In this article, we will not describe all the delights of contextual advertising. We think everyone already understands that, in general, this is a fairly effective tool, sometimes leading to leads at the lowest price. We’d rather tell you something that is rarely spoken about in public.
Below you will find answers to the questions: why does contextual advertising often fail? What are the criteria for choosing a contractor to increase the chances of success? what platforms to use?
What customers of contextual advertising usually forget or don’t know
Before talking about the choice of a contractor, it is important to remember several features of the contextual advertising market, which not everyone thinks about, and many do not know at all.
- Besides money from clients, usually agencies also receive commissions from advertising budgets from contextual advertising services… This means that they are not particularly interested in reducing project budgets. The larger the client’s budget, the more money they will receive. In addition, last year Yandex cut the size of the monthly commission, and tied the volume of the six-month commission to an increase in the budget: no growth – no bonus.
- Turns out that it is profitable for agencies to spend as much client money as possible as soon as possibleto reduce your own costs, and to increase your budget so as not to lose commission from Yandex. Is this model beneficial to customers? Of course not. But as they say, what we have is what we have. Therefore, it is so important to choose a decent, qualified contractor who cares about their reputation.
- Many external factors affect the cost of a lead.for example, the general level of competition for a product category and the activity of competitors. That is why leads in auto are often cheaper than in plastic windows or kindergartens. That is, if you have a cheap product, you should not automatically expect that your leads will be cheap.
- Usually before the start of work, contractors cannot accurately announce the final cost of a lead… They can only make a prediction. As a rule, in the process of work, specialists create several campaigns or different ad groups at once, tracking the effectiveness of each of them, sequentially turning off the less profitable ones and adding new ones. If the contractor is sure in advance about the final cost of the lead, most likely, he announces it with a large margin.
- Cases when contextual advertising “didn’t work” are widespread… The client “leaked” 30,000-100,000 rubles to promote his product, but did not receive a sufficient number of requests. Or received, but they turned out to be inappropriate. Often the reasons for this lie in the incompetence of contractors. Especially when it comes to freelancers. However, some agencies also work one day, relying on quick income, rather than building a reputation.
- Contextual advertising is always tens and sometimes hundreds of man-hours. Do not give in to the illusion that contractors quickly set everything up and forgot until the next report to the client. In addition to the initial audit, studying the competitive environment, building hypotheses, preparing advertisements, specialists regularly check indicators, react to them, put forward new hypotheses, prepare new texts and launch new tests.
In addition to the competence of a contextual advertising contractor, for the success of a future campaign you need:
- landing pages with good usability, clearly articulated USP or competitive advantages, linking to any promotion, obvious call to action, etc .;
- streamlined internal processesespecially in the sales, shipping and delivery department;
- product demand: people should really need your product or service and they should see the benefit in purchasing it from you.
In other words, no matter how highly qualified the contractor is, if you have not established all internal processes in advance, have not studied the demand and have not prepared the appropriate pages, it will be impossible to achieve the required sales figures.
How and where to look for those who will competently conduct a campaign in contextual advertising
We will tell you how to look for performers using the example of the Workspace site – on it you can choose agencies, freelancers, and staff specialists.
However, you first need to decide what type of performer you need.
In our opinion, a full-time PPC specialist is most suitable when three conditions coincide at once:
- if you understand that you can provide it with the appropriate workload for at least a year in advance;
- if your company has an employee who can constantly supervise such a specialist;
- if you are ready to pay him the appropriate salary (for reference: full employment in Moscow is about 60,000–90,000 rubles a month).
As for freelancers, they are usually approached by budget holders who are not ready to work with agencies (below 30,000 rubles per month). And if successful, sometimes this cooperation grows, budgets and sales grow – everyone is happy.
On the Workspace, you can create tasks for freelancers, to which several interested performers can respond, and all that remains for the creator of the task is to simply study the responses and choose the best offer for yourself. There are no commissions from transactions or registration fees – the service is completely free for both customers and freelancers.
Agencies are needed, as a rule, in cases where budgets exceed 30,000–40,000 rubles per month and a high level of expertise is needed (by the way, when is it not needed?).
Workspace invites its users to search for agencies through tenders. Contrary to stereotypes, tenders are not difficult and not always bureaucratic. On Workspace, you can launch your tender in just 15 minutes and get the first responses on the same day.
You can use two scenarios to launch your own tender:
First, go to the directory of contextual advertising agencies and, using the filters on the right, set the desired values and then study the cards of suitable agencies. Those that you like can be added to the tender using the corresponding red button. After you have chosen several, you need to fill out the appropriate form, describing your task and indicating the deadline for accepting applications.
Start with a description of the project by filling out the contextual advertising tender form.
All tenders are open by default: any agencies that see the tender can respond to them. However, the author can make them closed if, for example, he receives a large number of responses and considers them sufficient for making a decision.
What are the benefits of holding tenders? Firstly, you significantly save time on communication with potential contractors: once you filled out the online form and it immediately went to several performers. You can also notify all bidders with one button about who you have chosen in the end. Secondly, you motivate agencies to better prepare their proposal, because they initially know that they still need to compete with other candidates for you. Thirdly, tenders sometimes help to save money: realizing that you, as a client, need to fight with other applicants, agencies often announce the most modest price tag.
Good manners when conducting tenders for digital services:
- time for collecting applications from potential contractors – at least a week;
- it is better to invite no more than 15 at the same time, maximum 20 (taking into account that not all invitees will respond);
- after the end of the deadline for receiving feedback, you must inform all bidders about your decision.
By the way, you can navigate the prices for contextual advertising using the service “How much do digital services cost”. It is enough to select the corresponding service for contextual advertising and the city – the service will orient the user according to the average value.
What to look for when looking for a contractor and what to negotiate “onshore”
Here are a few tips to follow to get the most out of working with a contractor for your business.
First, before contacting contextual advertising specialists make sure that your company has an established algorithm for the work of the sales and delivery department, all the phone numbers are working, the landing pages are fine, and so on. Otherwise, the advertising budget will be wasted.
If you understand that you have problems with this, it is better to contact freelancers or agencies that provide a different range of services. Such people will be able not only to give the necessary recommendations, but, if necessary, to modify the site themselves or create new landing pages.
Remember that when there are different contractors working on a project, each of them is tempted to dump the responsibility on the other. For example, a PPC specialist may say that things are bad because of a landing page that another contractor was doing. Therefore, the ideal situation is when one person is responsible for all aspects of the work.
Secondly, when choosing a contractor, you should immediately brush aside those who have no experience with clients from the same industry as you… For example (you must agree, it is logical), if an agency has previously worked with medical products, it already clearly knows all the legal restrictions, understands the expectations of the target audience, etc. Thus, it will not need to waste clients’ time and money on checking all kinds of hypotheses.
Thirdly, by studying the competencies of a potential contractor, pay special attention to casesposted on his website. In contextual advertising, it is especially important that they contain absolute values, not percentages. Keep in mind that the percentage values often look much “tastier” than they actually were.
Fourth, study reviews… It is believed that those posted on the contractor’s website do not show the real picture, because it is logical: an agency or a freelancer is simply not interested in publishing negative reviews anywhere. Therefore, it makes sense to “google” reviews on neutral sites such as Workspace, where only real customers can leave reviews and negative ones are not deleted by the site administration.
And finally, many market experts believe that it is more profitable for business if the contractor will work in the customer’s accounts, and not in the accounts of his agency… Thus, it will be possible to eliminate the pressure from Yandex on the agency and increase its motivation to fight for the lowest rates. Check this point with a potential contractor before concluding a contract.