With the digital marketing landscape constantly changing, it can be overwhelming to try to stay on top of the most cutting-edge tactics. It can be even more daunting to try to learn and launch these efforts from in-house without breaking the bank. If you can find a quality vendor to become a strategic partner who you can trust to guide you in the right direction then you get the best of both worlds: up-to-date insights from industry experts with a price tag you can afford.
So how do you find that perfect vendor?
Here are three things to look for in an agency:
- No outsourcing.
With unique, compelling content atop the list of things that search engines use to rank websites, look for an agency that does not outsource their copywriting. To make sure the content is up to your standards, ask for writing samples. After you have chosen a digital marketing agency and your campaign is getting ready to begin, it’s also a good idea to ask for a meeting with the copywriter who will be creating the content for your brand. Make sure you are on the same page, provide detailed information about what you do and don’t want, and keep your agency in the loop with any product changes/updates and outside PR efforts.
- Breadth of services.
There are many different aspects of online marketing: web design & development, social media, content marketing, paid search, inbound marketing, and more. The benefit of hiring an agency is so that you have an expert in the field just a phone call away. Make sure the agency you hire offers a wide variety of online marketing services so you have a one-stop-shop for all your needs. If you can, ask for a conference call with a representative from each of these areas. A quick call could be all you really need to make sure your campaign is in the hands of a knowledgeable team of people.
- Previous success stories.
Does the agency have a sampling of case studies that you can review? These can usually provide you with a feel for some of their marketing strategies. Because all industries perform differently when it comes to online marketing, it’s important to make sure the agency has the experience you need. The agency you want strategically aligned with your company will have the proven ability to get what matters most: results.
Many businesses have turned to the expertise of SEO companies to launch a reputation management campaign. These campaigns aim in helping businesses that have received much criticism online to recover. While reputation management campaigns are necessary in order to help a business survive, one question many businesses wonder is how they received such a bad reputation online.
Rival companies will purposely target you
Companies will purposely target rival companies in order to degrade their online reputation. They can do this by hiring a writing team to write false or negative content about the other company, or pose as fictitious characters and write the content themselves. In either instance, the content can be posted on article sites, blog sites or review sites, and for anyone to read and leave their comment.
Unhappy customers will take it out on you
Your reputation can also be affected by disgruntled customers who freely and openly express their opinions and reviews of your company. There are many ways in which customers can leave their feedback. They may post reviews on review sites or write a blog post on their personal blog reflecting their views. As mentioned above, one negative review about a company left by a customer can expand because of the comments that follow, which can stir up an entire conversation.
Recovering from a bad reputation
It’s important to remember that a bad reputation will not go away; it will only get worse. One bad comment or review will lead to many responses, and these posts hold much weight in search engines. The best approach in shredding negative content is by creating positive content. Remember that the ultimate purpose is to bring in and keep customers. Creating false content about another business will not give your business the positive reputation it needs.
Take ten minutes and do a quick survey of your industry. Take a look at the level of personable sentiments provided from individual brands. In many cases, brands do not relay a whole lot of information about the people who comprise the brand. There is a lot of talk of services and products. There is a lot of discussion related to the efficiency of the brand; yet, often, there is not a lot of available intelligence related to CEOs, directors, main players, etc.
Consider the following online marketing techniques used to provide personable sentiments.
About Us Page
The ‘about us’ page is the most obvious place to relay internal sentiments; it’s where potential consumers go to gain a better perspective on the people behind a desired product/service. If you did take a survey of your industry, you noticed varying degrees of warmth exuded from the pages. Some brands truly want consumers to know more about individual contributions, while others do a haphazard job of the process. Which direction do you believe is more accepted and desired by consumers?
A number of businesses prompt browsers to sign-up for company newsletters. The entities enable businesses to keep loose contact with consumers and hopefully inspire conversions. Usually, a newsletter is packed with product/service and industry information. But brands could include personable internal elements, serving as an extension of the ‘about us’ page. Feature a company member in a brief interview each issue; that’s one way to make your newsletter more personable.
One could devote an entire post to being ‘social’ regarding SEO campaigns. Social media has made it easier for brands to connect with consumers on an ongoing basis. The most diligent of brands engage consumers every day through platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and others. Unlike static pages, social media participation is fluid and dynamic; the process makes it easier to express personality and personable sentiments. Recent studies reflect social media’s growing influence on purchase decisions. People use platforms to get the official and unofficial ‘scoop’ on brands.
It can be difficult for a brand to scale the kind of attention consumers want. Have you adopted a system to maintain information on customers? Brands with high numbers of repeat customers can benefit from maintaining information not only focused on sales history, but personal info too such as birthdays, hobbies, and careers. I can require a bit of added time and resources to maintain more individualized data; but consumers highly appreciate the attention to personable detail.