Why is digital marketing the future in Singapore and the world over? The answer is simple. Everybody is online. Those customers you want to reach are hanging on social media. They follow blogs and news sites devoutly.
To succeed in digital marketing, you must make the right offer to the right audience at the right time and the right place. Sounds cryptic? Still, the other rule of thumb is that you must go where your prospects are. As such, you need to position your operations and marketing strategically online.
But then again, you can only make a meaningful impact if you summon all the skills needed to make it work. Trust me, it’s quite a bunch. Be it strategy, advertising, PPC, UX, or SEO, you won’t make it until you have the right marketing cache.
Don’t fret. There are digital marketing consultants that can get you ahead of the game. They are the elite squad when executing positively impacting campaigns to deliver your desired results.
What Is A Digital Marketing Consultancy?
A digital marketing consultant can be a one-man show. But the consultancy can refer to a firm or agency that helps businesses position themselves competitively in the digital arena.
These consultancies vary in size, expertise, and areas of specialisation. Overall, they help you evaluate, optimise, and develop better strategies moving forward.
You bet that there’s no subtle difference between a consultant and an agency. They’re all focused on ensuring your digital marketing efforts bear fruit while giving you a perfectly optimised digital presence.
What Is A Digital Marketing Consultant?
Usually, a digital marketing consultant is an external specialist who leverages web marketing channels to drive your leads and conversion rates.
These experts help your business craft compelling marketing strategies and sales promotions to boost growth.
With such consultants in your corner, your business can leverage fresh ideas that catapult your venture way above the competition. They’ll give you the magic formula to help you dominate every digital channel you appoint.
Importantly, digital marketing consultants offer services based on your needs. Some are specialists, while others handle the entire marketing scope.
Whatever services you pick, these consultants ensure that you launch relevant campaigns on the right channels to enable you to hit your targets.
They’ll know the perfect channels for your products and services based on your targeted audience. This way, your brand recognition goes up together with your lead volume and sales.
Why Hire A Digital Marketing Consultant?
Start-ups and established enterprises tend to misconstrue the role of the marketing department. They think that consultancy can successfully happen in-house. But that’s a wrong verdict. Digital marketing consultants offer fresh perspectives and specialist capacities that can’t be found elsewhere. Below are some reasons for hiring these consultants.
Get an Outsider’s Perspective
Digital consultants provide a third-eye perspective of things. They’re trained to perceive business-related aspects objectively and with clarity.
Digital marketing consultants come with specialist skills that address all your UX, Social Media SEO marketing needs. You can optimise your resources and workflows by leveraging specialist skills.
The extended time you spend trying to put it all together costs your business money. Marketing consultation can help you execute at a fraction of it.
Experienced marketing consultants ensure that your budget is utilised accordingly. You can track, measure, and assess your KPIs to ensure profitability.
Considerations When Hiring a Digital Marketing Consultant
Just like you’ve invested in top talents, tools, and infrastructure, contracting a digital marketing expert requires discretion. Here are some considerations to assess.
Business Needs and Goals
You must know what you want and the areas you need help with from the onset. In fact, you should mark a set of goals that your incoming consultant is expected to achieve. It enables them to perceive your project better.
For instance, you can lead your consultant with tentative objectives such as:
- I expect to drive sales by 40% in the next 12 months.
- I want a 200% increase in page traffic using organic strategies in six months.
- With a paid advertising budget of $2000/month, I expect a 35% increase in sales in the coming 3 months.
With such spelled out goals, your digital marketing consultant can make the right decisions regarding the tools to use, channels, content type, and engagement strategy to exploit.
Your Preferred Tools
It doesn’t matter whether you’re using a standard excel sheet or a fully-fledged CRM suite to manage your email outreach. The fact remains that your preferred digital marketing expert should be well versed with such. If they’re specialists with added knowledge, the better.
Match Expertise with Niche Needs
Some digital marketing consultants exclusively serve specific industries. What you cannot ignore is their compatibility with your industry. You don’t want them to experiment with your venture. Hiring industry-specific consultants is an advantage in several ways:
- They are conversant with the consumer cluster you’re targeting.
- They have explicit knowledge of emerging industry trends.
- They’re conversant with the best practices when promoting your brand.
Highly qualified digital marketing consultants cost money.
But you must evaluate their track record, service scope, and marketing acuity on different channels and industries.
If you expect top results, then I suggest hiring a consultant based on the value-based pricing model. This guarantees that you only have to pay a percentage of the returns you get from the campaigns they’ve launched.
It sounds more like a contingency plan. If the consultants fail to achieve what they promised, you can only pay a minimum fee or a lower percentage.
The good thing with such a model is that it prompts the consultant to go overboard lest they earn a miserable fee if they fail to deliver.
