Thinking about digital marketing but don’t know where to start?

You’re running a cracking business. You’ve done the hard work. You’ve developed a killer brand strategy that sets you apart from the rest. Identified a need. Honed your craft. But you’re discovering that running a business you truly believe in only gets you so far.

You need people to know about your business, what you offer and how to reach you. You’ve probably recognised that you need … something. But do you need the help of a digital agency? And if you decide you do, how do you choose an agency? And how do you get the most value out of them?

Do I really need digital marketing?

Look, we’re a digital marketing agency. It goes without saying that at Distl, we back what we do. But even if digital marketing wasn’t our bread and butter, here’s the unbiased truth: your business needs marketing. It’s how you connect your business to your target market and let them know you’ve got something they need. And the right agency can help you do that in a way that’s lean and clean.

A digital agency can help you with the lot. From SEO to socials. From content to clicks. Agencies are packed with marketing experts who can help connect you with your customers, keeping them engaged and informed about your business. Marketing is the best tool to build your reputation. It can help boost sales and grow your business. It’s business 101. A no-brainer.

Avoid DIY disasters. Call in the pros.

Why use a digital marketing agency

So you know you need digital marketing – but why go to an agency? Why not manage your digital strategy in-house? We get it. After all, we all know how to use social media. If our screen time reports are anything to go by, some of us are basically experts. And you know your business better than anyone else. How hard can it be?

Turns out – it’s hard. Reverse parallel parking hard and just as frustrating. When you’re so close to the problem of how to best market yourself, it can be tough to see the wood for the trees. You make the same mistakes over and over. You miss things an outsider has the perspective to spot. A marketing agency can bring fresh eyes and solutions to your problems.

When you hire an agency, you’re not just hiring one person, with one person’s experience and abilities. You’re hiring a crack team of top-notch experts, each with their own set of skills and perspectives. Strategy. SEO. Paid media. Socials. Content. No single in-house or freelance marketing specialist – no matter how brilliant – can bring the scope of talent and capacity that an agency team can.

Plus the digital world is a constantly changing landscape. It takes a mammoth investment of time and resources to keep up to date. Digital agencies make it their mission to study how to best optimise each newfangled update, ultra-modern platform and fashionable new analytics tool. With an agency, you get all the benefits of hours invested in training – saving you the time and money needed to do this in-house.

Skip the speed-dating. Find a perfect agency match, first time.

How to choose a digital agency

Like Batman and Robin, the best working relationships are partnerships. Your relationship with your digital agency should be no different. Poor cultural fits can’t produce great results. It’s important to choose a digital marketing agency that gets you and your business.

Understand what you need from a digital agency

By now, you know you need a digital agency. You’re ready to go looking for that perfect match. Time to head to Google and hit search, right? Not quite. Before you even think about agencies, you need to get introspective. Pick up a mirror. Look your business dead in the eye. Ask everything you can to understand your business’ marketing goals. Where are you heading? What are you missing? What do you need? With a clear understanding of your expectations and ambitions – and the services you’ll need to meet them – you’ll find yourself with a good idea about which agencies best suit your specific needs. That missing piece of the puzzle.

Find an agency that meets your needs

And then the hunt is on. You’ve now got a crystal-clear idea of what services you’re after – that’s where your search starts. You’re on the hunt for agencies who tick all the boxes. Agencies with credibility and expertise. Agencies who practice what they preach. Agencies who are genuine and realistic.

It’s a simple exercise. Check out their website. Does it look professional? Do they have contact details and references on their site? Are there Google reviews for their services? Tick these boxes and you have a credible agency. Have a look at their staff, either on their site or on LinkedIn. If they have a team of in-house specialists with a wide range of experience, tick the expertise box. Does the SEO agency rank? Does the marketing agency have consistent, purposeful socials? Sounds like they practice what they preach. Tick. And finally, listen to what they have to say. Is it realistic? Remember, agencies who promise the moon tend to deliver cheese. You’re looking for something genuine. The real deal. Find that and tick it off the list.

Trust your gut

While narrowing down your contenders, there will probably be one who stands out. They get you. You click. This is where intuition comes in. It’s time to trust your gut. Chemistry with your agency can be make or break – and this is what it looks like.

Your values are on the same page. You feel comfortable. Supported. Safe to try new things. Your relationship is based on mutual respect and trust. You trust your agency to work in your best interests. You respect that they bring expertise, experience and scope to your projects. Your agency trusts your business and respects the insights you have about your organisation. You work in the same type of ways. Your agency genuinely understands you and your company culture. It just feels right. There’s that missing piece.

Congratulations. You’ve just found your digital agency, first try.

Working best with your digital agency

The end of your search is the start of exciting work with your new digital agency. You’ve got this. Remember that this relationship is a partnership and you’re already on your way to success. Set clear expectations about the things that matter to you. Things like how you’re going to communicate, deadlines and turnaround times. Give your agency creative and strategic freedom to do what they do best, in your best interests. You’re about to level up your digital marketing game.


Joining forces with a digital marketing agency is an investment. It’s the key to connecting with your audience and cultivating your public image. The right agency will work alongside you, with shared values and a strong understanding of your mission. Set the foundations for success with clear expectations and communication and you’re set to soar.

At Distl, we know how important it is to work with people who click with us, our values and our processes. Learn more about those here. Have a look around. Do your research. Because we think we might just be the digital marketing agency match for you.

Emily Smail

Senior Marketing Account Manager