Internet marketing was once a tiny niche industry, but its exploded recently. With the invention of inbound advertising, the entire concept of marketing turned, opening the door for thousands of new boutique firms to open up. All of them, of course, promise to take your business to the moon, but how do you find the real Internet marketing specialist that meets your needs? These are a few of the tips we've picked up over the years.
You get what you pay for.
Internet marketing is inexpensive, but it shouldn't be cheap. A firm that only talks about their low cost may only have that to offer. Beware especially of overseas firms offering bargain-basement prices. If it's located in a country that doesn't speak your language – literally or figuratively – how effective will they be in meeting the needs of your business? Compare prices and look for one which is reasonably-priced, but not too good to be true.
They must be customer-focused.
Marketing, after all, is fundamentally about customers: understanding them, finding them, and speaking to them in ways they'll respond to. Any Internet marketing specialist worth their salt will want to know everything they can about your customers. Look for firms with a strong focus on building relations between you and your clients. That bond is what makes for steady business and steady growth.
Content is king.
The key to inbound marketing is convincing people to come to you. An Internet marketing firm does this by consistently producing solid and engaging content, whether it's for blog posts, Facebook updates, or viral videos. If they can't deliver material that potential customers will want to see, material that brings them back to your site for more, they aren't doing their job.
Data ties it together.
Old marketing is hit and miss, throwing up ads and hoping for a surge in business. Ya pays your money and ya takes your chances. But with Internet marketing, every customer can be tracked from the first click they made that took them to your site to their filling out a form - and even to their return visits. A real Internet marketing specialist knows how to work with this data, to prove that their techniques are giving real, solid results. If they're stingy about their data, they may not provide the value you need.
Experience brings results.
Perhaps most importantly, how long have they been in online marketing? A year? Two years? The longer they've been around, with real-world experience under their belt, the more likely they are to provide the sort of value that you're looking for. Ask to see their past results. That will tell you more than all the self-promotion they can possibly put together.