Finding the right client/agency fit can be a challenging process. It requires a good amount of trust and, as with any relationship, it is crucial for both parties to build trust early in the partnership.
It is important to know the right questions to ask the prospective client to determine if they will be a good fit for your agency, but how you field client questions during this vetting process can make or break the relationship before it starts.
Before you head into your next conversation, here are some top marketing questions prospects ask, along with responses that can help persuade them to sign with you.
How to answer the top 10 client questions
1. What experience do you have working with businesses in my industry?
As a top digital marketer, you likely have a range of clients in a variety of industries that you have worked with over the years. However, it is paramount to note that industry-specific knowledge will go a long way in answering client questions.
Demonstrating knowledge and expertise will help ease the client’s concerns and help build trust immediately, and there are several ways you can do this:
First, share specific strategies and best practices that have worked well for you in your experience in the particular industry of your client. For example, to reach B2B enterprise SaaS clients, you’d want to leverage white papers, LinkedIn outreach, and face time at conferences. The more industry specific you can be, the better (without giving away the entire strategy.)
Second, summarize all relevant case studies. Sharing wins and learnings along your agency’s journey will help your prospect see their success interconnected with yours, and envision the potential of the partnership.
Finally, it’s crucial that you personalize your proposal to the client questions and their audience. While a boilerplate proposal may take less time, you might end up losing out on the opportunity if it feels too generic and lacks information relevant to the client.
2. What tools do you use to optimize marketing campaigns?
Knowing which tools are relevant and useful is essential, not only to your success but the success of your clients, too. When a prospect asks this question, they’re looking to assess your breadth of knowledge and how you leverage the various automation tools available.
Some of the most agency friendly tools that have worked well to optimize campaigns in the past include:
This software is a must-have for your toolbox when working on PPC and SEO projects. It not only provides day-to-day help, but also allows you to see organic traffic levels, historical trends, keyword rankings, and competitor monitoring. The fact that it contains such in-depth analytics is incredibly useful for strategic campaign planning. The ability to identify opportunities as well as execute on them is invaluable to your digital marketing agency.
Having a sophisticated social media management tool is imperative in the digital age. MavSocial helps promote your content and ensure that you are maximizing on your clients’ social potential. By tracking audience interactions and leveraging visual content, engagement and traffic are soon to follow.
One of the most powerful content discovery tools, BuzzSumo helps you find top shared content based on keywords. Plus, you’re able to identify influencers who can potentially help you promote and develop insights on your content strategy and the competitive landscape.
Moz is another SEO resource that helps you break down data into tangible and actionable pieces. From error audits to page and domain authority, this tool will help you stay on top of the competitive landscape for both you and your clients.
3. What metrics will you report on and how?
When discussing this client question in a meeting, it’s helpful to point to historical ROI data where you achieved clear successes. Defining success and what it means to your prospect is also imperative because they may have a different definition of what it looks like to them. I measure this using the same metrics used for any other marketing activity: traffic, leads, and customers.
One great reporting tool I can recommend is TapClicks. This robust analytics and reporting platform will help all departments get on the same page and allow you to spend more time on campaign management.
The more crystal clear you can be on how to define measurable wins, the better. Manage expectations right away. Thorough reporting (share a sample report if possible) will help with a litany of issues and ease your new client into a better understanding of the working partnership.
4. How do you optimize your paid search campaigns?
Paid search spending can accumulate quickly depending on competitor’s bids, your ad schedule, etc. And since your client hired you to manage their ad campaigns for them, you need to answer these advertising questions showcasing your ability to get the most out of their budget and drive relevant traffic that results in sales. To focus on driving maximum traffic to your client, and spending resources wisely, there are a variety of powerful tools available.
Transparency (or lack thereof) can be one of the biggest challenges in an agency/client relationship. It can be quite contentious when converting your subject matter expertise into concrete terms that your client will understand. Accountability and clear reporting are excellent ways of alleviating this point of contention.
Top reporting tools we recommend:
This tool pulls in data from multiple sources (including Google Analytics, Facebook, Twitter, Bing, Moz, SEMrush) and creates robust reports incorporating KPIs and ad program ranking. The in-depth understanding of connecting data points and giving you actionable feedback will help you automate and optimize your reporting.
This browser add-on for Chrome and Firefox will pull in the CPC, search volume, and competition data while you’re browsing the web. You can additionally bulk upload (up to 10k) keywords, making this an extraordinarily powerful tool — and best of all, it’s free of charge.
This is another free application which allows you to manage ads and upload updates or changes to your campaigns all at once. Since Google ads will likely be a huge part of any PPC campaign, this is a must have for optimization. Additionally, showcasing a Google certification is an additional way to demonstrate your understanding of the subject matter to prospects.
Intrinsically, paid search is about giving the customer exactly what they want the second the land on the page. This can be a challenge if you’re targeting a variety of personas and directing them all to one homepage.
Fortunately, Instapage offers an elegant solution to this problem, including hundreds of pre-optimized templates, branded email notifications, and a collaboration solution to build custom landing pages faster and more efficiently with your team. Now, maximizing ROI for paid search by having one page for each ad, makes scalability easier than ever with professional best-in-class software like Instapage.
5. How long will it take to see results?
This is another valid yet challenging question to answer since it’s very often a case by case basis. That said, leveraging your industry-specific knowledge as well as asking the client to clarify several key things will help you manage expectations accordingly.
The qualifying questions to ask each potential client include:
- What is your monthly budget?
- Who is your audience?
- What marketing materials have you developed?