Evaluate Testimonials and Case Studies
What tells you that a digital marketing consultant can help you ace your marketing campaigns? Their flashy website, perhaps? The variables are many. Still, you can’t go wrong with the testimonials and case studies on their site.
Client testimonials, both good and bad, will lead you the right way. Happy clients will give an account of their interaction with consultant X. it makes it easy for you to make the last decision. If direct feedback from their past clients shows proof of competency, in-depth knowledge, and diligence, get them on board.
Questions to Ask Before Hiring a Digital Marketing Agency
I wouldn’t say there are huge differences you’ll encounter when hiring a digital marketing consultant or an agency. However, that doesn’t stop you from putting potential agencies on the spot. It might be more comfortable with an individual consultant, but some questions below will tell you where to cast the die.
How Will You Collaborate With My Internal Team?
An outsourced marketing agency is simply an extension of your internal department. But communication is crucial. A good agency must be discreet with communication. They must deploy a structure that defines how emails or phone calls will be handled in-between. You’ll need to be sure that there’s no communication breakdown whatsoever.
What Tools Do You Use?
Digital marketing is probably dead without those automation tools. Professionals in the arena rely on third-party tools to optimise and deliver. Before you hire, ask them to detail the tools they use and verify that they don’t rely on out-of-date applications.
How Do You Track And Measure Results?
There are many variables and metrics to measure with every digital campaign. At least, your agency needs to be good with analytics. They must demonstrate their capacity with KPIs, brand affinity, bounce rates, and engagement.
When Will I See Results?
This is a critical question. You know you won’t be seeing results in a fortnight. I know you haven’t forgotten that SEO or organic search won’t give you such guarantees. Search engines gradually index and rank your content. But if they guarantee you top results in a month, check elsewhere.
What Digital Marketing Consultants Offer
Consultants can provide you with invaluable market research and a profitable strategy to go along with it. Their primary focus is on helping you to better understand who your customers are and how you can serve them. Many have years of hands-on experience so they are familiar with all of the best practices and know how to produce a significant return on investment. The key is to find a digital marketing agency that has winning traits such as those discussed below:
1. They Know How to Find New Clients
When searching for the best agency, you need to be on the lookout for one that demonstrates an ability to find your target audience. Competition can be pretty fierce online, which means that it’s not enough to provide what your audience needs, you have to know where to find them. Not only that, but you must know how to communicate with them.
A reputable agency has experience with both of these things. They know which channels are the best to reach out to your audience. They also know how to use these channels to their fullest potential. Many provide copywriting, SEO marketing, PPC management and link building services. Before hiring a company, ask them to explain how they plan to use each channel.
2. They Know How to Optimise Your Content Strategy
There are some marketing channels that work very well on their own. However, there are times in which your channels work better when they are combined. And it takes a certain amount of expertise to figure out which of these will work best together.
This is where an expert comes in. They will connect different channels depending on what your specific goals are. This will increase traffic and conversions. It will also help you to cut down on costs.
3. They Know How To Perform Competitive Research
Your consultant should also know how to perform competitive analysis. In this way, you will be able to identify new opportunities in your field and produce content that your audience will actually find valuable. Competitive research is also another way to save money and time because you will work more efficiently. One of the first things a potential agency should mention to you is your competitors and what they’re doing.
4. They Know How To Perform Market Research
Sure, you should always know what your competition is doing, but it’s as equally important to know what your customers actually need. Knowing what is in demand will help you to improve your content marketing and make it as personalised and tailored to them as possible. And this is why the best consultants will study the demographics of your audience as well as the market trends. Professionals know how to identify all of the gaps in your particular niche and the align your services and products with the needs of your audience. You should never work with a company that suggests a certain type of content before actually know who your audience is. Though market research may require an investment on the front-end, it can save that much more on the backend.
5. They Know How to Personalise Your Content
Creating a lot of content is easy. The hard part is creating content that is actually relevant and valuable to your audience. When your content is relevant and tailor-made, it increases your conversions and sales by leaps and bounds. This requires a focused marketing strategy. A professional will review your audience and give you ideas on how you can personalise your content. So before hiring someone, find out what data they use in order to get their suggestions, if any.
6. The Offer SEO Copywriting
Online marketing is nothing without search engine optimisation, also known as SEO. It helps you to rank well in Google and drive more traffic to your site. However, it’s also one of the more challenging parts of digital marketing. You must have a technical understanding of search engines and know how to write compelling copy that gets your audience to take action. And an experienced consultant does more than just produce landing and web pages, they drive organic traffic.
7. They Know How To Perform Keyword Research
One of the most important parts of SEO is keyword research. An expert conducts a high-quality keyword research. They use their special tools to find out what customers are searching for. So be on the lookout for an agency that knows the basics of SEO and is familiar with the most popular keyword research tools.
