Businesses have always enjoyed a comfortable position when it comes to planning and preparation.
Sadly, this isn’t the case anymore.
Due to the competitive digital landscape, business owners need to chalk out entire outlines, strategies, and implementation within weeks – or even days.
So if you can’t keep up with this accelerated pace, somebody else will.
The best way to stay ahead in the competition? Having a carefully drafted digital strategy.
Think of the whole thing as the guiding light.
Without it, companies will be stuck with their old-fashioned efforts and won’t be able to take advantage of moving online. Plus, a result-driven approach serves as the basis of digital strategy, which can be very beneficial for your company.
If you think that the ongoing pandemic has changed things, you‘re wrong.
On the contrary, experts at DMEXCO predict that 70% of executives expect the pace of digital strategy to boost further during these unique times.
So yes, you do need a comprehensive digital strategy that works for you.
And what better way to develop this other than enlisting the help of an expert digital strategy consultant who can do a broad set of activities, each of which is directed towards helping you meet your goals.
In this guide, our team at Neil Patel Digital will take you through the whole process of hiring the best consultant, along with the benefits of seeking a consultancy for your business.
5 Ways a Digital Strategy Consultant Can Help Grow Your Business
What is your primary objective for launching a business?
Profit and long-term growth, right?
Well, identifying your digital strategy is the most crucial aspect for attaining both goals.
After all, it’s a high-level overview that defines and outlines where you are currently and where you would want to be. It also includes milestones set throughout a specific course of your journey, making it a reliable long-term plan.
Keeping this in mind, digital strategy consulting can help you recognize new technologies and services suitable for your platform. And hiring a consultant will make sure you‘re taking advantage of everything that’s out there and reaping the profits.
Boosting Efficiency and Increasing Margins
If there’s one thing that companies want, it’s consistent improvement in efficiency. Whether it’s targeting employee collaboration and performance or better delivery to customers and clients – everything counts.
You’ll be able to jumpstart your company‘s efficiency with the help of a digital strategy consultant.
You see, being an expert gives them the knowledge to use cutting-edge digital tools that can ensure precise and fast communication within your company. The data they offer will be more accessible and polished.
Plus, there’s zero risk of anything being lost or repeated due to clear and carefully designed strategies that have been optimized for efficiency.
Getting a consultant can be useful for streamlining client communication too. As a result, you can build long-lasting relationships by giving customers higher value for their investment.
Happier clients translate to higher profit margins and more referrals, so it’s only positives for your company.
Staying Relevant and Important
Turning digital means you‘ll have several competitors – nay, several tough competitors.
Entering a digital culture means your customers do everything digitally, from transactions to information gathering to investing.
You can stay ahead in your niche industry by offering a unique product that no one else offers, but it still isn’t the endgame.
You have to go beyond your website, electronic device optimization, or implementing best SEO practices.
A consultant will guide you with the digital changes that are happening around us, equipping you with the newest technologies as they arise, and incorporating the latest market developments into your business direction.
Essentially, the expert will make your business digitally competitive right from the start and establish you as a digital leader.
Give You the Biggest Bang for Your Buck
You must already be on the lookout for investments that can maximize ROI – or get rid of bad investments altogether.
But this isn’t a perfect world.
You have to be careful about the decisions you make and how you run your company.
Working with a digital strategy consultant does require investment, but it’s one that has a greater possibility to pay off – in fact, some might say it’s guaranteed too if you have the right man for the job.
They give you access to a lot of crucial information and are ready to do all the hard work to provide you high value in a short period.
And not only that, you get a clear idea of the path you should take for your company to maximize your revenue and ensure success.
Moreover, having a consultant also eliminates the need for other employees, hence, cutting down costs in the long run. This will then contribute towards a boosted ROI in the end.
Gaining New Partnerships
Partnerships with business and corporations are a necessity for long-term growth, no matter how old your business is.
In fact, you can transform your company vision and enter a new frontier in your niche if you choose your partnerships carefully. This, in turn, can relatively increase your customer base as well as present a lucrative alternative to going solo.
In other words, a consultant will point you in the right direction to become digitally competitive.
You might also receive invites from organizations that want to enter into a mutually beneficial partnership, and ultimately, achieve digital leadership.
