When we’re not on our phones, we might be browsing the web on a laptop, playing a multiplayer game online, watching Netflix on a Smart TV and so on… The point is, we’re bound to a digital world which means that every business needs some form of online presence these days.
The trouble is digital marketing trends change all the time. How are you supposed to keep up?
Furthermore, you can give digital marketing your best attempt but who’s to say that your competitors won’t one-up you? Because people are always coming up with new, more effective marketing tactics.
But, don’t fret. A digital marketing consultant can help you upgrade your online strategy.
5 Ways a Digital Marketing Consultant Can Help Grow Your Business
A digital marketing consultant will help you grow your business through strategy and planning. This is important as marketers who make the effort to plan campaigns and projects are 356% more likely to report success.
Here’s what a digital marketing consultant can do for you:
1. Develop an Effective Digital Marketing Strategy
A consultant can put together a detailed, actionable digital marketing strategy based on your business objectives. They’ll do this by conducting in-depth analyses of your current position and target audience.
This will likely begin with a SWOT analysis which assesses Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats. It will provide great insight into how you run your business, the efficacy of your marketing, your position in the competitive market and more.
Audience research will likely result in creating buyer personas. The consultant will figure out how best to reach your audience through digital marketing, including their preferred marketing channels.
With all of this information a consultant can determine the best overarching strategies, platforms to target and define a set list of tasks that will help you grow your business.
2. Create a High-Converting Sales Strategy
Want to increase sales or generate more leads? A digital marketing consultant can also help you with your advertising strategy.
Paid ads drive traffic and increase sales. For every $1 spent on Google ads you get $2 in revenue.
Google isn’t the only advertising channel available to you, however. A consultant will determine which advertising channel will get you the best ROI, whether that’s Google, native advertising, paid social media ads, video ads or other placements.
They will also determine the other aspects that contribute to a successful campaign, such as audience segmentation, keywords, duration and budget.
A consultant can plan impactful ad campaigns for you from start to finish.
3. Establish Useful KPIs
You may already have an idea of what your marketing goals are. But how will you know if you’re making progress towards those goals?
A digital marketing consultant will guide you on which key performance indicators and metrics you should track according to your specific objectives and strategies.
They’ll help you create a system by which you can measure and report on the performance of your projects. They can also direct you to the right analytics tools and software.
This will help you keep track of business growth and make changes where necessary.
4. Suggest Innovative Ideas
Another awesome thing about working with a digital marketing consultant is that they have a fresh, unbiased perspective on your strategy.
As experts in the field of digital marketing, they’re up-to-date on the latest trends. So, they’re able to come up with cutting-edge ideas that’ll drive growth for your business.
If you’re looking to do something unique as in the above examples to gain a competitive edge then a digital marketing consultant could be a massive help.
5. Drive Growth on Multiple Channels
An omnichannel approach to digital marketing is necessary these days. One reason is that people come into contact with your brand at multiple touchpoints before making a purchase. Furthermore, you can reach more people that prefer or use different channels.
The best digital marketing consultants are experienced in a range of platforms and marketing activities from SEO to email marketing to social media.
Therefore, they can help you create consistent campaigns that get results across multiple marketing channels, with particular emphasis on the channels that make most sense for your target audience.
How to Get Started with Digital Marketing Consulting
If you want to get the most value from working with a digital marketing consultant, there are a couple of things you need to do to prepare:
1. Set Clear Expectations
Any digital marketing consultant worth their salt will do their best to make you happy. But, that can only happen if you set clear expectations from the beginning.
After an initial consultation, you’ll work with a consultant over one or more sessions per month or order their time by the hour. Discuss what you expect to achieve and in what number of sessions. Then the consultant can do their best to make that happen.
To give you an example, you might say that by session six you hope to have increased blog traffic by 10%. If you need it, a consultant can help you set realistic expectations.
Other expectations you may want to share:
Which tasks you want them to prioritize
Your preferred method of communication
How often you wish to receive updates
2. Share Access
There are certain assets and accounts a digital marketing consultant will need access to in order to do their job. This is why it’s important to work with a consultant that you can trust.
Firstly, they’ll want to view any existing reports and data. You’ll need to provide access to your Google Analytics, social media accounts (to view social analytics) and other relevant accounts.
Furthermore, you’ll need to share relevant documentation related to your business. For example, this might be existing audience research, market analysis, branding guidelines, your mission statement and the like.
