What are marketing scams anyway?
Unfortunately, marketing scams come in a variety of shapes and sizes. From PPC campaigns that seem too good to be true to cheap SEO packages that don't do a thing for your traffic. So how can you avoid these scams as a small business owner?
How did marketing scams come to be anyway?
As with anything marketing has always had its problems. In the early years it was directed more at consumers, but in recent years businesses looking to move online have fallen victim as well. Even individuals looking to start a small stream of passive income can easily fall victim to these tactics. As the internet came into all of our homes in the late 1990's the digital marketing sector saw an explosion of growth. The sidebar of Google was lit up with ads for everything you could imagine, pop-ups were everywhere and the internet looked a lot the old west with no law or order to be found. Many individuals were taken advantage of with get rich quick schemes and promises that a cheap website just couldn't fulfill as these tricksters kept reeling in more and more business by the day.
A few common digital marketing schemes include:
- Overcharging for services that are underperformed or never performed.
- Inflating reporting from PPC ads or other traffic stats.
- Selling packages that include many things a customer doesn't need.
- Lack of transparency in work or poor workmanship on websites, profiles or content.
- Writers who spin content without ever writing a word themselves.
- Stolen images, music, or content presented to clients as original work from a scam marketer.
- Pushing clients into services that they don't need or aren't ready for just to make a buck.
So how do I avoid these marketing scams?
- Know what you want
- Work with a reputable company
- Remember if it seems too good to be true then it probably is
- Set a budget and stick to it
- Work with a contract
- Get references before hiring
- Never pay an entire amount upfront, paying a small deposit or half of the total cost upfront is fine though
So what's the difference in credible marketing services?
Gets to know you and your core values.
Markets within your goals and budget.
Keep it honest! A credible marketing agency is happy to provide transparent marketing reports and to discuss any concerns that you may have.
Will be able to tell you how their services could help and present past examples of their success with other clients when asked.
Will not push you into an up-sale and definitely won't begin with PPC advertising as your first option.
Will grow with you and not promise things they can't deliver.
Need help with your branding strategy or advertising materials? Drop us a line and we'll be glad to take a look! Have a great week and we'll see you next time.