Let’s not forget there is also a possibility of turning your competitors into partners that can increase market demand and customer base as a consequence.
A Successful Digital Transformation
Remember all the dinosaur processes that will only be you down today?
Digital transformation will help you bid farewell to all of them, as well as cut down unnecessary costs for employees, products, and services.
Since a consultant makes you more available and accessible for your customers, you’ll be able to maximize user experience, allowing you to climb to the top of your industry.
A digital strategy will lay down the stepping stones that you and your team can follow to become digital relevant.
How to Get Started With a Digital Strategy Consultant
Good digital strategy consultants have a similar style of working with the odd exceptions as they primarily focus their attention on your customer and company goals.
Hiring the Right Digital Strategy Consultant
Before choosing a specific candidate, you need to ask yourself the following questions:
- Does digital technology impact the businesses you are in?
- How could digital technology improve the way you add value to the businesses?
- Is it possible for digital technology to change your target customer?
- Does digital technology affect the value proposition to your target customer?
- Can digital technology enhance enterprise capabilities, helping you differentiate your brand from your competition? How?
Look for a prospective consultant that can refine your understanding of the above questions further. In addition to this, you should ask to see a list of samples, references, reviews, and case studies to determine their competency.
Holding Meetings to Streamline Strategy Development
A consultant won’t be able to create a digital strategy for your company if they don’t have an in-depth understanding of your business.
So the first thing that they do is ask you a lot of questions to gain a clear understanding of how your business functions and its objectives. For instance:
- Questions regarding your current benchmarks, overall goals, and objectives for every segment and as a whole.
- Questions about KPIs and metrics that you used to measure performances.
- Questions about tactics used to achieve your business goals and objectives and the marketing channels you used to attract customers.
- Customer expectations.
- Questions about platforms with the highest customer engagement.
Don’t shy away or get irritated by these probing questions. After all, your digital strategy shows you your current situation, tells you where you’re going, and devises ways to help you get there.
Chalking Out the Final Game Plan
After you answer their questions, you can expect the consultant to show you a cohesive strategy that has been tailor-made to suit your business needs.
The plan should include details about the following:
- Media advertising, which includes TV commercials, streaming services, and so on.
- Public relations that focus on strategies to increase visibility and publicity for your business.
- Digital marketing, which includes local search, organic search engine optimization, advertising, and content marketing.
- Direct response tactics like hyperlocal print advertising or geofencing – whichever is a better fit.
- Possibility of future partnerships.
The expert will show you a proposed digital strategy or examples from previous client campaigns, and how they plan on moving forward with your campaign.
You can use this as an opportunity to evaluate the consultant’s work and skillset. Don’t be afraid to suggest specific tweaks and adjustments if you deem it fit.
Here’s what you can do:
- Request performance data for evaluation purposes.
- Carefully observe the campaign elements they consistently prioritize.
- Identify knowledge gaps, holes, or weak points in the strategy.
Another alternative would be to pick a specific part of your business, such as advertising or content, and ask the consultant to build a strategy to accommodate a specific goal. This can be to increase sales for the worst-performing products, double the traffic within a month, etc.
Supplying the Necessities
If you’re happy with the consultant after analyzing their approach, the next step would be to provide them with necessary documents and give access to things that could help them implement the strategy effectively.
This includes an official agreement, brand content (brochures, flyers, images, logos, content), relevant photography (company photos, portraits of key people, location, office space, event photos), and social proofs.
The Final Implementation
Having your consultant create an effective digital strategy is crucial, yes. But it isn’t as important as its successful execution.
So just having a great strategy isn’t enough.
Your consultant should have the experience, expertise, and team back up to implement the strategy and produce results.
After execution, you should ask the consultant to collect, analyze, and provide you with useful insights about the launched campaigns. You can incorporate their suggestions and increase your budget to drive results, if required, as well.
Measuring the ROI of Digital Strategy Consulting Services
Consider this: How will you be able to conclude whether you‘re on the right path without knowing the ROI?
Luckily, figuring out the right KPIs for your business can help you measure the success of a business strategy.
The following are a few KPIs that allow you to analyze the overall performance of your digital campaigns:
Brand Engagement on Website
Your brand is necessary for building customer loyalty, creating a competitive advantage, and just… long-term survival.
