5 Questions to Ask When Hiring An Internet Advertising Agency
1. How do you charge?
Different marketing firms have different price and fee schedules, ranging from a flat rate cost per action, to a percentage of the total media account, to everything in between. Keep in mind that agencies will act as they are incentivized. So, those that get paid as a percent of media purchased, may have a greater incentive to increase the budget for your media buys, even if this does not yield greater conversions for their client.
2. What other services are offered?
Ideally, the company you choose will focus in the specific type of online marketing that you are seeking or need help with. For instance, most small business owners prefer to find a company specializing in paid and organic search advertising, who may also contract out social media, web design, or other services. This is to ensure that the company you hire is at the top of their industry, and fully knowledgeable about the latest developments in search engine marketing.
3. Do you offer guarantees?
While it may be counterintuitive, an immediate yes to this question should raise your skepticism. Search marketing is not an exact science, but rather requires constant re-evaluation as new data becomes available. Instead, look for companies that are as transparent as possible. If you have an existing campaign, consider offering it up for an initial assessment, simply to see exactly how they can help you.
4. How have you saved clients money in the past?
This question is great for exposing agencies with little experience or little preparation. It also is a great indication of the level of sophistication of the company. While there are a lot of answers to this question, at a minimum it should involve using third party tools to analyze and make recommendations about traffic sources, keyword bid management, and keyword selection.
5. What if I have questions about my account?
It is a good idea to have a firm understanding of exactly who will be working on your account, and how you can get in touch with an account manager should you have any questions or concerns. Ideally, you should only have a small team working on your account, with one person taking the lead and generally remaining available to answer questions or keep you informed about progress.