Lightspan Digital is a team of experts specialized in content marketing, SEO, email and social media marketing management. Chicago-native, the agency has worked with clients nationwide and across industries, including banking, education, music and nonprofit.
Top Digital Marketing Companies In Chicago
Our experts have conducted a survey of Chicago digital marketing companies and ranked the top-performers according to their project portfolios, client reviews and cost-effectiveness – among other criteria. Our meticulous process identified the top digital marketing agencies in Chicago. These are the top three:
The Motion Agency defines its offering as “developing integrated brand programs”. To this end, the agency combines a diverse set of services including digital marketing, public relations and design. Their clientele includes brand names such as The Home Depot, as well as growing local businesses and startups.
Be Found Online is an international team of digital marketing experts. Headquartered in Chicago, the company has offices in London and Singapore which allows them to serve a global clientele among which are recognizable brand names such as Nissan and Motorola Solutions.
Best Digital Marketing Companies In Chicago – 2020 Rankings
Here is our full list of the top-ranked digital marketing agencies in Chicago. Compare the agencies by their team size, average project cost and location to find the perfect partner for your business.
|COMPANY||WEBSITE||LOCATION||TEAM SIZE||AVERAGE RATE||MINIMAL BUDGET
|1. Lightspan Digital||https://lightspandigital.com||Illinois||Under 49||Inquire||$1,000+
|2. The Motion Agency||https://agencyinmotion.com||Illinois||50 - 99||$150/hr||$1,000+
|3. Be Found Online||https://befoundonline.com||Illinois||Under 49||$200/hr||$10,000+
|4. Envisionit||https://envisionitagency.com||Illinois||50 - 99||$155/hr||$50,000+
|5. Perfect Search Media||https://www.perfectsearchmedia.com||Illinois||Under 49||$150/hr||$1,000+
|6. Secret Fort||https://www.secretfort.com||Illinois||Under 49||Inquire||$25,000+
|7. ePageCity, Inc.||https://www.epagecity.com||Illinois||Under 49||$150/hr||$1,000+
|8. OneIMS||https://www.oneims.com||Illinois||50 - 99||Inquire||$1,000+
|9. Chicago Digital||https://www.chicagodigital.com||Illinois||50 - 99||Inquire||Inquire
|10. SHERMAN communications & marketing, inc.||https://www.shermancm.com||Illinois||Under 49||$185/hr||$10,000+
|11. Jacobs & Clevenger||https://www.jacobsclevenger.com||Illinois||Under 49||$150/hr||$25,000+
|12. Part Three||https://www.partthree.com||Illinois||Under 49||$60/hr||$1,000+
|13. The Simons Group||https://thesimonsgroup.com||Illinois||Under 49||Inquire||$10,000+
|14. Mikesell Digital Consulting||https://mikeselldigital.com||Illinois||Under 49||$150/hr||$1,000+
|15. No Limit Agency||http://www.nolimitagency.com||Illinois||Under 49||$100/hr||$1,000+
|16. The Weinstein Organization Inc||https://www.twochicago.com||Illinois||Under 49||$150/hr||$1,000+
|17. Oak Street Social||http://www.oakstsocial.com||Illinois||Under 49||Inquire||$1,000+
|18. Vision Force Marketing||https://www.visionforcemarketing.com||Illinois||50 - 99||$150/hr||$1,000+
|19. Finishline Creative Group, LLC||http://www.finishlinecreative.com||Illinois||Under 49||Inquire||Inquire
|20. 1o8||https://1o8.agency||Illinois ||Under 49||$175/hr||$1,000+
|21. Pace Social Media||http://pacemediasolutions.com||California||Under 49||$55/hr||$1,000+|
|22. Anderson Collaborative||https://andersoncollaborative.com||Florida||Under 49||Inquire||$1,000+|
|23. 97 Switch||https://97switch.com||Illinois||Under 49||Inquire||Inquire|
|24. Stevens & Tate Marketing||https://stevens-tate.com||Illinois||Under 49||$120/hr||$1,000+|
|25. Brenton Way||https://brentonway.com||California||50 - 99||$125/hr||$1,000+|
What Differentiates Chicago Digital Marketing Agencies From Other US-Based Competitors?
Home to AdAge, one of the oldest publications in the industry, and the birthplace of Leo Burnett’s legendary advertising agency, Chicago has built a reputation of a major international marketing and advertising hub.
The city attracts some of the country’s top talent and businesses looking for premium traditional and online marketing services. Its highly competitive landscape has set the bar high for the Chicago agencies which serve local and international clients alike, including renowned brand names as well as up-and-coming startups.
Similarly to their NYC-based digital marketing peers, Chicago-based experts differentiate themselves from the rest with their:
- High-end services
- Use of cutting-edge marketing technologies
- Deep understanding of the local clientele
- Thought leadership
As such, these agencies help businesses develop and execute internationally competitive, out-of-the-box campaigns.
The Best Digital Marketing Services To Employ In Chicago
Combining creativity with the latest martech, each of Chicago’s digital marketing agencies perfect and diversify their services continuously.
The city’s rich heritage in the fields of marketing and advertising has shaped its agencies’ core strengths: creativity and top-level advertising strategies.
