If you’re anything like the majority of small-business owners, you know you need to develop a presence online. You also know that to do so means developing a digital marketing strategy that will:
- A) Place your business on the first page of search engine listings for relevant keywords.
- B) Drive traffic to your business website.
- C) Encourage visitors to spend time on your website and to become engaged with your online content.
- D) Turn visitors into customers
Perhaps you’ve been looking at a few consulting companies and thinking about hiring one, but are wondering if paying someone external to develop your marketing strategy is the right thing to do. If so, this post may help you to decide if you should bring in a marketing consultant or take the DIY approach to digital marketing strategy development.
How Current is Your Digital Marketing Knowledge?
As digital marketing specialist Michael Bird says in his Business 2 Community article, Keeping Up-to-date with Online Marketing Trends, things move incredibly fast in the digital marketing world. Not only must you constantly keep tabs on changes, you also have to quickly decide how to use them to maintain your competitive edge.
For that reason, a digital marketing strategy isn’t something you develop now and then run with for the next five years. Your strategy will need to be reviewed on a regular basis and changed as necessary to keep up with digital marketing evolution. When you hire a marketing consultant on the other hand, you’ll know your strategy will be based on the latest patterns and trends.
Your consultant will also be able to advise you when significant changes take place and help you to update your strategy accordingly. If you decide to take the DIY approach, you or someone in your team must shoulder that burden and unless you can afford to hire a marketing manager, will have to do so while taking care of primary business responsibilities.
How Broad is Your Digital Marketing Expertise?
In reality, marketing your business successfully online requires not just one strategy, but a number of them. You need a strategy for your website, a strategy for mobile and local search, a social media strategy, and perhaps even a strategy specifically for Facebook; such is the complexity of digital marketing.
As marketing software executive Kevin Akeroyd explains in an article for Forbes (CMOs Must Beat Complexity To Win At Modern Marketing), while becoming ever more complex, marketing has overtaken sales activity in terms of overall impact on the buying process. Kevin’s article empathizes with the plight of CMOs in larger organizations, who are employed only to take care of marketing. Imagine then, how much of a challenge marketing can place in front of a small-business owner.
A consultant is able to take this complexity in her stride. She has the benefit of being previously involved in many strategy development projects for other customers. By hiring her you get the benefit of her depth and breadth of experience, which was of course acquired at no cost to your business, but which she will apply on your behalf in return for her fees.
Alternatively of course, you can take the DIY route and hope that your skills and knowledge in digital marketing are sufficient to develop a competition-beating set of strategies.
How Confident Are You About Digital Marketing?
According to Rex Hammock, the founder of SmallBusiness.com, a recent survey revealed that many small-business owners want help with their digital marketing efforts. In his article on the SmallBusiness.com website (Survey: Small Business Owners Overwhelmed With Digital Marketing Challenges and Options), Rex summarizes the responses to nine questions asked of more than 1,000 survey participants. The title of his article speaks for itself and highlights the reality of trying to cope with digital marketing while managing day-to-day business processes.
This is where hiring a marketing consultant to help you with your strategy can really pay off. For digital marketing consultants, strategy development is their core business.
When you hire a consultant, you can be totally confident that your marketing strategy will be well matched to the needs of your business. You won’t need to feel anxious about making errors which might hamper rather than enhance your opportunities to build a prominent online profile. Best of all, you can continue to focus primarily on your core business activity without being overly distracted by the time and resource requirements of digital marketing.
Now What Do You Think?
The questions explored in this article should help you evaluate the value of hiring a digital marketing consultant. Compared with hiring permanent marketing staff, the cost of consulting services is likely to be far less expensive over the long term.
Many small businesses still have no effective strategy for digital marketing. By engaging a consultant to get professional help developing yours, you can gain a competitive lead and an opportunity to increase market share within your business field—a valuable enabler for profitability.
Changescape Web provides consulting services to marketers and small business owners in St Charles, MO and surrounding areas. To find out how we might help you with your digital marketing strategy, please give us a call at 636.947.6200.