As a rule of thumb, most businesses spend about 1% of their revenue on marketing. However, the SBA recommends that if your business earns less than $5 million a year you invest up to 7-8% on advertising.
Many business owners in the area are looking for the best advertising agency in Boise to help them grow their businesses. However, when you’re faced with spending that kind of cash, it can feel overwhelming to find the right one you entrust your precious budget with.
We get it. Similar to any other business investment, such as an investment in new equipment, market testing, or product design, you want to know that you’re going to see a return on that investment.
The easiest way to figure that out is by choosing the best advertising agency for your needs.
But what do you look for in an advertising agency when you’re looking to grow your business? Many factors come into play, but it’s important to find an agency that understands your business and can help you achieve your goals. Here’s what to consider.
Do You Know What an Advertising Agency Is?
Chances are, you’ve come across advertising in some form or another today alone. Maybe you saw a commercial during your favorite TV show, maybe you noticed a billboard while driving to work, or maybe you saw a few ads scrolling through social media.
Whatever the case may be, advertising is everywhere. But what exactly is an advertising agency? In short, an advertising agency is a company that specializes in creating and placing advertisements. But of course, it’s a bit more complicated than that.
Advertising agencies usually have a team of creatives who are responsible for coming up with ad concepts, as well as a team of account managers who handle the details of each campaign.
And, before we get too far into this guide, it’s important to understand that advertising and digital marketing are interchangeable these days! An advertising agency usually offers digital marketing services, but some focus specifically on print ads or commercials, for example.
Generally, in today’s day and age, you can expect an advertising agency or digital marketing agency to offer any one or all of the following marketing services:
- PPC (Pay-Per-Click) Ads
- Facebook & Instagram Ads
- Lead Generation Services
- SEO (Search Engine Optimization)
- Social Media Advertising
- Content Marketing
- Marketing Consulting
While there are services that fall within each category mentioned above, that can help give you a general idea of what to expect when researching the right agency.
Now that we’re on the topic of marketing services, though, let’s dive right into our next suggestion.
Define Your Advertising Needs and Goals
If you’re looking for an advertising agency in Boise, it’s important to first define your marketing needs and goals first before you make any decisions or even start searching for an agency.
First, think about what you hope to achieve with your advertising campaign. Are you looking to increase brand awareness, drive traffic to your website, or maybe boost sales of a particular product or service?
Defining this will not only help you understand what kind of advertising agency you need to be looking for, but which services to focus your efforts on.
If your goal is to generate more potential leads, for example, you’d focus on an agency specializing in either lead generation or a service that helps with lead generation.
Once you’ve got a good sense of your objectives, you can start to narrow down your options. Now, start to think about your budget.
This will obviously influence your decision as different agencies have widely varying budgets. And, it can also help you narrow down the services you’ll be interested in.
If you’re working with a limited budget, for example, you may want to consider online advertising options such as Google Ads or Facebook Ads. If you have a larger budget, investing in a year-long SEO strategy and content campaign could make more sense.
Really, the important thing is to take the time to figure out what’s right for you and your business. By doing so, you’ll be in a much better position to search for and work with the right agency that is able to help you accomplish your goals.
Ask for Referrals from Other Business Contacts
Now that you know what you’re hoping to accomplish by working with an advertising agency in Boise, it’s time to start your search for the best one!
When it comes to finding the best advertising agency, referrals from other business contacts are like gold. Why?
Not only do they come from a trusted source, but if your business contact has previously worked with the agency, they’ll be able to provide you with a breakdown of the process, their results, and a first-hand account of what it was like to work with the company.
In addition, they may be aware of agencies that are new to the market or that offer specialties that you are looking for. In this sense, it helps to speak to others who have invested money in marketing campaigns.
Let’s say that one of your own service providers, for example, was looking to get more traffic to their website. They initially thought they needed a Facebook Ads campaign to drive a targeted audience to their blog.
Then, they reached out to an agency like Bear Fox Marketing. The agency explained that given their goals and budget, a different kind of campaign would ultimately be better and more cost-effective for the long term.
Now, they’re recommending the agency to you because of the expert attention and the personalized attention and assistance. Aren’t you glad you asked them for a reference?
Research Local Advertising Agencies
Now you’re ready to start. Assuming your contacts didn’t provide you with references that matched what you need, you’re going to have to start your search online.
At this point in the process, a quick Google search can help a lot. However, hundreds of results probably come up for the “best advertising agency in Boise,” right?
