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Can advertising agencies deliver real benefits for small businesses?

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Aren’t advertising agencies expensive?

Historically, the mere mention of advertising agencies conjures up thoughts of trendy young executives, in plush offices, charging ridiculous sums. Allocating sufficient funds for hiring advertising agencies has traditionally been seen as an unaffordable luxury for small businesses. Surely, it can’t make financial sense for start-ups or small, growing enterprises with minimal spare funds, can it? In today’s diverse and integrated business world however, this couldn’t be further from the truth.

Fact is that these days, successful advertising agencies are often smaller, multi-disciplined teams and much more competitive. Proven advertising expertise on high-performing platforms is therefore available from many ‘micro’, dedicated teams, particularly within online advertising. As a result, many experienced advertising agencies now provide significant results for your budget at a much lower cost.

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The value of experience and accountability for a small business

Trusting an agency to get their advertising right can be critical for a small business. Experienced advertising agencies know that it’s not just about creative messaging and visual impact, although those are major success factors. You may, for example, have a similar brand or message as a competitor, needing copyright expertise. Advertising must also conform to strict rules of being honest, decent and fair, as set by the Advertising Standards Authority. Falling foul of these rules or landing yourself in court due to copyright infringement can have dire consequences. If the worst happens, advertising agencies usually carry indemnity insurance so that costly mistakes can be rectified.

Hiring an agency also makes them accountable for their proposals. If results simply aren’t happening as planned, you can question their strategies and demand recourse. You may even decide to change agency. In-house employees can’t really be treated in quite the same way.

An advertising agency should always provide experience of working with small businesses looking to grow. That may come from within the client’s industry or outside of it, depending on what the business is seeking. For example, an agency that knows the industry inside out won’t need time to learn about a niche audience. Alternatively, an agency that can look at challenges from a completely fresh perspective, without any baggage, can create surprising ideas.

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Advertising agencies can save a small business time and money

As most advertising agencies work with multiple clients, they have existing relationships with media houses and therefore command better rates. This will often offset any agency fees. As experienced media buyers, agencies also know the fair market value for marketing platforms, media and web space. Also, whenever media owners have special deals they always go to agencies first to get it sold quickly. Small business clients can then get premium space at a fraction of media rate card as a result. Agency expertise on placing advertising within certain media can also maximise a budget for small businesses whilst still remaining effective.

As a small business, needing to focus on productivity and growth, do you have time to create successful advertising campaigns? Business owners have the ultimate responsibility of ensuring their advertising aligns with their brand and goals. However, small business owners very often get bogged down in micromanaging the details of their own marketing plans. Not a terribly smart use of their time.

By working with an advertising agency, small businesses can really speed up the entire process of creating effective advertising campaigns. The ad agency can then analyse the results of their advertising strategies, leaving small businesses to handle more pressing matters.

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Choosing the right channels for small business budgets

Advertising agencies will always advise where best to advertise with smaller budgets and audience reach needed. They also know the best times to launch advertising campaigns on any platform. Combining platform strategies for environments such as social media or YouTube, small businesses can get the exposure needed in crowded marketplaces.

With access to platform research and information about competitors, creative advertising agencies are brilliant at choosing the right media channels. They’ll utilise both online and offline channels to engage with segments of your target audience, or the entire target demographic.

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Advertising for small businesses must perform and get results

Most small businesses understand that in order to grow, advertising success is an essential element. However, spending money on advertising is one thing, getting results is another. Great media placement will get the right exposure but the message also needs to motivate the audience to act.

A valuable and hidden benefit of an advertising agency is their expertise in making advertising work well. Experienced advertising agencies know that the most effective ads have the simplest message. Agency creative teams will instinctively focus on a product or service USP (Unique Selling Proposition). What is it that makes it different, the reason an audience should sit up and take notice? Creative advice on message is therefore a major benefit. Very often, businesses brief advertising agencies on the product or service, when their audience is simply concerned with the benefits.

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Creative experts as part of your business team

Another hidden business benefit is that full-service advertising agencies give you access to many very creative individuals and services. Graphic design services and copywriting. Video production and photography that can also be used to support advertising. They can also advise on integrating advertising with specific landing pages of website development to create a customer journey.

A full-service advertising agency can also help with search engine optimisation (SEO) of your online campaigns. Whatever the reason, choosing the right advertising agency can make all the difference to your success. You should be able to interact with them seamlessly and trust them completely.

Advertising agencies should be seen as an extension of your team. They have developed specialised knowledge over many years, investing in their creative team and adopting different marketing strategies. They already know which strategy will work best for your business and your budget so that you don’t have to.

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Build a two-way ‘success’ relationship as your business grows

Advertising agencies love getting new clients. However, they can only be considered successful when they show success in helping their clients’ businesses grow. In that respect, agencies only succeed if their clients succeed. If a business doesn’t believe an agency will work as hard as they do for their business, don’t hire them.

A full-service advertising agency such as Red Thread is your one-stop shop for everything you need to promote your business. We help small businesses by developing advertising campaigns that significantly increase the exposure and success of their products or services. Take advantage of our expertise and experience by getting in-touch through our short and simple online contact form or email [email protected]. Alternatively, if you’d prefer to have an informal chat, then please call 0117 9074651, we’d love to hear from you.

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