Black Hat – you may have heard April or Lacy throw this term out during one of their Facebook Live videos on Tuesdays. (If you haven’t seen them, they happen every Tuesday at 2pm on our Facebook page.) But what do those two crazy ladies mean when they say it? What exactly are they talking about?
I won’t get too far in the weeds answering that question today, because we will release a couple of blogs later on that talk more about specific “black hat” methods, but today I want to give you a little overview of what this even means. When it comes to online marketing agencies, they can really be put into three categories:
- Those who use white hat methods of gaining exposure.
- Those who use black hat methods of gaining perceived or temporary
- Those who have no idea what they’re doing.
Those descriptions in themselves give you a little peek into what we’re saying.
Black hat online marketing, in a nutshell, is using methods that are not the most ethical or are not “playing by the rules” in Google’s eyes (or any other platform for that matter) to increase rank, follows, likes, or any other type of exposure. Typically, this will result in one of two things:
- A perceived increase in exposure, making it look like your online marketing is gaining a lot of traction, even though that traction is through bots, fake accounts, or people who have no intention of ever buying your service or practice, which ends up being a complete waste of time and money.
- A temporary increase in exposure. Sometimes these black hat methods really do work – but only for a while. However…once Google, Facebook, or whatever platform you’re using catches onto what you’re doing, you’re in BIG trouble. After this point, it will take a great deal of work and time to get back into the good graces of an online platform, and that’s if they haven’t completely deleted your account or blacklisted you.
Pretty scary stuff, huh? So, how do you avoid an agency who does these things? As I said before, we’ll get more in depth at a later time on what methods of online marketing to look for, but today, we’ll give you a few tips to get you started.
- Ask a lot of questions. A white hat online marketing company will typically be more transparent. They won’t give away all of their trade secrets, but by and large, they’re much more likely to give you some insight into what they do and at least an overview on how they do it.
- If it seems too good to be true, it probably is. If someone is telling you that they can get you to the top of Google, or guarantee a certain amount of new likes, fans, followers, or leads in a specified timeframe, please know that it’s a load of garbage. No one can tell you indefinitely what their marketing strategy can provide for you. All we can do as marketers is use our knowledge, creativity and expertise to gain your more exposure. We can’t MAKE people buy.
At Transformation Marketing, we are happy to be transparent with our clients and potential clients. We work hard to gain them exposure in the best ways possible and it ways that are right for promoting their business. Because as you know, at Transformation Marketing in Nebraska, it all comes down to Trust and Results!