There are a number of factors to consider, including the size of the agency, its areas of expertise, and its client list. Focus on those.
You’ll also want to get a sense of the agency’s culture and how well you mesh with its team. While you can sometimes get a feel for this based on their website, we suggest also checking out their social media pages and online reviews.
Once you’ve narrowed down your options based on the general size of the agency and their area of expertise, you’ll want to dig deeper into reviews and start to compare pricing.
Do Your Research: Read Reviews and Compare Pricing
A quick Google search for advertising agencies will provide you with a list of hundreds of results. Hopefully, you sifted through those in the step above. Forget about working with advertising agencies that have numerous bad reviews.
You can typically spot a bad agency from a mile away when there are more than a handful of bad reviews on social media or Google My Business. They’ll all usually speak to a similar issue (“agency was unresponsive,” “their campaigns never worked,” or the classic “we had to break our contract because their CEO was insufferable”).
To narrow down your choices even further, though, take a look at pricing.
Chances are that you can discard quite a few agencies based on pricing alone. However, we’d like to take a moment to really talk about pricing.
Be Careful with Dirt Cheap Advertising Agencies
If you’re on a tight budget then it can be tempting to opt for the agency charging the least. We get it. However, we’d urge you to take a step back and consider what that might mean long term.
You usually get what you pay for. So, while you might find an agency that charges you $25 per blog, you can pretty much bet that the blog won’t be SEO-optimized and won’t move any needle on your marketing metrics.
So, you have to end up paying for 20 more blogs just to begin seeing minimal improvements in your content efforts. At this point, you’ve paid $500 and have wasted quite a bit of time and energy with the back and forth.
Wouldn’t it have made more sense if you had gone with an agency that charges a bit more but offers quality, experience, and results instead? You bet it would have been way easier!
What we’re trying to say here is that it pays to pay for high-quality advertising campaigns.
When it comes to determining a budget for your campaigns, think about the long-term value they can provide. If you’re investing $5,000 a month in marketing strategies and content but it allows your business to earn $20,000 in return, it’s a very worthwhile investment.
How Much Should an Advertising Agency Cost?
Now, you’re probably thinking, “Sure, I’ll pay for quality. But how much is quality advertising in today’s market?” The answer is that it can vary quite a bit depending on your location, the specific service you’re interested in, and the experience of the agency and its team.
A large agency with many employees will generally charge more than a smaller one, and agencies in major cities will often charge more than those in smaller towns or rural areas. And, each agency charges differently, whether that’s per project or by the hour.
Our suggestion? Research the local market here in Boise. Focus on those numbers as they’ll be different from numbers you’ll find for agencies in places like Los Angeles or Miami.
Then, revisit the section above and really try to focus on value. Definitely do your research and make sure that other advertising agencies in Boise are charging about the same, but be flexible.
If the agency you’re interested in charges slightly more but their results and experience are spot-on for what you need, it could likely be worth the extra cash.
Questions to Ask Yourself Before Hiring an Advertising Agency in Boise
You have probably narrowed down your choices quite a bit now. When it comes time to actually make the decision, however, here are a few questions that can be helpful to ask not only yourself but your entire team.
Before making the decision to hire an advertising agency in Boise, ask yourself the following:
- What are the advertising agency’s core values?
- How does the advertising agency work with clients?
- What is the advertising agency’s process for creating campaigns?
- What are the advertising agency’s rates?
- What is the advertising agency’s policy on revision?
- Is the advertising agency willing to sign a nondisclosure agreement?
- How much experience does the advertising agency have?
- Does the advertising agency have any case studies or testimonials?
- Does the advertising agency have a portfolio of work?
These questions will help you get a better understanding of the advertising agency and their capabilities. Be sure to ask for samples of their work so you can see if their style is a good fit for your needs.
This leads us to our next point…
Make Sure the Agency Has Experience in Your Industry
When you’re looking for an advertising agency to help grow your business, it’s important to choose one that is a good fit for your company and has experience in your industry.
First, consider the size of the advertising agency. If you’re a small business, you may want to choose a smaller agency that can provide personalized attention. If you’re a large company, you may want to choose a larger agency with more resources.
Second, look at the advertising agency’s portfolio. Make sure they have experience with businesses similar to yours and that they have a track record of success.
It’s important to look at their experience from two different angles. First, you want to ensure the agency has relevant experience in your industry, particularly if it’s a very niche industry.
