What Agencies & Freelancers DON’T want you to know
Let me start this with a little disclaimer:
I’ve come across plenty of lovely agency owners that are 100% reputable. I’m not implying that all agencies are bad – in fact, I have a select few that I refer clients to if they’re certain outsourcing is the right choice. There are a lot of great agencies out there, but the point of this article is to provide some transparency on things not many people know about how they operate. Anyway, with that out of the way – let’s get down to it.
As I seem to find myself saying every week these days, Facebook marketing is a lot of work. Constant testing and tweaking and optimizing and launching. Trying to figure out what is working and what isn’t. Attempting to learn new strategies and incorporate them on the go. It’s a constant loop that I myself find it very hard to get out of. And of course, when you finally crack it something else always needs fixing.
It’s hard work and any agency worth their salt will agree with that. In order for them to do a good job on your accounts, they have to streamline it and niche down. Often, to keep up with the demand of it all, they resort to cookie cutter systems so that they can do basically the same thing for each client and keep things moving when it’s busy.
Don’t get me wrong, the systems they use are probably great – but they can only do so much for your campaign when they’re not given the dedication and focus a campaign requires to excel.
So – you think – maybe the way around this is to find an agency that specialises in your niche? At least if you’re getting cookie cutter, it’ll be closer to what your campaign needs, right?
Wrong. Instead of running the risk of not getting the focus you need, you open yourself up to working with an agency that is very likely also working with your competitors. That means that any wins your account gets will be translated into wins for your competitors.
Way back when I was first getting started in marketing, a couple of colleagues and I set up a business doing some white labelling for a weight loss product. We went to an agency to set up advertising for all kinds of marketing – Facebook, Google, the works.
And – as luck had it – we ended up walking right into the office of an agency who was already working for our competitors.
I asked them if would be a conflict of interest because they were already doing all of the same marketing and was assured it was fine. At the same time as we discussing this, they were texting the other client organising a dinner catch up. It turned out they were really close friends since they’d made each other so much money over the years.
Hang on. So you’re telling me you’re going to give my campaign the same level of focus and dedication as you will that of your best buddy who you’ve been working with for ages already? I doubt it.
Plus – imagine being the first client and finding out that your favourite advertiser and trusted friend is now working with the competition?
At all ends, everyone is suffering and there’s no way the campaigns hanging in the mix are getting the results we want.
If we’d worked with them, we would have been used as a guinea pig to run tests on for the bigger campaign. If not that, it would have been lazy at best. Oh, we’ll just slap on the system that worked for our other client and hope for the same results.
Either way, you’re not safe. If your campaigns work well for you, the same tactics will be employed in your competitor’s campaign. There’s really no way to get ahead when you’re caught in a loop like that.
I don’t know about you, but I want to grow my business, not accept whatever scraps of attention it will get from a marketing firm with overextended employees who don’t really care at the end of the day.
9 months ago, Facebook rolled out the Info and Ads feature, which allows you to see all of a company’s ads in one place. Many companies were outraged to have the campaigns they’d spent thousands on all out in the open for their competitors to see. What they didn’t realise is that if they were working with an agency, there’s a good chance that nothing was private to begin with.
Side note: You can also use this feature to start making your own ads. Look at the kinds of ads your competitors are running, look at what response it’s getting, figure out a way you can employ some of the tactics that work in your campaign. If you click “Read More” on each ad, you can even sift through the comments to gauge whether or not your demographic responds to certain techniques. Remember the golden rule as you do this: We do not copy ads. We use them for inspiration.
I found it so ironic that they were so worried about this “invasion of privacy” when the biggest invader was somebody they’d been paying all along.
Agencies have access to everything – your avatar, your revenue, what’s working for your campaign and what isn’t – and they use this knowledge on all of their accounts. Basically, when you work with an agency it’s impossible to get an edge or have any secret sauce of your own because all your competitors will have the same secret sauce within about a week.
Oh my word. What is the solution?
We all know that in business, you have to keep your cards close to your chest. In Facebook advertising, the best way to do that is to get your very own committed in-house ad strategist.
Instead of settling for cookie cutter campaigns, you’ll have somebody whose whole job is to stay on top of your ads and get you awesome results.
Instead of figuring out a method for getting ahead and seeing it everywhere (including your chief competitor’s Facebook page) within days, you can keep your secret sauce to yourself and find out your own method for rising above the trends and proving your value.
Don’t have one, or maybe you’re the “one” but your training is starting to feel a little … *cough* outdated?
When I was an in-house strategist, this was my constant concern. How do I know what I know is the right thing to know? Who can I reach out to when it feels like it’s not?
It was a very lonely time without proper support and a mentor. Where’s the sounding board? There are so many Facebook groups out there claiming to have all the answers without having ever applied it anywhere. How do you know what and who to trust?
We’ve created a system to work alongside our clients and set them up with their very own in-house ad strategist with proven, world-class training.
Whether you are new to all of it and want to learn how for yourself or perhaps want to equip someone in your team with the tools to take you to the next level, we’re here for you. We work hand-in-hand with companies to set them up for success, no matter the algorithms or the trends.
If you’re interested in getting 100% focus, head over to Social Charlie to connect with us about getting started. Book a call and we have have a call to discuss what works best for you and then outline a path to get there.
Looking forward to connecting with you!