Given the rapidly-changing nature of the digital landscape, it’s understandable if you are struggling to reach your target market and annual revenue goals.
Digital Marketing is a key strategy to keep your business afloat in this highly competitive environment and a digital marketing consultant can make the journey a lot easier for you by providing you with a roadmap on how to utilize relevant digital technologies and strategies to better reach your target audience, such as:
- Search engine optimization
- Email marketing
- Social media marketing
- Video marketing
- Online advertising
There are a lot of options out there and not picking the right one for your needs can cost you precious money and time. In the next few minutes, you will not only learn what a digital consultant is but how they can help you reach more customers, bring in more leads and close more sales.
In the end, you’ll also learn how to hire a digital consultant that’s best for your industry. So without further ado, let’s begin!
What is a digital marketing consultant and why are they important?
A digital marketing consultant is an advisor who is an expert in leveraging online marketing channels for better lead generation and higher conversions.
Their services vary depending on your requirements. While some of them only handle specific stages of a marketing campaign, others oversee the entire digital strategy, from idea generation to execution.
They play an important role in digital marketing because of their ability to create the right campaigns and execute them through appropriate channels that best serve your target audience. That’s why most digital consultants have previous work experience in digital marketing, advertising and data analytics.
They are also experts in visual communication and copywriting and keep themselves updated with marketing trends and best practices. Moreover, their understanding of consumer behavior psychology allows them to launch successful marketing campaigns that appeal to your target audience.
Key benefits of hiring a digital consultant
A digital consultant specializes in the development and implementation of both organic and paid online marketing strategies. They can help you:
- Understand your target audience and brainstorm efficient ways of approaching them.
- Gather resources to help with marketing initiatives such as user-friendly content, website analytics, etc.
- Differentiate your organization from the rest of the competition.
- Create a long-term digital strategy (content marketing, email marketing, PPC advertising, and social media marketing) that will keep your online traffic flowing in the years to come.
Now that you have an idea of what digital consultants do, it’s time to discuss how they go about doing their job. Understanding their workflow not only allows you to appreciate their work but also helps you recruit highly skilled digital consultants when you’re interviewing them for the job.
What are the responsibilities of a digital consultant?
1. Creating marketing strategies
Marketing strategies define business goals you want to achieve throughout the campaign, including your available resources, result analysis, and tracking key performance indicators (KPIs).
During the campaign your digital consultant will undertake the following activities:
- Brainstorming is a perfect approach for your company depending on your industry, target customer, and current digital marketing activities. They can improve what you already have or start everything from scratch depending on the situation.
- Identifying key objectives such as more lead generation, getting higher traffic, or increasing conversions.
- Experimenting with online marketing channels such as search engine optimization, Facebook ads, and Google Adwords.
- Checking analytics regularly to ensure the campaign is headed in the right direction and fulfilling objectives.
- Updating old campaigns to increase conversion in a cost-effective way.
2. The importance of branding
There is a reason why companies spend thousands to millions on branding. A brand is more than just a combination of fonts, colors, and logos.
Your brand represents a unique selling proposition. It incites a feeling within your target audience whenever they hear your tagline or see your logo. It’s about making your customers feel emotion because they don’t buy the product, they buy the brand.
The role of a digital consultant is to reinforce that image and promote it in a positive light across all digital platforms. Here is what they do:
- Identify the idea behind your brand and reflect it in all marketing content.
- Define a target audience based on their online behavior and focus on them exclusively.
- Research competitors to see what they lack and what you can do differently to attract consumers.
- Develop a brand voice to help you communicate with the consumer with a constant voice across all platforms.
3. Planning content that converts
You surely have come across the term ‘content calendar’. In case you haven’t, it’s a document that keeps a record of the entire content marketing campaign.
It answers questions such as:
- Who is the target audience for the content?
- What state of the buyer’s journey are they in?
- How does the content answer their problems?
- Which marketing channel (YouTube, Instagram, Facebook, etc.) and content type (blog, videos, promos, etc.) is best suited for your audience?
