01 Apr Digital Marketing and Scams: What You Need to Know
Here is a problem that often troubles many clients, and it’s often troubled me as a small business and law firm owner, as well. Many businesses struggle attracting and advertising to clients. For us at the law firm we rely heavily upon referrals and relationships, but we have also made an effort to use social media and other sources to increase our footprint in the advertising world.
The trouble that a lot of businesses get into is relying upon marketing services that claim to be able to boost your traffic using emails, bubble contacts, advertising campaigns, and other database marketing. The trouble that you get into is that often these agencies are using bots — online automated tools — to convince you that they are increasing advertising and getting more people to look at your posts.
It is not always accurate.
There are two ways in which someone can get into trouble doing this. First, you may be overpaying for the services. You may be paying a digital marketing company way more money than what they are actually producing, which then leads to a poor return on investment. It may look like your numbers are crazy high, yet you don’t a lot of activity in your sales funnel to show for it. On top of that, it’s not the easiest thing to measure. My advice is to try to find a social media expert or a neutral third party who can determine if you are being scammed by your digital marketing services company.
The other problem that you can get into is that if you are using your website to sell services — the bot scam could be creating something that is called click fraud. Scammers will guide robots into mimicking human interaction on your website through a form of artificial intelligence. The result is that a lot of ad revenue is being generated fraudulently. Fraudulent ad revenue can lead to a deeper problem: a visit from the Federal Trade Commission. They may look at your advertising procedures. If you are selling your ads across state lines you could even add mail fraud to your list of problems.
Be careful when you are using some of these marketing services that promise things like a high number click through or engagements by web users.
If you are going to employ a digital marketing service make sure you do extra research into what practices they have and what they can provide to you as a client. Be sure to compare different companies and their success rates. Just because somebody has low numbers it does not mean that they are bad, but rather that they are strikingly accurate.
If you’re not sure, always back away. I do recommend you get a second opinion if you are unsure. If you get a call from the Federal Trade Commission, then give us a call, because we are going to have to do some work to help you out.