Hiring any contractor to work within your business is a big deal. Period.
By giving someone access to your assets, and in this case, access to your public profiles and the ability to add, moderate or remove content from your social media accounts, you’re trusting them with your voice and your reputation. It’s no small exchange.
As the world of advertising is shifting to digital media, many business owners are finding themselves in a situation where they need to outsource their digital marketing.
The good news is that there are tens of thousands of people available for this line of work. Digital marketing has become a highly sought-after skill, and as such, many people have shifted their focus to be able to provide these services.
The bad news…not all digital marketers are created equally. Some may be able to deliver phenomenal results for your business while others can do more harm than good for your brand.
So how do you know who to hire?
Ask the following 5 questions, and you’ll be in a strong position to make the best decision.
1. What is your ads philosophy/strategy?
This may seem like an odd question… Obviously, marketers want to run ads that get great results for their clients. We get that. But the highest quality marketers have a clear philosophy which they use as the basis for generating a strong strategy for their ads.
- If you ask this question and the marketer stumbles with a response or gives a line about “we believe in making our clients money!”… Not such a good sign. They’re likely inexperienced or may be so focused on the dollar signs, that they miss out on the relationship aspect of marketing.
- If you ask this question and they give you a line of technical jargon which leaves you feeling like you’ve just listened to someone speaking a different language… Probably also not such a good sign. In my experience, the “jargon spiel” is often the result of inexperience. It’s easy to memorize the terminology used by an industry, it’s not as easy to be able to communicate what ACTUALLY happens in an industry in a way that makes SENSE to people not in that industry.
- If you ask this question and they give you a practical, understandable response which makes sense and feels cohesive with your brand… you’re on the right track!
2. What platform(s) do you specialize in?
Here’s the thing…no one can know everything about everything. If you’re looking to work with a larger company that works with multiple platforms, find out how they divide the work and how the platforms will work together. It’s important to keep in mind that it’s typically better to be really good at one or two platforms, than to be mediocre across many. I highly encourage you to do a deep dive into the minds of your target customer and determine which platforms they’re likely to spend the most time on. Then seek out agencies which specialize in that platform. If you are really determined you want to be on multiple platforms and want to bundle all your ad services into one agency, look for an agency which has separate “teams” which specialize in each platform.
3. How often does your team review ad policies?
This is big. Social media platforms tend to have pretty strict advertising policies which all marketers are required to adhere to. Failure to adhere to these policies could result in their client’s ad account being PERMANENTLY DISABLED. That means your account would no longer be able to advertise on that platform. To make matters worse, most platforms don’t send out notices to advertisers or account holders when changes are made in the advertising policies, so it’s crucial that marketers review the policies regularly.
4. Ask them about their experience.
KEEP IN MIND that digital marketing is a fairly new industry, so the number of years that someone has been running ads isn’t necessarily a “make or break” factor. You should be looking for information about things like: industries which they’ve run ads for in the past, screen shots of results from campaigns their running, what trainings or certifications they have completed and what type of brands are their favorite to run ads for. This gives you an idea of A) whether or not they’re a good fit for your industry and brand B) whether or not they’ve actually run successful ads in the past and C) how serious/ambitious they are about bettering themselves and their work.
5. Ask them what their policies around client communication are.
Part of finding an agency or freelancer that is a good fit for your brand is ensuring that your communication styles and expectations work well together. If you know you’re the kind of person who likes frequent updates and wants to approve all ads or posts before they go live, make sure that the marketer is on board with that. If you prefer phone calls over email, make sure that is something the marketer is willing to do. Find out how frequently you’ll be having scheduled meetings with them and what their policy is for communication in between those scheduled meetings. It’s important that you are REALISTIC with your expectations. If you KNOW you want step-by-step, detailed of everything that is happening in your accounts, you’re going to need to find someone who can satisfy that expectation. In some cases, it may be a matter of hiring someone on as an internal team member vs. outsourcing a freelancer or agency who is also working with other clients.
6. Ask them for a sample agreement/contract and review it thoroughly.
You should be aware of how they’re determining their targeting for ads, what campaigns are included in their agreement, costs for creating and managing included campaigns, costs for additional campaigns, any extra areas where additional costs may be incurred, creative development (do they generate the text and graphics for ads or will they request those from your team), what reporting is provided, and exactly what services are included in their fee.
Taking on a digital marketer is a big step toward expanding your business. Use these questions to help you make the RIGHT decision and grow your business to new heights!