These are some of the best digital marketing tasks to outsource to Chicago-based agencies:
- Early-stage development marketing strategies: Designed for startups, an early-stage development marketing strategy helps young brands capitalize on expert insights and know-how, surpassing the so-called “teething problems” and jumping straight to results.
- Digital advertising: From pay-per-click (PPC) advertising to ad copy and design, Chicago digital marketing agencies are renowned for their premium advertising services.
- Content writing and marketing: Chicago agencies offer effective, often award-winning content and copywriting services, as well as content marketing strategy.
- Digital PR: Chicago agencies have retained their expertise in the field of public relations in the age of digital. They continue to offer market-leading PR services to clients nation- and worldwide.
How Much Do Digital Marketing Services Cost In Chicago?
Digital marketing companies in Chicago offer various pricing options, with average rates ranging between $100 and $200+ per hour.
These mostly depend on the companies’ operational set-up; Some are able to offer lower prices by maintaining offices abroad or subcontracting foreign professionals, while the agencies with Chicago-based teams will command higher rates, typically between $150 and $200.
Be sure to enquire about the agency’s team composition as this will not only reflect on their fees, but your relationship as well.
Read on to find 9 other questions to ask your prospective partners.
As for the total project cost, it starts at $5,000 and often exceeds $10,000.
Most agencies offer different collaboration models and pricing plans based on the type of services you require. The most popular models are project and retainer; The former refers to a one-time collaboration with a set timeframe, while the latter revolves around a long-term partnership.
Why Hire A Digital Marketing Agency In Chicago?
Chicago metropolitan area has the third-largest population of marketing specialists in the country, right after New York and Los Angeles.
The combination of their experience and knowledge of the local market makes Chicago digital marketing agencies the best choice for the companies with a local presence, as well as brands that seek internationally competitive, high-end digital marketing services.
These are just a few of the reasons why you should consider partnering with a digital marketing agency in Chicago:
- Insider perspective on the local market: Chicago digital marketing agencies have a unique insight into the local market and are, therefore, the perfect choice of partner for businesses that seek to grow or fortify their local presence.
- Expertise in promoting locally dominant industries: Chicago agencies tend to develop deep expertise in the locally dominant industries, including financial services, engineering, publishing, technology, and food & beverage.
- Wold-leading expertise: These agencies employ some of the best talent in the industry and foster a trend-setting approach to digital marketing and advertising.
Researching Digital Marketing Companies In Chicago: How To Find The Right Partner For Your Business
Businesses that are looking for data-driven marketing strategies and agencies that are either award-winning or at the top of the market should expect a certain level of service.
Choosing a long-term partner is a demanding process and can take weeks, if not months.
To speed up your research process, here is a list of the main things to look for when considering a digital marketing agency in Chicago:
- Consulting approach: Make sure your Chicago digital marketing agency is dedicated and offers a completely customized consulting approach. Get in touch with their team and learn about their work process – this will give you the idea of what you can expect from the experience. Their loyalty to your brand should increase the number of your loyal customers.
- Strategy based on real data: Your digital marketing partner should always offer a data-driven strategy tailored to your needs.
- Dedicated account manager: Having one person to consult, collaborate and brainstorm with is imperative in driving your digital marketing strategy forward. All of the agency services should be funneled through one expert fully dedicated to your company.
- The agency portfolio: Scout for the interesting projects that can be compared to your business in the agency’s portfolio. The number of similar clients will give you an idea if they are the right partner for you.
- Client experiences: While looking at the portfolio, pay attention to client reviews. The insight into the Chicago digital marketing agency’s client experiences will reveal how reliable and trustworthy they are.
10 Questions To Ask When Interviewing A Chicago Digital Marketing Agency
When you narrow your research down to a few prospective partners, interview each to get a deeper understanding of their expertise and business ethics.
Here are some of the key questions to ask:
- Looking at your portfolio, which digital marketing campaigns would you highlight and why?
- What are your most impressive campaign results to date?
- Describe your team composition: What type of expertise do you have?
- Is your team Chicago-based or (inter)nationally disbursed? If the latter, how will this affect our collaboration?
- Which tools and third-party resources do you use to deliver your services?
- How do you track and measure performance?
- How and how often do you communicate progress and project updates?
- How will our teams communicate and collaborate to ensure the success of our project?
- Who will be our key contact(s) at your organization?
- How do you ensure the safety of our user data?
These questions will help you visualize your collaboration and match the agency’s offering not only to your business requirements but your company culture as well.
Found The Right Digital Marketing Agency In Chicago? Take These Last Few Steps Before Signing The Contract
Though online marketing agency partnerships tend to be flexible and easy to navigate, always air on the safe side. Here are a few last steps to take before signing a contract with your future Chicago-based digital marketing partner:
- Negotiate rates and terms: Take a leaf out of the business experts’ book and never take offers at face value. There is always room for negotiation.
- Clarify your individual responsibilities: Outline the deliverables and compensation terms. This is particularly important for commission-based services.
- Protect your users and other sensitive data: Address contingencies and ensure that your future partner complies with all the relevant data protection laws and applies the best practices in storing and handling your sensitive data.