Hiring an outside digital marketing firm can be tough. It’s hard to make a lengthy commitment and sizable financial commitment to a company that can’t even guarantee results.
I’ve used a lot of analogies in the past, so bear with me if you’ve heard this before, but digital marketers are like doctors for your website. As you know, doctors can’t give guarantees because there are so many factors involved in one’s health and healing. What they can do is help diagnose the problem and start you on a path toward good health.
The Pitfalls of “Testing Out” Digital Marketers
In digital marketing, that path to good health can take many twists and turns. How skilled the marketer is, how much time they are given, and how involved the client is at implementing recommendations are all factors of success. And no matter how well things go, success always takes time.
While it sounds like a nice idea to be able to “test out” a digital marketing provider, it really doesn’t work that way any more than you can test out a doctor for surgery. Yeah, you can consult. Yeah, you can even have the doctor run up a diagnostic. But once you commit to the surgery, you need to stay committed to seeing it through.
Keep in Mind…
If you’re wondering about committing to a year-long digital marketing campaign, here are some things you need to know.
- Results don’t happen instantly. When dealing with a low-authority website, achieving strong results can take more than a year. Authority isn’t built overnight. You can do all the right things, but you still have to bide your time. Yeah, there is always low-hanging fruit that will start moving the needle, but the good ROI takes time.
- Issues can be deeper than initially thought. Some sites are so severely messed up that a large amount of time must be spent fixing the problems rather than on actual marketing. It’s the job of the web marketer to diagnose and fix these issues, but the depth and breadth of many issues cannot be uncovered without a throughout analysis. This is where a good site audit comes into play. Getting an audit before signing a long-term contract helps everyone establish better baselines of expectations and success.
- Avoid false expectations. Every sales person wants to promise the moon. And even when the sales person is completely up front and honest about those expectations, it’s inevitable that the site owner still wants results more quickly, regardless of the circumstances. If you’re committed to a 12-month contract, you are less likely to rely on false expectations and more likely to stay the course, allowing the results to come within the appropriate time frame.
Be careful about jumping into any short-term web marketing contracts. The chances of success are slim and likely to leave you disappointed. But with a long-term contract in place, the marketer has more freedom to invest more heavily up front, which can help to push you into the ROI zone more quickly.