Keeping Yourself Safe From Digital Marketing Fraud
Updated: Mar 19
The following is an article “Keeping Yourself Safe From Digital Marketing Fraud” by Marc Primo.
As the digital age continues to flourish, many companies know better than to rest on their laurels when it comes to hiring the right digital marketing agencies for their businesses. Recent reports say that programmatic ad fraud, or when your ads are not actually seen by users but continue to register impressions, stands at 17% in the U.S. Not knowing who you are dealing with when it comes to digital marketing can be costly for measly snake oil and run your business to the ground.
Most digital marketing agencies can sweet talk you into signing on the dotted line with promises of high social media numbers, significant conversion rates, and active user engagement among others. However, if you simply expect data reports on a piece of paper complemented by a regular presentation without really checking the facts about your analytics and understanding the entire process, then there’s a big chance your hired agency may be duping you.
Digital marketing “scams” are prevalent today and these five tips will certainly come in handy if you’re in the process of hiring an agency.
Know your agency’s credentials
Not knowing a thing or two about digital marketing is never a reason to play the victim in such scams. You should at least know that some shady digital marketing agencies often put in prominent companies in their presentation for the sake of name-dropping. You’ll be floored once you do a background check and discover that the phony agency really has not worked with any blue-chip clientele and merely faked their marketing campaigns all because it’s that easy.
Avoid scammers like these by simply doing your homework, which includes performing background checks and gathering authentic feedback from their other real clients. If your digital marketing agency’s credentials seem like gold on paper, then all the more should you confirm their reputation just so you’ll know you’ll get your money’s worth.
Be in the know about online engagement
Most companies can easily tell if an agency is real or fake through the questionable increase of user engagement on their clients’ social media accounts and websites. These numbers don’t hold much value in your digital marketing goals and can further increase your spending without much return. Worse, your real followers can tag you as an untrustworthy entity online and refrain from visiting your social media accounts or website altogether.
One way to find out that you are incurring genuine user engagement is by studying the online trends that your agency’s other clients are generating. If you think that the numbers are legit then you can rest easy, but if you detect even the slightest hint of fake profiles then think again. Require the submission of summary reports and skim through the numbers and how they arrived at the figures. And don’t just settle for minimal reports. Ask them specific analytics that show your competitor’s numbers, keywords, and such other relevant data so you can further understand where you’re at in the information superhighway and what details you should adjust for improvement.
Remember that knowing how digital marketing works is your responsibility and is tantamount to keeping your brand’s image unblemished online.
Ask about SERP updates
If your prospective agency says that they can assure you a top spot on Google’s SERP, it might be best that you move on to the next bidder. Most scammers tend to impress clients by guaranteeing they can secure the top spot on search engines only to fall short in practice.
Everyone knows that digital marketing is a day by day battle and no one can cast guarantees in stone due to Google’s constantly evolving algorithms. The more experienced agencies usually toil daily to try out different strategies that can lead to favorable results.
Meanwhile, shady agencies just overstuff their reports with digital prattle to give you the illusion that they are doing their jobs. The best way around these tactics is to regularly ask about the latest Google algorithm updates and how they remain relevant to your business. You know you are in good hands when along with their answer is a solution wherein you can capitalize on such changes.