Month: August 2020

Online Marketing RFP Template With Sample Questions

Guide

It doesn’t matter if this is your first online marketing request for proposal (RFP) or your 50th — digital marketing RFPs can be complicated, time-consuming, and — depending on your company’s status — a bit precarious, too.

On top of that, improving your understanding of online marketing while looking for online firms to help bring your company to the next level is just as complicated and costly. That’s part of the reason why we’ve put together both a guide to online marketing RFPs and a digital marketing RFP template, the latter of which is available for free download.

Download Now: Free Online Marketing RFP Template

If you are vetting online marketing agencies and need an RFP template that can be customized to your needs, simply enter your email and we will instantly send you the template.

Download Now

What Is an Online Marketing RFP Exactly?

While an RFP is simply an outline of criteria that a company gives to firms to respond to, an online marketing RFP is tailored to — you guessed it — online marketing.

A digital marketing RFP will help you achieve your business goals. With an RFP, you’ll be able to offer a clear-cut proposal that prospective agencies can visualize and understand better, which is helpful for both parties. It’ll also allow you to discuss what you’re looking for within your company internally, so you can skip the “multiple revisions” stage that comes with weak RFPs.

Relying on the RFP process will also make sure the firms have a written set of criteria so they can come back with solutions that fit the selection criteria you’re looking for.

A digital marketing RFP is perfect for those looking for an outside entity — specifically a digital marketing agency — to help you bring your company to the next level through social media, Google Analytics, or other technological solutions.

Why Use an Online Marketing RFP Template?

Searching for a digital agency that aligns with your aspirations and values can be a tricky process. In fact, the online marketing RFP writing process itself is challenging.

It can be extremely time-consuming. Unless you have hours and hours of free time, it can be challenging to carve out time during the day to work on an online marketing RFP.

Sometimes, as an RFP writer, it can be hard to know precisely what you desire from a firm. A digital marketing RFP template will lay that out for you nicely so you can pinpoint exactly what you want from the agency.

Finally, writing a digital marketing RFP is risky. Imagine spending hours and hours writing what seems to be the perfect proposal only for it to go nowhere.

We’re no strangers to online marketing RFPs — we’ve seen some truly impressive proposals and a handful of laughable RFPs. But our digital marketing RFP template makes it easier for both parties: Not only will it be easier to write and organize, but that’ll make it easy for the company to review it as well.

Digital marketing RFPs don’t have to be an enigma. Our template should guide you through every part of the process. We’ll also share some helpful tips and tricks that might make the process even easier for you.

What’s Usually Included in an Online Marketing RFP

The beautiful thing about digital marketing RFPs is that they can be very versatile, depending on the company or person writing them.

Although your RFP can be whatever you envision, we’re going to cover some common areas that online marketing RFPs usually include. That being said, not all of these topics will apply to you, and even if they do, you might choose to omit some aspects — that’s all to be expected.

Your company

One of the best places to start is who you are. Unless your company already has a robust digital presence, chances are, the firms you contact won’t be familiar with your company, and that’s OK.

Here, you’ll want to share information about your company’s background, where it is now, where you’re looking to go, and any core values and missions that you’d like to include. How many employees do you have? Is there more than one location?

This might also be an appropriate place to briefly explain why you’re interested in digital marketing. You can also end with a concise summary of what you’re looking for in an agency partner. For example, you might want agencies that have years of experience in a particular area.

Your current digital presence

You’ll want to be as honest and accurate as possible in this section. Here, you’ll be describing your current digital presence and what that looks like.

I’d suggest detailing the current online marketing strategies your company uses, including what’s working, what isn’t, and what you wish could work better.

Within this sphere, you can also discuss any and all marketing challenges that come to mind when you think of your digital presence. For example, maybe you’re struggling with low retention rates, or perhaps the in-house content you have isn’t up to par for your audience.

Even if it’s painful to recall your shortcomings and what’s not working for you, this will be the best way for potential firms to know how to develop a personalized marketing strategy for you and your business. Everyone faces marketing program challenges, and you shouldn’t be ashamed of them.

Who your competitors are

Identifying at least three competitors (and their websites) will help potential firms see who you’re up against. Agencies can then know what you’re doing well compared to companies that might already be doing it better.

