Bringing Facebook Ads In-House vs. Hiring an Agency: Which Costs More? 

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It’s a common assumption that agencies are more expensive than hiring in-house talent to manage your marketing programs.

You could do some easy napkin math, right?

In dollars:

Inaccurate cost analysis of hiring an agency vs. building ad operations in-house

And in time benefits:

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Noticeably absent in this 10-second (and wildly incomplete) analysis: These benefits of working with a Facebook advertising agency.

If you consider what’s at stake, hiring an agency to deliver effective and profitable managed services could be much more affordable than bringing all your operations in-house.

Where as a salaried campaign manager/analyst hybrid is a single person, the same amount of money can get you a full team of optimizers, specialists and analysts who spend their hours monitoring, managing, optimizing, analyzing and prioritizing your campaigns.

As you increase headcount internally, your costs go up.

With an agency, you’ve already got a built-in multiple-person team with that one person’s salary. Depending on the agency’s managed services fee, that price point could tilt in your favor.

After all, if you found one superstar who can kick ass at all the managing, all the smart bid optimization, all the creative execution, all the audience research, all the performance analyzing, all the adjustments and tweaking, and all the monitoring, that one person won’t come cheap.

And that one person would somehow have way more than 24 hours in their day.

Sidenote: if you do find that superstar, give them our number, ok?

Let’s take a look at some of the day-to-day tasks your one-or-two-person Facebook ads team must complete:

  • Ad copy for hundreds of variations
  • Ad design/image selection for hundreds of variations
  • Audience research from curated Facebook data sets, 3rd party data, internal customer data
  • Compilation of other audiences – custom lookalikes, website visitors, prospects, other constituencies
  • Segmentation
  • Assign targeting for hundreds of ad variations
  • Place pixels
  • App tracking
  • A/B testing
  • Optimize bids
  • Monitor & adjust bids
  • Analyze & interpret performance results
  • Apply test outcomes to new cohorts
  • Refresh ad creative
  • Refresh ad copy
  • Stay up-to-date on Facebook ad platform changes and software updates
  • Troubleshoot platform bugs
  • Maintain domain expertise in Facebook advertising channel
  • Stay up-to-date on industry-specific marketing best practices
  • Meetings and/or calls with key stakeholders, analysts, marketing peers, sales teams, and others

Needless to say, time is a huge factor in the cost of running Facebook ads. Ad automation software certainly helps with some of this, but as you scale, the amount of work to maintain and learn from your campaigns multiplies as well.

So, want to talk costs?

Let’s take a look at some hard numbers:

Agency In-House
Annual Facebook advertising budget $2,000,000 $2,000,000
Avg managed services premium (for us, that’s about 15%) $300,000 $0
Salary of Campaign Manager built in $100,000
Salary of Designer built in $100,000
Salary of Data Analyst built in $120,000
Salary of Senior Strategist built in $120,000
Annual Software Subscription built in $100,000
Annual Budget for Actual Ad Placement $1,700,000 $1,460,000

Even if you require a $100,000 salary for someone to manage the relationship with your agency, you’re still working with $140,000 more in your Facebook ad budget than if you took the production in-house.

What’s more, an agency is innately focused on providing superior performance.

In-house employees are not necessarily focused on justifying their salaries directly in relation to the performance of their Facebook ad campaigns.

Agencies, on the other hand, know that you have many options when it comes to deciding on an advertising partner.

Killer results are the one true deliverable.

We know there’s a lot to consider when entertaining the idea of bringing your marketing in-house or handing some of your most important processes to a third party.

Cost shouldn’t be one of them.

The quantitative value of putting your Facebook advertising in the hands of a team of experts positions you for success that scales.

It’s at this point that I’m tempted to say, “And you can’t put a pricetag on that.”

But the truth is, you can.

If you want specific facts and figures that help you weigh the costs of working with OrionCKB vs. building an in-house advertising operation, give us a call, and we’ll be happy to put the numbers to work for you.

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