Naturally, you should only divulge what you’re comfortable with and what you feel is relevant. The purpose of sharing these things is simply so that the consultant can learn as much about your operations as possible to make informed, strategic decisions.
Measuring the ROI of Digital Marketing Consulting Services
ROI refers to the profit you gain in relation to the cost of your investment. To calculate ROI, you might use a formula, such as this one from HubSpot:
Let’s break down what each of these terms means:
Number of leads – how many leads did the campaign produce?
Lead-to-customer rate – how many of those leads became customers?
Average sales price – what is the average product price?
Cost or ad spend – what were your costs? This includes ad spend or the cost of creating content, as well as the digital marketing consultant fee.
When calculating ROI, bear in mind that there are variables to consider. Let’s say for example that a campaign generates a lot of leads, but an ineffective sales team or lead nurturing strategy could fail to turn those leads into customers. This will, of course, impact ROI. There may even be other, wider variables, such as the state of the economy.
Furthermore, what you gain from digital marketing campaigns depends on your objectives. In some cases, it’s better to think of what you’ve gained or achieved in relation to your goals rather than placing the emphasis on monetary values.
Sometimes, you should measure the ROI of digital marketing consulting services according to key performance indicators. Have they helped you succeed in generating brand awareness, increasing rankings, improving click-through-rates of emails etc?
All in all, just remember that ROI doesn’t necessarily mean dollar amounts. You may make huge gains in other areas of your business that will result in sales later, help you retain customers, gain authority for your brand and so on.
5 Point Checklist for Finding the Right Digital Marketing Consultant
Hiring a digital marketing consultant is an investment in the future of your business. This one act has the potential to skyrocket your marketing performance.
Thus, it’s vital you find the right one. Here are the qualities you need to look out for:
1. The Right Expertise
Choose a digital marketing consultant with the expertise that matches your needs. If you’re looking for something specific e.g. content marketing make sure it’s one of their main specialities.
It’d also be beneficial to find a consultant with experience and expertise in your industry. Research what kind of clients they’ve worked with in the past. Let’s say you run an e-commerce store, you’ll need to look for consultants with a great track record of driving growth for online stores.
Also, check out the size and type of business they usually work with. It’s another indicator as to whether they can help you specifically.
2. Able to Deliver
Do their strategies get results? Are they able to deliver on your KPIs and help you reach your milestones?
There are a few ways you can work this out. You can look for case studies when researching a consultancy online. Or ask for relevant examples of successful campaigns when you interview a consultant.
You can also look at their ability to market themselves as a consultant or firm. If they have a strong online presence and a great client roster, then they’re able to produce the same results for your biz.
Did you know that I’m an excellent figure skater…
The point I’m making here is that anybody can make any claim they like. You have to find proof that a digital marketing consultant is actually credible.
Can anybody vouch for them? Find reviews, testimonials and write-ups from trustworthy third parties online.
Accreditations also prove that a consultant is capable of doing what they say they can. Examples include Google and HubSpot certifications.
One key responsibility of a digital marketing consultant is to educate and prepare you for continued success. Furthermore, they need to be able to answer your questions and give you solid advice while you work together.
This means they need an in-depth knowledge of digital marketing best practices. So, it pays to work with a consultant that has lots of hands-on experience.
Furthermore, they need to be up-to-date on the latest trends and be confident in their knowledge of where digital marketing is headed in the years to come. That’s why I set up Neil Patel Digital with a group of highly-knowledgeable industry thought leaders:
5. On Your Wavelength
Do you and the digital marketing consultant share the same vision when it comes to growing your business?
When researching consultants try to gain an understanding of their values and their approach. Get to know them and ask the right questions, such as:
How have you helped clients like me in the past?
How familiar are you with my industry?
Do you have any preliminary ideas for my strategy?
How much will you involve us in the process?
What happens when a strategy doesn’t work?
Their answers should help you assess whether they’re the right choice for you.
There are many reasons you may want to hire a digital marketing consultant. For instance, if you struggle to keep up with advancements in digital marketing. Or you just can’t seem to edge past your competitors.
A digital marketing expert can help you come up with marketing and sales strategies that drive growth. They’ll bring fresh ideas and help you dominate multiple channels.
As long as you find a good one that is.
When it comes to choosing a consultant to work with, find somebody that’s a good fit for you specifically, i.e. they get what you’re trying to do and have the relevant experience and expertise to meet your needs.