Do you get overwhelmed trying to maximize your digital marketing efforts?
Keeping track of the ever-changing Google algorithms, new social platforms, and martech tools could be exhausting.
Well, some people live and breathe digital marketing. And they can help guide you to actual results.
Enter – Marketing Consultants and digital marketing consulting services!
Digital Marketing Consultants are specialized pros. They can handle all the heavy lifting in marketing for your business online.
In this guide, you’ll learn about Online Marketing Consultants and what they mean for your business.
I’ll walk you through:
- What they do
- When to hire one
- How to pick the right one
- How to measure return on investment
Working with a consultant could be a game changer regardless of your business size or growth stage. Stick with me, and let’s explore the intriguing world of digital marketing consulting.
What Is a Digital Marketing Consultant?
What exactly is a digital marketing consultant?
Put simply, a consultant is a strategic guide. They are usually digital marketing experts who help brands:
✔️ Review current online efforts
✔️ Find gaps, risks, issues
✔️ Create a digital strategy
✔️ Optimize digital marketing campaigns
✔️ Track performance
These experts blend creative ideas and data-driven decisions. Top consultants stay updated on the latest digital marketing tools and trends.
They collaborate to achieve marketing goals like:
Consultants don’t just focus on one area like SEO, PPC, or email. They make integrated and actionable plans across:
The goal is to bring various marketing channels together in a more impactful unified program. That drives much better results than fragmented, one-off marketing initiatives.
You simply can’t figure out everything alone. Consultants fine-tune your online presence and boost brand awareness. They tap into broad expertise from hundreds of past marketing activities.
Digital marketing is getting more competitive every year. The digital advertising and marketing market globally is expected to hit $786.2 billion by 2026. Having digital marketing consulting experts on your team is no longer a luxury.
Services Provided by Digital Marketing Consultants
What services do marketing consultants provide? When you bring one of these experts on as a virtual CMO, you gain a wealth of knowledge across:
Research & Analysis
Consultants start by studying your:
- Business model
- Target market
- Current customers
- Past marketing performance
- Market conditions
They compile a 360-degree view of your digital ecosystem. This sets a baseline to spot improvement opportunities in your digital marketing strategy.
Next, consultants create data-backed digital strategies tied to your business goals. Is the focus on getting new customers or keeping existing ones? Do you need more leads or higher-value customers?
No matter the objectives, consultants map out integrated plans covering must-haves like:
- SEO visibility
- Social engagement
- PPC and retargeting
- Email capture/nurturing
- Affiliate programs
- Content marketing
- Web optimization
They handle strategy and planning and also exact campaign specifics.
Execution & Optimization
Some consultants go beyond planning to manage execution. This includes directly running initiatives like:
- Landing page design
- Social ad campaigns
- Marketing automation
- Email workflow creation
- Targeted content development
- Influencer marketing outreach
81% of surveyed social marketers say influencer marketing is vital to their social marketing blueprint.
Consultants pilot test concepts using a fail-fast approach to double down on what works. Having an expert marketer helming your marketing can help you grow faster.
Ongoing Optimization & Support
Digital experts also optimize and support campaigns post-launch. They don’t just deliver a plan and then disappear.
They stick around to:
- Refine campaign pieces
- Coordinate vendors/teams
- Review performance data
- Spot issues early
- Suggest improvements
- Answer questions
Consider them a trusted partner for the long haul.
The value-packed services are customizable based on unique client needs. Whether you want an audit, strategy, execution, or a mix, these specialists have you covered!
Skills and Expertise Required for Digital Marketing Consulting
What does it take to become a digital marketing consultant? Let’s highlight the five core competencies of a consultant.
Obviously, consultants must master digital marketing basics like:
✔️ Search Engine Optimization
✔️ Pay-per-click platforms
✔️ Social media advertising best practices
✔️ Data analytics and reporting
Many gain initial experience on a digital team before going independent. Over the years, they have built extensive technical know-how. It’s far beyond high-level strategy.
They understand executing and optimizing campaigns at a granular level!
Beyond marketing tactics, consultants must view initiatives through an ROI lens. They ask questions like:
- How will this campaign shape perception?
- Who is the target customer, and what motivates them?
- Does the user experience align with customer needs?
- How do onboarding and nurturing impact churn?
