You've read the reports and you've seen the statistics.
Digital marketing is changing the advertising game at a rapid pace and companies that want to stay competitive should seriously consider getting on board.
So, you hire the first digital marketing service provider you can find. Then, you sit back, relax, and watch as ...
... You lose social media followers. Your website's bounce rate grows. Your carefully cultivated brand community begins to slowly unravel and disband.
So what gives? This isn't what you signed up for and it certainly isn't what you're paying for.
When it comes to digital marketing, it's important to do your research and partner with a reputable company that can provide you real, valuable results.
Today, we're taking a look at six ways that teaming with the wrong service provider can cost you more than just your bottom line.
Ready to learn more? Let's dive in!
1. Generic Solutions Lack Focus
All successful businesses have something singular about them that sets them apart from the competition. This is especially true for small-to-medium businesses, who depend on individuality to stay ahead.
For some, your niche factor may be your locality. Do you run one of the only independent bookstores in your city?
For others, it might be your specific product or service that sets you apart. Did you patent a new technology or create a new, easier way to do something?
The Downfall of One-Size-Fits-All
Regardless of what sets you apart, you should own it! Yet, too often, a digital marketing service provider will try to sell you universal marketing packages that fail to highlight your unique proposition.
In the case of the first example, you don't just want to rank on Google for the keywords "independent bookstore." You want to rank for "independent bookstore in (your city)."
As such, you'll need a local SEO strategy designed to appeal to your key customer base, not the entire online population as a whole. Your marketing partner should understand what makes you special, then work to make sure everyone else knows it, too.
2. A Haphazard Social Media Presence Can Hurt
When used strategically, having a social media presence can help you connect with customers around the world and give your brand a "voice."
Join the right ones and you're cool, tech-savvy, and smart. Join too many, or the wrong combination, and you're desperate for followers, with no real focus or direction.
Sometimes, a digital marketing service company will convince you to follow the old Hollywood adage that "any exposure is good exposure." Especially in the case of social media, this is not the case.
The Benefit of Selective Social Media
If you're selling tools to mechanics, you might not need a Pinterest board. If you're marketing a new technology to CEOs, you probably don't need to SnapChat them.
It's in your best interest to partner with a team that understands your brand and can lead you to the social media channels that make the most sense. This way, you can connect with customers within your target audience, rather than spin your wheels responding to comments that won't take you anywhere.
3. Lack of Analysis Stunts Growth
From real-time dashboards that display sales analytics and funnel numbers to advanced database reporting built into much of today's software, there's no shortage of opportunities to see how your marketing efforts are performing.
Any digital marketing service should include resources for analytics. If your provider doesn't have a strategy in place to examine the rewards and setbacks that occur as a result of your campaign, think twice before signing on the double line.
Think about it: If you don't know what you're doing wrong, how can you correct it? You could spend months heading down the wrong path, appealing to the wrong customers, and missing lucrative opportunities all because you couldn't see the sign pointing the other way.
Do your company a favour and find a team that will keep you updated -- and on track.
4. Lack of Cohesion Damages Identity
When you bring on a digital marketing service provider, that team should work with you to understand the typical tone of your brand's collateral. If you usually deploy a laid-back and friendly voice online, your website and social media accounts should reflect that, and the same goes for more formal expressions.
If you intend to hand over the reigns to and let those external employees handle your social media posts, blog posts, email marketing and more, a consistent tone is more important than ever before.
Studies reveal that tone doesn't always translate well in digital communication, but you knew that, right? We've all gotten that one all-caps text from someone who just hit the wrong key and wasn't actually angry.
Why put your branding in the hands of a company that doesn't take the time to learn not only what to say, but how to say it? Don't risk cutting corners and confusing your customers.
5. Customer Offense Affects Brand Reputation
As a small-to-medium business, your customers are your lifeline. It's important that any digital marketing service treat them as such.
Think a little tweet is no big deal? Think again.
A recent survey revealed that one offensive tweet alone can cost you up to 30 customers.
Digital marketing errors don't just happen when you use the wrong keywords or technology. They can also occur in just 140 characters (or possibly 280 in the future).
The Power of One Disgruntled Customer
A marketing company that emphasises integrity will understand that even the most minute campaign components can carry extreme gravitas. If you put your branding in the hands of the wrong person, all of the hard work you put into building your reputation could be lost with the click of a button.
Upset just one customer, and you could be looking at a domino effect of negative feedback, dropped sales, and terrible reviews.
You may have forgotten about the viral YouTube hit "United Breaks Guitars," penned by scorned passenger David Caroll after employees broke the neck of his instrument in 2009, then the airline giant refused to cover the repair costs.
You know who hasn't forgotten? United, which saw a 10% drop on the stock market after the song was released, equaling $180 million in losses. Learn from that mistake and value the message you send to your audience.
6. Lack of Quality Content Erodes Credibility
One of the most important parts of any digital marketing service is the creation of online content. From blog articles to newsletters, your provider can help you develop collateral that speaks to your expertise and establishes your voice of authority.
As you publish this content, you can use internal and external link strategies to boost your website traffic and grow your community.
Yet, what if people read your content and start scratching their heads? If you're delivering sub-par content, that's one of the first things your audience will notice.
The web is an incredible platform on which you can showcase your expertise, connect with like-minded peers, and grow your industry credibility. Leaving inexperienced and uninvested writers at the helm can be a recipe for disaster.
Need a New Digital Marketing Service Provider? Start Here!
Whether you've been burned by the effects of poor digital marketing in the past or are just starting your new business and want to get off on the right foot, a stellar campaign strategy is key.
That's where we come in.
We provide comprehensive digital marketing solutions to help you optimise your web presence and stand out -- for all the right reasons.
Contact us today to learn more and let's start out on the right foot, together!