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Can you trust that marketing agency? subtle signs you might miss

5 red flags you should watch out for

Guy with glasses posing making a move

Finding the right digital marketing agency is a little like online dating. You want to find a partner that understands your needs, is in tune with your industry, and fits in with your company culture. The agency should have relevant experience and adequate resources. With the right agency, you will take your business to the next level.

So why does it feel like the agency is catfishing you?

“The worst possible thing that could happen is that you hire an agency that just tells you everything you want to hear just to get your name on the dotted line,” says Michelle Nessman, who combined her sales training and marketing backgrounds to open Elite Business Systems in 2014. “Maybe the executive told you to expect higher occupancy, millions in revenue, and a No. 1 Google ranking by the end of next quarter.”

Two quarters later, you’ve spent a considerable amount of money on an agency that’s done absolutely nothing to enhance your online presence to position your senior housing organization for long-term growth.

How did this happen? It can be difficult to determine if an agency is the right fit, let alone if it will deliver on its promises. Fortunately, there are some red flags you can watch out for.

1. Lack of Transparency

If you come across an agency that doesn’t have an About Us or a Meet Our Team page, that’s the first red flag that it’s a crooked agency. You want to know the people you’re hiring and working with.

A low-quality agency is also more likely to be reluctant to share data. With a high-quality agency, you can expect access to your analytics and dashboards.

“Valuable agencies understand that they are partners with their clients,” Nessman says. “You should be able to trust your agency, and that comes with transparency.”

2. No References, Customer Testimonials, or Case Studies

If you’re researching an agency and you notice their website doesn’t feature any customer testimonials and you can’t find any reviews online, cross it off your list. One reason some digital marketing agencies don’t have references is because the agency is a scam.

“An agency that can’t prove their work leads to results should make you pause,” Nessman says. “Not only will a successful marketing agency be able to point you to long-term client references, but it will also showcase its work through case studies.”

Case studies should address the problem the agency solved and the results the work generated.

3. Incredibly Low Prices

If an agency’s prices are enticingly low, ask yourself why. To keep prices that low, it’s likely that the agency has to take on too many clients, which can affect the quality of the work. Online marketing takes time and expertise, which is why competitors charge market standards.

4. Poor Communication

If you reach out to the agency and the response time is slow, it’s an indication of problems to come. The agency should have a track record of meeting or exceeding deadlines and getting deliverables and reports to clients on or even ahead of time.

“Not only should an agency be easy to get ahold of, but it should also regularly communicate with you about coming trends and make suggestions based on those projections,” Nessman says.

That’s how you stay ahead of the competition.

5. Unrealistic Promises

Steer clear of an agency that focuses on the short term and promises fast results. An agency that guarantees first-page Google rankings probably doesn’t understand that Google values content that keeps users interested and engaged.

“Change doesn’t happen overnight,” Nessman says. “It’s all about testing and finding what works best for each client.”

Look for an agency that can present its ideas, strategy, and processes clearly. Don’t get sucked in by false promises.

Paying attention to these subtle warning signs can prevent you from suffering financially and wasting time that could have been spent on achieving goals. Look for a digital marketing agency that you can trust, and you’ll find a partner that will get you to where you want to be.

Want to learn more about Elite Business Systems? Schedule a complimentary deep-dive call with Michelle Nessman today.

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