List of the Best Full-Service Digital Agencies

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  • Leverage

    Leverage provides complete, comprehensive digital marketing services to improve brand strategy. They specialize in full-service creative services, including design, development, and strategic  [... view the full profile of Leverage]
    Chesterfield, Missouri
    Under 49 $100/hr $10,000 - $25,000

Digital Agency Hiring Guide

What is a digital agency?

A digital agency is a marketing agency that focuses on promoting your business, products, or services through strategic and creative solutions while utilizing technology to boost brands’ online presence and sales on various digital channels.  

What does a digital agency do?

A digital agency implements custom technology, creative, and advertising solutions to help its clients achieve their marketing and business goals.  

Specifically, a digital agency: 

  • Uses its technical know-how to enhance digital marketing and ads 
  • Develops strategies based on data 
  • Creates digital platforms (e.g., websites and apps) and sometimes even products 
  • And more 

These are the services a digital agency can offer: 

  • Digital marketing: A digital agency offers comprehensive online promotion of brands and products. 
  • Analytics and reporting: Digital agencies can track and analyze digital marketing results to make better decisions for your business.  
  • Email marketing: A digital firm can use email to strengthen customer relationships and drive sales. 
  • Web design and development: It creates beautiful and easy-to-use websites. It also offers technology consulting, information architecture planning, UX and UI design, development, Q&A, launch, and maintenance. 
  • Search engine optimization (SEO): A digital agency helps brands rank higher in search and generate qualified, organic traffic. 
  • Mobile app design and development: It crafts user-friendly applications specifically for smartphones and tablets. 
  • Branding: It establishes a unique image and identity for a brand in the consumer's mind. 
  • eCommerce solutions: It streamlines online product sales and transactions, helping online stores stay competitive. 
  • Paid advertising: A full-service digital agency offers specialized digital advertising services including Google ads, Amazon advertising, social media paid advertising, and more. 
  • Social media marketing: A digital agency crafts strategies to engage audiences on social platforms, creating and sharing content that promotes brand interaction and loyalty. 
  • Digital strategy and consulting: It provides expert guidance on digital transformation and strategies to help a business meet its objectives. 
  • Software development: A digital agency tailors software solutions, including CRM systems and automation tools, to fit a business's specific needs. 

That said, some of a digital agency’s tasks include but are not limited to:  

  • Conducting market and competitive research 
  • Sketching buyer personas 
  • Devising CRM and sales funnel strategies 
  • Crafting brand positioning and messaging 
  • Creating digital content 
  • Developing digital marketing campaigns 
  • Generating and nurturing leads 
  • Setting up email strategies for different customer segments 
  • Crafting attention-grabbing emails that motivate action 
  • Evaluating the performance of email campaigns and adjusting strategies as needed 
  • Making plans that match business goals and what the audience wants 
  • Writing articles, making infographics, producing videos, and posting on social media 

What's the difference between a digital agency and a digital marketing agency?

To better understand the distinction between a digital agency and a digital marketing agency, here’s a side-by-side comparison: 

ServicesDigital agenciesDigital marketing agencies
Web design & development✔  
Mobile app design & development ✔  
Emerging technology integration ✔  
SEO ✔ ✔ 
Social media marketing  ✔ 
Content marketing  ✔ 
PPC & native advertising  ✔ 

In summary, while both agencies offer digital services, a digital agency covers a broader range of digital solutions. On the other hand, a digital marketing agency specializes in online promotional strategies.  

How much does it cost to hire a digital agency?

According to Scaletime, hiring a digital agency can cost $35 to $200+ per hour, depending on the firm's location. US-based agencies typically charge $125 to $200+ per hour, while those based in Eastern Europe may charge $35 to $75 per hour. 

