Now that you have decided to outsource your online advertising tasks to a professional agency, it’s essential to choose the right one for your business. This is particularly important when you run a small business with few employees in a fast-paced city like New York and cater to a handful of clients. Your in-house marketing isn’t likely to be big or strong enough to promote your online visibility. If you can, however, find a reputed and reliable digital marketing agency in NYC, you can access the necessary resources and skills for this purpose. A fresh set of eyes can help you identify the best marketing strategies to speed up your company’s growth. So, what’s the problem then?
The issue is there is an overwhelmingly large number of digital marketing agencies out there. And, not all can be trusted. To avoid getting scammed, it’s important to know what the red flags to look out for are:
Prices are too good to be true: Beware of a digital marketing company that offers incredibly-priced plans and packages. Cheaper agencies will resort to black hat techniques to promote visibility, like paid links and keyword-stuffed content. That can get you blacklisted from Google. Such companies buy bots to increase traffic to the site which can be dangerous. Always remember you get what you have paid for; when you pay less, the quality of work is likely to be inferior and your brand image will suffer.
Poor communication: One of the biggest red flags to watch out for is a lack of transparency and poor communication. When the agency cannot communicate in the early stage, a disaster is bound to happen in the months to come. The digital marketers you hire should be willing to share information and analytics reports. Their answers must be straight and backed with data. Even if the news isn’t encouraging, it needs to be conveyed.
Lack of personalization: Have you seen an agency keen to offer you a proposal even before they have researched your products? That’s typical of digital marketing companies that offer “packages.” Avoid companies offering “packages”; every business is different from the others and there can’t be standardized packages. It clearly means the agency isn’t in a position to customize strategies according to your company’s unique needs. It’s important to find an agency that asks questions and shows a willingness to know your needs.
Avoid analytics: If your digital marketer isn’t using marketing tools to evaluate your progress, you won’t know how you fare against your competitors. If you see that your business competitors are doing something that’s right, go ahead and emulate them. But, if they are making mistakes on the way, you need to know what these are to avoid making them yourself. Instead, you should take advantage of the mistakes they are making and capitalize on opportunities to deliver better results. Unless there is continuous evaluation, you won’t be able to prevent common mistakes. You will end up losing valuable customers and your revenues will decline.
Delayed responses: If you find that your digital marketing partner isn’t prompt in taking action when needed, it’s better to look for another partner. Delayed responses can cost you heavily.
Claims for guaranteed success: This should immediately catch your attention. When a marketing agency claims to have a secret formula for success, it’s a big red flag. Ask them for proof of their past work and research them thoroughly on the internet before believing their promises.
Unimpressive self-marketing: Avoid marketing agencies whose own marketing is questionable. If they don’t practice what they preach, you cannot expect them to deliver results for you. The best way to hire a quality marketing partner is to research prospective agencies first, taking time to see their content, social media presence, site design, and blog posts. If you find these to be lacking in quality, it’s advisable to look elsewhere for marketing expertise.
Not focusing on research: You will find marketing agencies often overlook the importance of research. For instance, they don’t make an effort to understand your company’s vision, who your target customers are, or what they are looking for. Without these inputs, it’s not possible to come up with an effective digital marketing plan that can satisfy your goals.
Poor client retention: This is a signal that the marketing company isn’t able to satisfy its clients over time. Find out about these things prior to signing on the dotted lines. If you get to know about disgruntled clients who are no longer working with the marketing firm, you have to understand that they aren’t doing something right. Beware of agencies whose client pools have steadily dwindled.
Overusing buzzwords: When you notice that an agency isn’t able to translate its work into a language that you follow, you need to watch your step. It’s possible they don’t have a clue about how to help you or are ignorant about what your business needs. Either way, the loss is going to be yours.
Claims to handle everything: Beware of marketing companies that claim that they can take care of everything. While agencies may finally be able to stick to their promises, the risks involved can be quite high. For instance, if it has been a one-man show all along, the situation may topple when that employee resigns. Your business will be thrown off-track if you depend on a single individual to carry your marketing needs forward. So, it’s always a good idea to check the credentials of employees working for the agency you choose. You need to know that there are many qualified experts that can take over your marketing needs when the time comes.
Not proactive: Digital marketing landscape changes fast and a good digital marketing company should be able to keep up with the most updated trends and technologies. So, not only must they be able to offer you actionable suggestions but also a customized approach that can cater to your specific needs. If the digital marketer you hire isn’t able to do either, you should reconsider your decision.
These are some significant red flags that you need to be aware of when you are planning to outsource your online marketing to a digital marketing agency in NYC. Knowing these will help you outsource to the right partner so that you can devote your time and energy to other key business matters.