PPC, SEM, Paid Ads – call it what you will. It’s one of those important digital marketing channels that all businesses need to be involved with, especially now potential customers have to wade through a list of ads before getting to those precious organic listing. It’s the channel that promises instant results – and who doesn’t want that!? Some businesses will do it all themselves (and good for them), However, others turn to a PPC agency to take the strain and do it on their behalf.
Reasons why agencies are hired
There are 5 main reasons why businesses engage the services of a PPC agency:
- Their freebies haven’t worked –
They have been doing it themselves, namely using their “free spend voucher” from Google but haven’t got it working the way that they had hoped / expected so need help.
- They have bigger fish to fry –
They might be an owner or a marketing manager, who has other / bigger priorities and want someone knowledgeable and trustworthy to shoulder the burden of such a time-heavy channel.
- Have an alternative focus –
Chances are the channel could be assigned to an SEO manager who, although knowledgeable in the field, doesn’t want to spend their precious time getting dragged into a numbers game and would prefer to invest their own time on building organic numbers, so wants someone else to look after it.
- No time at all –
Time (and lack of resource) is undoubtedly the biggest reason why a company will engage the services of a PPC agency. They don’t have time to setup the multiple types of campaigns, manage the bidding, appeal disapproved ads, keep up with the regular landscape and console changes and do endless on-going analysis of results to boot. If you put it that way – who does?
- In the game but not happy –
Sometimes they already have an agency in place but they are just not happy with the service that they are providing. Maybe they don’t feel that they are getting the right level of attention for what they are paying or results generally aren’t going in the direction that they want. This can justifiably lead them to look for better options – you can’t blame them.
Is PPC really that complicated?
Ultimately, PPC can be as simple or as complicated as you want to make it, depending on how hands on you want to be. There are a multitude of campaign types and sub-channels that you can utilize can drive new traffic. The choice should be down to you and regardless of who is at the helm, you should always be in control – after all you’re the one paying for the service.
The Paid Ads landscape is ever evolving, with new tools and campaign types for marketers to get their heads around. Take Performance Max for example… a goal-based campaign type that allows performance advertisers to access all of their Google Ads inventory from a single campaign. It is undoubtedly far more productive in the hands of someone experienced in PPC, as they know what extra ingredients to add. There are lots of new campaign types but they don’t all suit all businesses. Being able to tap into the knowledgebase of people who have real day-to-day experience of setting up and using such campaign types is usually worth the investment on its own.
The PPC jungle
SEM can be a veritable jungle for the uninitiated, so enlisting the services of a guide (and driver) in the form of an agency is a sensible move. In fact, they can embark on the journey (for paid ad sales) on your behalf, while you stay at the office concentrating on other marketing channels, whilst taking the credit for their success.
Strategy is key
Every business is different. Knowing where to position yourself to achieve the best visibility and gain the maximum amount of relevant traffic as a result is near impossible, even with a little knowledge. Having the assistance of someone who has navigated similar waters, knows what to look for and which tools to use to help you achieve your goals, is invaluable. A defined strategy is required. You need to knowing where to start, which types of campaigns to implement and for how long, how to build upon successes and what alternatives there are to be utilised when something doesn’t quite hit the spot.
Without a wealth of up-to-date PPC knowledge and time to spare to implement, monitor and manage campaigns, it seems like a no-brainer to get a reputable agency in. Note the keyword there… reputable.
Investing in PPC is exactly that… an investment. The idea is to take your budget and gain a return on it in the form of extra sales or leads for the business. By all means speculate to accumulate but do so wisely – not all agencies are equal.
Many will have your interest at heart, keen to learn about your business and become the beating heart of your paid channel, while others see it purely as a business where they can throw some apprentices at a campaign or two while charging a fortune, and see how long they can make it last before being cut adrift by an ultimately unhappy client.
Take time to ask someone else
Before investing in an agency make sure that you get at least one verbal reference, from an existing client who has the same size business as yourself or who works under similar circumstances. A simple 10-minute chat with someone who has real experience of how the agency works and what they are capable of can be the best 10 minutes spent in your calendar year.
At Digital Gearbox we pride ourselves on the relationships we build with our clients – it is one of the key factors behind our continuing success. We like a challenge (big or small) and have an unquenchable thirst for learning about different sorts of business and helping them succeed.
Agency & client – it’s a two-way thing
The idea of employing a PPC agency to do your Paid Ads, whether its simple Paid Search, Remarketing / Display, Social Ads or even Shopping, isn’t simply to hand them the keys and say off you go. If that’s what you’re looking for then be prepared to pay through the nose for a big agency and maybe feel more than a bit short-changed at the end of the day. Doing PPC properly with an agency is a relationship that needs effort, communication and collaboration on both sides to really work. The agency is there to help you succeed but doesn’t have your customer insight and product knowledge and that’s where they need your help.
Let’s talk shop
If you want to talk about what you think makes a good PPC agency, feel free to get in touch. We love talking shop and may even have some insights that may help your business.