Hiring an outside consultant can be a stressful task for any business owner. First, you have to be sure that the consulting firm you’re hiring is reputable and actually knows what they’re doing, then you have to negotiate contracts and allocate resources from your budget to ensure that they get paid. It can definitely be a trying process. That being said, hiring a firm for web consulting and marketing can make your life a lot easier in the long once you’re gotten the ball rolling.
What Hiring a Consulting Firm Looks Like
In the modern-day, it’s important to ensure that you’re running as tight of a ship as possible. The more efficient your operations, the more competitive your company is. Time and money are the two most valuable resources to any business, and unfortunately, both of these are limited resources. Hiring an outside consulting firm for marketing will help you be sure that you’re using both of these resources to the best of your ability.
When you hire a consulting firm, you’re hiring a team of experts that have likely seen a large number of campaigns and have a good idea of what works and what doesn’t. This can save you a significant amount of trial and error, and also allow you to check in to see how efficient your marketing campaign is.
Bringing in an outside consultant also provides you with something very valuable; an outside perspective. Things always look different from the outside looking in, and an experienced marketing consultant will be able to take that approach to view your company with ease because they are someone on the outside looking in. Incorporating different perspectives into your strategy can make your strategy significantly more effective, and the opinion of a specialist can help bolster your current marketing campaign even if it’s already a strong campaign.
Consultants may also recommend things that you may not have thought of. Search engine optimization, pay per click ads, webinars, viral marketing, and sometimes even an entire overhaul of your online presence to make sure that your entire online identity is optimized to be received positively by consumers.
Why Your Online Presence is Important
These days almost everyone is on the internet, and that’s how most people find the things that they need. Whether that means that they’re looking for a new video game, a bicycle, the latest smartphone, a plumber, or fun facts about John Travolta they’re likely going to check the internet first. That being said, there’s a certain way that people expect businesses to present online and if a business doesn’t conform to these standards it’s likely that many potential customers will consider it untrustworthy, and thus not spend their money with that company.
A good example of something that can make you appear untrustworthy is your website. Consumers expect websites to be functional, easy to navigate, and modern looking. While finding an early internet relic can be fun, especially with how many early internet sites no longer exist, most people are less likely to do business with a company whose website doesn’t look like it’s been updated since 1998. There’s also the issue of navigation. If your website requires users to sift through page after page of unrelated information to find what they need, there’s a good chance that they’ll simply go to another website.
Every element of your online presence sends subtle messages to your customers, and it’s important to keep that in mind when deciding how you want to go about your online marketing. Your website, social media, advertisements, and anything you put your name on online adds to the impression that your customers get. Your website is the most important, especially the home page of your website because for many people this will be their first impression.
Online Marketing Tactics
There are many tactics that an online marketing firm or consulting firm may recommend for your campaign, and two main styles of marketing that they might choose from. In most cases, the consultant will look at your company and find exactly what solution will work best for you, even going so far as giving you a fully customized plan made just for your business.
The two main styles of marketing are inbound and outbound. To put it simply, inbound marketing aims to get customers to come to you while outbound marketing aims to bring you to customers.
Inbound marketing includes things like pay per click ads, search engine optimization, online webinars, blog posts, using earned social media, word of mouth, and a lot more. This method focuses heavily on how your company will be perceived by potential customers while making your website as easy as possible to find while doing it. Another great way to use inbound marketing is opt-in emails to ensure that your customers are aware of any specials you may have running at any given time.
Outbound marketing online includes a lot of the same things as inbound marketing, but the differentiation is in the approach. Inbound marketing tends to be very targetted to ensure that people that are the most likely to want what you have will see it, while outbound marketing focuses on casting as large of a net as possible. Outbound marketing can be very useful for a company as well, and the thought behind it is that the more often a large number of people see your company name the more likely they are to pick your company.
Often times a consulting firm will recommend a mix of both, usually leaning more heavily towards inbound marketing. Outbound marketing, while somewhat efficient, can make your company come off as annoying if done too much.
Hiring a Consultant to Supercharge Your Marketing Strategy
Even the strongest marketing team could benefit from a consultant to look over their work and give an outside perspective. Having a consultant also means that you can hire them and let them go at the end of the campaign you need them for without any hard feelings on either end, and that’s especially useful if you only need to hire someone for a couple of months.