Now that many businesses are pivoting online due to COVID-19, the competition in the digital arena is fiercer than ever.
As the pandemic continues, online media is becoming the go-to alternative for many companies. Marketers anticipate that budgets for the creation of social media and web content will increase significantly.
Many companies are forced to venture into unknown digital territories in order to survive, while others have to ramp up their digital marketing efforts.
Running a business is challenging in itself. As a business owner, you are already wearing several hats. But marketing is a full-time job that requires complete dedication.
A DIY approach to digital marketing can be tempting, but you can easily fall behind your competition if you don’t know how to best take advantage of emerging trends and technologies. To reach your target audience and hit revenue goals, you may need some outside help.
What is a Digital Marketing Consultant?
A digital marketing consultant is an external advisor who can plan and research your digital marketing strategy. The primary goal of a digital marketing consultant is to maximise your leads and conversions. Some of the day to day responsibilities of a digital marketing consultant may include:
- Auditing websites and social media accounts of their clients;
- Developing digital marketing campaigns;
- Reviewing and analyzing campaign performance through Google Analytics and other tools.
Reasons You Need a Digital Marketing Consultant
You Don’t Have the Expertise
You need to integrate digital marketing into your marketing efforts, but your in-house team doesn’t have the right resources, skills, or expertise to do so.
If you want them to do the job successfully, you need to train them. And the learning curve can be quite steep. Their trials and errors could lead to loss of revenue.
Not only does a digital marketing consultant have the expertise and skills to improve your marketing efforts, but they can point your staff in the right direction.
For instance, an SEO consultant can work on your SEO (search engine optimization) strategy and provide SEO training to your team at the same time. By working closely with a digital marketing consultant, your team will learn how to navigate the complexities of digital marketing on their own.
Or let’s say that you don’t have enough hands on deck, and your team doesn’t have time to do anything outside their primary duties. You might be worried that, if you hire a digital marketing consultant, they won’t be able to do their job because your team can’t help them.
When you hire a digital marketing consultant, you are essentially getting a whole marketing agency. Digital marketing consultants use specialised, cutting edge tools such as AI-powered marketing automation software, that help them get the job done faster and with fewer resources.
Many digital marketing consultants have a whole team behind them. They work with content creators, influencers, UX designers, and other specialists to bring your marketing plan to fruition, often at no extra cost to you.
You Don’t Have the Time
Again, if you are a business owner, you are probably already stretched too thin. You are taking away time from your core business if you are trying to develop a digital marketing team or to learn digital marketing yourself.
By hiring a consultant to handle your digital marketing campaigns, you’ll be able to spend more time on other important things, such as improving your services, getting investors, or closing deals.
But many business owners crave complete control, and are hesitant to hand over marketing responsibilities to an outside expert. This becomes much easier when you find a digital consultant who understands the goals and the vision of your business.
In order to make sure you’ll have a fruitful relationship, a good marketing consultant will vet you as a client the same way you should vet them. They won’t start working with you unless they are certain they can bring value to your business.
You Can’t Afford to Lose Money
Full-time hires are expensive. If you can grow a marketing department comprised of talented creatives, it may well be worth it. But if just one of your new full-time employees turns out to be a bad hire, you could lose a ridiculous amount of money.
According to a 2017 CareerBuilder survey, the average cost of a bad hire is nearly $15,000 (£11,000). This can be way more expensive than hiring a digital marketing consultant.
If you are a small business, a five-figure investment in the wrong employee can cause serious, long term problems. Hiring the services of a digital marketing consultant with a proven track record is a much safer choice.
A digital marketing consultant will provide you with their extensive expertise and skills without you having to pay for their national insurance contributions, pension scheme, onboarding costs, and other employee-related costs.
You can get much more value for the price you’d normally pay for a couple of mid-level full-time employees.
Let’s say you hire a digital marketing consultant to help you make the most of your marketing budget.
They can use advanced data analysis to optimise your marketing spend. They can uncover browsing patterns of customers before they even reach your website by analyzing third party data.
To map out user interaction throughout the purchase process, they can conduct high-value behaviour analysis. They can even see how ads perform on different marketing channels by mapping out high-level econometric models.
Replicating all of this in-house would be extremely expensive. Many businesses start out by hiring interns or junior marketers. Then they have to train them to handle high-level tasks as the business grows.
Often, the actual marketing suffers because the marketing budget of a business gets tied up in salaries and payroll. But you can get significant ROI for every penny you spend by hiring a digital consultant whose job is exactly that—delivering ROI.
You Don’t Have Direction and Strategy
Many businesses have social media pages and sites simply because everyone else has them. They are not sure how exactly these channels are supposed to convert people into paying customers.
A digital marketing consultant will make your site, social media pages, and ads work to bring in more business by devising the right digital marketing strategy for you. It will serve as a road map for all of your digital marketing campaigns.
A good digital marketing consultant doesn’t take the cookie-cutter approach when developing a digital marketing strategy for their client.
