Online marketing can be a terrific source of new leads and online revenue, or it can be a rather terrifying experience. When we talk to prospective clients about setting up SEO and PPC campaigns, these are the fears they express most frequently.
Companies love precise measurement, and often fear they will be unable to measure the results of their campaign with any precision at all. Here are a few things that should help reduce this fear.
- The accuracy of measurement has a lot to do with the agency’s campaign setup procedure and ongoing process of execution, collecting data and reporting. Look for an agency with a documented, proven, granular and transparently reported system of execution.
- Some types of online marketing lend themselves to number crunching and precise ROI calculations, while others don’t. Lead and revenue generation from SEO, PPC and email campaigns can be measured accurately, while social media and content marketing, for instance, are not always so clear.
- With the above point in mind, look to SEO, PPC and email when you have specific lead generation or online revenue generation goals in mind. Other forms of online marketing may be more suitable for customer engagement, branding and positioning goals not tied to a highly specific ROI.
Working With Witches
Having a difficult working relationship is another situation companies fear, and rightfully so. Online marketing requires a great deal of ongoing collaboration and communication between the client and the agency. When communication is spotty, unpleasant and/or incomprehensible, companies feel shortchanged and become very frustrated. With this in mind:
- During the agency’s pitch, ask plenty of tough questions — not only to acquire information, but to observe how they react when being challenged. Are they professional and patient? Do they seem flexible and willing to modify what they do to accommodate your needs? Do they seem like people with whom you would enjoy working?
- Does the agency explain technical issues in simple language? This is really important because if you can’t understand their explanations, you’ll always be wondering whether the agency is trying to pull the wool over your eyes. Be careful: Some agencies deliberately mask what they’re doing in technical jargon, while others (most others, probably) are ethical but have simply not mastered the art of communicating what they do to non-specialists.
Some companies avoid an active online marketing presence because they fear criticism. This potential criticism takes the form of:
- Negative blog comments
- Negative social media comments
- Negative customer reviews
It’s true the Internet is teeming with trolls, people who relish taking down anything and everything in sight. However, companies usually have an exaggerated impression of the damage trolls can do and underestimate what they can do to reduce the impact. Some points to consider on this issue:
- If your company offers quality products and service, you have much, much less to fear from negative comments. If your company has substantial quality or service issues, it’s certainly wise to address them before launching any type of online marketing campaign.
- Blogs can be moderated to prevent malicious and inappropriate comments from being published.
- Negative blog and social media comments that are legitimate and reasonable should be responded to in a professional manner. This usually softens the blow or even turns a negative situation into a positive one. No reasonable person expects perfection from any company.
- Negative customer reviews are indeed an issue, but keep in mind people can drop a negative review on a popular online review site whether or not you’re running a marketing campaign. There are ways, however, to minimize the impact of negative reviews. Some review sites allow companies to respond, which is something you should usually do if you can. Also, you can encourage customers to post positive reviews as long as you are mindful of the review site’s policies on self-promotion (for instance, you can’t pay customers to post reviews).
What scares you about online marketing? If there’s something holding you back, we hope you’ll contact us to discuss the issue. We may be able to give you a fresh perspective and help you fill that lead pipeline!