You’re a business starting out or one that is looking to accelerate growth and you become interested in possibly outsourcing your marketing to professionals to ensure you get the exposure you need. Unfortunately, as in any profession, there are the amazing, hard working businesses, and then there are the bad apples. Being that not every business understands the underpinnings and inner workings of internet marketing, it creates an opportunity for scammers. Luckily, you’ve come across this blog! By looking for the following qualifications and asking the questions, you can avoid wasting money and heart ache to ensure the company you hire will give you the results your business needs! So what do you look for?
They pride themselves in marketing, what does theirs look like? Why do businesses market themselves? They do it to gain more customers. So you are hiring them to connect you with as many potential clients as possible and they are claiming they are the best at connecting and they have the best tools available. It is only logical to assume that they would be employing all those best tools for themselves, because they, as a business would also want to connect with as many clients as possible. So if their claim to fame is Search Engine Optimization, do a Google search and see where they rank. If it’s social media marketing, do a quick search on their pages. How often are they posting for themselves, what does their content look like? Are they on all the social media outlets?
Another good indicator is their website. Is it easily navigable, clear and easy to understand? Does it look appealing? If you have a little more knowledge on website building and the back end details you can even investigate that some and see what kind of sites they are building. Another incredibly important fact to look for on their website is mobile compatibility. In your marketing endeavors you are going to want to make sure your business’ site and everything else is mobile friendly, as that is where a majority of your consumers will go to find you! It is called a responsive website, one that can be seen on any device and the site adjusts to whatever screen it is being looked through. It provides the best experience for the consumer, in addition to helping your SEO rankings. If the marketing company that’s claiming to be an expert in the field does not even have one, that’s not a good sign.
Through your investigation you will most likely see work that the candidate company would have done. That is usually presented proudly, as it is sort of the resume for that company. If they are confident in the work they have done and know it will attract business, it would only make sense to make sure all the potential clients could access it easy. There are situations, however, where for privacy reasons they cannot display certain clients, so if through your research you cannot find examples of their work, go ahead and ask them if they can show you any.
When you are asking for examples of their work, ask about the clients and what kind of services they did for them. Again, there may be privacy restrictions, but there should be at least one or two examples they can show you, so if they are hesitant to provide this, it may be you are dealing with a subpar company whose work is of low quality. You want to see the kind of results their SEO can get you or an example of a client’s website or a social media page that is exploding with engagement and content. Looking at their portfolio and their campaigns, either present or past, will give you a good idea of what kind of work they will perform for you.
On that same note, while you are asking to see examples of work, you can also ask for references if it’s not already provided online. If you found the candidate company from a referral you already have a pretty good reference from whoever recommended them, but if you found them online or by any other means, having another business vouch for them will only increase your confidence in hiring them. A reference will be able to give you details and experiences from a business’ perspective and will also be able to answer any questions you may have.
Another good source for references would be reviews. Searching online, through Google+, Yelp, even Facebook, will show you their reviews; individuals or businesses that have had interactions with the candidate company that wrote candid opinions about their experiences. As with any online review, keep in mind there are the keyboard warriors and there may be personal grudges being taken out on a business, but for the most part, you will be able to see honest thoughts and get an idea of what kind of marketing company you could be working with.
This is something you will have to most likely ask them about directly. Sometimes it is shown as a part of their services, but not everyone remembers this is an incredibly important part of hiring an internet company! You want to see your ROI, right? It is always a great idea to ask new clients how they found your business or track where your sales are coming from, but when you are deciding which marketing company to hire you want to make sure that they are going to be generating a report that they can provide you with showing their accomplishments at least on a monthly basis.
What this point will do mainly is seed out the scammers out there who were planning on just billing you monthly and claiming that the internet is impossible to report on. If you ask the candidate company for some sort of reporting or progress communication, they should respond that they do have a way of giving you feedback on your internet marketing efforts. A red flag should definitely be if the candidate company says that they will not be providing any sort of reporting. Make sure you get to the bottom of why they wouldn’t be able to before hiring.
Throughout this process you will have many questions about their services, prices, references, etc., but something you should be paying attention to during hiring is what kind of questions they ask you. After all, it is your business that they will be marketing, so their interest level should be peaked as well. Questions about your services, your company, your goals are all relevant and necessary to come up with a good marketing strategy.
The candidate company asking questions shows you that they are customizing their services to fit your business’ needs, which is necessary for a successful campaign. If the only thing they ask for is your billing info, raise a red flag and investigate further before hiring.
If your business is in need of internet marketing services, make sure you give us a call. Our goal is to serve your business’ needs utilizing the most cutting edge internet marketing tools. Based on our marketing, portfolio, and references you will see we mean business! Give us a call at 248-990-3179 or contact our internet marketing company online today! See for yourself, our work speaks for itself and it would be our pleasure to work with you!
With a business degree from Florida Atlantic University, Julie has years of experience advertising and marketing for several businesses including real estate brokerages and photography companies. She brings her background in writing, graphic design and communications, as well as her experience in the field, when assisting clients with their internet marketing needs. She treats every client with the upmost level of professionalism and care, ensuring everyone who works with Digital Resource has a smile throughout the process!