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[pullquote]Digital marketing “scams” like this can practically run a business down faster than Usain Bolt can cross the hundred-metre finish line.[/pullquote]
If you’ve ever engaged a digital marketing agency, chances are they’ll promise you the moon and stars but still fail to bring a single sprinkle of stardust over your web traffic, social media numbers or conversions.
Digital marketing “scams” like this can practically run a business down faster than Usain Bolt can cross the hundred-metre finish line. Hiring the best agency to handle your content and engagement is easy enough if you are ready with some basic digital marketing know-how, perform your due diligence on the agency’s reliability and ask the right questions.
#1: Review an agency’s portfolio
[pullquote]And for all you know, their involvement with those clients may be as minor as creating a simple social media graphic.[/pullquote]
One of the most common scams in the world of digital marketing is the presentation of fake client portfolios because it’s so easy to accomplish. Given that businesses hire the most impressive bidder, don’t let an Oscar-worthy Powerpoint presentation fool you. Scammy digital marketing agencies can simply throw in several blue-chip companies as their clientele, fabricate marketing campaigns, and sell their experience better than a sweet-talking salesman can. And for all you know, their involvement with those clients may be as minor as creating a simple social media graphic.
Avoid phoney agencies by performing background checks and reviewing authentic testimonials from real clients. Call up your agency’s previous clients and gather feedback to get an idea of an agency’s efficiency. If your prospective agency’s portfolio looks good on paper and you can confirm its authenticity, then you can be certain you’re in good hands.
#2: Look for red flags in online engagement
[pullquote][fake social media] numbers don’t necessarily add anything of value to your online accounts and may even give consumers the impression of exaggeration that can make your brand seem untrustworthy.[/pullquote]
You can easily tell if an agency is a fluke if you detect the proliferation of fake likes, shares, views and visits on their clients’ social media accounts or websites. You wouldn’t want such questionable engagements on your accounts. It’s important to note that these kinds of numbers don’t necessarily add anything of value to your online accounts and may even give consumers the impression of exaggeration that can make your brand seem untrustworthy.
Go over one of their client’s posts on Facebook and ask yourself if it deserves its numbers, or if the numbers are chalked up by fake profiles. Ask for summary reports, review engagement numbers, and pose questions on how they derive their stats. Minimal reports are usual signs that your agency is just drawing figures out of thin air, hoping you’d buy the illusion. Let them take the extra effort in helping you understand why people like a particular piece of content and what insights you can gain from the results.
Understanding the details of an agency’s marketing process is a great way to know if they are legit and can keep your brand’s image spotless.
#3: Ask if they can guarantee you the top spot on Google’s SERP
[pullquote]If they say they can guarantee you the top spot, move on.[/pullquote]
This is an important question when you’re looking for a digital marketing agency to help you with Search Engine Optimisation (SEO). If they say they can guarantee you the top spot, move on. Most agencies will whisper sweet nothings that will sweep you off your feet, but eventually turn you into another jilted agency lover.
As with any relationship, it’s hard to state concrete guarantees in the world of digital marketing because Google’s algorithms are constantly evolving. Experienced agencies usually busy themselves trying to come up with strategies to implement and gain favourable results, but rarely guarantee specific outcomes because the battle of rising to the top of Google’s Search Engine Results Page (SERP) is a daily work-in-progress.
Meanwhile, fraudulent agencies may merely stuff their reports with digital jargon and give you projected numbers that will make you grin from ear to ear. One surefire way to detect if they truly know what they’re doing is by asking them what Google’s latest algorithm update is, its relevance to your business and how they plan to deal with the change. If they start struggling for words, look for another agency.
Make a run for it!
Like fertiliser to a plant, your digital marketing efforts give your brand that extra boost, nourish your online traffic, and allow the consumers’ trust to bloom. That’s why you shouldn’t risk getting mediocre or shady agencies to handle your digital content. Spend some extra time shopping for a good digital marketing partner, and watch your business grow.
Now that you are familiar with the factors, you will be able to use them to find the best digital marketing agency. Do check out this article for our top recommendations!