What Is An Advertising Agency?

An advertising agency offers professional services that include creating and handling ads and other forms of marketing promotion.

Top agencies often position themselves as one-stop shops capable of handling much of the marketing and promotion needs of their clients.

But depending on the size of the company, they might offer a huge variety of services, including everything from web design to social marketing campaigns and traditional print campaigns.

They help brands to:

  • Generate brand awareness
  • Introduce new products in the market
  • Educate the audience
  • Boost sales
  • And more

What Does An Advertising Company Do?

These companies employ experts specialized in marketing, analytics, advertising and customer behavior whose primary responsibilities include researching, planning, implementing strategies and measuring success.

The core services include but are not limited to:

  • Brand strategy: They create a long-term plan for brand development to help businesses achieve their unique goals. These strategies involve defining positioning, messaging and a brand’s differentiating factors.
  • Naming: They develop authentic and memorable names for brands and products to increase brand recognition and customer loyalty.
  • Brand identity: They focus on developing a full set of assets and standards around the brand's visual identities including logo, typography, color palettes, core messaging and packaging if applicable.
  • Advertising materials: They create promotional assets for various channels and media, from TV ads to radio spots, banner ads and billboards.
  • Media buying: They make efforts to place and position relevant creative ads according to a strategy designed to target the client’s audience and boost conversions.
  • Integrated marketing campaigns: They create and manage branding campaigns executed in a variety of channels.
  • And more
Top Advertising Agencies Ranked
Users look at native ads 53% more than they look at traditional ads
We've ranked the best digital agencies.

How Much Do Advertising Companies Charge For Their Services?

Most ad companies bill their projects on hourly rates and you can come across prices that range between $50 and $150.

Others can ask for a flat fee or a fixed price for specific services. In this case, you can expect to pay:

  • Media fees: 3% to 15% of spend
  • Social media management: $500 to $1000 per month
  • Services markup: 10% to 20% of the cost
  • And more

In addition, some companies may also ask for a retainer fee meaning you would have to pay a certain amount of money upfront to secure their services.

Why Hire An Advertising Agency?

1. Better Targeting

People look at native ads 53% more than they look at traditional ads. (Sharethrough)

Unlike traditional promotional methods like TV, newspaper or billboards that target the audience inaccurately, native ads are based on highly accurate audience targeting. 

These type of ads get higher click-through-rate (CTR) and perform particularly well for the following sectors:

  • Pet
  • Food & beverage
  • Family & parenting

An ad agency is capable of delivering engaging content and distributing it to the right platforms to drive purchases.

2. Measurable Efforts

Online advertising is highly measurable. However, it does require access to analytical tools and know-how to interpret them -- which are the key qualities of top agencies. 

These tools provide companies with meaningful data that:

  • Shows what’s working and what’s not
  • Provides key info on the ideal customers
  • Allows further targeting ads to the most lucrative audiences

Unlike the analytics of traditional ads, the analytical data of online ads is highly accurate and more importantly, agencies can track their effectiveness in real-time.

3. Quick Results

The average Facebook user clicks on 11 advertisements monthly. (Hootsuite)

Social ads are some of the most cost-effective methods to generate brand awareness online. When created properly, they have the power to drive more inbound traffic, improve your SEO rankings, increase your authority and boost brand loyalty.

The best-performing companies are uniquely positioned to develop ads that trigger attention.

They will take the time to understand your target audience, their needs and pain points, create advertisements that drive CTRs and test their performance.

How To Choose The Right Firm For Your Business

Here are a few factors to consider when searching for the right agency partner for your brand:

  • Vision: A top agency should be able to provide you with innovative campaign ideas and creative ways in which to execute them to achieve the best results. However, you should go into any meeting with a potential partner with some ideas of your own. Before you choose an ad agency, have a vision for where you want your brand to go.
  • Portfolio: Be proactive in gathering information about prospective partners, their previous clients, their successful (or unsuccessful) campaigns, and the emerging trends or elements you’re interested in incorporating into your own campaign. Not every agency will be forthcoming, so rely on yourself to get the information you need to stay in the know.
  • Company culture: Although clientele and work experience are important, an agency’s company culture will tell you a lot about the employees they attract, their workflow and process and whether or not they will be able to adapt to your brand identity throughout the course of a campaign. Take note -- particularly during in-person meetings and pitches -- of their workspace and the employees around. Do they look like they are inspired, hardworking and enjoying their time at the agency? Chances are, if they align with your business’s beliefs and are upheld, you’ll be able to strike up a positive working relationship.
  • Talent pool: When you enlist professional assistance, you aren’t really hiring the company -- you’re hiring their talent pool. Therefore, it’s critical to recognize exactly who will be working with your brand and what they bring to the table. During the screening process, request potential team members’ names, previous experience areas of expertise and prior campaigns. This will determine the growth and innovation that the agency as a whole can foster, potentially increasing its worth.
Looking for the best digital marketing companies?

15 Questions To Ask Prospective Partners Before You Hire The Right One

  1. How will you analyze our audience to determine their wants and needs?
  2. What is the process for creating a beautiful yet effective campaign?
  3. How do your team members plan to transform their design aesthetics and modern trends to fit our brand identity naturally?
  4. What projects have you worked on that solve a similar problem or reach a comparable goal to our business?
  5. What campaigns have you created and what was their success?
  6. How will you determine the goals we need to achieve?
  7. What tools and metrics will you use to measure the results of the campaign? How often will you track the goals?
  8. If a campaign is not performing as expected, what is your process or plan to get the project back on track?
  9. Do you charge a flat rate fee or per hour?
  10. What team members are we “paying” for in our cost?
  11. How does the pricing for long-term partnerships differ from individual campaigns?
  12. Do any elements or results factor into the final cost of a campaign?
  13. How do you plan to keep up with those changes?
  14. How will you create a long-term campaign that will evolve with changing trends?
  15. What project management tools do you use to ensure successful project completion?

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