Read This Before You Hire A Digital Marketing Expert

April 8, 2021

This post may not be in my best interest, but it is in yours. 

I am a digital marketer by trade, and I am about to tell you why you might not need to hire a digital marketing consultant. 

The thing is, in this internet dominated world, many people and companies waste money hiring “experts” who don’t give you their money’s worth, and I’d like to help you avoid that. 

Here are six things you have to consider before hiring somebody to help you with digital marketing. 

1) Digital marketing isn’t the goal. It’s a tool

Digital marketing is the current hype, everything revolves around metrics, and it can be easy to convince yourself you need to conquer it to succeed. 

Most digital marketing numbers are murky, meaning it is not that easy to compare your Google Analytics with your competitor’s. This is both a blessing and a curse. 

Do not waste too much time about your site or ad analytics and spend more time thinking about what others might value from you. 

The objective of a digital marketing strategy is to accomplish a tangible goal. This could be selling more products, gaining more subscribers or getting a thank you from someone, not analytics in and of itself. 

So, if you decide to hire someone to help you with your digital marketing, make sure they can explain to you (without acronyms or overly complex terms) how their strategy will help you accomplish your goals. If they are only focusing on impressions and nothing else, find someone else. 

2) Social media is not the only element of digital marketing

It baffles me how many believe that digital marketing = social media. That is simply not the case. Digital marketing is an area that can be very broad, and it can go from social media to online advertising, from branding to SEO.

You might need a social media strategy, but do not limit yourself to it. Plus, if you decide it is essential for your goal achievement to increase your following, by all means, take advantage of it. Remember that you can 10x your Twitter or Instagram following, but if those followers don’t convert into customers or users, are you sure it was worth it?

That may appear like a social media success, but behind the screen, there might be a case of being rich with Monopoly money. 

3) If you need a strategy, don’t settle for management

When someone is a consultant, they should provide you with a strategic design that aligns with your brand, your objectives and your team (if you have one). 

A proposal should not be solely focused on one element of digital marketing. If you are being shown a cool-looking deck that only considers content planning or a social media plan, you are offered management. So, take a step back and think if this is what you need. 

You should be eased into understanding who your audience is and if there is a segment you have not yet addressed. A consultant should guide you into how to reach this audience and find what is valuable for them.

Remember, you should be doing this to achieve your goals, and you can only do this if you provide value to your audience. 

4) Do they understand your industry?

Hear me out; a digital marketing consultant’s expertise has to be in digital marketing. That’s a given as they are consulting in this sphere. But that’s not enough.

As you are hiring them to create a strategy for you, you need to find someone who understands your industry just as well as digital marketing

If they are no expert in your industry, they should demonstrate they are willing to research it in-depth to understand what your customers are looking for. They should be ready to look at your competition, read deeply about the industry and ask you about it. 

The better the consultant understands the industry, the higher the chance of creating a valuable and realistic strategy. 

5) There is no crystal ball 

Every year, new predictions come out about the following one. While these can help understand overall digital marketing trends, these might not be the best tools to reach your objective. 

Moreover, there is no secret magic recipe that guarantees your success. Indeed, there is no quick scheme that will drastically improve your standing overnight. 

Digital marketing acts as a megaphone, but it can be a slow game in the beginning. Whoever you hire, make sure they are not selling you short-term success and work with them to establish which aspect of your business should get highlighted. 

No one can predict the future. Therefore, no one can guarantee you results.

6) If there is no conversion strategy, it is useless

Pageviews, impressions, average session duration all these numbers may be helpful (although some raise more questions than answers), but only if you have a conversion strategy.

Ultimately, you want people to reach your site, and create a need or start a conversation that will eventually lead to something more “tangible”. It could be a purchase or an action. You want a conversion. 

If your digital marketing strategy doesn’t imply a conversion strategy, you are just speaking into a void. You don’t watch a movie just to see the opening credits and nothing else, so why would you accept that from your digital marketing plan?

If you make an effort to try and grab people’s attention, make sure you have a plan to convert their attention into action. 

To wrap things off

I am passionate about digital marketing, and I believe it is a powerful tool when used the right way. 

If you liked what you’ve read and would like some suggestions on how you can use social media to achieve your precise goal, let me know.

Photo by Carlos Muza on Unsplash

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Alessia Cappello

Alessia eases brands, agencies and publishers measure their online advertising effectiveness. She is a digital marketing and advertising enthusiast by day. Passionate about the intersection between technology, art & culture by night.

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