Long-term vs short-term digital marketing agency contracts

14 August 2019

During your search for the right digital marketing agency for your business, you may have discovered that some agencies offer lengthy 9 to 12-month contracts, and others offer short-term contracts.

A long-term contract tends to be 12 months and is built around long-term strategies and goals, perhaps a large, multilingual SEO plan. In comparison, a short-term contract lasts for less than 6 months and is built around short-term strategies and more reachable goals. These contracts are limited by a client’s budget, time, and resources and are useful when a client doesn’t need ongoing assistance with their marketing.

However, there are pros and cons to both long-term and short-term contracts. What contract is right for you may depend on:

  • What your business does
  • Your long-term goals
  • Budget
  • Time constraints

Long-term contracts


To begin with, there certainly are pros to long-term contracts. They enable an agency to really master your business and future goals. Within a 9 to 12-month period, an agency can grow to fully understand your business and your target audience generating a concrete strategy based on this. A long-term contract also gives an agency the chance to develop a long-term, meaningful relationship with their clientele.

It is important that you have a good relationship with your chosen agency as it enables you to work in harmony to achieve your goals and to make changes to a strategy depending on any strengths and weaknesses identified over the contract period. Having a good relationship with a client is also important to the agency as it may lead to recommendations and referrals, which will help them to gain more clients going forward.


So, what are the cons of a long-term contract? Although long-term contracts may be the best way for an agency to keep revenue consistently flowing into their business, they don’t offer much flexibility to either the agency nor the business they’re working with. Imagine this… You’ve been working with an agency for 4 months and your relationship with them isn’t going well. You’ve invested a lot of money in a big project with them but you aren’t seeing the results you expected and the agency isn’t working with you to solve this. Tension and resentment begins to build up, but you still have 8 months left so you have to stick it out.

A scenario such as this isn’t good for yourself nor the agency. A long-term contract is a big commitment and you may be left feeling like you’ve wasted a lot of money with a lack of successful outcomes for your business. The agency may be unable to do much more to aid your business strategies and also can’t sign more clients they can do more for.

Dee and Matt Planning

Short-term contracts


A great way to resolve scenarios like these is to opt for agencies that offer short-term contracts. The flexibility of a short-term contract means that once an agency can no longer bring the best results to your business, or you no longer feel like the strategies or projects implemented are working for you, the contract can come to an end with no hard feelings. Additionally, this means you’re free to utilise an agencies services as and when you require them. For example, you may choose to return to a company for just a month before the launch of a new product, to get that additional boost to your social media advertising.

Another benefit of a short-term contract is that it gives an agency the chance to prove themselves to their clients and gain their trust within the first couple of months or so. This gives agencies the opportunity to form long-term relationships with their clients, with no added pressure of a longer contract.

Short term contracts may also have benefits to agencies. They give agencies the opportunity to work with a huge variety of businesses. This helps to broaden their teams’ knowledge, skills and experience, meaning that they can keep striving to deliver you the best results you can get.


However, there are of course disadvantages to short-term contracts. A short-term contract puts added pressure on an agency as a client is likely to want to see results within the first month or so. If there’s no long-term relationship with a client in place, they may struggle to see the bigger picture and understand that it can take time to see results. The effect of any SEO work or social media strategy will not have an immediate effect on a website’s rankings or search engine traffic, and thus a client may break off the contract before an agency has been given the chance to prove themselves.

Additionally, with a short-term contract, an agency may not have the time to invest into getting to know your business and goals in the detail that is needed. This may have negative implications on the work that they do for your business.

The Wagada way

At Wagada, we don’t tie your business into a long-term contract. Instead, the retainers we offer are 30 day rolling contracts.

One of our core values involves getting to know the ins and outs of your business. We begin any journey with our clients by taking the time to properly understand their business, their needs and their goals. By doing this, we can form close relationships with our clients, even within a short time period.

We also appreciate that many of our clients want to experience the services and benefits we can provide to their business, before making the big commitment of a long-term contract. Although both long-term and short-term contracts have their pros and cons, we believe that with our 30-day rolling contract, we have the chance to make a great impression and prove to you that we are the digital marketing agency that will deliver you the best results. This gives us the opportunity to develop honest, long-term relationships with our clients, with no added pressure. With this methodology in mind, we’re proud to have kept 40% of our clients for over 3 years!

To find out more about the amazing results we can bring to your business, get in touch today! Call us 01727260187 on for more information.