I had my grandson last weekend. It was Easter weekend, and my husband and I planned an Easter Egg hunt, including a basket, for my grandson. Unfortunately, my grandson found the Easter basket on Saturday evening. (My husband thought an excellent hiding place was behind a door.) Instead of the usual, “the Easter bunny must have come early” most people would have said, my husband offered a more elaborate explanation. “The Easter bunny was here last week. He and grandma were sitting on the couch eating carrots, and he forgot the basket when he left. We told him not to do that.” My husband even got on the phone with “Peter” (Cottontail, of course) and told him what happened and asked that he be more careful next time. My son got into the spirit and told his nephew he was present when Peter was eating carrots. My grandson’s father came and told my grandson that he had just been on the phone with “Peter.” By the end of it, we had my grandson convinced the Easter bunny does exist, and he had my husband call him to thank him for the basket.
While this was harmless fun to keep a child’s fantasy alive, hearing fanciful by a slick salesman can be a costly mistake. Many salesmen and marketing companies will sell you a bill of goods with ridiculous claims. I think the complaint I hear most often is that the marketing company salesman promised said the company would rank on the first page of Google with organic results in 30 days or less. If your salesman or digital marketing company is making this claim, it’s time to run. Head for the hills, quick!
How do I know if a marketing agency is trustworthy?
Like any business, you don’t want a salesman that pressures you to decide, right then and there. Don’t fall for any sales gimmicks like “if you act now, I can get you a large discount. But if you wait…” Do your homework. Does the company have a web presence? Are they on social media? Are they listed on any site where people can leave reviews? Check the Better Business Bureau. Many times, you will find multiple complaints. While any company might have a bad review or two, or even a complaint with the Better Business Bureau, if you find a lot of such reports or complaints, it’s probably a good idea to walk away.
Another key indicator is outrageous claims. No marketing agency can get you to the first page of Google with highly competitive keywords organically in one month. While this can happen with PPC ads, with SEO, it cannot. SEO is a long-term strategy that will deliver the best results. But it takes time and regular SEO.
What should I look for in a marketing agency?
Many, if not most marketing companies claim to be a full-service agency. One of the first questions to ask, then, is obvious. What do they mean by full service? Most offer a website, an SEO package, social media and email marketing, and PPC ad management. And most offer a slick price to go with it. Very few customize their package to your needs. They sell the same package whether you are a B2C or a B2B business. Many insist you buy a website, even if you like your current website and it is up to a decent standard. They may offer silly “extras” on your website, claiming this will increase the likelihood you will get leads with your website. Very few agencies provide dependable full service lacking such extras as a marketing strategist and copywriting. Their SEO packages may not offer the level of service that will bring real results.
How can a marketing strategist save you money?
A trained marketing strategist will work with you to look at your actual marketing needs. Utilizing a company with a marketing strategist can save you money while bringing in more valuable qualified leads. A marketing strategist will look at your company first to determine your marketing needs before customizing package that will bring you qualified leads. Are you a B2C business? Or are you a B2B business in a niche market? Do you sell your products or services online? What do you sell? What are you doing now for marketing and is it working? If you have a website, is it useful? Is the content likely to help bring you leads? Or is the content fluff? Is it optimized for good SEO?
What about your other marketing efforts? What offline marketing are you using? Is it likely to benefit your overall marketing, and bring in the leads for which you are looking? Is your branding cohesive? Does it set you apart from your competition, and will it make your potential customers think of you when they need your product or service?
By customizing your package to your needs, rather than fitting you in a pre-determined package, you avoid paying for services you don’t need, thus saving you money. Afterall, isn’t the goal of your marketing to bring you qualified leads, not break your marketing budget with services that won’t help your marketing?
Are there any services that are almost always recommended by a marketing strategist?
There are a few things that will almost always be recommended by a competent marketing strategist. Your website is essential to sales, as it is your “storefront” on the web. If you don’t have a website, many potential clients will wonder if you are a fly-by-night company that won’t be there if there is a problem. Also, your website should help build trust and show that you are an “expert” when it comes to your product or service.
One service that is almost always recommended by a marketing strategist is an excellent SEO package. Good SEO helps search engines, and your potential customers, find your website. What good is your website if no one can find it?
Does this mean I have to buy a new website?
You don’t always need a new website. If you have a website that meets your needs and has good content, you may not need to pay for a new one. Maybe your website is perfect for your needs, and you only need better SEO optimized content. Your marketing strategist will help you evaluate your current website and decide if you need a whole new website or some optimization.
Do I need a copywriter?
Strictly speaking, no. If you have plenty of time and writing skills, you can write your own copy. While a good copywriter isn’t cheap, there are reasons a good copywriter is often recommended. What is the biggest reason? Your search engine optimization. A good copywriter optimizes your content for SEO.
Additionally, a good copywriter does enough research to deliver fresh, new content. The material might be provided that you might not think of because you are too close to the subject. While personalization based on what is going on inside your business is excellent, fresh, engaging content that serves the people searching for your product or service is better. Your content may reach more people by being shared.
A customized marketing package that offers to copywrite as part of their service can often bring costs down. Plus, other collaborative approaches may be provided to help decrease your costs.
Beware the one-size fits all companies that say they offer original copywriting, especially if they claim to provide it daily. Usually, I have noticed, companies that claim this use one of a couple of methods.
- They might use a “content farm” that delivers your content to multiple places throughout the internet. The result is duplicate content from other websites; a practice frowned upon by the SEO gods which can hurt your rankings. Optimization for SEO is iffy.
- They use an “AI” (Artificial Intelligence) writer. While this copy, strictly speaking, isn’t duplicate content, it’s also not fresh and engaging. It can sound stilted, not a method for improving either your SEO nor get others to share your content. The copy doesn’t excite the search engine gods and help to improve rankings. The content is not likely to be optimized for SEO.
- They use a very cheap copywriter who likely does not natively speak English. Again, your copy may sound stilted. The grammar and spelling may be weak. The content is not exciting or well researched. And, like AI, the marterial doesn’t excite the search engine gods and improve rankings and is not likely to be optimized for SEO. You may spend more time asking for corrections and rewriting the content yourself.
Is a company that offers a marketing strategist for me?
Considering the overall cost and time savings, and the increases in qualified leads, the best companies that offer full-service marketing do offer marketing strategists. I would always recommend this type of company over one-size fits all company. Christy’s Marketing Solutions is one such company. We offer a complete range of services customized for your business to bring you the best in marketing without breaking the bank. Call Christy’s Marketing Solutions, today.