Modern technology boom has changed the way we operate and think, and, to stay relevant, advertising industry has adapted accordingly. While the traditional advertising methods are still widespread, there is no denying that internet advertisements dominate the industry, often regarded as more efficient than, for example, magazine ad placements.
There are multiple online advertising strategies, since it also underwent adaptation, starting with simple banner ads and evolving to more advanced methods over time. Pay-per-click (abbreviated as PPC) is one such internet advertising model, which directs traffic to a website when an ad is clicked, and the advertiser pays the publisher a certain sum per click.
Often named the most popular type of advertising, it does suffer from one limiting factor – complexity. How to adapt an ad for a specific audience is a marketing art, hence why it is generally advisable to hire a PPC consultant or a pay per click agency. Here are several ways to determine if a specific consultant is fit for their position.
The person behind the consulting matters
The first good indicator is the consultant’s personality traits, in this case – responsibility, openness and enthusiasm. A professional consultant will be prompt in answering e-mails and business inquiries, and show interest in getting to know your company and its needs, learning the appropriate terminology and making effort to understand your business.
It is important that they are a professional and responsible individual, to ensure your business cooperation is stable and as smooth as possible.
Furthermore, they will not hide their previous track record of their work, and will have a portfolio to show you. Asking them for a sample report or a showcase of their previous clients is advised, since it will give you tangible proof of what you might expect, and at what price. Additionally, depending on how long they have work in the advertising industry, they should have testimonials or letters of recommendations for previous clients and companies which attest to their skills.
Simplicity – the key to success
Secondly, they have to be able to explain the outline and their plans in a clear and relatively simple way. Of course, advertising requires a lot of knowledge of the advertising industry and marketing strategies.
However, it is not neuroscience levels of complicated, and, as such, your consultant should be able to present their intentions in a way that you understand where exactly your money goes and what precisely they are doing. If at any point they are unable to explain something in clear and concise language to you, it is a good reason for suspicion.
Moreover, not only should they be easy to understand, but also honest and make little to no promises. A decent specialist avoids speculating and over exaggeration, and, as a result, will keep their promises to a minimum. Their goals and plans should be realistic and backed up by data analysis, not wild promises without any tangible way to realise them.
Success is the prize of the fittest
Thirdly, adaptability is a significant factor, too. An excellent consultant means nothing if they are unwilling to adapt to your needs and desires. As the one who invests money in ad placements with the interest of increasing profits, you are the one with the ultimate saying power over the decisions, and, if you prefer working in a certain way, your consultant should take that into consideration.
Naturally, part of the reason for hiring a consultant is a new insight, but, regardless, if your company has an established routine, it would be advisable to seek out a consultant who is able to adhere to your instructions. For it to work, it has to be a comfortable arrangement for both of you.
Test run before the commitment
To determine how fit the consultant is for you, it is excellent if they offer a free assessment of your company – a general overview of your advertisement placement practices.
Much like psychologists offer an introductory meeting to help you figure out if you are comfortable with them to continue your sessions before forming a long-term financial commitment, a good consultant will not be too reluctant to give a free assessment.
It is not terribly difficult to perform (since it is a general overview of your website or your company’s practices), and is crucial, since, for the consultant, it is an opportunity to be introduced to your company, its general history and operating practices, while for you it is a chance to get to know your potential consultant and test how good they are. It is significant to see how they do what they do before you decide to hire them, since your practices have to align, at least, somewhat.
Innovation drives progress
Having similar working styles, however, does not mean that they should not be innovative. On the contrary, a consultant should be suggesting fresh ideas and strategies, based on their research and market analysis, showing the intent to watch your company grow. Their new ideas and potential risks should be innovative, but well analysed and based on collected data.
Additionally, they will strive to improve at any opportunity. They will be interested in doing research and comparing statistics to see new or potential trends in ad placement, to provide you with a significant advantage. They will use their research results to improve and adjust the advertising campaigns to yield you the best results at as low price as possible, managing a balance of effectiveness and efficiency.
Knowledge of analysis software is an advantage
Data analysis, naturally, requires knowledge of data collecting software, most notably, Google Analytics. Measuring the flow of traffic, which ads are clicked more and how it impacts your website is important if you want to improve the quality of your online advertising campaigns, and so, the knowledge of Google Analytics (or similar software) should be a prerequisite.
And, finally, it does not hurt to check if your potential consultant is Google Certified. Google AdWords is the leader in PPC advertising, and a consultant who is also a Google AdWords Certified Partner certainly sets up good reputation, as certification tests get more and more challenging to pass each year.
The only caveat here would be the fact that good, but relatively new consultants, with comparatively low experience in the actual market, are not usually certified partners, since passing the test requires a lot of on-the-job experience, so it is not the deciding factor. However, your consultant being approved by Google is certainly extra advantage and should not be completely dismissed.
At the end of the day, it is your website, and you are the person making the investments, so you are absolutely in the right to be as picky as you wish. Your consultant should cater to you and your needs, not vice versa, so you should take all the steps necessary to ensure that your potential consultant fits you as best as possible.