You might also consider sharing any of the competitors’ social media accounts and advertising campaigns that impress you, so the potential agencies can tailor their solution to hitting some of those marketing goals.

Your target audience

When you think of your ideal customer, what do they look like? In other words, who’s your target audience? When thinking of your target audience, you’ll want to include both demographic and even psychographic information to provide firms with a visual to the audience you’re attracting.

It would be worthwhile to create a few personas to show these agencies and help them better visualize the customer.

Your overall goal

This is an excellent place to introduce your specific goals concisely. I wouldn’t advise writing a lengthy goal that’s bogged down with many details, since we’ll get into the meat of your digital marketing RFP later. Pick one to three outcomes that you’d like the online marketing firm to do for you.

Your business goals

Your business goals will probably be similar to your overall goal, but we’ll dive a little deeper into this section. What do you want your future online marketing strategy to do, exactly? What would be a successful marketing strategy in your eyes?

Make sure they’re both realistic and achievable. For example, maybe you just want to increase your revenue for the next fiscal year. That’s an entirely reasonable business goal.

In this section (or in a new section), you can include the scope of the work you need, even if it’s an estimate. For example, what are your specific needs per digital channel? To make it easier, you can also include a list of deliverables that you have in mind.

Your objectives

In order to achieve your business goals, you’ve got to have objectives — written plans that will help you get to the next level. This will help visualize the project overview, too.

Although you might already know what your objectives are, you should be very granular on the exact scope of work based on what marketing services you want or think you need:

  • Improved search engine optimization (SEO) for your website
  • Effective PPC campaign
  • A social media strategy or campaign
  • An email marketing strategy

Your time frame

Some companies don’t have a specific timeline, but if you do, include it here. How soon do you want to see results? This section will also help you avoid firms that don’t have the bandwidth to finish this project based on your provided time frame.

Your budget

This section is essential. How much are you willing to pay these agencies to assist with a successful digital marketing strategy? This section, in particular, will help you steer clear of agencies that aren’t willing to meet you in the middle.

Even if you don’t have a budget, you should still include a range so the firm will have some idea of what the costs will be.

Selection timeline and requirements

To better help you stick to a rigid timeline, outline some critical dates that will affect your selection process. For example, you could include:

  • When the proposals are due
  • A timeline of the question and answer period
  • When you’ll select an agency
  • What date the project will start

On the first day, you’ll send out the digital marketing RFP, and a few days later, you might choose to cut off anyone who doesn’t RSVP. You’ll probably schedule a few calls with viable firms for about a week and answer any questions they might have. A week after that, it might be time for the firms to submit their proposals. Although this is an example, the actual timeline is entirely up to you.

In this section, you can also detail how you’ll choose an agency partner. Will you use a scoring system? What selection criteria will you include?

Standard Master Services Agreement

Your company’s legal team might suggest you use a standard Master Services Agreement, also called an MSA. If this is the case, a potential firm or agency might also include their own terms and conditions.

What you expect in return

What information would you like from potential firms? If you clearly state what sort of information you expect, the likely agencies can better cater to providing it. You might prefer to know the history of the agency, examples of case studies, what qualifications and experience it has, account management process, and pricing, among other pieces of intel.

Contact and questions

You should provide a point of contact for agencies to reach out to, whether it’s your public relations director or another trusted key stakeholder. You should include their:

  • Full legal name
  • Job title
  • Mailing address
  • Email and phone number

That way, you can direct any specific questions that might come up during the proposal period to one single contact to make it easier.

Why It’s Important to Nail Your RFP

So, you’ve got an idea of how to write an online marketing RFP — but why is it so important to get it right?

A proposal is essentially your one change to vet firms before you listen to their pitch. It’ll help you steer clear of firms that won’t be a good fit and, in turn, will prevent you from wasting time. That’s why it’s so critical to be as detailed as possible when you’re creating a digital marketing RFP.

Final Thoughts

An online marketing RFP is what you make it. There’s lots of room to be creative and have fun with it during the RFP process. Staying positive is key, as this proposal is going to be what effectively drives your digital marketing strategy and what determines which agency you might partner with within the next few weeks.