Top consultants blend data, creativity, and strategy with vision. They balance aggressive targets with risk mitigation.
Let’s not overlook “soft skills” either. Exceptional consultants influence stakeholders to agree on roadmaps backed by research. They simplify complex concepts so that all understand.
Specialization brings advantage. The best consultants focus on verticals, building subject matter mastery over time. This lets them better relate to client realities with tailored offers. It also builds a reputation as a niche thought leader.
Finally, consultants operate as mini CEOs, working to grow companies. With startups, they address hesitation slowing ad spend. For mature companies, they may identify new customer segments to penetrate.
Hiring a Consultant vs Hiring a Digital Marketing Agency
How do consultants stack up to agencies? Let’s compare key points:
Consultants give the most budget-friendly help, charging $100 – $400 per hour based on expertise. They offer flexible project, monthly, or hourly rates.
This costs far less than agencies needing high $5K+ monthly retainers that limit small businesses. Consultants provide strategic help at a fraction of the cost.
Level of involvement and execution
Consultants focus on planning and then hand off work to company staff. Some also offer extra help through freelancers.
Agencies have full in-house teams for creative, data, and account management to build strategies from start to finish. But set contracts don’t fit every company.
Short term vs long-term partnership
Consultants usually run short 3 – 6 month projects to fix specific issues with flexible agreements. Agencies usually sign longer, multi-year deals with companies. Such companies fully outsource their marketing activities.
Startups needing fast strategy changes match better with consultants.
Consultants, agencies, and hybrid “fractional CMO” models fill different needs. You should first evaluate your company’s marketing budget. Then consider how much you need to be involved and the best commitment time.
Many brands blend consultants for strategic help and expert agencies. This approach could help get things done smoothly without overspending.
This saves budgets to better boost growth.
When Should You Hire a Digital Marketing Consultant?
Wondering if you need to hire a consultant? Well, here are some top reasons why businesses need the digital marketing services of consultants:
If you lack in-house marketing expertise
Many firms have small marketing teams or none at all. They expect sales or product teams to handle marketing.
These workers may try their best. However, they lack the specialized skills and knowledge to run good digital marketing.
For example, an engineering startup had their developers write blog posts when needed. But the content quality was poor and the traffic was abysmally low. Hiring a consultant solved this issue.
The consultant provided a better SEO and content strategy, which significantly increased site traffic from organic search. According to research, organic search drives 53% of total website traffic.
If your strategies are not driving results
Existing marketing plans often fail more than business leaders want to admit it. An external review is invaluable when pipelines dry up and new customers remain scarce. It points out gaps and outlines data-backed ideas.
A retailer was struggling to grow beyond five physical stores. Their in-house online marketer only focused on social media posting. They didn’t use sales-focused strategies.
Bringing on a consultant led to making SEO a top priority. Community building and personalized email nurturing also became top priorities. These changes guided average order values up 67%.
If You Want an Outsider’s Viewpoint
Built-in biases limit objectivity for internal teams. This is because they are close to the problems.
Consultants provide outside viewpoints. They show blind spots across buyer journeys. They also assign credit for results by channel and messaging.
One founder believed their website perfectly captured the brand’s ethos and conversion sequences. However, consultants revealed a disjointed user flow. They also found confusing value propositions. They also found tone-deaf later-stage content, which lost trust.
The insider view clouded objective evaluations. The external specialist corrected this. They identified friction points.
If you want to stay updated with the latest trends and tools
Consultants tap into bleeding-edge tactics quickly. They actively train on emerging ad platforms.
They also train in marketing technology, personalized recommendations, and analytics. They bring best practices to clients earlier than DIY education allows.
In short, consultants fast-track future growth. An external specialist has a broad view across industries. They accumulate expansive perspectives beyond walls. This is a great benefit they bring to your business.
Consultants fill gaps in marketing programs. They take them to the next level because, internally, there are blind spots.
How to Select the Right Consultant
So, you’ve made up your mind to hire a consultant. But you must go for the best who can deliver great measurable results. Here are some keys to finding the best consultant for your business:
Do They Have the Skills You Need?
First, think about the areas where you could use some extra help. Do you need SEO work? Email marketing guides? Data analysis?
Once you identify the gaps, look for consultants who specialize in those areas. Check out case studies from past projects. See if they have hands-on experience executing and optimizing campaigns, not just high-level strategy.
