Convincing your clients to increase their ad spend is one of the toughest conversations you can have if you work at an SEM agency.
There can be multiple reasons behind your desire to increase your client’s budget. Maybe you’ve seen consistent success and are trying to ramp up their campaigns. Maybe you’re running a percentage-of-ad-spend pricing model and want more revenue in your own pocket. It’s even possible you’ve been struggling to produce results specifically because of the restraints a small budget creates.
Regardless of the reasons why, it’s important that you communicate how increasing their ad spend will benefit your clients. And this post will walk you through five simple ways you can (plus how to handle a few objections).
1. Getting results? Try scaling up
If you’ve been running the campaign successfully for some time, you may want to increase your client’s budget in order to further improve performance.
For example, let’s say that your monthly budget is $1,000 and you took over the campaign with a CPC (cost per click) of $5. This means that — if your budget is evenly dispersed throughout the month — the campaign generates 200 clicks. If you’re able to lower the CPC down to $2.50, then you should also double your traffic without increasing your budget.
Considering that they’re paying half of what they used to pay per click, you can then convince your client to increase their budget accordingly. Increasing their budget by a factor of two would increase clicks by a factor of four.
That’s an opportunity that a client will likely be more receptive to. Doubling down on wins is a great way to convince clients to increase their ad spend in a way that shows them direct results.
2. Show competitors’ budgets are higher
An argument that many marketers rely on to convince their clients to increase ad spend is that their competitors are spending more. Now, this is a great way to motivate your clients to spend more. And, especially in the pay-to-play word of PPC, allowing your competition to monopolize certain keywords certainly won’t help your CTR (click through rate) or CPA (cost per acquisition).
However, to convince your clients to expand your budget, you’ll need some proof. Thankfully, there’s plenty of competitive analysis tools out there for you to choose from. Here’s just a few to start:
If you can show how your client’s competition is drowning out your client’s ad visibility due to their larger budget, you should have a better chance of getting more ad spend to work with.
3. Prove current budget is too small for testing
Any PPC or CRO expert will tell you that the root of all success in paid advertising comes from diligent split testing. Sadly, one of the biggest mistakes that some PPC managers make is failing to give their split tests statistical significance. This is either because they’re not letting them run long enough, or failing to generate enough visibility to reach enough users to analyze.
Both of these are actually caused by too small of a budget. To run statistically significant split tests, you need to be able to generate enough traffic in a short enough amount of time before labeling them as wins or losses. Otherwise, you may be missing out on opportunities that you’ve deemed to slow-moving or ineffective, only because too few users were exposed to your new variant.
Convincing your client to increase their ad spend here should be easier than other situations, mainly because this is a problem that you’ll face rather immediately. Without enough budget, you’ll have a pretty difficult time getting any PPC campaign up and running, let alone optimized.
4. Increase the number of channels the client uses
We’ve mentioned how proving to your clients that their competitors spend more is a great way to convince them to increase ad spend. Well, showing them that their competitors are advertising across other channels is another great way.
It turns out that FOMO (fear of missing out) is actually a driving force when it comes to competitive PPC. No client wants to be missing out on possible views, clicks, and sales that their competition is capitalizing on. Worse than that, you don’t want your competition getting these leads without having to compete with you on the keyword bids for them.
Keep in mind that the more marketers are bidding on certain keywords, and the more traffic they generate, the higher the minimum bids will be. Which means that you missing out on any given paid channel is one less bidder in the market for your competition to fight with.
5. Create new goals for your team to chase
The last way agencies can convince their clients to increase ad spend is fairly straightforward. If you’ve consistently been hitting goals that your clients are setting for you, maybe it’s time to up the ante.
Setting goals that are a bit beyond your reach and will push your team to improve their campaigns even further will do two things for your agency-client relationship:
- It will show your client that you’re not resting on your laurels, but continually looking to grow their business
- It should open the door to discussions about increasing their ad spend to help with these newly-set and higher goals
Keep in mind that providing some tangible numbers behind these new goals and opportunities will be key in convincing your clients to increase their ad spend.
Much of the success in convincing your clients to increase their budget comes down to communication. Keep this in mind as you guide your clients through the conversation to make sure they understand you’re trying to grow their business, not just your bottom line.
6. Bonus: Handle objections with clarity
When raising the question of increased ad spend, you may run into some pushback from your clients. That’s only natural, as they’re the ones who’ll be spending more money. And nobody wants to throw more money into something that they aren’t certain will be generating more revenue in return.
There are countless different objections you may confront during this conversation. Below are just a few you may have to deal with:
- Why such a big increase? We won’t increase more than X%.
- I’m not seeing any results, why would I increase my budget?
- Can’t you get more clicks with the budget you already have?
Whether you’re dealing with arbitrary budget limits, a lack of results, or a stubborn client who simply doesn’t see the opportunity, the solution will usually be the same. And what is that solution? Strong tracking and communication between client and agency — so you can clearly show your clients the value of increasing ad spend.
Directly tying your performance to their newly generated revenue and business growth will make these conversations go much smoother.
Conclusion: Communicating value increases ad spend
In the end, convincing your clients to increase ad spend is all about communicating its value to them. The more clearly and more concisely you can explain how increasing ad spend will increase new winning opportunities, the better odds you’ll have at seeing that budget increase. Make sure that it’s the client’s growth that is prioritized, and soon enough you’ll see more trust, faith, and — most of all — budget.
Sean Thomas Martin is the Content Manager at KlientBoost — a PPC & CRO agency in Irvine, California specializing in rapid testing and conversion-centric design that generates ROI on top of revenue.
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