That’s where our digital marketing RFP template comes in. It’ll provide you with a meaningful way to organize your proposal so as to make it clear to both parties. With this template, the digital marketing possibilities are virtually endless. Take the first step to getting your company up to par with the rest of the digital ecosystem.

Download Now: Free Online Marketing RFP Template

If you are vetting online marketing agencies and need an RFP template that can be customized to your needs, simply enter your email and we will instantly send you the template.

Download Now

Online Marketing RFP Template With Sample Questions was originally posted by Video And Blog Marketing

SEM RFP Template With Sample Questions

Paid Search

Whether your business is new to the world of search engine marketing, or you’ve been leveraging SEM for years to drive new business to your company, an SEM RFP is one of the most effective ways for businesses to learn about the options available to them as they partner with an paid search firm.

But many businesses fail to understand the true value of an RFP, and the document they submit to SEM specialists isn’t informative or specific enough for them to effectively use it to choose the best firm for their project.

Today, we’re going to cover the essentials your RFP should have, and share an SEM RFP template that will make it much easier for you to communicate with potential SEM partners.

Download Now: Free SEM RFP Template

If you are vetting Paid Search agencies and need an SEM RFP template that can be customized to your needs, simply enter your email and we will instantly send you the template.

Download Now

What is an RFP, and Why is it Important?

An RFP or request for a proposal is a solicitation from one business to another for services. Essentially, an RFP is a way for your business to say, “this is who we are, and this is the project we have for a company like yours.”

An RFP will include information about your business, information about the project at hand, and a series of questions related to your project you want to be answered before you solicit a bid for your project from them. The project-related questions in an RFP are designed to help you narrow the field to the most qualified submittals before asking for a formal bid.

RFP submittals are helpful for a few reasons. An RFP allows your business to thin out applicants to the most qualified for the project, so you won’t have to sift through proposals that aren’t a strong fit. RFPs also establish a baseline understanding between your business and the companies you’re vetting for the project regarding your goals, expectations, and budget.

Drafting an Effective RFP

Many businesses make the mistake of asking surface-level questions that aren’t industry-specific enough. Any RFP your business sends should be unique to the services or products you’re soliciting. Doing so will provide important context about your brand and your expectations, making it much easier for you to select the best fit possible for the project.

SEM RFP Template

The guide below will provide you with a solid basis to structure your RFP. Some of these fields might not be relevant to you, and there may be additional information or questions you wish to add. Make any necessary changes, so your RFP is as specific to your business and project as possible.

Section I: Overview

The overview section should be backed with relevant information about your business, what you do, and the project you’re looking to have completed. The businesses you’re soliciting proposals from likely know little to nothing about your company. This section is an opportunity to provide them with the relevant information they’ll need to submit a thorough and cost-effective proposal.

Here’s an idea of some of the key elements to convey in this section:

  • Your company name, what you do and who your customers are
  • Your digital marketing objectives
  • What you’re looking for from a digital marketing agency
  • The project’s website
  • The scope or timeline of the project
  • Information about any of your digital properties i.e., social media channels, websites, blogs
  • Point(s) of contact for the project

Section II: Project Goals

This section should speak to the specific goals you’re looking to accomplish with this project and the more general goals of your business that may be affected by the project.

Provide a list of outcomes you’re hoping to achieve, and give examples of the key initiatives that you’d like to see improved through your digital marketing efforts.

A few examples of business goals an PPC Management Services can help you achieve include:

  • Increase Google Ads conversions
  • Maximize PPC budget
  • Increase ecommerce conversions
  • Improve content marketing strategy
  • Gain market share in a particular region
  • Improve customer service interactions
  • Streamline operations
  • Increase visibility

Section III: An Examination of Current Practices

Businesses submitting proposals for your project can do so more accurately if they understand your current digital marketing processes.

Start by providing some context as to what your business believes in regarding digital marketing and the strategies you’re currently employing. Provide as much insight as you can into what you’re doing, what’s working and what isn’t working, and what you’re interested in trying or changing. Provide information on your pain points from a digital marketing perspective in as much detail as possible.

Section IV: Your Target Demographic

Provide prospective partners with some insight into what your customer looks like. Try and offer as much demographic information about your target customer as you can. If you’ve created customer mapping journeys or customer personas, this is an ideal time to share them.

