The age old question that PPC advertisers will almost universally ask themselves at one time or another is should I manage my PPC campaigns myself or hire a professional?
Assuming your business is a good fit for PPC marketing, you will soon be faced with the choice to learn more about PPC marketing and self manage your campaigns, or outsource PPC management.
Of course, there are pros and cons to each .
Let’s compare and contrast each option to better understand the benefits and drawbacks of managing your own PPC campaigns versus outsourcing to an agency or freelancer.
Starting with the most common scenario, an advertiser managing their own campaign:
Self Managed PPC
Pros of In House, Self Managed PPC
- You have direct control over your campaign.
- You understand your business better than anyone and that knowledge can be more directly applied to your PPC campaigns.
- Save on management fees.
The main benefits to self managing your own PPC campaigns is that your knowledge of your business easily and directly applies to your PPC marketing. This is very powerful. Do not ignore.
Cons of In House, Self Managed PPC
- Takes time, effort and money to learn the specifics of a particular PPC channel.
- Mistakes can be expensive.
- It takes experience to avoid wasting money. PPC channels want you to spend as much as they can get out of you. If you don’t know what to look for you can lose quickly.
- Takes time to manage.
- Always learning. PPC platforms are ever changing and you have to stay up to date.
The biggest drawbacks to managing your own pay per click marketing is that it takes time, experience and skill to effectively manage campaigns. If you don’t already have those pieces, you will have to spend time and effort to learn. You have to be motivated to learn PPC marketing.
You will make mistakes and that will cost money. You will use your budget less efficiently while you learn.
Now that we have considered both sides of self managed PPC let’s take a look at the pros and cons of hiring a PPC agency or freelancer.
Hire a Marketing Agency or PPC Freelancer
- Access to experienced people who know what buttons to push.
- Minimize the learning curve. Campaigns tend to be more dialed in from the start.
- Can be less time consuming.
The main benefits of outsourcing PPC work is that you free up your time to focus on your business. Access to skilled and experienced professionals to get your campaigns started off right.
Cons of Hiring a PPC Agency or Independent Contractor
- Disconnect from the day to day operations of an advertisers business.
- Fees can add up. Any savings in advertising cost or performance improvement is often offset by management fees.
- You will spend time communicating with the agency which could be spent learning or improving campaigns yourself. Not that much of a time savings.
- Probably not worth it to hire an agency unless you have a $100,000.00 yearly digital marketing budget per channel. I am not exaggerating here.
Unless you are a marquee client for an agency you are likely going to be one of many lower value clients and you will get the attention that is proportionate to the value you provide the agency.
If you have a low PPC budget the management fees are likely not going to be a good fit for your budget.
You are still going to have to invest time to understand the basics of PPC to be able to communicate with the agency. Often times the time it takes to write and email or call the agency you could have completed the task. Communication with the agency is going to take almost as much time as doing it yourself.
Now that we have looked at the pros and cons of managing your own PPC marketing or outsourcing, let’s consider different scenarios of when to manage your own PPC campaigns and when to hire a pro:
When to Self Manage PPC Campaigns
You or someone in your business has an hour or two per week to learn the PPC platforms that are a good fit for your business and manage the campaigns.
Spending less than $3,000.00 monthly on PPC campaigns.
You want to be hands on with your PPC marketing.
You want maximum flexibility and the ability to rapidly make changes.
You are just starting to test the waters with PPC marketing.
When to Outsource for Self Manage PPC Campaigns
The best value you will find is having a PPC professional take a look at your current campaigns and offering suggestions for improvement.
Setting up your campaigns from the start. This will give you the benefits of cutting down the learning curve and help start your PPC efforts on solid footing.
Have an experienced professional set up your tracking to make sure it is correct.
Hourly consultation to help you learn more efficiently, avoid mistakes and stay up to date on the latest developments.
This is where advertisers that manage their own campaigns are going to get the best value. Having an independent PPC professional to setup campaigns and make sure the tracking is accurate, and as a knowledge resource to call upon.
When to Hire an Independent PPC Professional for Campaign Management
PPC budget at least $3,000.00 per month.
You have no interest in learning PPC marketing.
You have no time to manage campaigns.
PPC is a part of your overall marketing strategy.
You have proven PPC works for your business and need help getting the best value out of your ad spend.
This is the scenario where it may make sense to hire an independent pay per click pro to manage your campaigns. You know you need to market your business via PPC but just don’t have the time or inclination to do it yourself.
When to Hire an Agency
Have at least a $7,500 monthly PPC budget. You think about advertising budgets yearly rather than monthly.
You need access to skills beyond PPC management, such as web development.
PPC marketing as a part of your overall marketing plan.
It is more cost effective to hire an agency rather than in house employees.
Going with a digital marketing agency is for established businesses that have set marketing budgets and long term plans.
Now that we have a better understanding of the different PPC management options and when to apply each, you can make a better decision when deciding should I manage PPC campaigns myself or hire a professional?