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Would any small business benefit from a marketing consultant?

Marketing is often lumped together with sales or advertising in enterprise pursuits. It’s a mistake many small businesses make, especially if owners can’t devote enough time and resources to develop sophisticated and effective marketing strategies.

Luckily, organisations struggling to get the most out of their marketing don’t need to half-bake it. Marketing consultants can offer a wealth of knowledge and experience to your operations. This specialist help can transform your business website from the online world’s Invisible Man to a well-known domain with value to offer customers. The right strategy can also position your small business as thought leaders in your sector, and gather more inbound leads for your sales team.

Marketing consulting is a $200 billion USD global industry, according to Reuters.

The popularity of marketing consulting is plain to see – the industry is worth around $200 billion USD worldwide, according to Reuters research. But would any small business benefit from the insight of a marketing consultant service?

Would any small business benefit from a marketing consultant?

Without the right marketing strategy your business may as well be invisible to online customers.

The core services marketing consultants offer

Consultants provide numerous services essential to a comprehensive business marketing plan.

Website strategy and SEO guidance

Consultants use sophisticated tools like Google Analytics to assess the types of website visitors, which of your landing pages attract entries and the performance of web content. Breaking down these numbers, strategists can see the strengths and weaknesses of your existing processes and align them against your wider business objectives.

From there a consultant can develop a thorough content strategy to improve user numbers to your site, optimise content for search engine readability and drive better conversion rates.

Copywriting

A website is nothing with poor content. All web copy needs value takeaways for customers that will drive them to take action and support your business. Content also needs to fit SEO best practice, adhere to media law guidelines and contain no spelling or grammar mistakes.

A marketing agency will usually have a team of writers proficient across a range of industries, SEO-trained and up-to-date with the latest developments in media law. This means you gain an online voice that accurately represents your values and targets the right audience in the right way.

Graphic design and branding

This service encompasses all imagery representing and relating to your organisation. It’s said that pictures can speak a thousand words – so imagine the potential to engage and inform your customer base with high quality, custom graphics?

Marketing consultants, if not proficient in design and branding themselves, will likely have the industry contacts to ensure your business gets the amazing design prowess it deserves. Marketing agencies, meanwhile, often have in-house designers to complete projects from website design to creating info images.

Would any small business benefit from a marketing consultant?

Web development services improve website accessibility and interactions.

Web development

Web development is the nuts and bolts of your website, the bones that keep it all together, Without an appropriate website structure that works, your customers won’t be able to find you. These highly technical skills take years of training to master, so this is an aspect of marketing that is often outsourced.

Consultancy services provide anything from basic website recommendations that will improve the user experience to technical restructuring of your domain infrastructure. Web developers can also perform ongoing website maintenance and servicing to ensure it stays working at all times.

Three ways to measure the ROI of your marketing efforts

Deciding to improve your marketing pursuits is well and good, but what do you want out of it? Nearly 40 per cent of organisations claim their most significant challenge is proving ROI on their marketing strategies, according to HubSpot’s State of Inbound report. Don’t be one of the crowd – here are three ways to measure ROI on your marketing strategies.

1) Search engine ranking

The top result on Google gathers more than 20 per cent of all clicks, according to data from Smart Insights. Marketing consultants, through SEO expertise, sophisticated website restructuring and targeted content campaigns, can improve your business domain. Track increases in search engine ranking over time and compare this to the number of additional visitors on your website!

Would any small business benefit from a marketing consultant?

Top results on Google gather significantly more clicks than those not on the first page.

2) Lead generation and nurturing figures

One of the main roles of marketing consultants is to generate more business leads with improved content and targeted advertising. From there, copywriting and design campaigns should nurture these leads into prospects and increase their likelihood of converting down the sales funnel.

3) Brand prestige and thought leadership credentials

Longer and better written content doesn’t just contribute to higher SEO performance (Smart Insights) – it also provides genuine value takeaways for customers. This helps develop your brand prestige as a trusted source of knowledge. While it’s difficult to precisely measure this value, it can only serve your business well if customers trust that your website is engaging and informative.

In-house vs. outsource – why work with a marketing consultant

The final question you may have about working with a marketing consultant is … why outsource? You know your business’ goals best, so isn’t it best to keep your marketing strategies in-house?

Consider the debate like a boxing match.

In the red corner is your small business’ potential in-house marketing. You’ve got no experience as a fighter because you’ve been focused on other pursuits. You don’t know how you will turn a goal like ‘KO my opponent’ into a specific plan of action. You haven’t even got the kit needed for the fight!

In the blue corner is a marketing consultant or agency. This fighter is a seasoned boxing veteran, knows the hooks and jabs needed for success, and has their own set of customised gloves.

This isn’t an underdog story – there is only one winner of this fight. You need to level the field.

Would any small business benefit from a marketing consultant?

Making your marketing strategy a knockout requires outside help.

To get yourself up to speed, you could build up your own marketing team. But that means hiring writers, strategists, project managers, graphic designers and web developers who can convert your broad business aims into tangible customer leads. HubSpot shows that one-in-five businesses globally claim hiring the right talent is the biggest roadblock to their marketing efforts.

Further to the difficulties of finding the right team, managing your own marketing department has more far-reaching costs than you may have considered, including:

  • Additional salaries.
  • Investment in advanced marketing tools such as Ahrefs or BuzzSumo.
  • Ongoing commitment to upskilling – marketing is a fast-moving industry.

Alternatively, you could learn it all yourself. This takes a significant amount of time and resources to ensure your marketing efforts suit your business and are aligned with industry best practice.

Consultants offer years of expertise on what resonates with digital audiences and the latest insight into changes in the marketing world. This specialist knowledge is crucial for developing a marketing plan that suits the strategic aims of your small business and fuels development.

No matter your industry, client base or business size, maximising web exposure is critical to competing in the digital age.

On top of this pro input, outsourcing your marketing to an agency saves time and allows you to focus on elements of operations you excel in. Working with a consultant also means you can discuss opportunities for expansion or diversification in other parts of your business.

No matter your industry, client base or business size, maximising web exposure is critical to competing in the digital age. All it takes to succeed is some savvy insight from marketing consultants who have seen and done it all!

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Ciaran Bruder
Ciaran Bruder About the author