Red Flags- Digital Marketing Company Edition
You know those phone calls you get all the time? The ones from the guys promising you page one results, access to vast audiences, and of course Scrooge McDuckian piles of money? They are likely full of it. Usually, the case is that the best marketing tactics are the ones you knew about all along.
Don’t get caught up in trends or promises.
Digital marketing is essentially 3 things: an entry point like a Facebook ad or Google Search; a landing page like your homepage or a specific capture page; and (hopefully) a conversion in the form of an email sign-up, phone call or in-store visit. With that in mind, there are winners and losers when it comes to companies abilities to do this.
Here are the top 5 things to look out for:
Look out for long-term contracts. If a company was so great at what they did, why do they need to keep you for 6 months or longer? Be highly skeptical. Ask for referrals from businesses in your industry, if they can provide you with success stories in the form of live testimonials then consider the platform.
Companies claiming to have the secret sauce. Algorithms are proprietary to the companies that create them. Anyone promising you page one results is likely lying… that is achievable, but one can never be sure it can be attained. The primary reason for this- algorithms change every day. They are a moving target. Experienced professionals, especially in SEO, know this and they know their strategies are subject to change.
Negative reviews. The internet is great for its transparency, this means that if you are looking to hire a digital marketing company, it’s time to go hunting for negative reviews! That’s right, the best sources for information usually aren’t the happy customers at a business, it’s the angry ones. They speak very frankly and are brutally honest at times.
If you find the negative reviews and they are either (1) handled in a professional manner or (2) not that bad… you’re in luck!
Directory advertising. I hate to say it, but I have not seen the magic in directory advertising. I am highly skeptical of it and you should be too. Often times, these are high-pressure companies that try to lock you into a long-term contract. I believe you should still be visible in those directories, but in the organic sections… not the paid sections. There are exceptions–like the Better Business Bureau–but if you are looking to sign-on to one… investigate first and ask yourself if your advertising dollars are better spent elsewhere (like Facebook advertising).
Mobilegeddon. While the hysteria about this has mostly died down, there are still companies claiming that there are penalties associated with not having a site that is mobile friendly. This is 100% not true.
Here’s the truth: mobile traffic has surpassed search traffic, Google realizes this. They want you to start thinking about your users and how they will be using your website. So, if you are thinking about updating your website, but don’t feel pressured to do it because of some invisible hammer.
“If you don’t your competitor will.” This is a sleazy line in general. It’s meant to create FOMO (fear of missing out). I find that most
I highly recommend reaching out to local sources and asking advice before making any decisions. You need to be highly skeptical of anyone promising you results. That’s not the way marketing works… especially digital. If it isn’t calculated, and delivered it probably won’t work.
Did I miss a tip? Let me know of any negative experiences you’ve had with marketing companies in the comments below! We could all benefit from this information.