Should I Hire a PPC Consultant or Self-Manage Adwords Campaigns?

As a small to medium sized business owner, running pay per click (PPC) ads using Google Adwords or Adwords Express can be a great way to bring potential new leads to your business.  But unfortunately, many businesses and organizations are throwing money away through improper account management.  If you think of Google Adwords (or Bing PPC management) as a game, you need to level up to win.

This could involve either hiring a PPC consultant to step in and work with your team, or find the resources to do it yourself.  This article is designed to help you get on the right track to whatever route you choose.  You could also hire an agency or respectable firm to manage your internet advertising, but for most small to medium sized businesses on a tight budget this can be hard (but well worth the money spent if you can find it in your budget).  For those that can’t find paying an agency for management feasible, this article is for you.

Invest in your marketing budget and don’t Silo your efforts

Whatever route you choose, you have to be willing to invest into your internet marketing budget. Without putting enough into a piece of your marketing like paid advertising, you will likely not get enough back in return.  My experience has shown me that the biggest reasons that PPC marketing fails for businesses is because they don’t put enough into it (treat it as if it were a game or underspend on budget), or have an inexperienced person manage the account.  There is a reason people make entire careers doing internet advertising, it can be that hard when you dig in.

It is also important to remember to not silo your organization into one method of marketing. All of your marketing methods should work in harmony with one another, and be tracked properly in Google Analytics or another method to measure ROI.  So if you run PPC advertisements, you should optimize your website to contain the same terms.  This will help you not only get less expensive ads over time, but help you win with user engagement as well. Similarly, if someone finds your PPC ad and researches your company further, showing social proof, and having your online reputation in order will go a long way as well.

Now that you understand that putting “all your eggs into the PPC basket” is not a winning method, lets dig further into why you may choose to manage your efforts internally, or choose a consultant.

Manage your oganization’s paid advertising internally

Pros:

  1. You are putting equity into your employees and advancing their skill level.  If you have a long term employee or have the time to learn PPC advertising yourself, then managing it internally may be a good option for your organization. The problem is that the learning curve is very high, and you have a to have a very dedicated employee with enough free time to adequately learn how to not just use the Adwords or Bing advertising interface, but to use it in a way that applies business knowledge and advanced knowledge of how the platforms work in order to best use your marketing budget without wasting money.
  2. Day to day management and immediate availability for changes that can work in concert with the rest of your marketing initiatives.  If your organization is in need of constant dynamic changes to your ad accounts, having an in-person employee can make things a lot easier.

Cons:

  1. Let’s face it, the reason consultants and firms are so good at what they do is usually because they have tons of experience, gained from practice with other people’s money! When you manage in house, often the experience often comes at the loss of your own budget over time.
  2. Professionals are people who do a task for a living. If you decide to run your paid advertising initiatives in-house, then make sure they are really, really prepared, or be prepared to lose money.  We will talk more about a few resources to train employees in just a moment.
  3. It takes time, tools, and more to train and have an employee manage your paid advertising.  You must have the time for self management, are ready to spend $100+ per month on tools, and find it feasible to send your employees for training which may be expensive.

Resources for training employees to manage PPC internally

  1. Lynda.com – One of our all-time favorites for learning PPC management.  Many of the courses are fairly beginner level, and it will take your employee a good bit of self discipline and the want to learn beyond the basics.  Lynda will get your employee familiar with the basics like account structure, match types, CTR, and quality score, but it takes a lot of self-training to really get good.  Learn more at www.lynda.com
  2. Digitalmarketer.com – Ryan Deiss is one of our favorite digital marketing thought leaders.  His online tutorials are advanced, well thought-out, and frequently updated, and improving more and more with time. Find more about Digital Marketer here.
  3. Follow blogs like Wordstream and MOZ.  With constant new insights from industry leaders, you can’t go wrong.

Hire a PPC Consultant to manage your paid advertising initiatives

Pros:

  1. You get a dedicated professional who has learned how manage campaigns and budgets that have already gotten results.  A good PPC manager knows how to squeeze every penny out of a campaign.  They know how to work with the paid advertising algorithm, which over time, can pay for the cost of the consulting itself.  If you are serious about running a PPC budget and plan to run long-term campaigns, hiring a professional is highly advised, and if they’re good, will probably pay for themselves through management alone.  In addition, a good consultant can tie in the PPC campaign with other marketing initiatives for even more success.
  2. Professionals often have certifications, advanced training, professional tools to improve management, and make it their job to stay up-to-date on current best practices for advertising management.  If you’d done any internet advertising in the past, then you really understand firsthand that the devil is in the details.

Cons:

  1. A professional PPC consultant can be expensive.  But so can losing money through PPC efforts that don’t work.  If you are at all serious about running a profitable campaign, have done the research in your industry, and plan to run campaigns for the long term, the expenses most often outweigh the potential lost costs.
  2. You have an employee with tons of free time.  If you have an employee with tons of free time who is motivated, intelligent, and really wants to learn how to manage paid advertising online, then it may be a good idea to put this person to work.  Although with most profitable businesses, operations efficiency usually has been considered, and this type of employee isn’t available.

Conclusion

If you want to make money from PPC advertising in 2016 and beyond, hiring a paid professional is often your best bet for actually turning a profit from your efforts.  But sometimes, due to budget restraints, especially with very small businesses, this may not be a possibility.  In that case, consider options to train an employee in house.  Just make sure that employee has time, motivation, and gets the tools, certifications, and support needed to make sure that you’re not losing money online on a daily basis.  Hiring a consultant can be the best of both worlds.  You get the experience of a professional that you would find from a firm, and only pay for the hours they work.

 

Paid Advertising, PPC Consulting

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