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  • John Callanta

What To Look For In A Digital Marketing Consultant

Updated: Jul 10, 2022

What to look for in a digital consultant

Digital marketing is an expansive field that requires specialized skillsets. Although there are skills that overlap between a marketer in Search Engine Optimization versus Search Engine Marketing & Pay Per Click, there are nuances to ensure both specialties compliment each other.

A digital marketing consultant can help develop the best strategy for your business depending on your immediate goals.

Below are a set of skills a knowledgeable consultant has mastered throughout their career.

Experience in multiple industries

There are digital marketers specializing in B2B, B2C, ecommerce,or app marketing that require platform interdependencies at varying degrees. B2B digital marketing may consist more on SEO and content marketing as sales cycles are longer to convert while ecommerce require real-time bidding to get in front of targeted audience right now! A good consultant understands which platforms to use for short and long term gains.

Question to ask your consultant: What industries have your worked on and what was the year over year growth from the strategies you implemented?

Experience in a range of platforms

A good consultant has working knowledge of the top platforms. They may not be a specialist but they know which platform does best at attaining a specific outcome. A B2C business like a restaurant will have different needs than a B2B software company but a consultant should know when to put advertising dollars on Yelp ads versus Google Search Ads while also understanding YouTube ads can work for both. A consultant is able to direct your creative team in what works best for each platform. Creative direction such as an Instagram Story will also work for TikTok but it will not work for YouTube; unless, the goal is to place it on YouTube Shorts. These minute details can mean saving time and maximizing your exposure across different platforms by understanding where your content is eligible to reach an audience.

Question to ask your consultant:

What platforms are you comfortable working hands on?

Experience in automation

Martech is a billion dollar industry and each tool allows business to work faster, track kpi’s, and offload repetitive tasks. A good marketing consultant understands the capabilities of marketing automation software such as HubSpot, Pardot, Salesforce, etc. What happens after you drive traffic to your site? How do you get new website visitors to stay or to leave their email? Will you send them an automated email drip campaign? All these capabilities can be done through these tools and a good consultant can work with your developers to create workflows that automate most of the interactions.

Strong Excel and Dashboard creation skills

What can’t be measured can’t be improved. A consultant can build you a dashboard. At minimum, they know their way around GA4 and Google Data Studio to build you a performance dashboard to show your data as is and for future marketing campaigns. Most platforms have the ability to create dashboards or automated reports. A good consultant knows how to sync multiple data sources into one. It is possible to sync your Facebook (Meta) performance data, Google Ads, Twitter, and SEO keywords into one consolidated dashboard.

Soft Skills

A consultant will work with every personality type in your organization. They will need to learn, interpret, summarize information, and provide direction to individuals with specialized skillsets. Knowing it’s possible to track people that click on a button is one thing, directing a developer to make it work on the site using technical terms they understand takes empathy and persuasion only an experienced marketer perfected in their career. They will need to mitigate the SEO specialist with the writer for optimized creative content.

A solid portfolio

Unless you’re working with a celebrity digital marketer, a well designed portfolio highlighting their winning strategies is a must before spending your money on coaching. A nice to have are recent projects that demonstrate expert knowledge of product, platform, and strategy. What channels did they use? Were the budgets similar to yours? What were the benchmarks and what goals were reached? How long was the project and can you see their work replicated to your business?

Strong copywriting and channel expertise

Did you know Google Ads headlines have a maximum of 30 characters while a Twitter post can not exceed 280, and LinkedIn has a 600 character limit? Your consultant understands these nuances and can write copy that delivers the message and within the rules set forth by each platform. At the very least, they know how to direct your content writers on best strategies to write copy that will work for most platforms to reduce duplicate work. They know what words to use to sell your business within the limitations of each platform.

Understands strategy and execution

A consultant can recommend writing 1000 blogs a day or spending a million dollars on Google Ads per month but if you only have one content writer with a $1,000 monthly ad budget, they need to know how to maximize the resources you have currently. Website migrations, redesigns, writing individual content for each platform are great strategies but executing them are time intensive and require budgets that may be out of your range. A good consultant can draft a 30,000 ft. overview strategy and knows how to break it down into weekly goals.

Conversion Rate Optimization

Users will arrive at your site if you set up your digital ads correctly with the proper targeting. However, website traffic completes half the goal. A digital marketing consultant will understand funnel optimization, chatbots, email capture, and email marketing that will re engage your users throughout weeks or months after landing on your site. They understand how the eye reads text and where it jumps from various corners of the page, what pertinent information should live above the fold whereas other points can live lower but support the main content.

A digital marketing consultant knows all digital channels and will not be an expert in all platforms. But, they know how to tailor each puzzle piece to sell your business. They know when to use Google Ads over Linkedin; or when to use pop up email captures or utilizing chatbots for better conversions. It’s not their job to set it up, but they will set you up with key players to launch their strategies. Either spend time and learn the winning strategies or hire an expert to develop the winning strategy for your business.


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