Not all digital marketing agencies deliver results. It’s a fact. Consider partnerships wisely and watch out for the warning signs when hiring the services of a digital marketing agency. In 2015, over 13,000 US-based digital marketing agencies are on the record. You have no reason to fear losing options. Continue reading to learn what to avoid to form strategic collaborations.
Promoting a brand is one thing, and using flowery words to push a brand in the market is another. Do not fall into the trap of digital marketing agencies that promise results that are too good to be true, because, in a competitive digital world, everything is hard work. What “salesy” approach should you be aware of? Promising you a top page rank within a week is “salesy” because, in the real world, competition for one keyword alone is so tight.
Failure to Deliver Returns on Investments
You approach an agency, and the team offers you a solid keyword strategy that leads to higher search results ranking. If you are not knowledgeable about digital marketing, you will easily be lured into accepting the plan. An expert digital marketing agency never promises page ranks alone, because ranks are only the means to an end. The real returns on investments come in the form of website traffic, sales, and leads. Ask yourself, did your marketing agency discuss how their proposed SEO strategy leads to “real” outcomes?
Lack of Proof of Service
When hiring for the services of a digital marketing agency, always look for proof of service. Check for past clients and search for reviews. Exercise due diligence, so to speak. Consider it a good sign when the firm hands you over a portfolio of previous clients and campaigns. It is even better when the portfolio comes with numbers – the number of new traffic generated, the amount of post-campaign revenue, or the increase in conversion rate.
One-way Flow of Information
When the agency comes into your office with a standard plan of action, you should be wary. Initial meetings should be about testing the waters–getting to know each other and coming to terms with a plan of action. Information should flow two ways. Otherwise, the digital marketing plan ends up half-baked. Remember that no digital marketing agency knows your business better than you do. Your inputs are valuable to the agency, just as their technical expertise is valuable to your business. Together, your business and the agency work as one team.
Absence of an Audit
Audits are crucial to have baseline data and an accurate needs assessment. Without any baseline data, you cannot measure the effectiveness of a marketing campaign. Without a data-driven needs assessment, your choice of performance measures may not be appropriate. For instance, you may think that increasing social media presence is the key to increasing sales. But then really, the bulk of your online customers comes from marketplaces or other pages. A high-calibre digital marketing agency unfailingly performs an audit check first. Some agencies offer audit checks for free. Look for one in the market.
Because every organization is unique, marketing solutions should be tailored, not canned. When the agency insists that what works for the other business also works for you, then consider their suggestion wisely. Several factors come into the picture when designing digital marketing solutions – industry trends, organizational requirements, existing marketing presence, sales performance, among others. Tailored solutions are often the result of an accurate and transparent initial needs assessment. For instance, your business may not have a problem with attracting new customers, but with generating repeat orders. An excellent digital marketing agency will spot this problem early on for you.
Lack of Transparency
Ask questions as many as your curiosity allows during negotiations. A reliable digital marketing agency won’t be bothered with questions. They will take such initiative as a sign of interest and be willing to answer as transparently as possible. Often, the area where transparency is a problem is the financial aspect. You probably heard reviews about other agencies that bill other fees that were not previously discussed. When your agency fails to disclose actual costs or includes a general clause like “other charges as required,” then take the initiative to ask.
Why do you need to go through the process of looking at warning signs? Many businesses, especially those without previous experiences, spend thousands on digital marketing campaigns without generating quantifiable outcomes. Worse, many SEO freelancers disappear into thin air after the initial transaction, leaving the client with nothing but financial losses. Exercise due diligence. Do not join the list of companies that failed to watch out for the warning signs of SEO scammers.
Author: Tim Reed