Here’s the BLUF (Bottom Line Up Front):
You have a niche, a talent, a service, a unique business, or a product that the world needs to know about, but you’re not sure how to stand out and be noticed in today’s digital market. In today’s electronic world, to be successful, you need to be able to connect with potential clients or customers through all forms of digital communications. That said, you also need to know that not everyone who says they can help you achieve your goals is really qualified to produce those results.
Unfortunately, the digital marketplace has the potential to be a mine field of snake oil salesmen. This means that there are a vast number of dodgy operators that will promise you everything, but can only produce an unfavorable service with questionable or unverifiable quality or benefit. These types of circumstances are particularly all-too-possible because SEO (search engine optimisation) and various social media platforms often take several months to produce results. This means that shady digital marketers still have the potential to charge you for the first stages of a marketing contract while you are waiting for digital traffic that will not come.
The poor performance provided by shoddy agencies is evidenced by their high turnover of clients after delivering unsatisfactory results. They are then relying on the employment of sales teams to bring in new, unsuspecting clients. Here at Digital Hitmen, it is our opinion that the worst digital marketers are the ones that think they are far better than what their results actually produce. They know all of the buzz words that you want to hear, and that makes them very convincing during your initial consultation, but will end up losing you time, money, and business potential. Definitely not what you were hoping to gain.
The Truth About Real Talent in Digital Marketing
In the digital marketing field, there is no overnight wonder. To be a recognised, high performer, takes years of dedication, to have a finger on the pulse of future forecasts, and to always stay up to date on evolving digital rules, changes, and trends. With the fast pace of today’s informational streaming, there is no room for vagueness or weakness in any productive field, and this is especially true for digital marketing. To be one of the best, a marketer has to work harder than their competitors, and they have to deliver proven results for their clients.
The Good News for You
It’s too easy to find the marketer who is shovelling bull, and that is why when you do your due diligence and do find your perfect, talented, and experienced digital marketer, your business is going to change for the better, forever. The feeling will be more than a match made in heaven, you’ll feel like you have found your guardian angel. But, that is only half of the match, you need to be as accountable to them as they will be to you. You marketer knows his strengths, and he knows how rare that talent is, and he isn’t afraid to do his due diligence and demonstrate his abilities for your optimal results.
Helpful Tips, Self-Notes, and Questions to Ask for Finding Your Dream Digital Marketer
1. First Page Guarantees
Be very cautious if a digital agency guarantees that you’ll be on the first page of Google in a few months. This is one of the alluring promises that almost all agencies will offer you as part of a contract. But, the truth in ranking high on a search engine listing is that anyone can be on a first page google search for just about any subject or service. What you need to remember is that different search terms have vastly different search volumes.
As an example: Let’s say you’re looking for a new home. You Google “New Homes” and find a variety of websites Australia wide. The search volume for this particular term is 1,900 searches a month on Google.com.au. On the other hand, if you’re located in Perth and only want to look for new homes in the Fremantle region, you search for “New Homes Fremantle” instead. The search volume for that term is only 20 searches a month. It’s likely that ranking for “New Homes Fremantle” will be a lot easier than ranking nationally for “New Homes”, but it will generate a lot less traffic to your site. Of course, you need to take in to consideration which physical locations your business is targeting, but some agencies tend to promise page 1 results for vague, low searched terms. Anyone could rank #1 for “New Homes in the South Fremantle Region” if they really tried.
An excellent way to validate the potential results of any terminology being searched is by using a free SEO tool called SEM Rush. This article explains how to use this tool in greater depth. Search volume is one great way to visually see how competitive a keyword is, and whether a potential SEO provider is being completely honest with you.
2. Misrepresentation of Result Expectations, Testimonials, and Suspiciously Low Costs
While the majority of digital marketers are honest, there are also dishonest providers who will either inflate their successes or leave out unfavorable results. Do not take anyone’s word on client satisfaction or written testimonials at face value, but do take the time to get in touch with some of these individuals to verify their pleasure and the level of business improvement they received with the service. Ask them questions about how their website performance increased, how long did it take to see results, were the results consistent over time, and how much the flow of leads increased. You can also request that the provider you are consulting with to ask a few of their clients to contact you so you can ask them about their satisfaction with the provider’s marketing service and the results that the clients received.
Regardless of your expectations, organising a campaign will cost the marketer time and money. If an offer comes in at a very low cost it can be an indicator of some suspicious activities on the part of the provider. One, it can mean that they may not have all of the talent needed to fully complete your project. Another may be that they will not be giving your campaign all of the time, resources, and expertise needed for a successful campaign. Yet another doubt may be that they are outsourcing their services to an overseas provide which can be detrimental to your business’s digital platform. Again, ask for proof of previous results and ask how they handle workloads, and what resources they have available to safeguard your campaign from outsourcing providers. One fatal error that a lot of people make is trying to cut costs at the start of a project actually ended up costing a lot more in the future when they had to restart with an honest, experienced provider.
3. Sales Teams
This is an important area. When marketing agencies aren’t able to attract clients on their own, they hire others to make cold calls to individuals and businesses trying to sell marketing deals. The problem with this type of tactic is that the sales person who closes a contract with you gets a commission from the marketing agency. That means that a sizable portion of your campaign budget is going to a third party.
You should also know that the sales person is the person you will be dealing with and probably only knows enough buzz words to lure you into a contract. Reputable agencies operate on a large stream of referrals from satisfied clients. They have a proven track record for success that attracts ideal clients through honest branding and marketing campaigns.
4. Poor Website and Branding Maintenance
A key indicator of how professional a marketing agency is will be how diligent they are in maintaining their own digital presence. If it appears out of date with current trends and rules, has a number of grammatical errors, and does not list those services that you are interested in, back away from that agency. Their programs, policies, consultation availability, and contact information should be readily available. A reputable agency wants you to know what they have to offer, what successes they have achieved, and how easily you can contact them.
5. Research Prior to Meetings
A reputable marketing agency does their homework on your specific type of business needs before they agree to a phone or in-person consultation. They will come prepared to listen to you, because they want to understand your needs, your affordability, and your campaign goals. They will also be able to provide you with accurate advice and recommendations. After the initial meeting, they will be able to create a valid proposal based on your realistic guidelines. A shady marketer will be more interested in getting your signature on the bottom line with providing you with the details you are entitled to have.
6. Talking with Other Agencies
Questionable agencies will attempt to discourage you from shopping around or getting a second opinion from other agencies. They often will tell you that their special contract rate is only available if you sign on the dotted line right then. Good agencies are not afraid of their competition and may even encourage you to shop around. This is because they know two valuable things:
One: They are very good at what they do, they can provide supporting information, and will willingly give you references that you can contact. And,
Two: When if you elect to go with another agency, a good agency will have other potential clients who want to receive their professional services.
7. Indicators of High Quality Digital Marketers
Whether you sign with a high quality digital marketer or not, you will have received some free valuable advice during your consultation that will help you in designing your campaign. Good digital marketers have a competitive streak, they want your business to be a big success, and they are reachable after hours to help in any way possible.
Are You Ready?
When you are ready to start your digital campaign, we encourage you to get several detailed proposals, including one from Digital Hitmen, so that you will know exactly what services you will be receiving, at what costs, and with a truly professional, experienced digital marketer with a proven track record for success.
Our business success is solely dependent on your business success and satisfaction. We welcome your enquiry and we are always available by email at email@example.com, or by phone on 1300 615 252.