If you’re ready to bring on a digital marketing agency for your business, you need to go in prepared. Partnering with one is similar to hiring a new team member. It takes a lot of effort and research on your part.

We can’t possibly review everything you should think about when hiring an agency. What we can do here is offer up a pre-vetted list of agencies that have a proven track record, compensate their people well, and deliver consistent results

Everyone on this list has been around long enough to prove they’ve got what it takes as a solid partner. You can’t go wrong with any of them. The one you choose will ultimately depend on your unique needs.

The Best Digital Marketing Services in Less Than 5 Minutes

When we set out to do reviews, we usually land on one clear winner. Not the case here. Digital marketing agencies are not a one-size-fits-all proposition.

The right one for you depends on where you are in your business lifecycle.

If you’re just starting out or have a small budget, you want to go with an agency that caters to clients in your shoes. Agencies that do typically have smaller teams with employees who wear multiple hats. These agencies are great at helping you in a generalized way, especially if you’re new to digital marketing and aren’t sure exactly what you need.

If you’re further along on your company’s growth trajectory and have hit midmarket or larger status, you can afford to go bigger and bolder. You already have an in-house marketing team, and know exactly what you need to accelerate growth. Bigger agencies like these help you make targeted efforts to meet growth goals.

A Closer Look at the Best Digital Marketing Services for Smaller, Growing Businesses

If you’re just getting started, you probably need help with all things digital marketing. Maybe you’ve taken a digital marketing course or two, but aren’t sure how to pull it all together. Or perhaps you don’t know the first thing about marketing, and aren’t even sure where to start.

You can always choose to piecemeal out all the different tasks like web design, copywriting, and branding, but that approach risks disjointed results. If each vendor isn’t talking to the rest, things usually go wrong.

There are agencies out there who can be your singular point of contact to do the marketing work you need. Their staff tends to be earlier in their careers, meaning they are still generalists and can work on a lot of different things. 

This is how the agency keeps its prices on the lower side, too. Less experienced marketers cost less, since they don’t have decades of experience to command six figure salaries. They’re skilled, just not experts yet. That’s perfectly fine for your stage of growth, especially because it aligns with your budget.

Speaking of budgets, plan to allocate a few thousand dollars per month for digital marketing work. Around $5,000 per month is about average. If your budget is a lot lower than that, you are probably better off DIYing your digital marketing until you can afford to hire it out.

Page Prosper

Page Prosper logo

Page Prosper’s whole focus is on helping small businesses grow their digital footprint. Their team covers it all–PPC advertising, social media marketing, SEO, content marketing, and web design. No matter what you need, Page Prosper can help.

The company touts its exclusive focus on helping small businesses stay competitive online. It spotlights a lot of client testimonials on its website, and each is from an entrepreneur/small business owner.

Services include SEO, Facebook lead generation, and Google ads. These are all marketing efforts most small businesses focus on to kickstart growth. Page Prosper offers copywriting, ad designs, lead funnel, backlinks, and targeted customer list building services, too. 

There is no pricing on the Page Prosper website. You’ll have to schedule a call to find that out. But the great thing is that there is no contractual requirement. You can give Page Prosper a try and if it doesn’t work out, you’re free to walk away. 


Hibu logo

Hibu’s focus is on helping local (a/k/a small) businesses grow. The company has an integrated approach with a focus on making it as easy as possible for a business owner to work with Hibu to see results. You have one point of contact for managing all your digital marketing needs.

Hibu’s client roster includes dentists, law firms, pet services, insurance agencies, auto shops, and other local businesses. Hibu’s focus truly is on helping the small business owner optimize their online presence and grow.

Hibu offers everything a small business needs, including website design, social media marketing, online business listing, reputation and review management, SEO, search marketing, display and video ads, and marketing automation. Hibu also has “solution” packages that combine their a la carte services based on your goals. 

All their services are custom priced, so you have to book a consultation to get an idea of how much Hibu will cost you each month.


Thrive Agency logo

Thrive is a digital marketing agency focused on helping small businesses grow. With locations in 25 cities across the United States, Thrive has the presence needed to understand regional and local market differences.

Thrive offers a host of digital marketing services, including SEO (general, localized, and technical), PPC marketing, link building, Google Analytics, SEM, and conversion rate optimization. It also does web design, social media marketing, ecommerce marketing, reputation management, and Amazon marketing. Thrive can even help you with logo design and video production.

Client testimonials offer a glimpse into the small business clients Thrive serves. Clients include law firms, construction companies, LLCs, churches, and management companies. From bricks-and-mortar stores to ecommerce sites, Thrive does it all.

Services are priced upon request, so you’ll need to get in touch to find out more. Thrive offers a free proposal to get things started.

Specialist and Full-Service Digital Marketing Services for Larger Businesses that Know Exactly What They Want

If you’re managing a bigger organization with your own in-house marketing team and know the exact results you want from your digital marketing efforts, you’re going to want the best of the best.

The agencies listed here are top-tier, five-star options, with a price tag to match. But you’ll also get the best digital marketing folks out there. These are the six-figure commanding folks you won’t find in the smaller agencies.

When you’re ready to go this route, plan to budget at least $10,000 per month. More likely, you’re looking at $15,000 to $20,000 for these services. 

If you don’t know a lot about digital marketing or are not not crystal clear on the results you want to achieve, you’re probably not ready for this level of agency. If you do know and are clear, these agencies can help you.

