Unfortunately, there are far too many examples of companies being taken advantage of by paid media specialists who don’t work as hard as they say they will, letting client accounts languish and underperform.
At IMPACT, our team has worked with numerous SMBs who have come to us after being disappointed with previous results. When we audit their accounts in paid media platforms, we quickly see the problem: It wasn’t the platforms that were underperforming. It was “experts” who had over-promised and under-delivered.
Bad experiences can make businesses wary of paid media investment, but when done well, digital advertising that employs social media platforms and search ads can be enormously successful. You just need to work with experts you can trust.
Finding a paid media partner you can trust
Working with IMPACT means you’ll partner with a small, highly-skilled team of experts who will get to know your business inside and out. Our knowledge of platforms like Facebook, Google Search, and LinkedIn is superlative, and we pride ourselves on honesty and diligence.
We develop extremely close relationships with our clients, and this comes by way of regular biweekly meetings, as well as frequent informal check ins that ensure alignment.
In all relationships, we favor candor over comfort, and we will openly share our opinions and expertise to make sure you get the best results possible, even if this feedback is sometimes hard to hear.
We believe that trust grows out of honesty — and we never want to shy away from the truth. And we believe the results speak for themselves.
Why we favor an ‘omni-channel’ approach
Often, SMBs want to get started by dipping a toe in the paid media water, maybe dabbling a little, but only on Google Ads. We believe this approach is flawed.
We believe our approach should reflect the way modern consumers use the internet. People today move between devices and browsers. They might look at something in the morning on their phone, then have a full day of work, and then remember it that evening when they're watching television and scrolling through Instagram.
Over the course of the day, they’re switching between their phone, their work computer, their home computer, and more. They're switching between social media platforms as well.
Therefore, you need to connect with these potential customers in numerous ways. For this reason, we advise against focusing on just one platform. Instead, developing an ad strategy that shifts budget between multiple channels (that is, ‘omni channel’) acknowledges the complexity of the modern purchase.
According to Rachel Palmateer, IMPACT’s director of paid media, “The omni-channel approach allows us to reach people multiple times in various digital parts of their world. This way, we stay top of mind with them as they go through their buyer's journey.”
We see the best results from this approach. If you’re choosing to put all of your budget in Facebook ads, for example, you might be missing some opportunities.
The omni-channel approach “allows us to nurture the customer using different platforms,” says Rachel. “Maybe in the awareness stage, buyers come to us through Google, and then we get in front of them again when they're on the couch looking through Instagram with more of a middle or bottom of funnel ad.”
As our team collaborates on your account, this approach allows us to shift resources according to the data we get from testing and analytics.
In addition to Rachel, Jason Linde is our expert in Google Search Ads and LinkedIn, while Ali Parmelee oversees all things Facebook and Instagram. Joel Waggener is our dedicated designer who expertly blends our clients’ branding with ads best practices. All are extremely experienced, knowledgeable, creative, and solution-oriented.
The team is certified as a Facebook Marketing Partner and holds Google certifications in Search, Display, Mobile, and Shopping.
Our specialists collaborate daily to serve and manage their client accounts. Here is where the omni-channel approach pays dividends. If a certain platform is performing well or poorly, we can shift budget accordingly as we analyze data to understand trends.
This begins in the strategy phase.
According to Rachel, “The team talks through a client’s budget and might say, ‘Okay, we want 60% of the budget for Facebook ads. The other 40% will be split between Google, Microsoft Ads, and LinkedIn. How do we split that up to best accomplish the campaign goal?’”
Then, as we go through the campaign, we can shift resources as necessary.
What to expect: Costs
The cost to advertise a business varies greatly, and with paid media it is no different. Factors like industry, time of year, niche focus, and platform will all affect costs.
“If you are advertising sneakers,” says Rachel, “you probably have a significant number of competitors so you’ll likely need to bid higher for your ads to display.” The opposite could be true for more niche products.
Also, keep in mind that time of year influences cost, too. Advertising scarves in the winter will be more expensive than in the summer. Black Friday and Cyber Monday will drive up prices for everyone as companies flood platforms with ads about new products and huge savings.
Cost also varies platform by platform. Generally speaking, LinkedIn is more expensive than other platforms. But LinkedIn can drive better results than Facebook for some businesses — especially those in the B2B sector.
Rachel advises that a good minimum budget for paid ads is about $3,000 per month. Spending less may lead to ad campaigns that are stifled by insufficient budget, which could make targeting, testing, and gathering data more difficult.
IMPACT bills a base fee at the beginning of each month and then a percentage of ad spend at the end of each month.
For example: If a company is spending $15,000 per month on ads, IMPACT will bill a $5,000 base fee, plus 15% of ad spend.
So, that’s a $5,000 base fee plus a $2,250 performance fee.
After an initial period of meetings, strategy, brainstorming, and goal alignment, you can expect biweekly meetings with your entire IMPACT team. These are typically between 45 minutes and one hour, depending on client needs.
Additionally, at the end of each quarter you will meet to reflect on past performance and plan for the quarter ahead.
A trusted partner is not always easy to find — especially in the paid media space. Without intimate knowledge of platforms, bid processes, and best practices, you could find yourself at the mercy of experts who know more than you do.