When set up and implemented correctly, paid marketing can be a useful asset to your business’ holistic marketing approach. However, a lot of companies try to carry out paid advertising themselves and, unfortunately, get it wrong.
Without the right knowledge, paid marketing can become expensive and ineffective for your company - and quickly too! That’s why a lot of businesses tend to opt for the assistance of an agency to help them create amazing ads that produce groundbreaking results. After all, you want to ensure that you’re spending your money wisely, don’t you?
When seeking help, it’s only natural to become overwhelmed with the sheer amount of agencies out there. However, all agencies are unique and not all of them will be a sound match for your business. Working with the wrong agency can be incredibly counterproductive.
So, we’ve outlined the key factors of consideration you need to be aware of when looking to partner with an agency for your paid marketing efforts.
- Align your brand goals
- Budgetary and pricing structure requirements
- Identify key agency criteria
- Learn about different agency methodologies
- Compare working styles
- Narrow down your options
Align your brand goals
As with any marketing strategy, you need to set clear SMART goals for your paid advertising campaign. Otherwise, how will you be able to measure success? Plus, what are you looking to achieve? If you don’t have any goals to work towards, your ads will likely be way underperforming and aimlessly pulling in various directions.
Outlining your goals should be the first thing that you do when thinking about launching a paid marketing campaign. Remember, the clearer your goals are, the more chance you have of successfully partnering with a suitable agency to help you achieve them. Ensuring that your brand goals align with an agency is massively important.
There are several reasons that businesses may be running paid marketing campaigns. These include:
- Launching new products.
- Expand brand awareness.
- Nurture your prospects seamlessly down the funnel.
- Drive sales and increase revenue.
So, whatever the reason you’re looking to implement paid marketing, make sure you outline it before any conversation with an agency. That way, you can align your goals and they’ll be able to offer a tailored solution of how your account will operate and how they’ll achieve your goals - rather than generic information and previous client work.
Budgetary and pricing structure requirements
When looking to work with agencies, cost is always one of the biggest factors that businesses consider. We understand that keeping costs as low as possible is a natural instinct for businesses, however, we urge you to step away from this notion when deciding on which agency to partner with.
Agencies are made up of professional specialists who are all experts in their field. So, don’t be alarmed if the cost of working with them is a little more than you expected. After all, if they help you achieve your goals quickly and effectively, paying a premium price doesn’t matter at all, right? Paying for an agency will save you money through more sales and reduced spend.
We’re not saying that the most expensive agencies are always the most successful - that’s not the case at all. However, a cheap price may reflect an inexperienced service, so, you don’t want to leave your account in the hands of somebody who doesn’t know what they’re doing, do you? Premium prices indicate a wealth of unrivalled knowledge, experience and potential success - find the right balance for your business.
Different agencies operate based on a range of pricing structures. These include:
- Performance-based pricing.
- A percentage of monthly ad spend.
- A flat monthly rate.
- A combination of the above.
Each structure has its benefits and disadvantages, so it’s important to understand the differences before getting involved with one. A top agency will understand your needs and should point you in the right direction of the most suitable pricing structure that best positions you for maximum success.
Identify key agency criteria
What exactly do you want from your agency? Without knowing how you want your agency to help you achieve your goals, you’re going to struggle to make a decision on which one is right for you, aren’t you?
So, when scouting out the right agency, you should have a clear criteria in mind that you want them to meet. Your criteria may include:
- Utilise a specific pricing structure. After understanding which pricing structure is perfect for your campaign or your overall business cash flow, you may only be willing to work with agencies that follow that specific choice.
- Are experts in B2B marketing. Not all agencies operate within B2B marketing. Some of them focus on B2C or specific industries. Therefore, they’ll be inexperienced in delivering successful B2B paid marketing and may fail to fulfil the true potential of your ads.
- Specialise in certain paid advertising channels. Are you looking to implement Google Ads? Facebook and LinkedIn ads? Or, are you looking for a cross-platform approach? You should select an agency that has vast experience in dealing with all of these key channels.
Using your criteria will allow you to easily find the agency that works best for your business’ requirements or needs. The key is to be ruthless, otherwise, you’ll end up with an increasingly long list of agencies to choose from and it’ll be difficult to narrow it down in the final stages.
Learn about different agency methodologies
Once you’ve reached out and made the initial contact with your potential agency picks, it’s time to learn about how they go about delivering success. Firstly, it’s likely that an agency who’s willing to add client value will conduct a free PPC audit and outline any downfalls in current ad performance or forecast their approach of launching new campaigns.
This is the stage where you’ll get a true feel for the agency that’s underneath all their marketing noise. Your first impression will help you decide whether their marketing message is the truth and they really are the right agency to help achieve your goals, or whether it’s “a load of old cobblers” and it’s all just a smokescreen.
Don’t be afraid to ask questions. Any agency worth their salt will welcome onboard your questions and give transparent answers for your clarity. Questions show that you’re genuinely concerned about your paid advertising and indicate to the agency that you’re willing to take a hands-on approach with your partnership - rather than being a yes person and taking a back seat.
What are the bidding strategies used? How is keyword research conducted? How do you collect and analyse data? These are all popular questions at this stage and allow you to see exactly how an agency will be working behind the scenes on your account.
Compare working styles
Ensuring that your working styles harmonise is crucial to the success of not only your paid marketing campaign but your overall relationship with your agency too. If as a business, you’re laid back and easy going with your approach, the last thing you want is to partner with an agency who are rigid and don’t match your flexibility. And vice versa.
This will only lead to friction within your working relationship and may lead to it breaking down. Contrasting working styles is counterproductive and may hamper the success of your campaign. So, you want to be sure that you match with an agency who’s going to deliver in the same way that you operate.
That way, you can easily relate to them. Plus, deadlines will be set at a pace that suits you both and you won’t be expecting anything from the agency that you wouldn’t set yourselves to do. This is crucial. A lot of businesses are quick to be super strict with agencies, just because they’re an outsourced third-party.
However, it shouldn’t work like that. How can businesses expect standards, turnaround times and efficiency from an outsourced third-party that they wouldn’t set themselves to achieve? The best business and agency partners are reliant on compliance from both parties. That way, expectations can be managed effectively and satisfaction levels from both sides will be through the roof.
Narrow down your options
So, after considering the above-mentioned factors, you’ll no doubt have a shortlist of agencies you’re considering to work with. So, it’s now time to whittle those selections down to a select few, so that you can realistically action initiating contact and start having key discussions.
One great way to get a feel of how businesses work with their clients and partners is to look at their case studies and testimonials. Here you’ll see exactly how they work and whether or not they’ve been successful or not. Do not settle for agencies who don’t strive to be the best - client happiness is one thing, however, always looking to better themselves and improve is another.
Red-Fern are here to help with your paid marketing
When looking to produce amazing paid ads, agency help is essential. As you’ve just read, finding the right agency to help you achieve your unique goals and meet your individual requirements is key to success. At Red-Fern, our expert team are vastly experienced in helping deliver paid marketing campaigns that BANG.
Not only this, but we’re also determined to share our wealth of knowledge and help you set up your own paid marketing campaigns. For instance, we’ve created a free checklist that leads you through a step by step process on how to create Google Ads that are proven to perform well. Don’t hesitate and grab your copy today!
However, if you’re looking for a more holistic approach to your paid advertising, then why not book in a discovery call with one of the team and see how we work with our PPC digital partners? We’re on hand to answer any questions and alleviate any pre-campaign worries you may have. Take the first step to announcing yourselves on the paid marketing stage and get in touch!