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How to Choose an Online Advertising Agency

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Posted by steve on September 9, 2011 at 6:11 pm

For many  businesses in need of advertising help, figuring out which of the many online advertising agencies to hire to help you grow your business can be achallenging and confusing process.

Here are  5 things  to consider that will help you make your decision with less stress and more objectivity. 

What Size and Types of Businesses Do The Agencies Serve?                

When it comes to agencies with or without experience in your industry this can be a tricky point.   While the  core principles  of online advertising are similar  for businesses of all sizes  , there can be differences, so it makes sense to hire a company that has experience with businesses similar to yours…  but not just exactly like yours 

Why? Because too narrow of focus can also lead to  a myopic view that is out of touch  with broader marketing trends and this can lead to dated, sub-optimal approaches.

PPC (Pay-Per-Click) vs. Organic Search Results

 Of course  there is more to online advertising than PPC and organic search marketing but they are the two largest, most well proven online advertising  philosophies  and agencies typically specialize in one or the other. This is a fundamental  philosophical decision  that will influence everything going forward so choose carefully.

Turnkey System or Another Hat to Wear

You are probably already wearing plenty of hats in your business. Right? So the last thing you need is an  online agency who makes more work for you  !  Yet unless you are careful you may get another hat to wear, a marketing hat that is,  when you bring the wrong online marketing agency on board. Here’s why.  Many agencies serve the role of consultant and are great at telling you “what to do” but not so great at actually “doing” what needs to get done.  Again,  choose carefully!

 Expertise and Experience   

How much and how varied  are the qualifications and experience  of the online advertising agency you are considering? Look for a wide experience base  in a variety of business markets and revenue classes  and look for depth of  qualifications  as well. If the agency only has experience in  a single industry or only one aspect  of advertising or marketing (e.g. graphic design, web programming, SEO ) then you  would be correct in having limited confidence  that this person has the  depth of experience and resource level necessary to pull together a completemarketing solution.

 Campaigns vs. Complete Solutions 

Thislast point  may  just be the most critical   comparing online agency to assist you , so  ignore this at your own risk  ! A website,  article marketing, email marketing, social media marketing, PPC advertising and Search Engine Optimization, 
  (the list could go on far longer!) are tactics NOT Complete Marketing systems.

 Demand  that the agency you bring on board demonstrate to you exactly how their SYSTEM handles these 3 “must have” components:

  • generating traffic
  • converting traffic to customers
  • creating nurturing conversations with research oriented potential customers .

Do not  be satisfied with  anything less than a complete  marketing and advertising system   or you will be putting your online advertising investment at risk  and maybe risking the future growth of your business as well with an online advertising agency that cannot deliver what you need.


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