You hire an online advertising company because you don’t want to do all the work yourself. We get it. But here’s the thing: Any worthwhile campaign is going to require a mild amount of effort on your part. Unless you want drop-you-in-a-directory, cookie-cutter advertising, you can’t be completely hands off when it comes to your campaign. You have to have some involvement to make sure everything that’s being put out there about your business is correct and that your advertising will attract the right customers. Otherwise, you’ll be misrepresented online and receive calls for services you don’t even offer. That’s a big waste of your time and money.
You’re paying your advertiser to do a specific job. Your participation will allow them to do that job with much greater success.
Advertising Campaigns Are Like Home Renovations
If you hired a contractor to renovate your kitchen, you wouldn’t expect them to do all the work without any of your input, would you? No. Instead, you have to tell the contractor exactly what you want. You must select the kitchen tile and cabinet styles, pick out the colors and materials, and stay in constant contact with the contractor team in case they run into a problem or have a question. If you don’t do any of this, your contractor won’t have any guidance and you won’t get the results you want. Plain and simple.
The same goes for your online advertising campaign. Your advertiser requires a few hours of your time at the beginning of your campaign in order to collect raw information about your business. This information ranges from company contact details to thorough descriptions of the services you offer. Your advertiser will only need to interview you at the start of your campaign, so you won’t have to be hands on forever. (That being said, you should always make yourself available to answer any questions your advertiser might have down the road.)
So, what does your advertiser need from you, exactly?
Answer Your Phone When Your Advertiser Calls
If your advertiser is calling you, it’s because they have a question about your business. Most likely, they need to clarify a couple of details for your website’s content or Google listing so they can make certain everything is correct. Often, if a major detail is unclear or unknown, they won’t be able to go forward with that stage of your campaign until it’s resolved. By picking up the phone and answering your advertiser’s questions promptly, you’ll not only be making their job easier, but you’ll also be helping your own campaign.
Give Us Some Personality With Photos
You need to set your company apart from local competitors. The best way to do that is to show off what makes you unique. When your advertiser interviews you, they’ll ask you about things like your professional experience, company values, and any other noteworthy qualifications that make you stand out. However, the quickest way to stand out to prospective customers is to have pictures of yourself and/or your team front-and-center on your website.
With your smartphone, it’s super easy to take good-quality pictures and submit them to your advertising provider. Even if it’s as simple as you wearing a t-shirt with your company name and standing in front of your truck, it will allow customers to put a face to your name. Plus, photos with real-life people in them (NOT stock photos) make your company look much more legitimate and trustworthy.
Bonus points if you have a memorable company logo!
Send in Customer Reviews
Your advertiser will want to add customer reviews to your site in order to show off your company in the best possible light. If you’ve received customer feedback—whether through e-mail, Facebook, Google, etc.—you should forward it to your advertiser. You should also encourage your customers to leave reviews whenever possible.
Speak Up If There Is a Problem
You can’t expect your online advertising provider to be psychic or all knowing. If you’ve noticed a problem with any aspect of your campaign, tell your advertiser immediately.
A common example is when a customer leaves a negative review on one of your pages or listings. Your advertiser isn’t constantly monitoring your listings’ reviews, so it’s up to you to let them know when an unfavorable one pops up. While your advertiser won’t be qualified to respond on your behalf (because they don’t know the details of the job or transaction and they aren’t the spokesperson for your company), you should consult with them and ask for advice on how to proceed with a professional response.
Give Us Access to Your Listings
If you’re going to pay your advertiser to advertise for you, you might as well go all in and let them advertise all the way. To do this, however, they need access to your Google My Business profile and other listings. That means you need to pass along your verification PINs as soon as you receive them. If you have any other existing listings or profiles, you’ll need to trust your advertiser with your log-in info for those sites. (And if you don’t trust them, why did you hire them?) Sharing log-in info can be uncomfortable in this day and age, but it’s the only way your advertiser will be able to ensure consistency and accuracy across all platforms.
As we know, consistent, accurate information is essential; bad things happen when information isn’t matching. Read these blog posts for more details on the consequences of not having a singular manager of your listings: “For SEO Companies, Two’s a Crowd” and “Hand Over Your Google+ Local Listing to a Pro.”
Your Participation Is Vital to Success
If you don’t offer at least a small degree of participation, then you can expect close to zero customization. As a result, you’ll be stuck with bland site copy, phony stock art, and an altogether boring and inaccurate campaign. And if any online advertising provider is promising a cheap, totally hands-off campaign, that’s what you’ll get. However, if you spend a little extra time and money, you’ll get a personalized campaign that accurately and effectively showcases your company. You’ll get more valuable leads seeking the services you actually want to perform, which means you won’t waste your time or energy on bogus ones. It’s 100% worth the small investment.