Section V: Competitive Analysis

Agencies will have an easier time examining your strengths and weaknesses by seeing how you stack up to your closest competitors. Provide basic information about your top competitors, and your thoughts about what you think they’re doing particularly well.

Section VI: Scope of the Project

In this section, you’ll detail the objectives you’ll need an agency to accomplish to satisfy your needs. Your objectives may be specific to SEM and SEO, or digital marketing in general. Provide all of the details for your project, and explain the specific services you’ll need.

Providing potential partners with a bulleted list of deliverables and expectations for project success will help establish your expectations while also weeding out applicants who won’t be a good fit given what you expect of them.

Next, provide information about the timeline for project completion, and a general budgetary range you have for the project.

Section VII: Timeline

Provide your prospects with detailed information about how the selection process will proceed. List all of the important dates for the various stages of the project, so applicants understand the project’s deadlines.

Include the following dates in your timeline:

  • Notification of intent to bid
  • Question and answer period
  • Proposal due date
  • Notification of finalists
  • Final presentations
  • Project award date
  • Project start date

Section VIII: Master Services Agreement

If your company uses an MSA when conducting business, include a copy of it here. You may need to negotiate with potential partners who have their own MSA requests to submit with their proposal.

Section IX: Response Requirements

In this section, indicate any criteria that you require for a proposal to be considered. Let vendors know how many copies of the proposal you need and whom they should be addressed.

Section X: Vendor Questions

The final section is perhaps the most important of the RFP process. In this section, you’ll provide a list of prospective search marketing partners’ questions to answer as part of their proposal. Include as many or as few questions as you like, and keep the questions as specific to your business and industry as possible.

Your questions should provide ample opportunity for applicants to explain the methodology, practices, and marketing services that they can apply to your project in addition to any case studies that show examples of their work.

Download Now: Free SEM RFP Template

If you are vetting Paid Search agencies and need an SEM RFP template that can be customized to your needs, simply enter your email and we will instantly send you the template.

Download Now

SEM RFP Template With Sample Questions was originally posted by Video And Blog Marketing

SEO RFP Template with Sample Questions

SEO

In the need for an SEO request for proposal (RFP) template? We’ve got you covered.

Instead of using Google to search through tons of websites to find a usable template, simply download the free SEO RFP template below.

Download Now: Free SEO RFP Template

If you are vetting SEO agencies and need an SEO RFP template that can be customized to your needs, simply enter your email and we will instantly send you the template.

Download Now

Vetting an SEO agency can be an exhaustive task. Going through an SEO RFP process will allow you to gather proposals from different companies and compare them side by side based on the predetermined criteria you set forth. This allows you to make the most informed decision for your website.

Don’t let the world of search engine optimization scare you, especially if you’re not yet as familiar with SEO as you’d like to be.

In addition to creating this free SEO RFP template, I’ve broken down the RFP process into snack-able bites that will be easier to digest, including a breakdown of the types of questions you’ll want to see in an RFP.

What Is an SEO RFP Exactly?

If you’re new to SEO RFPs, they’re not as complicated as some people make them out to be. In a nutshell, an SEO RFP lets you examine proposals from agencies that specialize in SEO. That way, you can see which firm has the best deal and better tailor the proposals to your liking.

These proposals also allow you as a client to make a better decision. That way, you won’t be wasting time with firms that aren’t willing to compromise or work with you in a professional manner.

Why Use an SEO RFP Template?

Typical RFPs often leave out some critical details. In addition to that, it’s usually a long, arduous process. Your questions need to be high-quality and well thought out since an answer can only be as good as the proposed question. By using our template, you’re ensuring that you’ll get high-quality answers.

It’s also critical to make sure both parties are on the same page. That’s another reason why an SEO RFP template is so useful. Because it lays out all the information plainly, you’ll be able to eliminate issues like miscommunication, especially in regard to the cost and fees, as well as the actual work and deliverables involved. With a solid SEO RFP, there shouldn’t be any grey area.

Using our provided SEO RFP template will not only save you time but in the long run, it’ll also save you money. Although there’s no “one size fits all” for an SEO RFP, our template is customizable enough to provide you with a comprehensive proposal.