- Do you have any promotional partnerships?
- Are you currently using paid ads?
These answers will all have an impact on how fast both growth and results will take. Be honest and don’t oversell. Disappointment is much harder to manage.
6. Do you have in-depth experience with content marketing?
Content marketing is now a must-have for any successful business. According to Pardot, 70% of the buyer’s journey is complete before they even reach out to sales or support.
Several primary things to highlight when going into questions regarding your digital marketing agency’s experience:
- Conversion focus
To nurture relationships with leads, it is important to remain conversion focused. Many brands get lost in creating content they think is relevant, but doesn’t address the client questions and concerns of their audience. Additionally, using keywords that are both relevant and will rank, using tools such as keyword planner and BuzzSumo, will increase conversion rates.
The more agency questions you can answer showcasing your focus and results with conversion, the more likely it is that your prospective client will feel comfortable hiring you and retain your services.
- Thought leadership
This is something that is necessary, especially for B2B clients, and there are several ways to establish thought leadership. One tried and true technique is guest blogging. The benefits of guest blogging include reaching new audiences, developing backlinks, and asserting yourself/your client as subject matter experts among other industry experts.
Another core element of thought leadership is providing value to others. This can be accomplished on social media by answering client questions and establishing the brand as a go-to resource.
Share these ideas with your prospects as well as examples of how you’ve leveraged thought leadership in the past to further trust and establish the business relationship.
- Experience with lead magnets/gated content
Growing an email list will be a goal of nearly every brand/client you will encounter. An excellent way to accomplish this is by utilizing gated content and lead magnets.
Gated content essentially requires a customer to input their information to receive access to specific content (ebook, webinar, white paper, etc.). Assuming your content addresses a need and has valuable, relevant information, this strategy is an effective way to build email lists organically.
Every promotion deserves its own landing page. Hyper-targeting and personalization are crucial in the digital marketing age, and landing pages assist you in doing just that. If you’re unsure how to use landing pages, this guide will take you step by step through the process.
7. On which social media platforms should my business have a presence?
While quantity and quality are both important when it comes to social media, managing one platform well is significantly better than being on all channels with a poor strategy. Additionally, relevant audiences may not participate on all social channels, so it’s a great talking point to highlight the emphasis your agency places on being audience specific. Be prepared to address which social platform options the client should (and should not) be represented, and why.
For example, online reviews are a huge part of gaining business for individual companies and not so much for others. If your prospective client operates in the bed and breakfast/restaurant industry, it would be important to make sure they have a robust online review presence whereas an accounting firm need not place as much weight on it.
This is also an excellent time to discuss the importance of targeted buyer personas. Depending on the depth of the prospect’s marketing knowledge, they may or may not understand the concept, but it’s foundational to their success, and you should position it as such.
If you’re not already leveraging a social media scheduler, Buffer is a great tool that will help you organize multiple clients on multiple platforms as well as suggest optimal times to post for select audiences.
8. How often will we communicate and how?
Just as communication is vital to the success of any relationship, the same holds true for the client and their agency. Establishing the importance of consistent communication right from the beginning is vital.
Share with them the steps you take, the routine you follow, the weight you place on weekly phone calls, regular email updates, etc. For example, when developing a website, daily updates keeping the client on the same page with the rest of the development process can ease any concerns as well as alleviate unexpected roadblocks your team may encounter along the way.
Some of the best tools to facilitate client/agency communication include:
The client always needs to feel as though their questions, requests, concerns, and comments are heard and acknowledged. Each interaction is another opportunity to invest more time into getting to know each other. Always ask about the client’s brand and business model in this exploratory phase.
9. How do your different departments collaborate? Do you have specialists in each area?
Since “digital marketing” is such a bucket term, it’s always a good idea to delineate what areas your digital marketing agency covers and how. From SEO to Content Marketing to PPC, there’s a variety of ways to connect with your clients’ audiences. Being clear about your team and areas of expertise will not only manage expectations but also assure they are being represented in the best possible way by top professionals.
Interdepartmental team collaboration is also crucial, whether your team is all under one roof or remote since keeping the flow of projects on target is essential. When walking the potential client through agency questions, how you maintain timelines and work together is another step in ensuring they feel positive about their decision to work with your agency.
Tools such as Slack, Google Documents, and Asana not only assist with staying on the same page as your client but also work well for internal work. Transparency about your process will also help your client feel more comfortable in your partnership.
Instapage too recognized the importance of teamwork and recently introduced a collaboration solution allowing your agency to respond to comments, provide feedback, and resolve issues within the landing page platform. This helps close the feedback loop timeline as well as streamline the processes that may slow down your organization.
10. Let’s see your proposal.
Once you’ve made it this far, it means the client is interested in working together and wants to know the specifics of pricing structure, timelines, and other relevant information to your partnership.
As you move into the closing phase, focus first on how you can help the client with their business. Share those particular aspects of your services and solutions that will resonate most with them.
Keep your proposal as clear and concise as possible, including an executive summary, outline, sections, and contents. Address their personas and share your unique take on what makes your digital marketing agency different than all the other agency proposals they are presumably receiving.
Land more business by answering client questions successfully
Winning a new prospect isn’t easy and how you represent yourself and answer agency questions in exploratory meetings can be the deciding factor in the client signing, or walking away. Hopefully, the answers to these common marketing questions will help assist your agency in landing your next successful client partnership.
Once you’ve landed a new client, make sure you’re optimizing their marketing campaigns with a professional landing page from Instapage that is designed to convert. You, and your clients will be glad you did.