8. They Know How To Identify Your KPIs
KPIs, also known as key performance indicators, can be thought of as milestones. They can give you an idea of how well your campaign is going. And in this way, they help to guide your marketing strategy. Expert companies will base KPI on your specific goals. Even if you are unsure about what you want, they know how to perform an assessment.
A reputable digital marketing consultant will never run a campaign without tracking its progress. So before making your final decision, find out which KPIs they have in mind for your brand. And how often do they check these?
9. They Work According to Analytics And Data
While there are a lot of companies out there that promise business owners the world, only a select few will actually deliver. Those that do deliver are often driven by data. Every decision they make is based on the numbers and metrics. In this way, they use their tracking to tweak and improve your marketing strategy.
10. They Analyse Your Current Tactics
Some companies will suggest that you start your marketing over from scratch. However, experts will first consider your current strategy. They will find out what your strengths and weaknesses, and then make changes as necessary. The best part about this is that it helps to save you both money and time. There is no need to start completely over if some of your current tactics are actually working. So ask the company about their initial auditing process.
5 Benefits of Contracting a Digital Marketing Agency in Singapore
A majority of Singaporean business owners dream of breaking out to international markets. It’s never impossible. But you’ll need more than just a website and online marketing knowledge. To fast-track such growth, it’s essential that you shift from your in-house operation and let professional marketing consultants handle the heavy lifting. Here are some benefits of engaging a digital marketing agency.
Skilled Experts at Your Disposal
Did you know that an all in-house marketing team characteristically limited experience-wise? Start-ups are always bridled by a lack of top industry skills. They lack the budgets to maintain top talents. Enter the digital agency, and they’ll flood your campaign with all the specialist skills you can think of. In fact, you can access such talents on an on-demand basis. You enjoy professional skillsets without burning your budget.
Reliability and Accountability
Professional agencies display reliability and accountability with every project you entrust them with. You can liaise with select consultants about the metrics and stats whenever there is a concern. In fact, they’ll use the best tools and approaches, and you’ll have the confidence that they’re sure to deliver.
Where accountability is needed, they are always on top of what is happening with every campaign they’re handling. If a specific area is tanking, they’ll know what to do to patch it up.
Running your marketing processes in-house can deplete your budget. Some variables can drive the costs too high. With an agency, you’re paying for the services they render. You don’t have to pay for some tools either. Remember, some outsourced agencies will cater to the running costs of every digital campaign they run on your behalf.
Fresh Marketing Ideas and Perspectives
Your one and only in-house marketing squad is likely to inbreed ideas. That can lead to stagnation and lack of creativity. Hiring a digital marketing agency can turn it around faster than you thought. The agency specialists live and breathe creativity. They’ll bring in new idea blends and out-of-the-box strategies, and you no longer have to struggle to stay ahead of the pack.
Timely Marketing Campaigns
Given the lack of zeal, your in-house team is likely to keep missing deadlines, and it’s bad for business. Specialised consultants never gamble with deadlines. They are paid to deliver on promises, and they’ll go all out in a way that your internal team can’t.
Stay Top of Trends
You and your not-so-savvy in-house team might be in the dark when it comes to trends and novel strategies. You’re managing a business and not a digital marketing career. When you contract a consultancy, you can rest knowing that savvy experts are handling every aspect of your web marketing efforts. They’ll keep up with the trends and algorithm changes without breaking a sweat.
Qualities of Top Digital Marketing Consultants in Singapore
Indeed, you wouldn’t be hunting for a proficient digital marketing manager to make your friends happy. A majority of Singaporean businesses will hire one to enhance their brand awareness and presence online. The ventures that fail even after spending a fortune to hire these consultants probably ignored something-the qualities that make an adept marketing consultant. Here’s what to look for.
Flexible and Adaptable
The digital space is never static. Any Singaporean marketing consultant must live by such a tenet. It means they are flexible to changes, and they can craft new strategies with every digital shift. For instance, nobody wants to engage a specialist who lives by the ideals that made a buzz three years ago. This is why you’ll need to pick an expert who is committed to change and one who is ready for new platform practices.
Desire to Help You Grow
The defining role of a digital marketing consultant is to help you gain exposure. Professionals don’t stop at that. They have a burning desire to help you get the leads, drive conversions and keep it consistent. Your only task is to find a specialist with such a passion.
Ready for Challenges
The fragmented digital marketing landscape has its challenges-and they are many. What’s more, consumer habits keep changing with time. It means that consultants are always up against a terabyte of challenges, each complex in its own way. The perfect candidate to hire is one who is willing to tackle such challenges and make your marketing dreams come true.
Leadership and Management
At the core of every digital marketing campaign, leadership and project management skills take centre stage. It’s essential that marketing consultants can collaborate and work with people whose skills are complementary. A savvy consultant can take the leadership role and steer the team to greater achievement levels. Given that there are deadlines to beat, they must display delegations skills and work harmoniously with everyone else on board.