To create a personalised marketing strategy for your business, your digital marketing consultant will take into account the industry you are in, your target audience, the goals you want to achieve, what your competitors are doing, the timeline for results and analysis, KPIs, as well as available resources.
You can expect the strategy to detail the audience segments you want to target, as well as the tactics, channels, and key messages you will use to reach them. Moreover, they will align your new digital marketing strategy with your overall business strategy.
To make sure your digital marketing strategy is executed properly, your digital marketing consultant will put in place systems, workflows, and processes that are required to complete specific tasks. So, if one of your team members will be involved in running social media promotions or creating blog posts, they will have a structured system to follow.
You’re Not Getting Measurable Results
You’re paying for digital ads and social media campaigns because you understand their value, but you don’t know how to measure their effectiveness. If you don’t know where and what to look at, your money may be going to waste.
Not only can a digital marketing consultant help you get the most of your marketing dollars, but they can show you exactly how big an ROI you are getting.
Everything in digital marketing is measurable, but you must know how to measure it. Data in itself is a speciality. Digital marketing consultants are well versed in data analytics, testing, and optimisation.
Digital marketing consultants use tools such as Google Analytics, Facebook Insights, KISSmetrics, or Ahrefs to review and analyse data. They can use data to learn more about your target audience’s behaviour and preferences, and leverage their findings to improve your digital marketing efforts.
A good consultant isn’t someone who just writes you a prescription for “the best marketing strategy” and walks away. They continually analyze the performance of your campaigns and make adjustments where they are needed.
If you hire an experienced digital marketing consultant, you can expect complete transparency from them. They will keep you updated by regularly reporting on the results and numbers of your campaigns. They will articulate exactly why something is or isn’t working.
Digital Marketing Consultant Services
Digital marketing encompasses many areas, such as social media, email marketing, content, marketing, SEO and PPC.
Experienced digital consultants are usually experts in several digital marketing tactics, even though they may focus on a specific digital marketing service or a specific industry.
A seasoned digital marketing consultant will be able to quickly figure out which tactics are best for you and whether their services are right for your business.
So you can have an even better understanding of how a digital marketing consultant can help you, let’s see what are the most popular digital marketing tactics and how consultants utilize them to help their clients:
SEO (Search Engine Optimisation)
SEO, along with PPC, is the most popular digital marketing tactic. Considering that Google processes over 3.5 billion searches every day, it comes as no surprise. The goal of SEO is to increase quality, organic traffic to your website.
The better your site ranks for certain on search engines, the more organic traffic you get. Setting up a website and Google My Business listing is not enough to get your site to rank on the top of search engine result pages.
You need the help of someone who is always up to date on the latest SEO trends and best practices. Here are a few ways a digital marketing consultant can help your site rank better on Google:
- Doing keyword research to find relevant keywords. A good digital marketing consultant won’t just focus on finding keywords that will bring in more traffic. They will find keywords that have a higher chance of converting site visitors into leads.
- Building a content strategy that is tailored to the interests of your target audience and serves your overall SEO strategy.
- Evaluating and improving the user experience on your site.
- Analyzing the infrastructure of your site and making sure it meets the technical requirements needed to get the best possible rank.
- Acquiring links from other relevant and reputable sites to your own. The number and quality of backlinks is one of Google’s ranking factors.
- Understanding Google’s algorithm changes and leveraging them to your advantage.
A good digital consultant will calculate the anticipated ROI from their SEO efforts based on the average monthly visits to your site, the average conversion rate, and the average order value. They will also calculate and report the actual ROI throughout the campaign.
Content marketing doesn’t just exist to serve SEO. It goes beyond writing blogs that target certain keywords. Great content engages site visitors and keeps them longer on your website. A digital marketing consultant can create a content calendar that will provide focus and direction to your content creators.
Not only can a digital marketing consultant help you create content that converts, but they will help you create “shareable” content that will bring in traffic from social media platforms as well as search engines.
Managing PPC Ads
It’s not uncommon for a business to spend a ton of money on paid ads without seeing any ROI. If your PPC ads are attracting the wrong crowd, you could use the help of someone who knows how to manage PPC ads.
To set up your ads properly, your digital marketing consultant will conduct target research and create a custom PPC strategy for you. They can save you money by reducing your CPA (cost per acquisition).
By analyzing your target audience, your digital marketing consultant will figure out which PPC network will work best for you (Google AdWords, Facebook, LinkedIn). A good PPC manager can quickly position your brand in front of high-converting consumers.
Conversion Rate Optimisation
Ultimately, it all comes down to whether or not your site visitors or social media followers take the action you want them to take. It’s a factor that determines whether you will get sales or not.
You don’t need a digital marketing consultant just to increase your ad visibility, boost website traffic, and get you more fans on Facebook. If you hire an experienced digital consultant, they will never lose sight of their main objective—boosting your lead generation and conversions.
Your digital marketing consultant can conduct a conversion path analysis, identify and track conversion metrics, run A/B testing, and help you implement the necessary changes to achieve your CRO goals.