So you’ve decided to take the plunge and adopt a digital marketing consultant. Maybe you’re even adopting a whole litter. Congratulations! It’s a big step—and a huge responsibility!—but the rewards of adopting digital marketing consultants are great. If you care for your consultants well, you’ll find that they will be loyal, hard-working, and loads of fun to have around.
Below are some tips for choosing a new consultant and for integrating them into your life.
Digital marketing consultants come in all shapes and sizes. Some are all-around workhorses, while others have a very specific temperament. Identifying what you want from the relationship will help you choose the right one. The following are the main breeds:
- Integrated: Typically a digital branch of a traditional marketing agency
- Full-service digital: A of consultant who can do “soup to nuts” digital marketing—web design, SEO, social media, email, and affiliate marketing
- Inbound specialists: Can help with content marketing and all that that entails—content production, social media, and SEO
- Mobile specialists: Can help with apps, mobile messaging and mobile site optimisation
- Search marketing specialists: Generally SEO specialists with experience in pay-per-click (PPC)
Introduce them to their environment
Adjusting to a new environment can be traumatic, so you’ll need to take care with your new digital marketing consultant. Show them around and let them meet the team. Teach them the rules of your business so that they will know how to behave and what you expect.
You will need to familiarise them with your goals and objectives, your target audience, your keywords and messages, and your timeframe. Defining the scope of their responsibilities will prevent accidents down the line.
Provide for ample exercise
Most digital marketing consultants will love a good challenge, so you should provide lots of opportunities for them to flex their creative muscles. Don’t just settle for the ideas they presented at the start of the campaign. Instead, demand that fresh ideas continue to flow throughout the campaign.
Some digital consultants will show reluctance to offer new ideas, however, if the budget has already been set. But if the campaign requires a change of course midway through, you should remain open to reworking the budget numbers.
At the same time, it’s difficult to reach a goal that is constantly shifting. Keep your consultant updated with what’s going on in your business—staffing changes, changes to workflow, etc.—so that everyone stays on the same page.
Watch for signs of illness
Once your digital consultant has settled in, they should begin reporting in with analytics. Reports should consist of both usage statistics and audience reactions. These analytics will enable you to determine audience engagement with your campaign, but more importantly, they will enable you and your consultant to make adjustments as needed.
If the analytics aren’t meeting your expectations and the adjustments don’t do the trick, it could be time to take your digital consultant back and try a new one. We know, it’s easy to grow attached to your consultant, but if it doesn’t feel right to you, it probably doesn’t feel right to them either. Best to let them loose so they can find a new home.
Reward good behaviour
None of us functions well when we’re only told what we’ve done wrong. Your digital consultant likes to know when he or she is doing a good job, so remember to praise good behaviour that conforms to your expectations. If they learn a new trick, a pat on the back will do wonders for their self-esteem—and will make them try even harder to please you.
Of course, we’ve intended this all in good fun. Digital consultants aren’t puppies. But the right treatment works as well with people as it does with pets. Make your expectations clear from the outset, remember to say thank you, and the relationship between you and your consultant will flourish.
Now it’s your turn
What tips do you have for adopting a digital marketing consultant? Leave them in the comments section below.