Good internet marketing consultants do finish first – find out how to weed out the good from the bad.
Like any industry, you get your good companies and then you get your truly great ones and there is no exception when hiring internet marketing consultants. This is why you need to do your due diligence and homework when evaluating online marketing companies before you sign on the dotted line and you are locked into any contracts. Here is a list of questions to ask when an online marketing agency pitches for your business.
What marketing methods will you use to promote my business online?
If you speak to internet marketing consultants who are reluctant to tell you up front what methods they will use to achieve results, this should arouse immediate suspicion. A bona fide online marketing firm should be transparent, open and honest about the tactics they will use to promote your online presence. This may include a variety of methods including Search Engine Optimisation (SEO), Pay-Per-Click (PPC), Rich Media and Social Media Marketing.
When will I start to see results?
Strategies such as PPC and rich media (banner advertising etc) will produce results almost straight away as people click through to your website. Other activities such as SEO are a long term tactic – typically you should begin to see results in 4-12 weeks. But there are too many variables in SEO to guarantee results so if a consultant promises you page one visibility in a few weeks, you may want to consider speaking to other agencies.
How do you measure results?
At the start of online marketing campaigns, your consultant should sit down with you and flesh out measurable goals and objectives of your campaigns. A qualified online marketing consultant will typically provide you with a variety of reports and data on a monthly basis. Be suspicious of an expert who won’t let you view a sample report or cannot explain what their reporting procedures are and how your campaign will be reviewed.
How do you intend to maintain my online results over time?
Internet marketing is not a ‘set it and forget’ tactic – it needs to be maintained. Online marketing consultants should explain the options available to you which is to either take your internet marketing activities in-house to build on the work that has been have done or purchase ongoing maintenance packages. If an online marketing specialist suggests a quick fix with no ongoing monitoring, you may want to think about hiring another company.
Can you describe a successful online marketing campaign that you have worked on recently?
This gives internet marketing consultants an opportunity to give their ‘elevator pitch’, demonstrate real life examples of successful online marketing campaigns they have implemented and explain exactly why they should be the online marketing company you choose. If necessary, ask the company if you can speak directly to clients to ask them about them further questions about the agency (see below).
Can you show me examples of sites you have worked on?
Some consultancies may have a list of online marketing clients they have worked for and display testimonials or a portfolio and case studies on their website but other companies may choose not to disclose this information publically. You can ask for this information to be sent to you directly as part of your review process and if need be ask to speak to clients directly about their experiences with working with that particular agency.
Once you have your shortlist of online marketing companies which may include referrals from friends and family, a web search or recommendations from business networking associations, you can start the interview process. At Internet Intelligence Works, we have proven experience in helping high profile clients achieve their online marketing goals with the help of our internet marketing consultants – contact us today.