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What Is A Digital Marketing Consultant And Does You Need One?

What Is A Digital Marketing Consultant And Does You Need One?

A digital marketing consultant is a perfect asset to up your game.

In this article, we will show you how these experts can help grow your business online.

After all, marketers who take the time to plan their projects proactively are 356% more likely to report success.

If you need assistance with developing a proper plan of action and crafting online marketing campaigns that drive measurable results, then you are in the right place.

Let’s see what digital marketing consultants specialize in and how they can bring value to your business.

What Is A Digital Marketing Consultant?

A digital marketing consultant, also known as an “online marketing consultant,” is an expert advisor who evaluates the current marketing efforts of the client organization, helps them optimize their strategies, and leverages the right online channels to generate leads and increase online conversions.

These experts’ job is to identify the most effective ways businesses can promote their products and services through in-depth market analysis, customized strategies, and various digital technologies.

A digital marketing consultant can help businesses that:

  • Plan to change how they approach digital marketing and have the budget to afford an external consultant
  • Lack of in-house expertise necessary to plan and execute digital marketing campaigns
  • Work with a small team that’s already stretched to its limit
  • Operate in a highly competitive environment that has a developed online presence

These professionals are proficient in analyzing large amounts of data, have a deep understanding of the digital marketing industry trends, and come equipped with various digital marketing tools.

Digital marketing consultants tend to wear many hats; they are well-versed in the broad portfolio of digital marketing channels and tactics, from SEO experts to social media.

If you are interested in partnering with an agency for specialized digital marketing services, DesignRush has ranked the best:

What Services Does A Digital Marketing Consultant Provide?

The job of a digital marketing consultant varies greatly by client and project. Depending on the requirement, they can develop single-channel, integrated or omnichannel strategies.

The services they typically bring to the table are:

  • Market research
  • The competition analysis and monitoring
  • Marketing strategy consulting
  • Social media consulting
  • Marketing management consulting
  • UX design and CRO analysis
  • SEO consulting
  • PPC consulting
  • Content marketing strategy
  • Marketing analytics consulting
  • Social listening & online reputation management
  • And even recruitment for digital marketing positions

Some of their primary responsibilities are:

  • Performing market research to determine the ideal customers and key competitors
  • Researching the existing strategies across various online channels, including social media and websites
  • Evaluating and recommending marketing budgets
  • Creating customized online marketing strategies
  • Discovering new opportunities and platforms where organizations can engage with existing clients as well as attract new prospects
  • Improving brand engagement and communication
  • Making audits of existing websites and apps
  • Training in-house marketers on best practices and suggesting opportunities for business growth
  • Helping clients with monitoring and reporting of campaign analytics

The type of online marketing services you can outsource to these experts depends on your unique business goals and the area you want to improve in your marketing efforts.

How Much Do Digital Marketing Consulting Services Cost?

Several key factors influence the cost of digital marketing consulting services:

  • The consultants’ level of experience
  • The areas of expertise they cover
  • Their access to various tools and technologies
  • Their location
  • Time duration or when the project will be completed

Online marketing consultants typically charge by the hour.

The average rates range between $100 and $175.

However, considering that you pay these experts based on their skills and experience, you can come across experts that offer high-end services and the costs can be steep, at up to $300 per hour.

5 Reasons To Hire A Digital Marketing Consultant

Whether you have an in-house team of talented marketers or are thinking about hiring an expert who can take on your marketing initiatives, your business can benefit from a digital marketing consultant’s expertise.

Having said that, these are the key reasons to invest in an external advisor:

Reason #1: Get An Unbiased, External Perspective

Organizations that don’t have the right expertise in-house tend to follow digital marketing best practices and stick to what worked for others or themselves in the past.

However, the online landscape changes rapidly, and businesses that fail to adapt to those trends can easily fall behind.

A digital marketing consultant can have a fresh take on your company, spot the real challenges and add new perspectives.

With an external point-of-view, you’ll get more clarity and objectivity and will be able to optimize your strategies for better results.

Reason #2: Stay Relevant & Up-To-Date

It is part of an online marketing consultant’s job to learn and grow along with the industry.

These professionals continuously upgrade their skill set and stay on top of trends at all times. They educate themselves by attending different conferences, webinars, and events.

So, they are always aware of the search engine algorithm updates, the latest tools, best practices, and tactics that organizations should leverage to achieve online success.

Business owners are busy and don’t have the time to follow everything that's trending.

A digital marketing consultant can be their best asset to growing in this highly competitive landscape.

Reason #3: Gain Access To Premium Tools & Insights

One of the core strengths of marketing consultants is the access they have to expensive, cutting-edge tools.

They use these tools to get valuable insights on your customers, boost search engine visibility and overall web performance.

You may not have a budget for these tools. However, by partnering with a digital marketing consultant, you will reap the benefits and get advanced insights that increase your chances of reaching your goals.

Reason #4: Tap Into Proven Experience

A digital marketing consultant has worked with many other companies and has extensive experience in multiple industries.

They have tested different tactics on various channels and know what works with specific campaigns and clients and what doesn’t.

They know the ins and outs of most industries, understand the different types of audiences, and are aware of the major challenges and opportunities on the market.

This is why they are quite competent to advise businesses and improve their marketing strategies and overall online performance.

Reason #5: Save Time And Money In The Long-Run

A digital marketing consultant will teach your existing employees to execute campaigns, write content strategically or optimize for SEO, and these add massive value to your business. Plus, digital marketing consultants are highly skilled and experienced professionals that require no training.