Straight North

Straight North logo

Straight North made its name delivering B2B and B2C digital marketing agency services to large, established businesses. Today, the company also offers its services to smaller businesses, but working with established businesses with in-house marketing teams is still Straight North’s sweet spot.

The company offers a comprehensive suite of online marketing, website design and development, and creative services to companies like Boston Analytical and Chrysler. So whether you need a boost to your SEO or PPC efforts or are looking for help with your brand development or print brochures, Straight North can help.

Straight North has been around since 1997, so it is safe to say it is established. With more than 100 employees, you can supplement your in-house team’s needs with the precise skill sets you want.

Since your needs at this level will be very specific, you’ll likely need a custom solution. Request a quote to get an idea of monthly costs, since Straight North doesn’t share pricing on its site.

97th Floor

97th Floor logo

97th Floor started in 2005 in the founder’s basement. Today the company employs 120 people. While its offices are not on the literal 97th floor, the company is a powerhouse in providing a full suite of marketing services that include advertising, SEO, design services, and content development.

What makes 97th Floor really stand out is its approach to client relationships. The company focuses on empathy, innovation, and profitability to guide its strategies. It is an approach that resonates with businesses like Sold.com, Tuft & Needle, and the Utah Jazz men’s professional basketball team.

Every client gets an assigned team of marketing experts, hand-picked to best meet the client’s specific needs. The client interacts with the entire team, which is unique from the usual model of an account manager being the client’s sole point of contact. This approach eliminates the miscommunication and errors that sometimes go with the usual model.

Given the customized nature of 97th Floor solutions, pricing is customized on a case-by-case basis. You can set up a time to chat to learn more.

Rise Interactive

Rise Interactive logo

Rise Interactive is an award-winning, full-service digital marketing agency headquartered in Chicago, IL. It has 12 offices across the U.S., and two international locations in Buenos Aires, Argentina and Mexico City, Mexico. With over 400 employees, it has a lot of manpower to meet your needs.

Rise’s work focuses on digital media, analytics, and customer experience. So whether you need a fresh website, content, design, email marketing, SEO or anything else in the digital marketing realm, Rise has you covered.

It also offers a proprietary Connex platform that lets you unify your cross-channel marketing efforts in one place. This makes it easy to reallocate and realign efforts based on hard performance data.

Rise works with recognizable clients like Clorox, Ulta Beauty, and Turtle Wax. Pricing is by consultation only, but it’s easy to get started by scheduling a request on the Rise website.

The Only 3 Things You Need Before Hiring a Marketing Service

Ignore all the noise. There are really only three things you need to think about when choosing a digital marketing agency.

  1. Budget – Know your realistic budget limits. Good marketers easily make $100,000 a year, but the agency you work with pays more than that once you factor in benefits and insurance. You’re going to be paying a portion of that person’s salary plus some profit to the agency, too. The bigger the agency, the bigger the costs to you. You really have to know what your monthly budget is to make a sound investment.
  2. Realistic expectations – You can’t wake up one day, decide you need marketing help, and hire someone–at least not if you want to get good results. The best results happen when you know what you need. That might be knowing you know nothing and asking for general help, or looking for targeted assistance and a solution to solve growing pains when you scale. This list’s organization of recommendations isn’t coincidental. We laid things out in this exact progression so you could see the differences.
  3. Marketing knowledge – No, you don’t have to go deep into expert territory here, but you do need to have a basic understanding of digital marketing principles and strategies. Understand what SEO and PPC mean and do. Know the basics about content marketing. Learn the industry jargon so that when you do speak to a marketing agency, you don’t get lost in the acronyms and concepts. Don’t go in blind.

What to Look for When Hiring a Digital Marketing Service

We like all the agencies on this list because they have proven track records, take care of their people, and have been around long enough to prove they’ve got what it takes for success.

But the things that help winnow your list to a final choice are things nobody can do for you in an article. Here are the things you need to do on your own.

Treat it Like Hiring an Employee

You wouldn’t decide to fill a role and hire the first person that applies. You take a much more serious approach to hiring employees, including research and interviews. You should treat hiring a digital marketing agency the same way.

Interview them and ask tough questions. A good agency expects this and should be prepared to provide solid responses. If they can’t or won’t, take that as a sign that this might not be the best choice.

Get to know the people behind the agency. Don’t settle for only speaking to a sales rep. Ask to talk to the people you’d be working with. Get a feel for the company culture beyond the marketing or sales speak. Dig below the surface and you’ll be surprised at what you uncover.

Oh, and a good agency will be doing the same to you. So get ready for questions from them. They want a good client fit as much as you do.

Understand Where Your Money Will Be Spent

Make sure you have a full and complete picture of where your monthly spend will go. If you’re forking over thousands each month, you want value for every dollar.

Get a percentage breakdown of how the budget will be applied. Who will be on the team and how much of the budget supports each role? Get as specific as possible until you feel comfortable that you are getting value for your investment.

If the agency provides generic or unclear responses, take that as a sign this might not be a great fit.

Know What the Process Looks Like Up Front

You need to have a solid understanding of what the working process will be like. Some questions to ask are:

  • Who are the people on the team you’ll be in contact with? 
  • How much of their time is dedicated to your account
  • What is the preferred communication channel?
  • When and how will results be shared with you?

The more specific you can get, the better decision you can make about if this agency is a good fit. Any great agency should set expectations clearly, and directly answer all of your questions. If they can’t or won’t, take a pass.