.
Some agencies are aware that digital marketing strategies like SEO takes time to generate results, they will use this as an opportunity to secure long-term contracts and keep making fake promises that you will see results in the next few months. And that’s why you need to make sure the agency of your choice sends monthly performance reports and the tasks they’ve completed.
Avoid promises and guarantees that sound too good to be true.
Following are the common red flags of digital marketing services you should be aware of:
- They create Facebook accounts under their own Facebook Business Manager Account
- They are not creating individual client account for Google Ads and Facebook Ads
- They are not doing A/B testing for paid advertising
- They are not making a new suggestion or proactive in using new strategies
- They are only tracking vanity metrics and not generating revenue for your business
- They are not communicating and available when you need them
- They are not transparent about the digital strategies they’re implementing for your brand
- They are more focused on the monthly retainer you’re paying them and not their ROI
How you should work with a digital marketing agency in Malaysia?
As a client, there are few things you can do to maximize your results from the digital marketing agency of your choice. Try not to be a control freak.
Doing these simple things can help you have a strategic partnership with the right digital marketing agency and achieve great success with your campaigns.
Prepare your internal team and get organized
You need to get the digital marketing agency on the same page. Prepare your internal team that will work together with the digital marketing agency and provide enough details about the digital marketing campaigns.
If the digital marketing agency requires certain material from you, take your time preparing them and make sure to give the best. Digital marketing agencies often want to know everything about your business to provide the best solutions.
Once you have all the basic things in place and get everything organized, it will be easy to move forward and work along with your digital marketing partner without having any issues. Just don’t rush to get started.
You know what to expect from the collaboration, so get everything prepared.
Have a clear understanding of the objective, process, and timeline
Before the digital marketing campaign starts, make sure everyone involved in the project understands their roles, the objective of the campaign, and the timeline. You need to show your involvement in the campaign though it will be fully managed by the digital agency.
Most digital marketing agencies will have a client onboarding process which go through these phases:
- Research and Analysis
- Campaign planning
- Performance monitoring & offboarding
You need to discuss thoroughly about each phase with your digital marketing partner and make sure every party is crystal clear before the campaign begins.
Don’t Expect Complete Automation
A digital marketing campaign that’s successful requires high collaboration.
As a business owner, you know your business better and it will be easier for digital marketing agencies to work along with your thoughts and ideas to produce the expected results.
Some digital marketing agencies prefer autonomy and they just want you to leave them to do their work. But most digital marketing agencies prefer collaboration. So, you need to be clear about what they expect from you throughout the entire digital marketing campaign.
If you’re not available or have other parts of the business to take care of, it’s better to have a dedicated point of contact that communicates with the digital marketing agency. Before the start of the project, make sure you have a dedicated person that can deliver the required information on your behalf.
Avoid Being A Control Freak
What’s the reason for you to hire a digital marketing agency?
Because they have the experience and expertise to achieve growth in the online space. It means you are giving full control on let them do what they are good at. You need to start listening to them.
Just don’t expect everything to go your way. There is a reason for the agency to use a particular method. If you ever think about having control over their activities, remind yourself why you hired them in the first place. They are not your employees. You’ve partnered up with them to grow your business.
We understand that it’s your business and you know better. But, it’s good to have an open mind and provide the agency the space they need to do their work effectively.
Ask the right questions
If you’re new to digital marketing and never worked with a digital marketing agency before, you will learn a lot of new things. You can improve your digital marketing knowledge actually.
It’s common for business owners to understand every aspect of digital marketing. Some might look confusing.
This is where you should start asking questions.
Imagine that you’re a new student that enrolled for a new course in the college that you’re clueless about. For example, you don’t know why they choose a long-tail keyword over short-tail keywords. And there’s nothing wrong to ask questions about something you’re not sure about.
It’s a learning process. You can only learn and understand something when you choose to ask questions.
How to find the right digital marketing agency in Malaysia that fits your business
As we’ve mentioned earlier, there are thousands of digital marketing agencies in Malaysia offering a variety of services. If you’re looking to hire the best digital agency, you should avoid hiring “full-service” digital marketing agencies. We strictly don’t recommend hiring an all-in-one digital agency.
But why? Isn’t it better to go with the one that can provide a complete digital marketing service?
Well, we’ll explain further with examples.
Example 1: Let’s say you’re having a specific medical condition that needs attention. Will you meet a general physician or a specialist with years of experience and expertise in treating the medical condition?
Example 2: Would you rather hire a general renovation contractor or an interior designer to build a custom exclusive looking dining area? Which one will provide you the quality and value?
We hope you have the answer to the question.
The best digital marketing agency that delivers results often excels in one or two digital marketing discipline. Other services will be secondary options. For example, at Magnes Marketing we only provide search-focused digital marketing services which includes SEO, Google Ads, and Content Marketing. When the clients request for other services, we often refer them to our strategic partners.
So, you need to choose an agency that specializes in the type of digital marketing services you’re looking for. If you want the best ROI, let the right agency handle your digital marketing efforts.
Now you know how to choose the best digital marketing company in Malaysia. As a bonus tip, we’ll share some of the questions you should ask digital marketing agencies before hiring them.
- Can you tell me about your agency’s process in helping my business meeting our digital marketing goals?
- Have you worked with businesses like mine? Do you have any case studies available?
- Do you implement digital marketing strategies to your business?
- Do you provide guarantees for your digital marketing services?
- How will you measure the success of my digital marketing campaigns?
- How long will it take to see results?
- How are you different than other digital marketing agencies?
- Do you outsource digital marketing tasks to freelancers, or do you have a team to work on them?
- How important is data to you when developing digital marketing strategies for my business?
- How much your services cost?
If you’re looking for the best digital marketing agencies in Malaysia, you might want to check out the following link:
It’s your business and you’re the decision-maker in choosing the best digital marketing agency to work it. It doesn’t matter if you’re a small business, startup, or a multinational company, you need to work with the experts in the digital industry. But, the process of choosing the right agency can be slightly overwhelming.
With thousands of digital marketing agencies to choose from, it’s not an easy task.
But after reading this blog post, we hope that you know the right steps you need to take in hiring a digital agency that suits your requirements. Make use of the tips we’ve discussed in this article when you’re on the look out for a digital marketing agency. Make sure to choose the one that adds value to your business.