Clearly this post could be seen as slightly biased – I own a paid social agency.
That being said, the reason my business exists is I genuinely believe in the value companies like ours can bring to the table when investing in either paid social or paid search.
The short version is; if you’re investing heavily in proving or scaling a channel, having the required expertise in place to completely own performance makes your investment exponentially more valuable.
We’ve seen plenty of accounts that waste more spend than a decent agency fee, which always feels like a short sighted error when you consider that the errors were avoidable and the additional value would more than make up for the costs involved.
Here are my thoughts on where a good agency should be adding value to your campaigns.
Possibly the biggest value add of any successful client and agency relationship is experience outside expertise can bring to the table.
What you are really investing in is a team of people that have been through the mill. They’ve seen successes, they’ve seen failures and the right team will be able to apply this experience to your account.
This means a much quicker route to a set of campaigns that will deliver the maximum potential results for your business.
Depth of Knowledge
It’s almost impossible to beat the knowledge that comes with a true specialist. Absolutely nothing can replace the knowledge that comes from being in the platform day in and day out.
Add that together with a genuine passion for paid social and you’ll have people working on your accounts that are striving to get better at their craft.
With such a fast-moving environment, depth of knowledge and being the first to know about any changes is exactly what you need.
Most marketing teams will be working across a range of channels and platforms. Keeping on top of each one at all times can feel like trying to balance 11 spinning plates on 10 fingers. Not possible.
Hiring a partner to manage your paid social not only means you’ll be getting the knowledge the channel requires, you also have the opportunity to delegate complete ownership of performance.
Having the right people in the right place, all responsible for the right things is huge. Motivate them in the right way and you’ve got a recipe for success.
Tools and Systems
Due to experiencing a plethora of challenges across many accounts, a good agency will have developed a set of systems and potentially also tools to avoid the worst issues and streamline day to day workings.
If you’re assessing potential agency partners, a great question to dig into is “tell me about your processes and systems, and the scenarios they’re built to help”.
What you get as a customer is a lot of learnings and a much more efficient approach to managing your campaigns. This means less time fixing potential issues or being spent on laborious tasks, and more time working to improve your results.
Avoiding costly mistakes
Yes, the goal with all of this is to generate better results (and ROI!) than you otherwise would have. However, there is also huge value in paying a specialist to help you avoid making huge mistakes.
Facebook makes it very easy to spend money but is often less than intuitive when it comes to diagnosing issues or finding all the regular ‘gotchas’.
If you’re investing heavily in paid social, you absolutely need someone who is familiar with all the usual traps and can navigate your account smoothly around them. You need people watching out for the right things.
With all the extra knowledge and experience you should also be able to rely on your agency partner for honest second opinions.
You may be planning a strategy that’s not going to work. You might be looking to scale spend in a less than sensible way. Your creative might not cut it. You need someone with the experience to jump in and give you a straight answer.
Sometimes these answers might not be what you want to hear; having a team that can tell you how it is represents one of the most undervalued areas of investing in an agency.
With all the points above hopefully one thing is pretty clear here – you’re not paying for a commoditised service that guarantees results.
You’re paying for the experience and knowledge to completely own the channel and give you the best chance of meeting your performance potential.
See it this way and you’ll get a vast amount more value from your agency or channel partner.
Which areas of an agency relationship do you value the most?