It’s what distinguishes you from your direct competitors.
To properly measure brand engagement on your website, you need to consider the more refined KPIs that provide valuable metrics, such as:
- Number of unique visitors
- Number of return visitors
- Popular pages and how customers get there
- Total time spent on the website
- Number of people registering for a specific offering
Knowing where your customers come from is key to developing a powerful digital strategy since you know exactly what or who is driving visitors to your website.
For this purpose, you need to consider four main traffic sources:
- Direct visitors who visit your website by typing the URL into their browser.
- Referral visitors who ended up on your website after clicking a link on another website.
- Organic visitors who arrived at your site after searching in a search engine.
- Campaign visitors who visited your site via an advertisement or campaign.
Inbound Marketing ROI
Of course, you want to see a return on your investment.
However, it can be difficult to see the full potential and value of inbound marketing if you don’t have KPIs. For this purpose, consider the following formula:
ROI = (Sales growth – Marketing Investment) / Marketing Investment
Social Media Traffic
Social media is an integral part of every digital strategy. If your consultant doesn’t include it, know right away that they don’t know what they’re doing.
At the same time, simply creating accounts on popular social media platforms isn’t enough for success. In this case, the KPIs are as follows:
- Number of leads generated from every social media channel.
- Number of conversions generated from every social media channel.
- Number of customers who reach out to your company via every social media channel.
- Overall percentage of traffic that advance from social media channels.
Landing Page Conversions
You should check whether your landing page is sending your customer on the right path, which is why KPIs are crucial here.
The tricky part here is this metric is a little difficult to measure since the consultant may have a different goal for landing pages. Nevertheless, you can ask the expert to use Google Analytics to gain access to reports that help you measure organic traffic as well as per search traffic.
You can also make changes to your CTA, CTA buttons, revise written content, or add reviews and testimonials depending on the results generated after A/B testing.
4 Point Checklist For Finding the Right Digital Strategy Consultant
If you’re still figuring out how to find the right digital marketing consultant for your company, take a look at our short checklist to know where to start.
Familiarity With the Digital Landscape
Whether it’s setting short-term goals or long-term goals, the digital strategy consultant should have demonstrated knowledge about the market to think of strategies that can enhance your inbound marketing and outbound marketing efforts.
Creating a plan will always differ according to your business. For instance, some businesses require CRMs, while some need ERPs. The expert should know the right way to proceed to help you achieve your business objectives and streamline campaign processes.
We would highly recommend working with industry thought leaders who understand the digital world and have the credentials to back it up.
Processes to Develop and Execute Effective Digital Strategies
As mentioned before, knowledge of custom tools is important for delivering satisfactory results. More so, in the ever dynamic landscape of digital marketing.
You want to hire a consultant that uses relevant marketing techniques which include:
- Content creation
- Search engine optimization (SEO)
- Social media marketing
- Responsive web design
At Neil Patel Digital, for instance, we have an in-house SEO program powered by content marketing, that can be useful for enhancing the effectiveness of digital campaigns.
Combination of Experience and Expertise
While it’s true that you can find several freelance digital strategy consultants, your main lookout should be to identify the extent of their experience and expertise.
Yes, they say that they can triple your conversions, but do they have the brain and muscle to back their claims?
It’s best to work with seasoned professionals who understand your current marketing strategy and can identify weak spots that require improvement.
Broad Industry Knowledge and Diverse Portfolio
A digital strategy expert must have expertise across several different verticals. The idea here is to make sure the professional knows the technical foundations of different things where they can use their marketing know-how and promote your offerings.
The best way to ensure this is by choosing a consultant who has worked with diverse clients. Working with a reputable digital marketing agency, for instance, will give you access to a team with several specialties that can be beneficial for your campaigns and other operations.
Now more than ever, businesses had to adjust their plans and offerings to meet customer expectations.
Digital strategies that played out over the course of years may now be over in a matter of days, which is why hiring expert help can be useful to keep up with this dynamic arena.
Having the right digital strategy consultant will ensure your company adapts smoothly to rapidly changing markets and remain ahead of your competition.
Thinking of the next steps? Get in touch with our experienced professionals here.
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