Here are the monthly average costs based on service type: 

ServiceAverage monthly cost
Digital marketing $500 to $10,000 
SEO$3,000 to $8,000 
Content marketing $500 to $3,000 
Social media management $500 to $10,500 
Email marketing $350 to $5,000 
Link building $3,000 to $10,000 

Digital agencies can invoice in several ways: 

  • Hourly rates: You pay for each hour spent on your project. 
  • Per-project: This is often based on the hourly rate but is billed as a fixed sum for a specific task. 
  • Results-based fees: Payment is dependent on achieving a particular goal or metric. 
  • Monthly retainers: This is a flat fee for ongoing consultation or services. 

The top 50 digital agencies on DesignRush charge an average of $103/hour. Roughly 17.5% of digital companies on the platform have a minimum budget of less than $1,000, while 4.7% have a $50,000 minimum budget. 

Why should I hire a digital agency?

One reason to hire a digital agency is that it has an expert team with advanced technical resources. With these, it can effortlessly navigate the ever-evolving digital field and position your company for strong adaptability and growth. 

Moreover, here’s why you should consider hiring a digital agency: 

  • To make powerful first impressions: Your brand has only seven seconds to make a favorable first impression [Forbes]. A digital agency ensures that your website, often the first point of contact with your audience, is designed to leave a lasting, positive impact. 
  • To harness the mobile audience: Mobile phones account for about 60% of website traffic [Statista]. An efficient digital agency crafts responsive websites, focusing on user experience. 
  • To navigate ad-blocker challenges: Considering around 40% of the global population uses ad blockers [Hootsuite], a digital agency can adopt smarter strategies to curate and launch effective campaigns that resonate and convert. 
  • To ensure timely project completion: Digital agencies have the skills and resources to finish your projects on time, avoiding delays and maximizing efficiency. 
  • To optimize costs and ROI: Expertise from an agency often results in cost savings and improved ROI. 
  • To flexibly scale digital efforts: A digital agency can scale its services to match your expanding needs. 
  • To present a unified brand image: It ensures a uniform brand message across all digital platforms. 
  • To stay ahead of digital trends: It offers continuous customer support and keeps you updated on the latest digital trends. 
  • To guarantee reliability and adaptability: An agency partnership is dependable and ensures your digital needs are addressed. 
  • To access valuable industry experience: Leverage its vast experience to avoid common pitfalls. 
  • To maintain transparency and prevent oversight: Agencies offer clear reports, letting you track the results of your digital strategies. 
  • To target the most valuable audience: Precise target market research ensures your brand reaches its potential customers. 

When you partner with a proficient digital agency, you're not just getting services; you're also securing a digital future that's vibrant, agile, and primed for success. 

To illustrate the advantages of working with a digital agency, consider the success story of Mikimoto. With the expertise of Intero Digital, Mikimoto, a significant name in the cultured pearls trade, secured 6,850 new first-page search engine rankings. This led to a marked growth in website traffic and culminated in a remarkable 107.18% boost in revenue. 

How do I choose a digital agency for my business?

The steps to choosing a digital agency for your business are as follows: 

  1. Define objectives: Identify clear goals for your digital presence, like increasing online visibility or driving e-commerce sales. 
  2. Establish your budget: Decide on the financial resources you are willing to allocate for digital marketing efforts. 
  3. Research agencies: Seek out agencies with a proven track record of robust digital solutions. 
  4. Evaluate their portfolio: Look at their past work to assess their experience and success in areas such as creative campaigns, web development, or digital branding. 
  5. Check client testimonials and reviews: Find feedback from other businesses to understand the agency’s impact and client service level. 
  6. Assess their online presence: A digital agency’s online channels can offer insights into its digital marketing acumen. 
  7. Identify their core strengths: Make sure the agency excels in services that are critical to your digital strategy, such as search engine marketing or content creation. 
  8. Explore their service offerings: Confirm the agency provides the digital services you need, from SEO to social media marketing to data analytics. 
  9. Inquire about their tools and technology: It’s important that the agency uses current and advanced digital marketing tools and platforms. 
  10. Narrow down your choices: Create a shortlist of agencies that best fit your digital needs. 
  11. Request proposals: Send a request for proposal (RFP) to see how the agency would address your digital project. 
  12. Conduct interviews: Discuss with the agency how its strategies align with your business goals and objectives. 
  13. Probe their methodologies: Understand the agency’s approach to digital strategy, implementation, and ongoing optimization. 
  14. Review their tracking and reporting processes: Ensure the agency has a system for measuring and reporting campaign performance. 
  15. Compare custom proposals: Evaluate how each proposal meets your objectives and provides value. 
  16. Make your decision: Select the agency that presents the most compelling strategy and shows the best understanding of your business needs. 
  17. Negotiate terms: Finalize a contract that outlines deliverables, expectations, and performance indicators. 

