With over one billion people using search engines (such as Google and Bing) on a daily basis, digital marketing is becoming increasingly important for small business owners to reach their target audiences.
Overall, the main goal for digital marketing consultants and agencies is to generate web traffic and leads and increase sales for your business through tactical marketing tactics based on a sound marketing strategy.
Let’s take a look at best tips for how a small business can work alongside a digital marketing consulting professional or firm..
1. Let the consultant do the job
As the founder of a digital marketing agency, there is one issue that occasionally comes up when I take a new client onboard.
Some individuals hire a professional to do a project but then impose their opinions and thoughts on how they think it should be done rather than letting the professional do the job you hired them to do.
While it is good to be a smart client who asks relevant questions, it won’t help if you try to second guess the expertise of the digital marketing firm you hired. Once you hire them, you need to put your trust in their experience and wisdom to perform the job on your behalf to get the results that you desire. Otherwise, you might as well just do the project yourself.
2. Decide on a marketing budget but be prepared to adjust your investment
Getting organic (non-paid) traffic to your website is always preferred but not easily obtainable these days for small businesses. That’s why PPC ads, email marketing, social media and content marketing are key marketing tactics used by digital marketing professionals – but with a cost.
Regardless of the amount of your marketing budget, you need to be in it for the long haul. I have some clients come to me saying their budget is $X but they just want the campaigns and activities to run for a few months. Given the competition for eyeballs and clicks in this ever-increasing digital marketplace, you should allocate a budget for your digital marketing activities for at least 6 months at a time, if not more and be prepared to increase that budget based on results. If current tactics are working then stick with them. If not, reallocate your budget and have your digital marketing consultant try a different ad, campaign or other marketing tactic.
3. Get Updates Frequently
While it will depend on the types of services the digital marketing consultant will provide, you should ask for basic reporting on a monthly basis at the least. The reports should also be brief and easy for you to read and understand from a layman’s perspective. While marketing tactics like PPC or SEO might be complicated, you should understand the basic metrics used to be able to judge the successful performance of those activities.
4. Watch Your Competition
Knowledgeable digital marketers know and understand the importance of watching to see what a client’s competitors are doing. Are they advertising on Facebook or Google? What types of ads are they running? What does the copy and creative look like? How active are they on social media and if so, what platforms are they succeeding on?
Leveraging the successes of your competitors is a no-brainer for small businesses who can use those same tactics to win business for themselves.
5. Have Patience
Digital marketing is not a sprint, it’s a marathon. It requires commitment, investment and time to achieve results. While you will see a quicker response from paid ads vs. organic efforts, you need to be consistent and follow the advice of your digital marketing professional. They can provide you with timelines and expectations based on your budget and marketing strategy.
Ask good questions, get frequent updates and adjust your budget and strategy based on key metrics provided by your digital marketing consultant. There is no one-size-fits-all approach to digital marketing so be patient and work together as a team to get the best results.