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Should you leave Facebook advertising to an agency?

When is it best to choose an agency over keeping things in-house? We find out the pros and cons.

Gone are the days of brands relying solely on organic social posts on Facebook to gain a flurry of support for a campaign, with organic audience reach for a post steadily declining.

Facebook - which, according to Statista, saw 1.93 billion daily active users during the third quarter of 2021 - is considered a key platform for brands to extend a campaign’s reach to new target audiences through advertising.

Who will develop a paid media strategy and how paid social advertising will be managed are some of the key considerations agonised over at the decision table for many businesses.

There are a number of factors you might want to consider when it comes to paid social advertising on Facebook - do you ramp up the hunt for an agency specialising in Facebook advertising or keep things in-house to reduce costs?

We take a look at why you should leave Facebook advertising to an agency and the occasions where it may be best to manage social advertising in-house with some insight from agencies:

Tapping into the insight from agencies

Searching for how to create a successful Facebook advert and social advertising campaign may, at first, seem a bit daunting. There are plenty of how-to lists and how-not-tos swirling around after a quick Google search, making the process seem more complex than it might actually be…

Is it easier just to turn to an agency to run an effective Facebook advertising campaign?

Leeds agency Circus specialises in PPC for retail and ecommerce clients and has worked on Facebook advertising for a number of clients. Ahmed Chopdat, Commercial Director at Circus, said leaving Facebook advertising to an agency may be more beneficial than opting to keep things in-house:

“There’s an age-old argument to be had about what works better when it comes to paid social advertising for a business – in-house or agency? Facebook Advertising in particular requires a certain skill set that might be more present when left in the hands of an agency, rather than an in-house individual.”

Ahmed Chopdat

Digital agency Clicky has a number of services including Facebook advertising. Victoria Doherty, Paid Social Lead at Clicky, believes choosing an agency allows a brand to tap into a wide range of experts who can sift through what’s required.

“Collaborating with an agency to manage your Facebook advertising (and wider paid social management - platform diversification is key!) affords you access to specialists in their field who can draw on data and experiences from managing clients’ campaigns across a huge variety of industries,” she explains. 

Navigating the challenges of the digital advertising world 

Diving into the world of Facebook advertising, you realise there is a lot more to it than selecting an option to promote a post (if only!). Likes, loves and shares - if you don’t know what effect a Facebook advert is having on a campaign and whether anyone has even seen it, it can end up spiralling into a bit of a nightmare.

Research keywords, analysing competitors and writing ad copy are just a few of the factors a business needs to consider when setting up a successful Facebook advertising strategy.

But that’s not all. Privacy and cookies are another stumbling block you may encounter when it comes to digital advertising:

“You have to consider the wider changes in the digital advertising landscape relating to privacy and cookies. You work with an agency to ensure you’re always staying abreast of the latest industry changes and getting the right advice accordingly,” says Vicky.

Victoria Doherty, Clicky

She explains the benefits of collaborating with an agency on Facebook advertising is the relationships and insight they have working with social platforms:

“Agencies benefit from direct relationships with platforms like Facebook and Google Ads, passing on this benefit to you via invaluable strategic knowledge that you might not get from an in-house specialist (depending, of course, on the size of your brand).”

For Ahmed, Facebook advertising is a minefield full of different options for ads especially with the platform’s updates. If you’re not sure what you’re doing, you could end up wasting your budget unnecessarily: “Alongside constant updates, there is also a wide range of different types of ads and targeting available through Facebook advertising. If it’s not something you have experience in specifically, you could end up wasting a large portion of your budget on a poor strategy that generates minimal results.”

Agencies are best versed at navigating through the right type of ads equipped with the knowledge of what works best, he argues:

“There are a lot of restrictions on types of ads that might affect where they are shown, and whether industry approval is needed or not. Answers to these types of questions aren’t usually readily available online, and rather, learning about these restrictions comes from experience, or working with a Facebook Account Manager who will provide support.”

The cost and organic post reach - can you justify using an agency?

One major consideration for brands may be the cost involved when debating whether to leave Facebook advertising to an agency.

“The downfall of using agencies, in some respects, is a costly management fee that might not be possible for smaller businesses,” explains Ahmed.

Credit: Clicky

He points out that spending a chunk of funds on paid social advertising may not be the best option for smaller businesses with limited funds.

“On the flipside, if you are running a small business and only plan to spend a small amount of money on your paid social advertising, an agency might not be the best initial route for you as it might not be cost-effective. However, this is worth revisiting in line with business growth and budget capabilities.”

Despite this, if you appoint an agency to handle Facebook advertising, you can tap into the wealth of specialisms they have to offer, argues Vicky.

Drawing on the “strategic input of not only advertising specialists but also creative minds, strategic account managers, and insights specialists,” is crucial to a successful campaign, she says. 

It may be more cost-effective in the long-term to opt for an agency over keeping things in-house, she says:

“Working with an agency in this way essentially means you have access to a whole team with varying skillets whose focus is on getting the most out of a client’s advertising campaigns. The costs of doing this in-house would be considerably higher than via an agency.”

Whether you decide to opt for an agency to handle Facebook advertising or keep things in-house - budget, campaign goal and insight are some of the key factors you need to consider.

You can see a list of Facebook Advertising agencies in the Agencies section of Brands and Agencies, along with their locations, specialisms  and case studies.