The world of digital marketing is fast-paced and ever-evolving, so you either need to get on board or risk falling behind. Even sectors that are typically stuck in their ways and have taken years to embrace digital have started to realise just how effective it can be to find new audiences and engage with existing customers.
The most successful brands know that digital marketing is a fulltime commitment. With this in mind, you may wish to consider hiring a Digital Marketing Consultant to help guide you through the ins and outs of digital and outline any best practices to align your marketing with your overall business plan.
You may find Digital Marketing to be quite ‘trend’ heavy, and one of the most significant risks a brand can take online is misinterpreting a trend and trying to force it to work for them and their audience. As with most things in business, brand awareness is all about quality over quantity. However, a Digital Marketing Consultant will help you keep a good balance of both, ensuring constant communications that are fully on-brand and relevant.
What Does a Digital Marketing Consultant Do?
A professional Digital Marketing Consultant will offer many services, but their primary role is to support businesses with their digital marketing strategy. Any digital marketing strategy will need to support the wider marketing plan that will align with the business needs and goals.
During a digital marketing consultation, professionals will be able to look at the business needs and advise how to implement and grow their strategy across various digital mediums. They will consider marketing resource, budget and customer demographics and be able to share market insight from their previous clients and experiences.
Consultants will support businesses from start to finish, whether it’s for an ad-hoc campaign, such as the launch of a new product or service, to a long-term contract.
Consultants will guide businesses through each stage of planning the campaign, implementing it and finally tracking and analysing the results. Every campaign should give businesses insight into what works best for their target audiences and keep improving their marketing efforts.
The secret to a successful marketing plan is always knowing your target audience, and as a business and its brand grows and develops over time, its target audience will likely change.
Consultants can help businesses identify who their typical customers are and how best to reach them with exciting and engaging content to help drive brand awareness. From outreach strategies to retention, Consultants can utilise their market experience to grow companies awareness and sales. The strategy should be super results-focused between the sales and marketing departments to reach potential customers, drive qualified leads, and convert sales.
When Do You Need A Digital Marketing Consultant?
Some businesses can manage all their marketing needs in-house. However, more often than not, that means hiring a team who are skilled enough to handle everything from copywriting to graphic design and understand every algorithm in-between.
Even if this is the case, a Digital Marketing Consultant will still add value – be it a fresh take on processes and best practices or just a confidence boost to the in-house team that what they’re doing is suitable for the brand online.
However, few businesses have the time, resource and expertise in-house and therefore turn to outsourced professionals to ease the workload, especially a small business. A Digital Marketing Consultant can highlight where a marketing strategy is underperforming and where ROI (return on investment) opportunities may be missed.
Not only is implementing a successful strategy important, the analysis and insight that follows are also essential. Digital Marketing Consultants will leverage data and marketing metrics to make improvements and keep brands competitive.
The digital landscape is ever-changing, so having someone in the know’ who is abreast of all digital trends, changes, and developments will make sure businesses maximise their digital potential.
What Are the Duties of a Marketing Consultant?
The relationship between a business and a Marketing Consultant will differ depending on what in-house support there is. A Consultant may be hired to support the existing marketing team to provide additional expertise and fresh insight, or they could be allowed to complete creative control and freedom with very little in-house support.
The best Consultants will feel like a natural extension of your team, no matter what size, and be able to understand your brand ethics and values. Consultants live and breathe digital marketing and will therefore be able to ‘fail fast’ and get the best possible results out of a campaign or know when to pull the plug and change tactics.
What Are Marketing Consultant Services?
There are many types of consultancies out there, all offering different marketing services. Some Consultants have a well-rounded digital knowledge, and others choose to specialise in key areas of digital marketing such as Content Creation, SEO or Social Media.
Digital Marketing Strategy and ROI
The top-level service that a Digital Marketing Consultant might provide is outlining a digital marketing strategy based on your brand and business objectives followed by a comprehensive approach to monitoring ROI online. Digital marketing isn’t just about driving awareness; it needs to be justified via clear results, ROI and add value to the business.
Auditing and Competitor Analysis
Whether it’s down to their market knowledge or just a fresh pair of eyes, professional consultants are better positioned to audit a business’s existing marketing, such as Social Media posts and website user experience. They will underline where improvements can be made and highlight how businesses compare to their competitors. A complete audit and competitor analysis will help form the basis of any future strategy.
Social Media channels are often the first place businesses turn to when looking to promote their business and are a great place for it. However, because of this, it’s an incredibly saturated and competitive space, so it’s essential to know what you’re doing and how to handle the algorithms.
A Digital Marketing Consultant will use their experience to help businesses map out their social strategy, including choosing which channels to utilise based on where a brands target audience is and what style of content and copy will work best to promote their products or services. Consultants will not only help build your Social Media followers but ensure they’re the most relevant audience for a business who are likely to convert into customers.
A businesses website is the hub of all their digital marketing which means it needs to be fully optimised, on-brand and SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) friendly to ensure the best possible results. A Marketing Consultant will know how to maximise the website content, from dedicated campaign landing pages to blog posts and user experience, to support the digital customer journey.
The (semi) recent GDPR changes have made handling data and contacting customers, especially via email, more complex. Email marketing remains one of the most popular channels of communications between businesses and their customers, and it’s an integral part of digital marketing.
Email communications help nurture and convert leads and allow businesses to stay front of mind when done correctly. Digital Marketing Consultants will help businesses use their customer data to accelerate email marketing campaigns and optimise automation to ease some of the day to day workload and allow employees to better employ their skills and time.
One area of marketing that is frequently outsourced is the creative side, such as graphic design and content marketing. It’s usually more cost-effective to outsource graphic design to a professional because it’s not always something businesses need a constant supply of – depending on their industry.
Every aspect of a marketing strategy will need some visual assets, such as Social Media, Email Campaigns and Website Landing Pages. Graphic design comes with its own list of best practices and creative hacks. Digital Marketing Consultants will either be fully able in graphic design or have great recommended connections for those who do.
Each digital marketing element has varying degrees of copy requirements, and there is a big difference between writing copy for a Social Media Post to a Landing Page, for example. Certain content may need extensive research and data analysis or brands may be looking to position themselves as thought leaders in their industries. Professional Consultants will likely have vast experience in copywriting, including proofing text and ensuring it’s SEO friendly.
Sales and Marketing
We all know that sales and marketing go hand in hand, but the two departments often run parallel, rather than integrated as they should be. The Sales team need to know what marketing is going out to help bring customers over the line, and, equally, the Marketing team need the critical consumer insight that Salespeople hold. Digital Consultants can help their clients join the two departments to allow clear communication channels with the ultimate aim of increasing sales and tracking marketing ROI.
What Do Marketing Consultants Charge?
There is no set rate for a Marketing Consultant, and the final figure will be dependent on what marketing services are required and for how long. Suppose you’re looking to hire a Digital Marketing Consultant. In that case, it’s not advised to do so on price but consider their experience and any ties with professional marketing bodies.
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