When outsourcing your accounting firm’s marketing, you must begin with a working relationship that maps out exactly what’s expected, what’s promised, and how everything is supposed to work when complete. You also want to make sure your chosen marketing partner is following all industry best practices, is performing your requests quickly and effectively, and isn’t sharing or selling your information, customer lists, or any of your proprietary marketing strategies. The only way all this can happen is if there are transparent protocols in place.
Why Transparency Is So Important
Without transparency protocols, working with a local marketing agency can be a nightmare that is not only frustrating but could also cost you money because they will generally fail to maximize your marketing investment. Unfortunately, without transparency, you won’t know if they are or if they’re not effectively managing your campaigns. You will only be able to detect the problems once the damage has been done and your SEO rankings have dropped, your marketing budget has increased, and your leads run dry.
So how do you prevent this from happening? You need the right marketing software. You need tools that can provide complete transparency in all work performed by your agency. This enables you to see exactly what’s happening on your account and to ask informed questions that will help you hold your agency accountable.
To make sure you have complete transparency from your marketing agency, request written reports that keep you informed. Those reports should include a clear and precise explanation of the action they are taking and why. They should also show you how they are spending your budget, how many new customers you are getting from their efforts, and if they are reducing your costs and providing you with more effective messaging and marketing campaigns. It will also help ensure you and your team are spending your marketing budget efficiently and will help you grow your accounting firm more profitably.
The Most Common Transparency Issues When Using a Digital Marketing Agency
Here are a few of the things you should look for and/or request written documentation for when using a digital marketing agency.
- You should always have full access to every account your digital agency manages for you. Never let an agency tell you your account cannot be moved or that you don’t need access because they will handle it for you. No!
- Your marketing campaigns should be developed under your own accounts. Then you grant your marketing agency access to those accounts. Never allow them to develop your marketing campaigns under their account.
- Be wary of an agency that tells you the best way to build your local SEO is for them to create and host your new website for you. This is a huge RED FLAG because this gives them complete control over your digital presence. And if something goes wrong or you decide to cancel, an unscrupulous agency can hold your website and campaigns hostage or even delete them because you don’t own them—they do.
- Make sure you have access to real-time reporting and exact proof of results, not guestimates or summaries of the work performed. You need campaign tracking information, campaign analytics, industry, and competitor benchmarks. You need access to all this information so you can make informed decisions about how to deal with any marketing challenges, measure the effectiveness of your marketing strategies, and see if your marketing agency is providing you with a good return on your investment. Better yet, access all of this data in an easy-to-use platform so you aren’t bogged down with looking at endless spreadsheets.
3 Ways Surefire Local Marketing Software Provides you with Marketing Transparency
The Surefire Local Marketing Platform is proprietary software we designed to help you research, build, run, and maintain your marketing campaigns in a way that gives you complete control and ownership of your digital presence and marketing spend.
Our software helps you connect your website, pay-per-click accounts, and all your social media pages to a single easy-to-use platform. Meaning, you have one dashboard where you can access all your digital assets, marketing campaigns, and more. When using our platform, you can grant as many of your trusted local marketing partners as you want to have access without having to worry about losing your assets or control of those assets. Additionally, using the Surefire Local Marketing Platform will provide you with built-in tools that give you the transparency needed to keep informed and to make educated decisions about your digital marketing campaigns and assets while maximizing your overall performance.
Here are the three Surefire Local features that will help you boost transparency with your local accounting firm marketing agency.
1. Insights and Analytics
It’s important you know what you’re spending on marketing and the results you are generating. That’s why it’s so important that you have the right tools in place to track and monitor your data insights and analytics. Even if you think your marketing is getting good results without them, just think about how much more you could have achieved if you had tools giving you the insights and analytics information needed for tracking, and which of your marketing channels and tactics were bringing you the best results.
Using business intelligence marketing software makes your tracking and analytics almost effortless. You can gather your data, track your performance, and see at a glance how much you or your marketing agency is spending on your digital marketing campaigns.
The Surefire Local Marketing Platform comes with a full suite of analytic tools.
- Local SEO – With this, you can track the traffic from your website, monitor the actions of all your directory listings, and monitor your keyword rankings.
- Paid Advertising – This feature shows you at a glance exactly where you are spending your marketing budget. It also shows you your campaign performance and the stats for how well your ads are converting.
- Email Marketing – At a glance, see how many email and marketing campaigns you have running, and which ones are scheduled, along with the results of each campaign sent.
- Social Media – This feature provides you with all your social media network metrics, your online business directory listings, and the stats for any blog content you’ve published.
- Reputation Management – This feature makes it easy for you to monitor your star ratings, ask your customers for feedback, and respond to any new online reviews, comments, etc. your firm has received.
- Lead Management – This feature shows you exactly how many leads you’ve generated by phone, website contact forms, or through live chat or chatbots.
And don’t worry, Surefire Local makes it easy for you to get started. We will guide you through the entire setup and tracking process for all your digital marketing channels and campaigns.
2. Competitive Benchmarking
Competitive benchmarking will help you measure your online visibility against competitors. Some agencies try to sell you on vanity metrics such as social media likes, etc. as competitor research, but they’re not. These types of metrics don’t give you any real information about how well or how poorly your marketing strategies and campaigns are working compared to your competition and industry benchmarks.
It’s better to use search rankings and online customer ratings for your metrics. So you need to know who your competitors are and gauge their metrics as well. This will show you where you stand and where your competitors stand from a customer’s point of view.
Surefire Local has features that make it easy to gather intelligence you can use for competitive benchmarking. It will show you at a glance how your business is performing compared to other businesses in your area in terms of organic search rankings, leads generated, reviews, and star ratings.
3. Marketing To-Do Lists
To-do lists are priceless. A properly formulated to-do list will give you a list of recommended actions you can perform to see greater visibility, results, and ROI. With Surefire Local, our proprietary A.I. system will generate a to-do list for the best possible results based on your current marketing activity, as well as any areas you might have neglected.
The Surefire Local Marketing Platform can provide you with a wide variety of valuable features without requiring you to sign a long-term contract or make large upfront payments. Our platform will let you see exactly what your agency has done for you. All you have to do is look at the built-in to-do list to see which items have been completed.
- Add photos to your directory listings
- Send review requests
- Reply to reviews
- Update featured messages
- Publish a post to your Google Business Profile
- Publish new social media posts
- Publish new blog posts
- Review new leads
- Add new photos to the website gallery
Request a Surefire Local Business Intelligence Marketing Software Demo
Whether you want to use the Surefire Local Platform to create transparency between you and your local accounting firm marketing agency or you want to take control by putting your business back in your hands, we can help. Surefire Local takes many of your most time-consuming marketing tasks and enables you to perform them all from the convenience of one platform.
- Enhanced SEO
- Manage online reviews
- Develop and manage a referral program
- Email marketing tasks
- Data Analytics
- Social media tasks with pre-built campaigns
- Create, manage, and publish content across all channels
- Online advertising
- Competitor analysis
- Lead generation and management systems
- Business listings in over 70 directories
- 24/7 customer support via chat, text, and smartphone follow-up
Would you like a complimentary Surefire Local demo? Contact Us now for more information and let us show you what else we can do for you using the most cost-effective, easy, and effective marketing management platform available on the market today.