There are a lot of choices when looking for a company to handle your internet marketing needs. In fact a quick Google search returns over two billion results! That is a lot to choose from. So how do you choose the right one?
There are a lot of people who think because they can post on Facebook or Instagram that they are a digital marketing agency. A good barometer to weed out the bad apples is actually pretty easy. Through basic due diligence you can actually find a company that will meet your needs fairly quickly.
The longer a company has been around the more chances are they are reputable. You can use a tool like Dupli Check to see how long their website has been around: https://www.duplichecker.com/domain-age-checker.php
Another great tool to check how long a company has been in business is your Secretary of State’s website. You can generally find out how long a company has been business using these resources.
While it is true that start-ups can be reputable, given how fast things change in this space, we recommend using someone who has been in business for at least a few years and has not only built up experience, but also stayed up to date with the latest innovations.
You can learn a lot within a few seconds of looking at the website of a marketing agency. The first metric to look at is the copyright in the footer. Is it up to date? (Alright, if you are looking during the first week of January cut them some slack).
The next thing to look at is the text and images they use on their site. Are their images pixelated or blurry? Is their website slow to load? Is the text hard to read? If the answer to any of these is yes, then move on.
If your marketing company is using an email account from a free provider such as gmail, yahoo, outlook, msn, AOL etc. then you will want to look elsewhere. This is a sign that they are not experienced in presenting branded solutions. You want to use a company that has experience presenting themselves professionally so they can do the same for your brand.
Many “internet marketing companies” are merely one-man-bands. It is simply impossible to provide the level of service and expertise required to compete in today’s market place with a one person marketing team. There is nothing wrong with using a small agency, but you will want to make sure they really do have a team to provide the ideas and support you will need, not just one person. A quick litmus check is to ask for a link to their Google partner profile. Any legitimate marketing agency will have link to their Google partner page that they should be able to provide upon request.
Generally speaking digital marketing agencies that are seasoned professionals will be in the same ball park when it comes to costs. Marketing is one area where you do not want to go cheap, because you will literally be throwing your money away.
Even the most simplest of marketing endeavors should be a minimum of $500/mo with most being in the thousands of dollars per month. The bottom line here is if you have product or service that is in a competitive field you can expect to pay in the thousands per month. Remember, if it sounds too good to be true, it is.
That is great, we all do, but if anyone promises you page one of Google, unless you are paying for ad space… find another provider. No legitimate marketing company will promise you page one of Google. The fact is organic search results takes time, dedication, perseverance and investment. It is possible to get on page one very quickly, but that is usually for an unpopular phrase that no-one searches for.
A reputable marketing company will ask you what your goals are, look at your current marketing efforts and come up with a strategy that fits your unique needs. There are many tools in the marketer’s arsenal and the tools that are used will be unique to your circumstances, budget and goals.
Before engaging a marketing company you need to have a minimum and maximum budget. A marketing agency might be able to do wonders for your business, but if you don’t have the budget for those efforts than it doesn’t make sense to start down that road.
There are different types of digital marketing. SEO (Search Engine Optimization), PPC (Pay Per Click), Social Media Marketing and more. Make sure the company you are choosing has experienced people on staff for each of these activities. You don’t want one company working on paid ads, another working on SEO etc. It is best to have a team of dedicated professionals working as a unified front for your company.
There is a lot to consider in the world of digital marketing, and no one person can do it all. Make sure you choose a company that has experience across the board and that has been around a while. Do your due diligence using the above guide before engaging an agency to handle your marketing needs.