Finding a Google or Facebook Advertising Strategist is challenging. There are many strategists who promise the world, or do not even offer much true strategy. Many people come expecting that if they have a certification from Facebook or Google, they must have the ability to deliver their service. The biggest factors that truly determine whether they have what it takes, is experience, industry knowledge and their track record. Their approach is also very important, a data driven approach is going to set them apart. We use the terms agency, advertiser, and strategist interchangeably in this article. 

What Is The Role Of An Advertising Strategist In Google Or Facebook?

Strategists need to provide strategy. That is what you are paying for, strategic thinking in digital marketing. They must be able to advise you on what offer to use, help you with the creative and media. Before all that, they must set your expectations and do projections. That is the core of a data driven approach, the ability to crunch numbers and make educated guesses. This is the secret to online ads. Online platforms give you access to statistics, measured, accountable results, saving you time with automation. They deliver more than just brand awareness, they deliver measurable returns.  Advertising strategists must apply the data to a sufficient degree to not be guided on instinct, but on facts and figures and make informed decisions. We are such an agency. Here are some projections we regularly make for our prospective clients:

Google Advertising Goal Calculator (Numbers are all made up)
Facebook Ads Budget Calculator (Numbers are all made up)

Do They Understand Your Customer Avatar?

Understanding the customer of the business is another key consideration with choosing agencies. If they understand the type of clientele your business wants, finding your keywords or Facebook audience is much more feasible. Here is an example of an Empathy Map we use to determine the avatar for Facebook:

Facebook Target Customer Empathy Map

An avatar is a fictional person that represents your ideal client/customer. It is important in planning your marketing. This avatar provides direction in your ads, allowing to focus only on those likely to take action. You understand your product and service better than anyone else, but the role of a strategist is to get you more sales at lower cost.

Competitor research is good to have, and it is included in our service, but not a necessity for smaller campaigns.

Do They Have Past Results?

To clarify, if they do not have past results, it is not necessarily the case they cannot deliver if they have similar experiences. The best way to predict the future, is to look at the past. Have they handled similar accounts to yours? Is there enough similarity with the campaigns they have run for other clients? If you hire an agency who has been in your industry for Google, there is a great likelihood they will have many relevant keywords at their fingertips. See below on our guide to plan for Google Ads:

Are They Niched Down?

Following the requirement of past results, you should base your decision of choosing a strategist based on whether they are niched down. Niching down means that they must have areas of specialisation. We do Google, Facebook, YouTube and Bing Ads. This is our service niche. We are actively growing our law firm clients, which is our major niche. This is called a client niche. We specialise primarily in law firms because of past results and intimate knowledge of the profession. This does not mean we turn down opportunities from other businesses, but we focus on this. Our secondary client niche is eCommerce stores, with our demonstrated success shaping our proven track record. We always use data to determine if the conditions and goals set by our clients are achievable or practical. Sometimes perceived cost of the campaign is not in line with reality. We are not merely selling our services, we are building long term relationships. We take great effort to maintain our pristine record, ensuring you have a good potential for return even before commencing. Identifying less competitive keywords and less saturated audiences is something we do well.  

Do They Update Their Certifications?

certifications

Although certification from Google or Facebook is not a good qualifier of whether an advertiser is competent, if they regularly update their certifications and prove it, plus they have a wide range of certifications, then they are definitely serious players in their game and they truly treat it as a career profession. Companies who force their employees to keep truly updated certifications, to reflect actual achievements, rather than lie and say these certifications have no expiry (especially Google) are sloppy. The purpose of checking the duration of their certification, usually via LinkedIn, is to see how serious they are about this occupation. A Google certification only lasts a year. Facebook Blueprint certifications, are paid for, so if someone has it, they are definitely in the game long term.

The free nature of a Google certification makes it easier to get, and many strategists can cheat in their certification exams, but those who regularly update are likely to take it more seriously than not.

The Role Of Software

Software is nice to have. But do not simply assume that by having software, they are a professional. Although we ourselves have software, it should be noted that software is to make you more effective, not replace fundamentals. A senior, responsible, diligent advertiser is so much more efficient than a junior with the latest gadgets. There is no doubt software leads to increased results when used correctly, especially when used to report and give insights with more clarity, but process is what makes an advertiser unique and set apart from the competition. We use Plutio in our project management and communications, and that gives you, the client, with transparency and certainty.

Do They Have A Team?

If you are running a limited or small budget campaign, the right talent will take you far. However the best advertisers are not one, but a collective of advertisers, usually fulfilling certain roles. They need not be in the same company, but the agency must have access to these professionals. These are the types of skills or human assets a good strategist must have:

  • Advertisers
  • Analytics Analysts
  • Tagging Experts (Google Tag Manager)
  • Conversion Rate Optimisers (CRO)
  • Web Developers (Sometimes, case by case)

We have access to all this human capital, though our current core team is an advertising team of four presently. If you are running large accounts, it is critical for you to have access to this for  the strategies to be layered and effective. Even if these professionals are not within a company, but a collaboration, as in our case, the agency will be able to deliver better. An integrated approach will drive positive change more efficiently, and ideas covering more areas of the funnel, with a bigger picture. You are not after someone with one skill, but strategists with access to a wider repertoire of skills and expertise.

If you are not ready to advertise, but want to get traffic online, see the guide below:

The Worst Thing That Can Happen To You, A Set And Forget

lazy agency staff
Lazy Agency Staff

When you spend on ads online, it is easy for the agency to use automation. Now, automation is not to be avoided, it is the holy grail. However, automation is not Artificial Intelligence (AI) in this context. Automation is a result of machine learning. Every account should aim for automation. But humanity is yet to craft a machine who can produce excellent results for life. Humans must direct the machine, regularly. This is a discipline every agency must have. Modern technology has not produced machines as smart as us yet.

The worst thing that can happen to any client, is a set and forget. A set and forget is when the strategist simply activates automation and never looks at the account again. The impact this has on businesses is profound. It is like the agency does not deliver any service! This is our favourite thing to identify when auditing accounts of any organisation. There needs to be at least a minimal level of activity, even once automation is achieved. The activities of advertisers are vague and unknown to the business owner, but they represent opportunity to us because we demystify and explain clearly with facts and figures. It is always a challenge to find an agency that does not take the lazy way out, avoid plainly wrong practices or not look at the short term.

We have seen multiple instances in Australia, where consumers of this type of service just do not get even days spent in an account for a year and yet, they are expected to pay for months of retainer. We do not do this, we definitely will manage your account regularly. Maybe that makes us contrarian!

We have found many agencies with a strong profile, just not do the work properly, or even at all. Many do not realise consumer dissatisfaction towards strategists is very high because many are incompetent!

Conclusion

Hiring an advertising strategist, whether as a single employee or contractor, or even an agency, is not the easiest thing. There are many cowboys out there, who simply do not give a good start or a good feeling to their clients, and this gives a sense of mistrust for our profession. We at Marketlytics have the resources to deliver on digital advertising effectively, and we pride ourselves with the best practices and great industry connections to be able to source anything you need. We are best at serving law firms and eCommerce, but we can take other jobs with a little bit of a learning curve. We hope we have helped you find your Facebook or Google Advertising Strategist. Do you need an Advertising Strategist for Google and/or Facebook?

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