Digital marketing consultants are the external advisors that specialize in utilizing online channels to generate leads and increase conversions. Digital marketing consultants offer a range of services from specific campaigns to complete marketing strategy, development and launch. Regardless of the scope needed, a digital marketing consultant will help ensure the right campaign launches to reach your audience.
It’s no surprise that the best digital marketing consultants have a background in advertising and marketing. They leverage their past experience to increase brand awareness, generate qualified leads, and/or convert more sales through smart advertising placements. Should your company consider engaging a digital marketing consultant? This article will help understand how a digital marketing consultant can help your business, when to engage with them and what to look for.
What is Digital Marketing Consulting?
Trust me, I get this question a lot from current clients. When asked, I often tell them - digital marketing consulting specializes in developing, implementing, and monitoring the online presence for a company. They can be called to help with everything from boosting paid or organic SEO strategies to understanding consumer behavior to differentiate yourself from the competition.
There are many ways to market your business, like by using content marketing, social media advertising, email campaigns and PPC. But some companies don't have the bandwidth to stay connected to what's happening in those channels or time for their team to properly manage them. Engaging a digital marketing consultant can help with something small like filling a short-term gap on your team or a fresh outside perspective to re-focus your team on a bigger, more profitable goal for your business.
The most common Marketing Consulting Services
Digital Marketing & Online Strategy
A marketing strategy is the roadmap for all your campaigns over a long period of time to ensure you are reaching your audience and achieving your business goals. Depending on the engagement, your digital marketing consultant they could be responsible for:
- Identifying your company's priority objectives for increasing traffic, generating leads and converting leads to customers.
- Creating digital marketing plans to launch on key digital channels (Google Adwords, Facebook ads or other paid channels).
- Designing your company's website to increase conversion rates.
- Identifying the right target audience segments and messages for targeted digital marketing campaigns through paid channels or social media marketing campaigns.
- Analyzing, executing and managing digital strategies
Content Planning & Email Marketing
The digital marketing consultant could be responsible for creating a calendar of what and when to publish content. This ensures focused and relevant content to be created later on and schedules it for the channel needed.
The digital marketing consultant should manage your content management process and answer the following questions about the content strategy:
- What is the target audience for each channel?
- What type of content do they engage with the most?
- What problem will your post solve for the audience?
- What marketing channels perform the best?
- What is needed from the business to create content plans?
Marketing automation is the latest and greatest in technology, managing marketing processes as well as multifunctional campaigns. With this state-of-the art system for promoting your business through email, webpages, social media networks such as Facebook or Twitter which enables automated messages to be sent out according to set instructions that have been prearranged by templates or are custom built from scratch. Workflows can also be modified mid campaign with better results achieved when defined by an algorithm created specifically for lead generation nurturing scoring and measuring ROI on campaigns.
In a nutshell, adding marketing automation to your campaigns will help you run more efficient business by automating certain tasks.
Project management is a set of skills, techniques and knowledge that are used to keep projects and campaigns on track and on time. Whether your marketing consultant will work with you or not, he or she should be equipped with the skill to ensure that your campaigns are created and launched on time.
Some things to consider or ask here would be:
- How do we stay connected during projects?
- When should we hold regular status meetings with the team?
- How will the business or business owner have visibility into what is being worked on?
Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
Digital marketing consultants stay up-to-date on the latest SEO best practices and trends. These experts help businesses increase their online presence by making sure they rank highest in search engine results for what their target audience is searching for. When you hire a digital strategist, it's important to note that SEO requires patience before seeing any measurable success!
Some of the ways that your digital marketing consultant can do are:
- Building an SEO strategy around topics that are relevant to your industry and company and make sure to update the content regularly.
- Engaging in keyword research and identifying high traffic keywords base don potential and relevance.
- Publishing relevant content that stays true to your brand story while providing industry-related news to give your audience an update.
- Building backlinks across your content to make it worthy of sharing.
- Ensuring the site health of the business to ensure all search engines (mainly Google) can access and read the proper content on your site.
Paid Campaigns (PPC or CPC)
Digital marketing consultants must be savvy about the different PPC ad programs offered by Google and social media platforms. They should also know how to maximize your ads spend in promoting your products or services to potential customers, especially if you are running a small business without an advertising budget.
Google Adwords for example is Google has an advertising platform, which includes search-based ads. The PPC or CPC model allows advertisers to bid on keywords that trigger an ad when they are used by a web searcher. This option typically costs less than other options if done correctly and can be more efficient in reaching your audience through relevant searches and content matching. Businesses can establish goals through their website and see conversions happen in the platform. This allows the customer to see ROI as campaigns are running and also feeds the marketing channel data about the type of person that is converting so they can go find similar leads/customers.
A digital marketing consultant can use campaign reports to better understand your target audience’s behavior, then leverage these insights to create or inform other campaigns to reach your target audience. At a minimum the business should have access and reports built in or coming from Google Analytics to measure website traffic, goals and other engagement metrics within that free tool.
Business performance should also be measured to show the marketing impact of campaigns. This is an important step to help show ROI (return on investment) or ROAS (return on ad spend).
Should You Hire a Digital Marketing Consultant?
A digital marketing consultant can help you reach new heights when it comes to your business. What are the first steps in turning to a professional for advice and guidance? You need clear-cut objectives that will guide their decision, as well as defined brand purpose or personality which they'll use throughout all of their campaigns.
It's time to hire a consultant when you find yourself or your team feeling/thinking any of the points below:
- You’ve implemented different marketing strategies for your small business, you haven't experienced an increase in leads or sales.
- You find your team often stuck on a problem and often feel overwhelmed.
- Your team lacks the expertise to develop and execute online campaigns.
- You find your team stuck on the "old way" of solving new problems.
How to Engage With a Digital Marketing Consultant
One way to minimize over-estimates with digital marketing is to have your consultant separate speculation from actual numbers. Based on past experience, it's the best way to avoid problems down the line.
When engaging a consultant make sure you identify the following with them:
- The scope of work - what channels should they focus on? What campaigns will they be taking over?
- The timeline - When should they start? How long should the engagement be?
- Marketing Budget - How much do you have to spend? Are you looking for an hourly rate? Or an ongoing retainer?
- Goals - When bringing them on, what will be their primary goal? Is it a realistic goal?
- Who will they interact with the most from the business?
Digital marketing consultants provide a range of services to help you reach your customers. They offer specific campaigns as well as complete marketing strategy, development and launch assistance. Regardless of the scope needed, hiring a digital marketing expert will ensure that you have a professional on board who can get the right campaign launched for your company's needs all while avoiding the large fees of a full digital marketing agency. If this sounds like something you need or would like more information about, fill out the form and we'll be in touch shortly!