should you hire an agency for your BFCM campaigns?
Every year, peak becomes bigger and better than the last. Over recent years we have seen campaigns being launched much earlier than previously, with ads being rolled out from the start of November.
As each year rises in competition, the pressure mounts for retailers to prepare. With opportunities rife and demand at an all-time high, this is the year to really get the most out of your BFCM budget.
In this blog, we look at why leaning on the expertise of a paid media agency can reduce the stresses and strains of BFCM while generating your best peak performance yet.
how can a paid media agency support you with peak?
Analysing data, defining objectives, developing KPIs, determining the right blend of paid media tactics – there’s a lot to consider when it comes to your peak campaigns.
But this is an agency’s bread and butter.
Well versed at creating high-performing strategies, an agency’s focus is taking your business needs, challenges and objectives into account to form a strategic plan of action that drives results. With exposure to many businesses across multiple industries, the experience of an agency is unrivalled.
Alongside this, a good agency will also support you in creating contingency plans should something go wrong. This is all the more important during peak season. After all, the last thing you want to be doing is troubleshooting problems amid the biggest sale season of the year.
As a marketer, you have limited time to spend on numerous tasks. While every business is different, outsourcing your paid media can be an effective investment and buy you back some precious time.
Peak can take a lot of resource to get right. From planning promotions, to organising stock, to creating campaigns, all while keeping one eye on the competition and continuously testing and optimising your performance.
When so much time and budget is invested, you need to get the most out of your efforts. Fortunately, agencies exist for the sole purpose of servicing their clients. That means their time is only dedicated to driving the best ROI possible for your business.
As more shoppers flood online, it's expected that online retail sales will be worth a whopping $6.5 trillion by the end of 2023. With so many new audiences making their way into the digital world, it’s no surprise that customer behaviour had a shakeup. An efficient agency will have the processes in place to react to changes in the market.
Working with an agency gives valuable insight into the fluctuating market as they keep on top of trends with real-time data. Being both proactive and reactive enables a PPC team to spot potential errors faster and optimise your campaigns to make them as profitable as can be.
The paid media world is vast. A successful agency has in-depth knowledge and certifications in all things paid. From PPC experts and social media masters to feed management specialists and CRO professionals, paid media agencies have access to a wide range of skills and expertise. Leveraging their know-how, you can get the most from your BFCM campaigns.
Industry expertise is a must-have to successfully blend the optimum tactics that will reach your audience, hit your objectives and keep you within budget.
With so much expertise required, the best campaigns often leverage a team of experts rather than relying solely on in-house knowledge. Although working with an agency requires investment it also reduces the chance of errors and maximises performance, therefore offering better value for money.
partnerships and platform support
When working with a reputable paid media agency, they will have a partnership with industry giants such as Google, Facebook and Bing.
These partnerships help your business stay ahead. With insight directly from those on the front-line along with support if anything needs fixing, your campaigns can significantly benefit from an agency that holds a recognised partner status with these ad platforms.
access to specialist technology and tools
Working with an agency, you can benefit from specialist industry tools and technologies. We also complement these with our in-house developed systems.
For example, Google Marketing Platform’s suite of products are used to plan, spend and optimise your paid media efforts allowing us to:
deliver smarter and more efficient campaigns
provide more budget control
understand your customers on a deeper level
At equation, we’ve taken this one step further. Channeling our technical know-how, we’ve developed exclusive tools that ensure our clients get the most out of their campaigns. These include:
hilda: The honorary member of our team, HILDA is our proprietary monitoring system. She spends her time monitoring the ins and outs of campaign performance, performing budget checks across all channels and alerting us to any abnormal performance.
competitor analysis: Our exclusive PPC competitor analysis can find out if you’re losing conversions to your competitors. Providing actionable insight, we can identify your competitors, find out who is achieving a better cost-per-click (CPC) and gather insight from your sector.
tracking and analysis
When peak is done and dusted, you want to be confident in saying, “This year’s results were better than any other and here’s why…”. Or, if things didn’t go as planned, it’s important to be able to understand what went wrong for the future.
That’s why tracking and analysing your data is so important. But, it can take a lot of time to do this and the sheer volume of data collected across the peak season can be quite overwhelming. Your agency is responsible for setting up your tracking codes and accounts correctly – a key part of ensuring accurate tracking. Using the insight from your tracking, your agency should be capable of decoding your data and translating it into actionable insight ready for the year ahead.
looking after your shopping feed
If you’re an eCommerce business, being present on Google Shopping can connect your brand with customers at important touchpoints of the marketing funnel. But it’s not as simple as placing your products on the Shopping feed. If you want to grow your conversions, your feed management needs to be up to scratch too.
Many businesses choose to work with a paid media agency to get the most out of their Shopping campaigns. However, they then choose to manage their feed in-house, unaware of the specialism required to make Google Shopping a success.
So, why should one agency manage your Google Shopping and feed management? Having one team responsible for your campaigns and feed management can help drive even better results. It also prevents common challenges including:
lack of time
google disapproving products
slow response times and changes
An additional bonus, if an agency is already managing your Shopping ads, they have access to your paid data which can help to further improve your targeting. Working with a paid media agency with experience in both can generate an increase in clicks, impressions and conversions.
going it alone?
If you decide to go it alone this peak season, it’s important to plan for what could go wrong. Common mistakes we see businesses make when they don’t hire an agency include:
starting your peak preparations too late
not having a real strategy in place or contingency plan
not putting enough time to the side to measure and optimise your campaigns during peak
leaving building your audience data until the last minute
focusing too heavily on attracting new customers rather when cost-per-impressions are high
get more from your peak season investment
Peak can be a stressful time of year for many business owners as they prepare for increased traffic, sales and orders to fulfil. Now is the time to begin your preparations so you’re not putting out fires when you should be making sales.
If you’re serious about getting the most out of peak, partnering with a reputable, reliable and skilled agency can help you drive sales and get the best return on ad spend while finding new, and hopefully long-term, customers.
If you want to know more about preparing for peak get in touch with us to find out more about how we can support you during BFCM and beyond.