Pay-per-click advertising (PPC) has revolutionized marketing, making it affordable for companies of all sizes. When brands use PPC, their ads appear on search engines such as Google or Bing or as sponsored posts on Facebook and other social media sites, depending on where the brand is advertising. Instead of paying a flat fee for the ads, brands pay each time someone clicks on an ad.
Ad agencies that offer PPC and other forms of marketing and advertising to their clients often find themselves juggling multiple accounts for each client. Virtual cards for marketing ad spend help streamline paying for ads on different search engines or social media networks. If you’re looking to simplify payments, learn more about the uses and benefits of virtual prepaid cards for marketing ad spend.
Agencies Using Virtual Cards for Marketing Spend
Your marketing agency most likely has multiple clients, and each of those clients might have several ad campaigns operating simultaneously. You might have separate teams working on each client’s account or even separate teams to handle ads for each search engine or social media site. No matter how many clients you have, how large your team is, or how many campaigns you have running at once, the ads need to be paid for by either the client or the agency.
Many agencies use a company credit card to pay for ad campaigns, which can seem like an easy solution. Business credit cards can make ad spend difficult, though. If the card gets blocked because of suspected fraud, you’ll need to change the card number associated with each advertising account manually. It’s also difficult to set firm budgets for each ad program when you use the same credit card for everything.
Using a single credit card for every ad account can also put you at increased risk of theft. A third party could intercept the card number and use it to make fraudulent purchases. Due to the sheer volume of charges on the card, it can be difficult to spot the fraudulent ones in time.
Virtual cards solve the problem. Instead of using a single, company-wide credit card, your agency assigns a virtual card to each account. For example, say you have Client A, who has ads on Facebook, Google, and Bing. You create:
- A Facebook ads virtual card
- A Google ads virtual card
- A Bing ads virtual card
You can then assign a budget to each card, either monthly or annual. You can also assign the cards to specific users so a particular person on your team is responsible for managing the card. The virtual card for Facebook ads for Client A might have a monthly budget of $1,500, while the virtual card for Adwords for Client A might have a monthly budget of $5,000.The budget caps for each card keep you from spending more than the client can afford or agreed to pay on each campaign.
Using virtual cards also makes it easy to turn campaigns off. After several months of advertising on Facebook, Client A might decide that it’s not an effective use of their advertising dollars. You can switch off or deactivate the virtual card associated with the account to ensure that your company doesn’t inadvertently continue to pay for ads you don’t want.
Benefits of Prepaid Cards for Advertising Agencies
Using virtual cards for marketing ad spend gives you better control over your clients’ budgets. Virtual cards are also relatively fraud-proof. Some of the benefits of switching to virtual cards for your clients’ advertising campaigns include:
- The cards won’t get blocked: When you use a single company credit card for every ad campaign for every client, there’s a chance that you’ll come up against your credit limit, causing transactions to get blocked or the card to get declined. Using the same card for every account can also trigger a fraud alert, causing the ad programs to block your accounts, interfering with campaigns. Keeping everything separate by issuing different cards for every account minimizes the chance of cards getting flagged or blocked and reduces the likelihood of disruption.
- The cards simplify campaign management: It becomes a lot easier to keep track of individual ad spend when every campaign has its own virtual card and assigns specific individuals to each card. For example, Employee A can be responsible for Client A’s Facebook ads while Employee B handles Bing ads.
- The cards are customizable: Virtual prepaid cards are easy to customize based on your client’s needs. You set specific budgets for each card, only loading the budgeted amount to the card each month. Once the value is depleted, ad spending will stop until the next month. You can also customize the cards by issuing them in employee’s names. Employee A’s name can be on the card associated with Client A’s Facebook ad account, meaning only that employee will have access to the card.
- The cards automate payments: When you have campaigns running for each client, paying for them is a given. If you use a company-wide credit card to pay for ads, you most likely will need to get approval each month, which can take time and effort. Using virtual cards allows you to automate the payment process. You can get expense approval and go from there, rather than waiting to get your request approved by the accounting team.
- The cards can offer cash back: You can choose a virtual card program that gives cash back or other types of rewards so your company can increase its earnings. For example, a virtual card might offer 3% back on purchases. Every time your client spends money on advertising, your company gets 3% of the sale. You can use the cash back to increase your revenues or as an enticement to encourage clients to keep working with you.
- The cards protect your company: Using virtual cards for ad spend protects your business overall. If you use the same credit card for everything and that card gets blocked because of suspected fraud, it can throw a wrench into your company’s other payment obligations, making you late on bills and potentially affecting your relationship with other vendors. Keeping your payment methods separate creates a partition that helps shield your business.
Issue Virtual Cards for Marketing Spend With Hydrogen
You can quickly issue virtual cards to employees to use for advertising campaigns, speed up the process, and help your company better serve its clients. Hydrogen’s no-code, embeddable platform makes it easy to create and issue virtual cards for marketing ad spend. To learn more about how it works, request access to our platform today.