Here’s What You Should Know Before Hiring a Digital Advertising Agency12 min read
2019 was a big year for digital advertising. It was the first year businesses in the U.S. spent more on digital ads than they spent on traditional advertising like TV, print, and radio. Digital ad spend is expected to increase by 25.5% in 2021 (the fastest growth rate since 2018), and by 2024 digital advertising will make up 74.9% of total ad spend.
Whether through search ads on Google, sponsored posts on LinkedIn, or video ads on Facebook—using digital advertising to reach and convert your target audiences should be a key part of your marketing strategy.
Some businesses may not have the resources or the expertise to manage their digital advertising campaigns. Here’s why hiring an agency like DVS can help maximize your digital ad budget and reach more of your online audience. Even if you decide not to work with us (we promise not to take it too personally), here are three things you need to keep in mind before hiring an agency.
1. Strategy First
Before jumping full throttle into a pay-per-click or a sponsored social post, it’s important to know how exactly digital marketing fits in with your overall strategy. What’s the objective of your campaign and how does it contribute to your overall business goals? Which platforms will most likely reach and engage your audience?
The platforms and ad formats that fit the demographic for a multi-state youth sports organization will differ from those used by a local tree service company. Plan on working through things like these (and more!) with your agency to create a digital marketing strategy.
Strategy building blocks include:
- An audit of any existing digital ad campaign
- Details on target audiences, including age range, location, and any other demographic info related to the campaign
- Potential ad formats and platforms
- Recommended ad spend, based on your budget, goals, and advertising channels
- Defined conversion actions and specific tracking of those conversions
2. Then You Optimize
Not all digital campaigns will perform perfectly the first time around. In fact, you should plan on making some tweaks once you have a few months of data under your belt.
Make sure your agency has experience with auditing underperforming campaigns and providing proactive recommendations on how to improve. You may have to optimize pre-click, post-click, or both.
Your campaign might not be reaching the right people, or maybe no one is clicking on your ads. If your click-through rate is below industry benchmarks, you may have to optimize:
- Targeted keywords
- Bid strategy
- Ad copy
- Ad format
A digital campaign doesn’t end when someone clicks on your ad. The whole point is to get users to complete a specific action like contacting you, downloading a resource, or exploring your site. If your conversion rates are below the industry benchmark, it may be time to take a look at:
- User experience (site speed, page layout, navigation)
- Your value offer
- Landing page copy and visuals
- Call-to-action placement and wording
- What counts as a conversion
3. Data is Your Best Friend
Making marketing decisions without the right data is like trying to hit a baseball while wearing a blindfold. Even if you have the right equipment and find your way to home plate, the chance of hitting the ball is extremely low. And you can say goodbye to your dreams of hitting it out of the park.
Before working with an agency, talk about the data you’ll see in the reports and how often you’ll get them.
Will the report include:
- Campaign performance measured against industry benchmarks?
- Month-over-month trends? Year-over-year trends?
- A detailed breakdown of ad spend, reach, click-through rate, conversion rate, and cost per conversion?
- Notes and observations on the data?
- Recommended changes to improve performance?
At DVS, we have a standard report template we customize for each client’s digital campaign. Reviewing the report together helps us track performance to goals and discuss any changes that may need to be made to overcome challenges or capitalize on opportunities.
Let’s Connect You with Your Digital Audience
As a full-service marketing agency, we have experience working with all types of clients on their digital advertising campaigns.
For some, we handle the nuts and bolts—managing daily ad spend, reviewing keywords, building out new campaigns, and setting up conversion tracking.
For other clients, digital ads are just one piece of a much larger marketing ecosystem. We also help with marketing strategy, branding, marketing automation, SEO, original content development, and video production.
We’ve been helping clients communicate with their target audiences for close to 30 years. Let us know if we can help you hit a home run with your digital advertising!