And, you also want to make sure that the agency has experience with the type of marketing goal or campaign you’re interested in. Basically, don’t opt to work for an agency with zero experience with Google Ads if they’ve never run an ad campaign before!
And finally, if you’re going to spend tens of thousands of dollars with this agency, it can help get references from other businesses that have worked with them. Ask them about their experience, results, and whether they would recommend the agency.
Definitely Book a Consultation
Think you’ve found the best advertising agency in Boise? Great! Now it’s time to book a consultation. Most agencies offer these for free.
Initial marketing consultations are designed to help you get a feel for the agency and to explain what you’re looking for. So, be prepared with a list of questions you would like to answer on that first call.
If you’re unsure of what to ask, scroll back up to the section titled “Questions to Ask Yourself Before Hiring an Advertising Agency in Boise.” You can ask these questions straight to the agency, too.
Outside of getting a feel for the agency on the call, you’ll want to be sure that you’re not avoiding any tough questions.
You want to find an agency that you can trust, so be sure to grill them (respectfully, of course) on their experience, process, and results.
Ultimately, by taking the time to set up consultations with a few different agencies, you’ll be in a much better position to find the right fit for your advertising needs.
Ask Questions About Their Experience, Approach, and Rates
We’ve mentioned this a few times already, but it definitely deserves its own section.
Please, please remember to ask the agency about their experience, approach, and rates.
The approach aspect is quite important and often overlooked. Each agency does things slightly differently. And, they’ve all got their own different strategies and tactics.
You’ll want to find out what their approach to advertising is and how they would recommend promoting your business. In fact, we might even suggest presenting them with your goal and simply asking them, “What kind of campaign would you recommend in this case?”
This will help you see how much they know about your campaign objectives and, if they’ve got a lot of experience under their belt, give them an opportunity to talk about past projects that were similar.
Finally, be sure to ask about their rates so that you can compare them with other agencies.
Trust Your Gut
Advertising is, at its core, a business of how to sell things. As advertising experts, the agency you’re looking to work with should have a lot of experience in selling things. This is great, but it can also backfire.
If they’re good at selling things then they might be good at selling you on services that you either don’t need, won’t work for you, or won’t get you results.
Trust your gut here.
Just as people are drawn to things that make them feel good, they’re also often drawn to things that make them feel bad. If something feels “off” or “not quite right,” it’s probably because it is.
If, during a consultation, things start to feel as if you’ve just walked onto a used car lot and you’re being sold straight from the get-go then walk away. The best advertising agencies will be interested in your brand’s story and goals, not selling straight from the start.
Likewise, if you feel like they’re lying to you, providing you with fake campaign statistics, or aren’t able to answer very basic questions about their services and experience, then walk away politely and speak with another agency.
Make a Decision and Sign a Contract
After a few consultations, we suggest narrowing down your choices to an agency that fits roughly within your budget, has experience with your marketing campaign goals, and is going to be a good personality fit for you and your team.
Now, it’s time to sign on the dotted line. But make sure you review the contract carefully before signing anything. Pay attention to the fine print and make sure you understand all of the terms and conditions.
Some things to look out for are:
- Additional fees
- Payment schedules
- Payment processing
- Turnaround times
- Requested revisions
- Due dates or timelines
Once everything looks good, go ahead and sign! Congratulations, you’ve just taken another step towards growing your business with a great advertising agency in Boise.
Follow Up and Evaluate Results
Assuming you’re working with one of the best advertising agencies in Boise, you should expect to start seeing results in around three months. However, any advertising campaign should be evaluated for results.
The advertising agency should do this, though, not the client. Why? Because the advertising agency is objective.
The advertising agency should know what was supposed to happen and whether it happened. The advertising agency should also know how to measure results based on the campaign objectives you laid out in your pre-launch strategy and phone calls.
If you didn’t reach your goals, then the agency should be transparent with you about why (it happens!) and then work together with you to get your approval for adjustments and improvements.
Choose the Best Advertising Agency in Boise
We’ve just walked you through a lot of information about how to choose the best advertising agency in Boise. But what if we told you that you didn’t have to go through all of those steps and you could find the best agency right now?
Yep, we’re talking about ourselves! At Bear Fox Marketing, we’re a customer-centric agency. We know that your company’s success is our own – so we take great pride in working with you to build out campaigns and help grow yours!
Get in touch to chat about your marketing needs today.