Not all marketing agencies are created equal. Sarah Barnett provides six questions you can ask the agency before you agree to hire them.
I know a lot of brokers are looking to ramp up their social media presence in 2022, so I’ve put together a list of six questions you can ask the agency before you agree to hire them.
How involved are you in the brokerage industry?
Your social media content should act as the bridge between what you know and what consumers want to know. This means your agency needs to keep up to date with what’s happening in the industry by regularly speaking to aggregators, lenders, associations – and, most importantly – brokers. If your agency knows who’s who and is regularly invited to speak at industry events and webinars, then that’s a good sign they’ll be able to impart your subject-matter expertise to your ideal clients and referral partners.
How much input will I need to provide?
Before you outsource to a marketing agency, find out how much effort will be required on your part. For instance, will they handle all the content ideation, creation, scheduling and publishing? Will they design an on-brand theme for you, or will you need to provide graphic design assets? Who handles the audience building and engagement tasks? If you’re having to spoonfeed the agency content ideas, then they may not be able to free up as much time and headspace as you‘d like.
Are your copywriters based in Australia?
Your content should sound like you on your best day, which will give people confidence that you’re a competent professional. Poor grammar can undermine your credibility in an instant, and if your agency doesn’t use local copywriters they may struggle to craft copy that aligns with your brand. Plus, if the copywriters are overseas they may not understand the context of the Australian market – there‘s nothing worse than a broker‘s social media content referencing “401(k) plans” and “realtors”!
What’s your approach to marketing?
A good social media agency understands the difference between marketing a consumer good vs marketing a professional service. What works well for a 20-year-old influencer won‘t be the best strategy for your broking business. The wrong kind of marketing can bring you the wrong kind of customer. For instance, focusing on cashbacks can attract price-sensitive customers who‘ll switch to the next shiny thing at the drop of a hat.
Can I see your reviews?
The agency you choose should have a collection of verified reviews to support any claims they’ve made. Testimonials are fine, but you’ll never know if these are several years old, or have been selectively edited. By checking out their Google reviews, you’ll gain insight into what it’s like working with them and how consistent they are in providing a great service. You’ll also be able to see who’s used their services and check the standard of their work.
Do you walk the talk?
Well, this is actually something you’ll be able to gauge yourself by checking out their website and social media profiles. See if the quality and tone of the content resonate with what you’re hoping to achieve for your brand. How the agency handles their own online presence will give you an indication of whether they know their stuff… or not.
A final note on outsourcing
I came across this brilliant reminder recently: “If you deprive yourself of outsourcing and your competitors do not, you’re putting yourself out of business.” – Lee Kuan Yew (ex-PM of Singapore).
While engaging a social media marketing agency can feel daunting, the brokers who are active on social media are not doing everything themselves. Unless you have an in-house marketing resource, it’s smart to outsource a lot of the grunt work to free you up for the high pay-off activities.