Estimated time of reading: 8 mins.
What I’ll learn from this article: The not-so-known facts that agencies are reluctant to disclose. All the tell-tale signs to identify a not-so-great digital agency.
- Bad agencies don’t invest enough in your website
- Agencies don’t make an effort on content marketing
- Most agencies are not full-service
- Agencies will (not) always have an expert for you
- Competent agencies can be identified from their online presence
- Current digital marketing strategies are declining
- Agencies rarely strive to create commitment
- Truly good agencies are swift in their procedures
- Digital agencies can’t fool an informed business owner
Do you know what the most important factor in a business relationship is?
It’s honesty and communication. Any successful partnership, both in and out of business, requires transparency and a clear understanding of the intentions of each part; yet, most marketing agencies seem to disregard this as they tend to indulge in secrecy, especially when it comes to their digital strategies.
Did you hire a digital agency but your traffic isn’t increasing? Is it taking it longer than you expected to see any result? Do you understand exactly what you’re paying for?
The truth is… Digital agencies don’t know how to be digital – and they take advantage of the fact that their client doesn’t know either. They’d use falseness to justify ineptitude or simple negligence because it’s cheaper for them. Of course, this is a generalisation but it’s worrying how it applies to such a staggering number of marketers.
So today, I’ll share with you some little-known facts about digital marketing as well as some pointers, signs of both good and bad digital practices, to help you decide whether or not your current agency is worth your trust.
Bad agencies don’t invest enough in your website
You don’t know how massively influential the portrayal of your webpage can be on the conversion of your leads, it is arguably your best tool to generate engagement with your public, so it makes all the sense to start polishing the rough corners here.
An efficient marketing plan revolves around constructing a solid site and redirecting interest back to it, which requires a reasonable amount of funds – Be aware of low-cost website managers, they may not be so cheap in the long run.
Agencies don’t make an effort on content marketing
Content marketing gets three times more leads than paid search advertising. This should outline the importance of producing content for your brand on a regular basis.
However, good content isn’t just about stuffing a bunch of keywords with a certain frequency. You need high-quality, targeted content that creates value for your brand – A factor that very few take seriously enough. Is your agency optimising your content strategy for you?
Most agencies are not full-service
Despite their claims, a large majority of digital agencies don’t actually have the required staff and adequate resources to provide a wholesome solution to your every marketing problem. Instead, they use a network of sellers to outsource particular cases that fall off their umbrella.
Agencies want to hide their outsources and present themselves as the Holy Grail of marketing, able to conquer any challenge. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, as they’ll be sparing you the trouble of contacting said vendors and answering to your demands either way but do keep this in mind.
Agencies will (not) always have an expert for you
Have you noticed how standard conversations with marketing agencies start with them asking about your struggles? This might seem like the mandatory question here, you want them to solve a problem for you after all, but it holds a double purpose for marketers.
Sure, they’ll get to understand what kind of challenge you’re facing, but you’re also telling them exactly what kind of specialist you’re looking for – And they’ll conveniently have one ready. To avoid finding out the hard way, you should instead ask them about their field of expertise before you decide to work with them.
Competent agencies can be identified from their online presence
Before you choose to contract the services of any marketer, preliminary research is due. Does the agency use a personalised theme for its site? Do they use a branded email? Can you find positive reviews for them? Is social media at the top of their priorities?
If any of the previous questions can be answered with “no”, then you’re in the presence of a poor service provider. Given that online is their game, no digital agency should be spared from having a less than stellar determination to make themselves stand out.
Current digital marketing strategies are declining
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is the foundation of online marketing. This wouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone who’s been remotely attuned to modern advertising tendencies, luckily agencies are aware of this. What they tend to ignore, however, is the fact that there are different types of searches to be made.
Voice SEO is on the rise, with plenty of consumers using AI assistants to manage their queries; still, most agencies don’t optimise your content for this specific pattern of a question. Similarly, many people rely on search engines to point them towards the best decision locally, so forgoing Local SEO is synonym with missing out on a huge percentage of the business.
Needless to say, you should steer away from agencies who frontload their marketing designs with traditional strategies like radio or newspaper. Although I won’t be vouching for the death of traditional media soon, it should be merely a complement to your main online plan – after all, you’re looking for a digital agency.
Agencies rarely strive to create commitment
Brand engagement is a vastly important element in determining a business’ success; the very name attached to a product is what frequently seals the deal for a great number of consumers - This is what reels in clients for the long run. The bad news is, accomplishing this is an arduous task you can’t cheat your way through.
Customers expect personal attention and natural interactions, so ideally, the agency you hire will implement an apt customer service program. How much effort is your agency investing in building your brand name?
Truly good agencies are swift in their procedures
While it is generally true that improving the online image of your brand takes time, this is no excuse for agencies to delay on delivering results.
Fast to create, fast to adapt, fast to innovate. Effective marketing requires constant change and some prediction to position yourself ahead of others, both capitalizing on current trends as projecting tactics for new trends that could emerge.
On a similar note, research by Google reveals that 53% of mobile site visitors leave a page that takes longer than three seconds to load, meaning that your digital agency should preferably attempt to maximize the browsing speed for your site too.
Digital agencies can’t fool an informed business owner
As I mentioned at the beginning of this post, these are all simple facts that a large portion of people are unaware of, and agencies will try to exploit that ignorance to sell their own subpar services.
Don’t let yourself be deceived by false promises; learn everything you can and be judgmental on your decision to establish a business relationship with a given agency.
Are you still unsure of how to proceed in your journey to online domination? We at Staff Leverage are true experts when it comes to digital strategies, you can check our repertoire of knowledge and see for yourself.
By John Mackenzie – Founder & CEO of Staff Leverage, NT Digital and JohnMac Digital
Do you want to be successful? We know how you can be. For more information on the previous topics and deeper insight into the intricacies of efficient business, see the following articles: