Before I talk about doing digital marketing on your own, I’m going to put some parameters around it for the sake of this blog post. I’m specifically going to talk about paid advertising, particularly search engine and social media advertising.  

You, today, can sign up for an advertising account and run ads on virtually any digital platform. There are a few things you may want to consider before you do that.  

Expertise 

Let’s talk about the team of people we generally bring to a single digital marketing campaign, so you understand what you need to know in order to effectively do it yourself.  

  • Strategist – determines the goals of the campaign and how best to meet them with what budgets, channels, and timeframes.  
  • SEO Specialist – ensuring that we’re using the correct keywords and positioning the ads correctly for maximum traffic impact.  
  • Graphic Designer – particularly for social ads, you want them to stand out and look great.  
  • Videographer – video ads tend to perform really well, but not if they’re not well-produced and edited.  
  • Copywriter – someone has to write the words!  
  • Web Developer – creates landing pages and ensures that tracking pixels are properly installed and functioning.  
  • Digital Marketing Specialist – a platform expert who combines all the elements required, executes the campaigns, and provides ongoing analysis on performance and potential adjustments.  

That team optimizes the efforts with their professional expertise. There’s other knowledge that comes from experience, too. For example, we rarely recommend paying for Twitter ads, as we’ve found we can get similar results simply by increasing the number of organic tweets. We know that certain industries perform on certain channels. We also know that there are demographic differences across platforms that can be the difference between campaign success and failure, regardless of budget. As you go into your DIY digital marketing effort, try to be aware of these as well.  

Settings and analysis 

While I’ve never counted them, I’m told there are more than 1,000 different settings on Google Ads. Getting any one of them wrong can negatively impact your campaign results, and Google Ads aren’t cheap, especially in competitive industries.  

Meta almost continually changes the interface for ads on Facebook, Instagram, Messenger, and their other properties. The requirements for how you post on each channel and how they’re related change frequently as well. Let’s not also forget the additional difficulties if you’re in regulated industries like housing, finance, or healthcare.  

Digital isn’t “set it and forget it,” either. You should periodically analyze campaign performance to ensure optimization. What’s your CTR, your CPM, your CPC? Are you getting significant lead volume, and at what cost per lead? Which variations of your A/B tests are performing? You need to look at these factors and tweak your campaigns accordingly. 

The upshot 

You’ve likely already guessed this by now, but we don’t recommend you do your own digital marketing. There are too many factors involved where you can get sub-optimal results, and those sub-optimal results can cost you big money. Unless you are a very large organization who can afford a significant in-house team focused on the success of your digital efforts, the money you spend on a digital marketing agency is likely to be recouped in the success of your digital marketing efforts.  

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