Curiosity to Learn
A consultant can be adaptable and ready for challenges. But, if they lack the curiosity to learn new stuff can water down many other attributes they possess. Technology is evolving at breakneck speed, and no specialist can afford to be left behind.
Digital marketing is a process. It takes patience to see the fruits of a digital campaign. In the same vein, top consultancies need to acknowledge that some efforts are just trial and error. The best will always take a failed project as another opportunity to make it happen.
Agile marketing consultants need to be strategic thinkers. There is a lot of client data to analyse. Also, there’s a roadmap to create such that the client gets expected results. If your potential candidate already displays the capacity to deduce the next move from data clusters, it’s a good sign.
Signs You Need a Digital Marketing Consultant
Every Singaporean business owner craves better market penetration, unending flow of leads, and increased ROI. But do you know when it’s appropriate to hire a marketing consultant? Here are signs that time is ripe to bring one on board.
Business Is Thriving
Since you’ve launched your business and it’s doing well, you might think you’re on the right trajectory. But you’re wrong. Your business grows, and your customer expectation do the same. If you’re on top of the competition, they’re also planning to dethrone you. By hiring a marketing consultant, you’re sure to stay on top since they can read the trends and help you to stand out progressively.
Your Website Is Outdated
I don’t know about yours, but the nonperforming businesses in your niche operate outdated websites. It’s a bane to your users and search engines. Tell you what, your search rank will suffer if you’re not running a responsive, mobile-first website. When you on-board a marketing consultant, they’ll ensure that your website is accessible on all user devices.
Not Getting New Leads
You can tell that there’s great synergy between sales and marketing. If there nothing to call home about your sales, consider getting a marketing consultant. They develop killer inbound marketing strategies that broaden your reach. They know what content makes your target audience want to convert.
Competitors Are Taking Over
If your competitors are thriving online, it means they’ve taken over your business and customers. It can only mean that they’re maximising digital marketing and every strategy it has to offer. You can only beat them if you opt for a killer strategy too. You know what you need to do? Hire a time-tested marketing consultant who knows the ropes in your niche. Once they help you ace your social media, SEO, or paid ads campaigns, your competitors won’t have another field day ever.
In-House Team Poor Skills
Small businesses struggle to break even simply because they lack skilled marketing capabilities. When you handle your digital marketing in-house, not only do you spread yourself thin but you risk demotivating an already overworked workforce. When you invest in a digital marketing consultant, you benefit from specialist skills. Your staff can focus on other core business tasks.
You Want Trackable Data
Modern businesses, including yours, cannot afford to operate blindly. You’ll never succeed if you don’t know where your traffic is coming from or where they are in their customer journey. Enter marketing consultants, and they’ll help you track data and the metrics that drive up sales. With these specialists on board, you’ll know what channel to invest in, and your team can channel their energy to grow.
Don’t be shocked if that marketing strategy you implemented 8 months ago is no longer making the cut. Plus, you can’t depend on the same content year in and out. Even if you’re on top of management 24-7, customers grow a different perspective as time goes. A digital marketing consultant is your way out when fresh, buzz-invoking content is needed to keep the leads coming. With an extra set of eyes, you’ll brainstorm exceptional ideas that you never thought about.
Other Signs You Need To Hire a Digital Marketing Consultant
- You want additional assistance since you’re deeply immersed in other business-related activities
- You want to leverage novel marketing strategies that guarantee results
- You need your in-house team trained since you lack the capacity yourself
- You’ve been testing multiple marketing approaches for years with no tangible outcomes
- Your venture is stuck, and you’ve run out of growth ideas
- You’re yearning to work with highly defined and more robust marketing goals
- You want to grow, but your metrics aren’t measurable
- You’re planning to break into a new market, and you want insights into the unknown territory
Understandably, you’re looking for a digital marketing consultant to grow your business. But no two consultants are made the same. In fact, the one who helped another company in your niche to generate leads might not help you to build brand awareness. Here are things to know before you start hiring.
- The cost of hiring these consultants vary. You’ll need to be realistic about the amount you can allocate to hire one.
- Marketing consultants have different skillsets. Consider the area you need help with and assess the candidate’s expertise based on your needs.
- Clearly outline your objectives and expectations. By doing so, the expert you hire will have his/her job cut out to avoid confusion.
- Before you hire, calculate the timeframe you’ll need their services. This enables you and your potential candidate to draw a reasonable payment structure. The time frame can be determined by your budget, marketing campaigns, and overall goals.
Whether you’re creating a new strategy or revamping existing ones, marketing consultants cannot be perceived as an afterthought. They have the diligence needed to make your marketing and bottom-line goals realistic.
You don’t have to play a guessing game when it comes to finding the best marketing strategy for you. Sometimes it’s simply a matter of working with professionals. Why not take advantage of the expertise of those who have hands-on experience?