Are you asking yourself “Should we buy online marketing services from an agency, or hire/train our own in-house person?”
This is a great question that cannot be answered without first considering the following:
Can we find one person to perform all the online marketing services we could get from an Internet marketing agency?
Almost certainly not, unless you are very fortunate. Online marketing is comprised of different and disparate services, including Pay Per Click Search Engine Marketing, Search Engine Optimization, Email Marketing, Social Media Marketing, Web Design and Development, Web Analytics, and more. Generally, an online marketing professional is proficient at a few of these services, familiar with some, but incapable of being able to deliver quality work for all of these services. To cover these online marketing services, companies are really looking at hiring a team of online marketing professionals, driving up the cost of taking these services in-house.
This is precisely what an agency provides – a complete team of online marketing professionals, each individually proficient at a couple of facets of online marketing and collectively proficient at all of them.
Do these online marketing services constitute a full-time job?
Generally, individual online marketing agency services are not full-time jobs. Once running, Pay Per Click or Search Engine Optimization campaigns can usually be managed in a few hours a week. Web Analytics and Email Campaigns take more time, but are still not usually full-time endeavors. Web design and development can be very labor-intensive, but this work tends to be sporadic, only really busy when a new site launch is planned. Social Media can be very time intensive depending on the number of platforms and the amount of content.
By outsourcing these online marketing agency services, you can take advantage of a fully fleshed-out web marketing department, but on a part-time basis. Many businesses find this approach a very attractive alternative.
Am I prepared to keep these positions filled?
Online marketing professionals are a mobile bunch. Many take a position for a couple of years and then move on. In this industry, someone who has held the same position for more than a few years is a rarity.
By outsourcing these services, you are also outsourcing the HR headaches of keeping the position filled. When someone leaves the agency you’ve hired, it’s the responsibility of that agency to replace that person – not your company’s.
What is the best choice for me?
The “make-or-buy” decision is nothing new for any business in any industry. While there are many companies that truly merit and require a department of online marketing pros, many companies, especially those in the B2B space, will find online marketing agency services will deliver better results, be more cost-effective and easier to manage.
If your pay per click campaign has been running for awhile you probably have keywords and ads that have been added, paused, and deleted throughout your campaigns and adgroups. Your adgroups and keywords may no longer share that tight alignment that you (and Adwords) had hoped for. So what is one to do about it? There are two options; one start completely over and rebuild the campaign from the ground up using the knowledge gained from the existing campaign. Or two, use the current campaign structure and make improvements where they maybe so desperately needed.
If you are going to start fresh, compile your Adwords data from the last 3 months and begin to build a keyword pool using all the keywords that led to conversions and met the business’s requirements (performance metrics met, i.e. cost/conversion etc). Take those core keywords and begin to build out your keyword list with an emphasis on what worked in the past; all while keeping in mind what didn’t work. Once you have the list, begin to pare down and sort into categories (adgroups). Take a similar approach in identifying which adcopy were producers and which ones should be revamped. Pay close attention and look for patterns in your adcopy so you are able to realize which messages worked and which fell short when writing new adcopy.
Option two, the patch and repair method, while not as complete and comprehensive, you should still try to dedicate a few hours to making campaign improvements. Begin by heading into adgroups and removing keywords that have yielded little or no return. Think about each keyword as you prepare to remove them and ask yourself “Is there a better keyword or keyword permeation I could use in place? “; If not, hit the delete button. If your ad group contains keywords that have been paused (either by you or Google), and you can’t justify a reason to keep them …hit the delete button. Go through your Ads and purge any that are no longer working. Make a promise to yourself that you will revisit the Ads and their messages when time allows as well as look for other keyword opportunities in the near future.
The one piece not talked about was the offer / landing page component, as this warrants more than just a spring cleaning and tends to have more stakeholders involved.
Now that cob webs are removed and the vacuuming is done… you just maybe able to breathe a little easier the next time you login to manage your pay per click account.