Need to hire a marketing company? Look for these red flags first.
When you are out searching for a marketing company to manage any or all aspects of your marketing (branding, promotions, social media and/or website creation), it is important to vet them out beforehand. Get a feel of for their previous work but more importantly, get a feel for how they market themselves! That seems like a no brainer right? But many marketing companies do not prioritize their own marketing, which has to beg the question – will they be able to prioritize YOUR marketing if they can’t prioritize their own? Let it be known, that we are a pretty great marketing company that would love to be considered when you are on this search. Even if you are considering us, there are very telling red flags that you can find in your background search on your marketing shortlist.
Red Flag #1 – Inactive Social Media Accounts
Any marketing company in 2018 that knows what they are doing is keeping their social media pages updated. It doesn’t need to be updated every day, but when you find their Facebook/Instagram/Twitter account and they haven’t posted in months, that’s a red flag. If they can’t keep their own audience informed on their current happenings by taking a few minutes a week to focus on it, then how on earth will they be passionate enough to do that for you?
Now they may say, “Oh, we have been so busy giving all of our time and passion to our clients to waste time with ours.” When someone says “too busy” all we hear is “I do not know how to prioritize or manage my time.” No one is ever too busy for something they care about. So take this into account before paying them to maintain your social.
Red Flag #2 – Outdated Website
This is a pet peeve of ours because we obviously LOVE websites! Nonetheless, there is no reason for a marketing company in the digital age to have an outdated website. If they just updated it for the first time in YEARS, that is unacceptable. It should be a monthly occurrence. It takes almost no time when it is something that matters. We are not just talking about an outdated look (although updated design is very important), we are talking about updated content too. If there are employees on their website that no longer work there or content that is no longer relevant, let this give you pause.
Also, it is so important that they have an SSL certificate on their own website (web address will have an ‘https’ accompanied by a green lock icon instead of an ‘http’). This is important because it shows they know the value of secure websites and will help you see that value. It also will tell you that they know Google prioritizes websites with an SSL certificate over ones without it – making your website more visible over the competition.
We keep our website updated from content to design. We want it to be a reflection of our business at all times. Afterall, we live in a digital world and our digital footprint needs to reflect our business in the best light. We are in marketing, that should be our focus. When another marketing company doesn’t make their website an important focus, they won’t be able to do that for you.
Red Flag #3 – Outdated or Ugly Branding
Now, when we say “branding” we mean the logo, brand colors, fonts and use of brand elements throughout. When you are researching a potential marketing company, look on their website, advertising and social pages to see if their branding is crisp, consistent and highlighted throughout. Branding, and how it is used, is a reflection on how they will prioritize YOUR branding and their ability to be creative and consistent with it on all fronts. If they aren’t doing it for themselves, you would have to wonder if they have the ability to even help you.
We realized that our earlier branding wasn’t reflecting the work we produced. So we spent time and effort getting it updated to reflect us. Since then, we now follow a specific brand guide on how, where and when to use elements of our branding. We use very specific colors in everything we do and well as specific fonts. This matters because you will see Brightside promotional efforts consistent everywhere you see it. We take that into account with all of our clients and give them the same passion and effort as we give our own brand.
This all seems pretty standard and easy to follow. But it is crucial when hiring anyone to do your marketing. Don’t get stuck with a person or company that doesn’t have the “time” to focus on their own business. You want to partner with a marketing company that knows how to manage their time while maintaining a great brand presence.