Outsourcing Your Marketing

This is a pretty amazing place to be with your business. You’re confident in your ability to close deals, you have the systems in place to make the offers and handle the leads.

Now you want to ramp it up and grow your business, but online marketing is a whole new world that you might not be super familiar with or you don’t have the tech gene.

This article will help you transition into outsourcing your marketing based on the type of marketing you want to focus on.

Outsourcing your SEO

First things first, there are a lot of snake oil SEO sales folks out there and it’s hard to filter out what’s what.

Trying to understand what they’re doing and why and how it works is a challenge all its own.

What to look for.

Here are a few key things you’ll want to see from a potential SEO consultant

What to ask them.

Here are questions you’ll want to ask them as well as some key things to look for in their answers.

  • How long have you been in business?
  • Can you send me some case studies of clients you’ve worked with and the results they’ve seen?
  • What’s your primary strategy for increasing SEO?
  • How do you build backlinks? (Watch out for PBNs – they could hurt your SEO in the longterm)

What to expect price wise.

You will find people charging anywhere from $500 a month up to $2500 or more a month on SEO.

In general, expect to pay a good consultant around $1,000 a month over a predetermined length of time. During that time they should have a pretty specific schedule of the items they’d be working on.

For example you might sign a 6 month contract where they will complete the following items.

Content
  • Keyword research
  • Optimization of existing pages
  • Recommendations for new pages
  • Image alt text and file name optimizations for high priority pages
  • Video recommendations and optimization
Technical
  • Google Search Console and Bing Webmaster Tools setup/configuration
  • Technical audit (plus implementation)
  • Content pruning and 301 redirects
  • Schema markup
Local
  • Google My Business optimization
  • Bing Places listing creation/optimization
  • Creating citations on 3rd party sites (Facebook, Foursquare, etc.)
  • Creating a citation page on your site.

Make sure they can explain how they will do the work and what they’ll actually be doing for each item and why it’s important.

Outsourcing your Google Adwords

There are generally two main reasons you might want to outsource your Adwords management.

  1. You don’t have the time to manage it yourself
  2. You don’t have the expertise to effectively manage your account

Adwords is a relatively complex

Here’s what you should keep in mind when looking for somewhere to outsource your Google AdWord’s hours.

What to look for.

Here’s what you’ll want to see from the Google AdWords consultant.

Depth of Expertise

In general, I think you will do better with someone who only focuses on Google Adwords. Instead of trying to be a one-stop shop for all your online marketing efforts. Because of the complexity of creating an effective pay per click campaign, you’ll want to make sure you have someone who lives and breathes PPC.

Clarity & Openness

Whoever you hire should be very open and transparent about what they are doing in your account. If you feel that they aren’t being very open or clear it might be an indication that they don’t really know what they’re doing or aren’t willing to commit the time to your campaign.

Ability to retain control

This might not be a very obvious one, but your PPC person should be willing to work within your account so that they can show you what they’re doing and provide you with a bit of control of the account. Remember that they’re doing this for your business, so it should be within your account and under your control. If at some point you choose not to work with them in the future, you should still be able to maintain the campaign that has been setup on your behalf.

What to ask them.

  • How long have you been managing Google AdWords accounts?
  • What will the reporting look like for my campaigns?
  • Have you ever worked with someone in my niche?

IMPORTANT NOTE – Many online marketers don’t recognize the difference between good leads for Real Estate Investors vs Real Estate Agents. Making sure to help them understand this difference can be a major determinant of the success of your Google AdWords campaigns.

  • What goals or metrics with you use to measure success for my PPC campaign?
  • If I decide to bring everything in-house down the road, what will happen to my campaigns and reporting that has been put in place?

What to expect price wise.

I would suggest going through our article on Generating Traffic Through Google Adwords to make sure you understand what your max cost per lead should be. Because you’ll probably want to combine the cost of managing your campaign with the cost of the ads themselves when determining you max cost per lead.

There are generally four pricing models that you’ll find in the market.

Percentage of ad spend pricing

Generally, this is 15 – 30% of your ad spend.

This can be good for companies who have a larger or growing ad spend. Generally, you’ll want to see a bit of a reduction in percentage the larger your spend gets. Also, a lot of agencies will require a minimum spend for this model.

This can be bad for companies with a small budget

Management fee + percentage of ad spend pricing

Generally, this is ($500 – $5000) + (15 – 30% of your ad spend.)

Some companies will charge a management fee to cover cost, especially if the ad spend is pretty small. You probably wouldn’t get a ton of attention as a customer if you were only paying 15% on a $1,000 ad spend.

Good for: Customers who want transparency and ultimate ownership of their accounts. When you’re paying a management fee in addition to percentage of spend, it’s harder for the agency to justify holding accounts as “proprietary.” This model also ensures there is a budget available for A/B testing, as well as advanced conversion tracking both online and by phone, text, etc.

Flat fee pricing

Generally, this is ($500 – $5,000)

Some agencies will charge a flat, pre-determined fee after settling on a scope of work and calculating the static costs related to managing the client’s PPC campaigns. Some businesses prefer the straightforward nature of this model, so long as the activities and services included in the scope are clearly defined.