For further assistance in your selection, share your project details on our Marketplace. We’ll run it through our comprehensive digital agencies directory and introduce you to 2-5 top qualified agencies via email, for free. 

What questions do I ask when hiring a digital agency?

Before deciding on a digital agency, it's important to ask the right questions to ensure it's a good fit for your needs. Here’s a list of key questions to consider: 

Its Relevant Background 

  1. Can you provide client reviews or testimonials from our industry? 
  2. Do you have experience working with brands similar to ours? 
  3. How do you stay current with digital trends and updates? 

Company Services and Processes 

  1. What digital services do you offer? 
  2. How many projects are you currently handling, and how do you manage multiple clients? 
  3. Do you outsource any of your work, and if so, what types of projects and to whom? 
  4. Can you detail your content development strategy, particularly for SEO and reader engagement?  
  5. What types of advertisements do you specialize in, and what platforms do you primarily use? 
  6. What is your approach to link building in SEO? 
  7. How do you manage project collaboration and communication with clients? 

The Project 

  1. Based on our brand, which social media channels would you recommend, and why?  
  2. What metrics or KPIs will you use to measure our digital campaign's success?  
  3. What is the expected timeline to see tangible results from our initiatives?  
  4. Can you provide a clear breakdown of costs for our project? Are there any potential extra fees?  
  5. What makes your agency the ideal partner for our project? 

What are the top digital agencies in the U.S.?

The best digital agencies in the U.S. are: 

  1. Digital Silk
    • DesignRush rating: 4.9 (31 reviews)
    • Google rating: 4.6 (19 reviews)
    • Top clients: IBM, AT&T, Sony, Microsoft  
  2. SmartSites
    • DesignRush rating: 5.0 (52 reviews)
    • Google rating: 4.9 (434 reviews)
    • Top clients: Newark Academy, NJ Institute of Technology, PGA Village Golf Resort Classic, Audi  
  3. Intero Digital
    • DesignRush rating: 4.9 (25 reviews)
    • Google rating: 4.8 (239 reviews)
    • Top clients: Jaguar, Ace Hardware, University of Colorado, Land Rover  
  4. Lounge Lizard
    • DesignRush rating: 4.8 (10 reviews)
    • Google rating: 4.4 (14 reviews)
    • Top clients: Ford, Canon, Pringles, Disney, Marvel  
  5. Comrade Digital Marketing
    • DesignRush rating: 4.3 (1 review)
    • Google rating: 4.9 (80 reviews)
    • Top clients: American Tent, Barr & Young Attorneys, Europa Eyewear 

Scroll up to explore in-depth information about them and discover other agencies listed. Filter your options based on location, rates, ratings, team size, and other valuable parameters to select the agency that matches your needs. 

About The Author and Expert Reviewer
Jelena Relić has hundreds of top-ranking articles and a lifestyle & culture magazine she calls The MAN. She gained valuable content and SEO experience working at Digital Circle and Neil Sahota, which she now uses to deliver top-quality B2B content at DesignRush, particularly in the creative industry.
Chief Technology Officer
Gary Kuznetsov is a seasoned programmer, web developer, and certified Laravel developer. He was a Senior PHP developer at Blue Fountain Media, then soon became Head of Development at Digital Silk. With hundreds of successful websites/applications deployed throughout his career, it is no surprise that he is now a Chief Technology Officer at DesignRush, spearheading digital products and solutions to meet the company’s challenges and objectives.