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Don’t Lose The Keys to The Kingdom
If you’re working with an online marketing agency they will often suggest you use various third-party software tools, or applications. These tools can really improve your marketing and will enable the agency to work faster, which should save you money. But you always need to make sure you have a set of keys to these tools. So, which marketing tools do you need to keep control of?
SEO Management Tools
An White Hat SEO Management tool like Raven or Moz is fabulous in tracking keywords, rankings, and links. Similar to Google AdWords, you don’t want to start over and lose any data collected. Organic SEO takes time and focused effort. The power of White Hat SEO management tools is tracking over time and the ability to pull reports for strategic insights. No data = no insights. Don’t be left guessing cuz your data is in someone else’s hands. With that said, some clients feel that the online agency should pay for the tool since they are the ones really using it. Our view is that online marketing shouldn’t be a big black box. It should be collaborative and as transparent as possible. If you don’t want to pay for the tool, negotiate this point upfront. If your agency owns the account, then you run the risk of losing access to keyword tracking and ranking data. Ultimately it’s your choice; just know the pros and cons.
Domain Registration, Hosting & FTP
This one is so obvious I almost didn’t include it in the list. You want to manage registration of your domain (website url); you never want to rely on an online marketing agency to renew your domain name. Choose your hosting service wisely. Uptime and server management may seem like a commodity these days. However, you get what you pay for… in terms of service, security and impact on SEO.
Company pages on social media platforms (like Facebook, Google+, Twitter, LinkedIn) should be attached to a principal’s personal page or someone who is trusted within your business. If you outsource social media management, you can grant the user access to each social network. However, we recommend using a social media management tool like HootSuite. This tool provides great flexibility and a variety of access controls.
Online Marketing & Sales Automation Tools
If you use marketing automation systems like Marketo or HubSpot, again you want to use common sense when setting up these accounts. An online marketing agency simply needs user access to help you integrate with your website, email marketing (Vertical Response, MailChimp, Constant Contact) and Customer Relationship Management (CRM) or sales tracking systems.
Event & Payment Systems
If your business sells seats to virtual or in-person events, you’re probably using a payment and ticket selling service like Eventbrite. Again, your online marketing provider can be a user but you should keep control over the account. Of course, bank account details should stay private.
One final piece of advice: never give your account information and administrative passwords to anybody. Rather, set-up accounts together in-person or via a virtual meeting with screen sharing ability. Lastly, never send usernames and passwords together in an email. Privacy online is an illusion.
Did I miss anything? What account type would you add?
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