This is most often a simplification of the management fee plus percentage model, where the value that would accrue per the percent of spend is factored into the flat fee.

Good for: Relatively static campaigns and clients who want fixed expenses each month.

Performance-Based Pricing

In addition to the three PPC pricing models mentioned above, on occasion, you may see a “performance-based pricing model.”

Under this model, most businesses are paying for lower-funnel actions –– think inbound calls, emails, form conversions, trial signups, demo requests, and the like. Some agencies also set up a commission rate with this model and collect a small percentage of revenue from closed sales, if they can claim responsibility for lead origination. This is most commonly seen in e-commerce and referral-based business models, and is also known as a “CTA pricing model.”

The pricing for this is totally open to negotiation. It could be $500 per closed deal. It could be 10% of the deal spread.

I’d refrain from paying a commission for the lead rather than a commission for a closed deal. Since the agency could then start sending non-qualified traffic and still expect the commission for the lead.

Outsourcing your Facebook Advertising

The strategies for outsourcing your Facebook Advertising are generally the same for the strategies you use on Google AdWords.

We generally recommend people start with Google Adwords then add Facebook marketing on top once they’ve created a steady and reliable Adwords campaign.

The reason for this is because a lot of your Facebook marketing will be retargeting based on traffic that has already been to your site.

What to look for.

Here’s what you’ll want to see from the Facebook provider.

Depth of Expertise

In general, I think you will do better with someone who only focuses on Facebook advertising. Instead of trying to be a one stop shop for all your online marketing efforts. Because of the complexity of creating an effective pay per click campaign you’ll want to make sure you have someone who lives and breathes PPC.

Or if you do go with an agency, make sure they have someone on the team who only works on PPC.

Clarity & Openness

Whoever you hire should be very open and transparent about what they are doing in your account. If you feel that they aren’t being very open or clear it might be an indication that they don’t really know what they’re doing or aren’t willing to commit the time to your campaign.

Ability to retain control

This might not be a very obvious one, but your PPC person should be willing to work within your account so that they can show you what they’re doing and provide you with a bit of control of the account. Remember that they’re doing this for your business, so it should be within your account and under your control. If at some point you choose not to work with them in the future, you should still be able to maintain the campaign that has been setup on your behalf.

What to ask them.

  • How long have you been managing Facebook ads?
  • What will the reporting look like for my campaigns?
  • Have you ever worked with someone in my niche?

IMPORTANT NOTE – Many online marketers don’t recognize the different between good leads for Real Estate Investors vs Real Estate Agents. Making sure to help them understand this difference can be a major determinant of the success of your facebook campaigns.

  • What goals or metrics with you use to measure success for my PPC campaign?
  • What if there are certain items I’d like manage in house? Will that be possible, how do you typically handle this sort of situation?
  • If I decide to bring everything in house down the road, what will happen to my campaigns and reporting that has been put in place?

What to expect price wise.

Again, this is very similar to your Google Adwords advice.

Percentage of ad spend pricing

Generally this is 15 – 30% of your ad spend.

This can be good for companies who have a larger or growing ad spend. Generally you’ll want to see a bit of a reduction in percentage the larger your spend gets. Also a lot of agencies will require a minimum spend for this model.

This can be bad for companies with a small budget

Management fee + percentage of ad spend pricing

Generally this is ($500 – $5000) + (15 – 30% of your ad spend.)

Some companies will charge a management fee to cover cost, especially if the ad spend is pretty small. You probably wouldn’t get a ton of attention as a customer if you were only paying 15% on a $1,000 ad spend.

Good for: Customers who want transparency and ultimate ownership of their accounts. When you’re paying a management fee in addition to percentage of spend, it’s harder for the agency to justify holding accounts as “proprietary.” This model also ensures there is a budget available for A/B testing, as well as advanced conversion tracking both online and by phone, text, etc.

Flat fee pricing

Generally this is ($500 – $5,000)

Some agencies will charge a flat, pre-determined fee after settling on a scope of work and calculating the static costs related to managing the client’s PPC campaigns. Some businesses prefer the straightforward nature of this model, so long as the activities and services included in the scope are clearly defined.

This is most often a simplification of the management fee plus percentage model, where the value that would accrue per the percent of spend is factored into the flat fee.

Good for: Relatively static campaigns and clients who want fixed expenses each month.

Not great for: Dynamic campaigns. Many businesses are seasonal and/or use specials to drive business. In these cases, both the management burden and the ad-spend will need to be more flexible.

Performance Based Pricing

In addition to the three PPC pricing models mentioned above, on occasion, you may see a “performance-based pricing model.”

Under this model, most businesses are paying for lower-funnel actions –– think inbound calls, emails, form conversions, trial signups, demo requests, and the like. Some agencies also set up a commission rate with this model and collect a small percentage of revenue from closed sales, if they can claim responsibility for lead origination. This is most commonly seen in e-commerce and referral-based business models, and is also known as a “CTA pricing model.”

The pricing for this is totally open to negotiation. It could be $500 per closed deal. It could be 10% of the deal spread.

I’d refrain from paying a commission for the lead rather than a commission for a closed deal. Since the agency could then start sending non-qualified traffic and still expect the commission for the lead.