What’s more, these consultants can help you spot problems and solve them quickly and efficiently. That will ensure your marketing budget is spent wisely on the right campaigns and channels.

All this will ultimately result in cost and time savings for your business, as well as quicker results.

Should You Hire An Online Marketing Consultant Or A Digital Marketing Agency?

Overall, the main differences between an online marketing consultant and a digital marketing agency are the following:

  • Strategy: Setting goals and priorities and developing a plan of action to achieve specific long-term goals.
  • Planning: Determining the exact steps you need to take to achieve your goals.
  • Execution: Carrying out the plan and implementing the actual strategies to get the desired results.

Typically, a digital marketing agency can help you with the three aspects.

A digital marketing consultant, on the other hand, usually specializes in strategy and planning only. Organizations execute the strategies on their own but under the supervision of the consultant.

After the strategies are executed, the consultant's job is not over yet, and in fact, they help clients gather analytics and evaluate the project’s success based on specific metrics.

Consultants serve as strategists rather than implementers, but they provide responsive monitoring and supervision during the project execution.

Based on these differences, you should hire an online marketing consultant when:

  • You have an in-house team but need guidance and digital marketing strategy
  • You have a team of experts, but they are not able to drive the desired results
  • You are a startup trying to determine your product-market fit or target audiences
  • You are on a tight budget since consultants are way cheaper than hiring an agency for your marketing needs because they provide multiple experts at your disposal

You should hire a digital marketing agency when:

  • You have a well-aligned strategy and plan of action, but you need experts to execute them
  • You need a long-term partner that will implement strategies on an ongoing basis

How To Choose The Right Online Marketing Consultant For Your Business

To make sure you partner with the right online marketing consultant for your business needs, take the following steps:

  • Look for relevant expertise: While some consultants may offer professional advice in different areas, others choose to specialize in one single field like social media marketing or PPC particularly. To hire the right partner for your business, make sure the consultant’s expertise matches your needs. Whether you want to improve a specific area like content marketing or your overall marketing efforts, make certain you check the scope of services and portfolios of these experts to find the best fit.
  • Evaluate the quality of their portfolios and case studies: Each digital marketing consultant’s past work will speak volumes about their skills and capabilities. A few key factors to consider are:
    • Their industry expertise: Partner with consultants with relevant experience in your niche or at least in a similar one. They already have unique insights into your target market and competition and will be better positioned to provide strategies and drive results.
    • How they measure success: Find out what success means for these experts and how they measure it. If they highlight results that impact organizations directly (like results in the form of sales and revenue), then it means that they are capable of delivering results.
  • Search for credentials: Credentials in the form of awards, certifications, and years of experience will demonstrate the capabilities of each online marketing consultant, their knowledge in the industry, the quality of their work as well as how recognized they are. While it isn’t critical and should not be a decisive factor, having credentials will indicate that these experts can deliver successful projects.
  • Research their tools and processes: During your search for the best online marketing consultant, determine what processes each candidate follows and what type of tools they have access to. Since digital marketing is a field that changes very fast, the best partner should keep up with the latest trends, take advantage of the latest tools and technologies and use relevant techniques.
  • Read their reviews and testimonials: These are forms of client feedback that will demonstrate the credibility and reliability of each prospective consultant. You will learn about their knowledge, skills, and professionalism, how they treat their clients, how communicative they are if they take a personalized approach, and whether they can meet deadlines and generate measurable results.

Should You Invest In Internet Marketing Consulting Services During COVID Crisis?

Many business owners face the dilemma of whether they should invest in internet marketing consulting services during difficult times like the COVID-19 crisis.

Some believe it is bad timing to add additional costs when already struggling with decreased sales. This is actually the best time to hire a digital marketing consultant for your organization.

Let us explain why.

During the pandemic, people face many restrictive measures like lockdowns. It means that they spend most of their time at home and stay engaged with brands while shopping online.

An interesting fact says that Nike was projected to suffer a $3.5 billion drop in revenue in the fourth quarter of fiscal 2020.

However, the company reported a 36% increase in digital sales, and its shares rose as much as 11% thanks to eCommerce.

According to the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD):

“The pandemic has accelerated the shift towards a more digital world and triggered changes in online shopping behaviors that are likely to have lasting effects.”

The organization’s survey on COVID-19 and eCommerce shows that online purchases have increased by six to ten percentage points across most product categories.

However, the average online monthly spending per shopper has dropped significantly.

Based on the same source, many consumers are expected to hold on to the digital habits they adopted during the pandemic.

In fact, 36% of them are likely to shop online more often.

online-marketing-consulting-services[Source: UNCTAD]

So, now more than ever, businesses should invest in strengthening their online presence.

With the help of an online marketing consultant, you can reach your audiences on the right channels, discover opportunities for new revenue streams and drive repeated sales.

Takeaways On Digital Marketing Consultants

A digital marketing consultant is an expert who can help you improve your marketing efforts and drive measurable results.

The average cost for these professionals varies between $100 and $175 per hour.

The primary reasons why you should invest in digital marketing consulting services are:

  • Get an unbiased perspective
  • Stay current
  • Get advanced insights from premium tools
  • Benefit from their extensive knowledge and relevant experience
  • Save time, money, and effort

To choose the best online marketing consultant for your business needs, follow these steps:

  • Look for relevant expertise
  • Evaluate the quality of their portfolios and case studies
  • Search for credentials
  • Research their tools and processes
  • Read their reviews and testimonials

You should definitely invest in online marketing consulting services during the COVID-19 crisis. Our shopping behavior has changed and more people make online purchases.

So, this is the best time to strengthen your online presence and connect with your audience with the help of a professional advisor.

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