You want an expert with deep knowledge of the core stuff you need. They should have a proven track record of driving results for clients like you.
What are Their Background and Credentials?
Look at the number of years of consulting specifically within industries, company sizes, or structures similar to yours. That’s key for knowing if their approaches will align well or translate effectively.
Many tote generic qualifications. However, they fall short when custom-fitting plans for different business contexts. You want someone who understands your world.
They should have tailored strengths for where YOU are and where you want to go.
Awards and certifications from reputable organizations help validate next-level competencies. They also show others that you have the skills.
Do They Have Case Studies or Examples of Past Wins?
You need to partner with someone who can deliver what they promise rather than just talk about it.
Check out consultant case studies, client reviews, examples of past growth, and outcomes. Probe into the details. Ask questions on the methodologies they used.
Even though past wins don’t guarantee future success, you’ll get insight into their real problem-solving abilities.
What Are Their Processes and Go-To Tools?
Take a peek behind the curtain at their inner workings. How do they run their engagements from start to finish? What technologies, systems, and platforms are their secret sauce for executing strategies smoothly and efficiently?
For instance, look for project roadmaps and timelines. How often do they communicate updates? What automation tools do they use for various tasks? What analytics solutions will they report back with?
The goal is to identify consultants already working with the platforms and workflows your team knows and loves.
Do They Offer Strong Value and Fair Pricing?
Last but not least, crunch some numbers! Look closely at the ROI – that expected business growth tied to bottom-line profit gains.
Compare that to hourly rates, monthly retainers, per-project fees, or other billing structures.
There are always intangibles when finding the right “fit” in a trusted partner. But focusing on the dollars and cents value they drive can help you decide faster if the choice makes solid business sense.
Measuring Marketing Consulting ROI
Wondering how to track success and ROI with your marketing consultant? Evaluating performance keeps everyone accountable for delivering on goals.
Let’s explore key metrics. These metrics align with growth, sales, and branding objectives. They gauge progress.
Your consultant focuses first on customer acquisition, engaging high-potential targets through:
- Increased organic traffic
- More inbound leads
- Higher email subscribers
- Larger social media followers
These set the foundation for future conversion. So, monitor site visitors, lead volume, email sign-ups, and social fan growth. Logs should trend consistently up and to the right!
Consultants have to drive action on leads.
They nurture and convert interest into revenue through tactics that improve:
- Click-through rates
- Time on site
- Pages visited per session
In turn, lifting metrics like:
- Online demos scheduled
- Free trial sign-ups
- Paid subscriptions
The more quality interactions, the more sales conversion rates.
Ultimately, you need visibility and trust to sustain long-term growth. While working with consultants, you should be tracking:
- Social media mentions
- Referral traffic
- Inbound links
- Reviews and ratings
Brand building enables you to expand your reach through word-of-mouth. This way, more people discover you as an authority they can relate to and recommend.
Balance Quantitative and Qualitative Factors
The above metrics provide a quantitative form of assessment. Remember to balance with qualitative impressions when assessing consultant contribution. Combine KPIs and anecdotal observations from internal teams. Then, Judge the overall impact to determine ROI.
Now you know key areas to track! What metrics matter most depends on the current business stage and goals. Evaluate consultant relationships, track what improves, and then keep optimizing!
Marketing consultants can help you gain clarity. They can help take your marketing and sales strategies to the next level. I mean, a level your DIY approach will struggle to match.
Their skills and proven abilities can significantly boost the profitability of your business. And with higher conversions and lower costs, their fees basically pay for themselves ten times over.
Digital marketing consulting services can help to grow your business. Bringing in a consultant is like hooking your brand to a booster rocket.
The right match spots weak points holding you back. They help map out roads to speak to YOUR core customers and drivers.
The truth is that most businesses need some form of external support or help to scale. If you are eager to reach more of your target customers and grow sales, AdvertiseMint can help.
At AdvertiseMint, we are experts at driving sales and enhancing brand awareness using paid social media ads. We have the results and and have provide results for businesses looking for the best automotive advertising agency, cosmetics advertising agency and financial services advertising agency.
Partner with us today, and let’s help you scale with highly targeted ads.
Speak with one of our ads specialists to get started.