- What type of CTA should be inside the content? Is the content telling the readers what to do ‘next’?
- How to manage your team for maximum efficiency so that your company can publish content at regular intervals?
As your company grows, the digital consultant will keep monitoring all of your content and keep track of the ones that are performing the best. For instance, you consumers might have liked a specific video formatting.
The consultant will single out the video, blogs, promotional pages and replicate the successful elements in future campaigns for higher engagement and conversions.
But that’s not it. A content calendar not only identifies the right type of content that should be published, but also determines the frequency of publications, where it’s supposed to be published, and team members responsible for creating, editing, and finally publishing it.
Most experts plan out a year’s worth of content in advance and they use software like Trello, Asana, Monday.com, ClickUp, Google Sheets, etc. to keep track of their work and how they are performing across the board.
4. Include storytelling in your content for trust-building
Nobody likes brain-dead commercials. People like to watch stories they can connect to on a personal level. Your company has to make that connection to win the trust of your target audience.
There are different forms of storytelling, but the best ones use the core brand identity to create narrative stories such as Apple’s iPhone 12 Fumble ad. To produce great storytelling content like this, you’ll need to:
- Discover the preferences of your audience and create stories around these areas of interest.
- Approach existing consumers who want to share their experiences with your product/services.
Storytelling is an aspect of branding and shapes your company over time in the eyes of the entire world. The stories you pick could end up making a great impact, so choose wisely.
5. Using search engine optimization (SEO) for better visibility
SEO is the primary online marketing strategy that ensures your website appears at the top of search engine result pages (SERPs) and a digital consultant achieves it in the following ways:
- Building a strategy around relevant topics in your industry and updating them periodically (once every 6-7 months). This ensures the published content remains relevant based on present search trends and maintains its position in the SERPs.
- Publishing topics that not only inform but are written in your brand’s unique voice.
- Implementing trending keywords.
- White hat link building to increase the domain authority of your website.
- Optimizing titles, meta descriptions, and URLs to maximize the click-through rate (CTR).
When should you hire a digital marketing consultant?
Digital marketing is not only cost-effective, but it’s essential in today’s business environment. To answer your question, there is no ‘when’. If you have a business, a digital consultant can be extremely helpful at any stage of your business development. Whether you’re starting a new business, you’re looking to grow your business or you want to pivot to new services and/or markets, the right time is now.
Given the highly competitive market that exists today, any company that’s not doing at least some form of digital marketing will struggle to find leads and convert leads into sales.
You can certainly handle your digital marketing yourself or build an in-house marketing team, but for many businesses these options are not efficient or cost-effective.
Hiring a digital consultant is helpful to assess your current digital marketing efforts, create an optimal strategy for your business and guide you throughout the process if you chose to handle the marketing yourself or implement the strategy for you if you opt for a full-suite service.
A digital consultant can provide a wide range of services, from providing calculated estimates on your expenses and ROI based on best practices to creating an entire sales funnel for your business. No matter the stage of your business, a digital consultant can help setup your company to perform better than your competition and ultimately setup your company for long-term success.
What do you need to be aware of while hiring a digital consultant?
Hiring a digital consultant is an investment, so it’s important to be knowledgeable and properly prepared when you’re ready to hire one. Here are some useful items to have ready and to look for when you begin your search:
- Make a list of your business goals and objectives. E.g. 45% growth in 18 months or a 250% boost in traffic in 12 months.
- Be ready to list the tools and explain the processes you’re currently using for your marketing strategy.
- Speak to more than one digital consultant to get an understanding of their experience, their knowledge of current trends in the industry, their methodology & processes and how they fit with your business objectives.
- Digital consultants do not come cheap, so be prepared financially and have a clear budget outlined.
Hiring a digital marketing consultant is a great option to help grow your business and making sure you hire the right consultant is extremely important.
Now you have a good understanding of who digital consultants are, what they do, and how you hire the right consultant for your business. All that’s left is for you to start your search and find the right digital marketing consultant for your needs. Best of luck!