Hiring a Digital Marketing Consultant or Agency: What You Should Expect?


You often get left with quite a few questions when you set out to hire a digital marketing consultant or agency. Some people will tell you to go with multiple specialists; others will say to stick with one agency. You’ll be advised to drop someone who doesn’t produce results in six months, but you will also be told that they haven’t had enough time to show you what they can do. It’s not easy, but I can shed some light on some of the steps you can take to better your chances of success and also to give you some perspective.


Results to Expect

In regards to digital marketing, you tend to be dealing with a massive amount of unknown information and speculated results. “There isn’t a great deal of certainty, and even the best marketers in the world will tell you that they can’t guarantee where you sit is going to rank in a month because the market changes so much regardless of the platform. All you have are calculated guesses” says Chris MD of Silver Bullet experienced with hiring digital consultants.

Of course, working with an experienced marketer or agency means that their guesses will tend to be somewhat accurate, but even they have the potential to overestimate their abilities, and external factors can be neglected. What you need to do as the client is to separate the facts from the predictions in order to differentiate the outputs and outcomes. Get a detailed explanation from your marketer/team and ask them to tell you what speculation is and what fact is. Replace the unknowns with numbers, and make sure that you are reserved with your estimates. It is always better to be surprised instead of disappointed.


But In SEO industries...

SEO forecasts are pretty much nonsense. It's near impossible to accurately forecast due to there being so many ranking factors. You can work out an average click-through rate from the SERPs and apply a basic conversion rate to the numbers to work out the market size and potential revenue but it’s unlikely that you will be able to get extremely accurate numbers says Ross Tavendele MD of A type fast growing SEO consulting agencies based in London.  


How Long to Wait Before Considering Your Options?

In the introduction, I talked about whether or not you should keep a marketer going if they aren’t producing results after six months. There is no easy way to answer that question as it can be dependent on a number of different variables. These things tend to take time, and in many instances, you might not see results in the first six months, but by the time the year is up you could have some massive increases. Pretty much every aspect of digital marketing is a gradual process, and the decision to keep someone or let them go is your choice.

Here are a few variables to consider:

  • The age of the business
  • The business model that you are using
  • The time it takes to implement recommendations
  • The amount of time the consultant spends on it
  • The strategy used by the consultant
  • Type of digital marketing campaign implemented


You can also use A Type’s agency KPIs which are broken down in stages so you can track positive signals that things are moving the correct way. 

  • Transactional: Increased Revenue - 6 months
  • Informational: Email and Social Sign Ups - 3 months
  • Conversational: Ranking Movements and On page signals - 1-3 months


Ways to Increase Your Odds

There are a few ways that you can increase your odds of success when it comes to hiring a digital marketing consultant, and in this section, we take you through them.

  • Don’t pay your consultant an hourly rate; pay them for the value of their work. It gives them the incentive to go above and beyond as well as get the job done in a timely manner.
  • Pay for good advice, and make sure it is the best you can afford. More often than not, bad advice will cost you a lot more over time than it is worth and can seriously damage your business.
  • Always interview your consultants, even the ones from an agency to ensure that you are hiring someone who is passionate and motivated.
  • Set strict deadlines and make sure all deliverables are laid out quarterly. If you are disorganised then the consultant will find it hard to get your results. It's important that you properly brief the consultant ahead of time and give them lots of feedback if they are doing something wrong or that doesn't fit your business.


To Conclude 

It’s not always easy to know if you are hiring the right people to deal with your digital marketing, but hopefully, this guide helped you to gain a better understanding of what’s offered and the things you should look out for. This form of marketing is essential in today’s world, and your business will thrive with the right consultant and advice.



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