Download Now: Free SEO RFP Template

If you are vetting SEO agencies and need an SEO RFP template that can be customized to your needs, simply enter your email and we will instantly send you the template.

Download Now

Common Areas to Cover Within an SEO RFP

Although every RFP should make inquiries that are specific to the business, there are still some more generic queries that can help you sort through responding firms. If you’re a business owner, here are some questions you’ll most likely want to be answered through an SEO RFP.

The Company

So, are you familiar with the company name? What is this agency exactly? What’s their history? These are critical questions that should be posed in an SEO RFP. You should ask them for information like:

  • A condensed history of the firm
  • Who would be a good contact to reach out to
  • The company’s address, email, and phone number
  • The agency’s yearly revenue
  • How many offices and how many employees the agency has

You could also ask about their client history, such as how they’ve used SEO to help other clients, along with any references of past clients they’d be willing to share with you. What past deliverables have been successful?

Although it’s up to you, it’s always a good idea to inquire about any lawsuits the agency in question has been involved in, just in case.

Approach

An SEO strategy is your primary goal here. That being said, an SEO RFP should include a few questions about the approach. You’ll want to ask about the strategy, the potential opportunity for growth, and the SEO process. It might also be insightful to ask about SEO trends or a general (but current) market assessment of SEO.

Within the topic of approach, you might also want to inquire about their mobile and local strategies. In the 21st century — the age of Google and social media — most people use their mobile phones to search for topics online, so a solid mobile approach for SEO is crucial.

Web design and web development can also affect your results. So, it’s worth asking about how the marketing teams handle your website (or lack thereof).

Tools

Because agencies sometimes use other tools, an SEO RFP should also include what types of software they use when providing SEO services, if they do use third-party software or technology like Google Analytics.

You can inquire about what information they’ll give you on a regular basis with regards to SEO, too. Along those lines, you might also want to ask how they plan to update you about activities, upcoming projects, and the like.

This section is also a great time to ask them to show you some recent SEO performance reports.

Off-page vs. On-page

What are some of the strategies that will be used to improve your ranking with off-site factors? On the other hand, how are they going to ascertain which keywords will be most fruitful? Other on-page aspects you might want to inquire about include:

  • How they conduct keyword research
  • Their stance on the importance of site and in-house content, as well as content marketing. Digital marketing also comes into play here.
  • If they have the ability to offer guidance on content that’s built for SEO
  • How they’ll assess other on-site factors and make suggestions based on those factors

Cost

Although this is probably the most apparent topic you’ll want to cover, pricing is absolutely essential to an SEO RFP. You can’t have a successful RFP if you don’t cover costs. You’ll want to ask for a pricing proposal that covers all the fees you’ll potentially have to pay. Here, you should ask exactly what’s included and what’s not.

Quick Tips for Writing an SEO RFP

There’s a plethora of information that should be included in an SEO RFP. In order to best appeal to the entity you’re writing a proposal to, here are a couple of quick tips and tricks to keep in mind as you outline your RFP.

Make sure your RFP is clear.

If your SEO RFP is confusing or doesn’t make sense to the party that’s reviewing it, it most likely won’t result in an SEO business partnership or deal. That’s why our SEO RFP template is so handy for clients to use.

Be sure to come across as knowledgeable as possible.

If you approach companies and ask them to put SEO on your site or “turn SEO on,” the agencies might doubt your credibility. Although clients aren’t necessarily expected to be SEO experts, you should have a working knowledge of SEO and why you want to employ it on your site.

The Bottom Line

If there’s one key takeaway you should get from this breakdown of the RFP process, it’s that when you’re looking to find an expert SEO agency, you should be asking what they can do for you.

After all, that’s what SEO RFPs are for. You should be able to evaluate if it’s worth your while to strike up a business relationship with a firm, based on their SEO capabilities and expertise.

If the SEO or marketing agency isn’t a good fit for you, then it’s not a good fit. You have to tailor the SEO RFP to coax the right answers out of the agency side. With clear feedback, you’ll have no doubts about whether or not the relationship will benefit you.

Download Now: Free SEO RFP Template

If you are vetting SEO agencies and need an SEO RFP template that can be customized to your needs, simply enter your email and we will instantly send you the template.

Download Now

SEO RFP Template with Sample Questions was originally posted by Video And Blog Marketing