7 Essential Factors to Consider Before Hiring a Digital Marketer for Your Small Business
In the digital age, the right marketing strategy can make or break your small business. A skilled digital marketer can help you reach the right audience, increase your brand visibility, and ultimately drive sales. But how do you ensure you're hiring the right person for the job?
Here are seven essential factors every small business should consider before hiring a digital marketer, whether as an outsourced solution or an in-house employee.
1. Identify Your Business Needs
Before you can find the right digital marketer for your business, you need to have a clear understanding of what your needs are. This goes beyond simply recognizing that you need help with online marketing. It involves identifying your specific goals, challenges, and the areas where you need the most assistance.
Start by outlining what you hope to achieve through your digital marketing efforts. Are you looking to increase brand awareness, drive more traffic to your website, improve your search engine rankings, generate leads, boost online sales, or engage with your audience on social media? Your goals will greatly influence the type of skills and expertise you should look for in a digital marketer.
Next, consider the challenges you're currently facing in your digital marketing efforts. Maybe you're struggling to create engaging content, or perhaps you're not sure how to optimize your website for SEO. By identifying these pain points, you'll have a clearer idea of the areas where a digital marketer can add the most value.
Finally, think about the specific tasks you want the digital marketer to handle. Do you need someone who can manage your entire online marketing strategy, or are you looking for support in one particular area, such as social media or email marketing?
Remember, digital marketing is a broad field that encompasses a wide range of techniques and strategies. Not all digital marketers will have the same skill set, so it's important to find someone who specializes in the areas that align with your business needs.
Once you've identified your needs, you can start looking for a digital marketer who has the right combination of skills, experience, and expertise to help you achieve your goals. This initial step will help narrow down your options and ensure that you're focusing your search on the most qualified candidates.
2. Qualifications, Certifications and Skills
When selecting a digital marketer, it's important to consider their qualifications, certifications, and skills. These three factors are crucial in determining the marketer's ability to effectively handle your digital marketing needs.
A marketer's qualifications give you an insight into their academic background and understanding of marketing principles. A degree in marketing, business, or a related field can be beneficial, but it's not always necessary. Real-world experience and a proven track record in digital marketing can be just as valuable, if not more so.
Certifications, on the other hand, demonstrate a marketer's commitment to professional development and their expertise in specific areas of digital marketing. Look for certifications from reputable organizations like Google, Facebook, or HubSpot. These credentials signify that the marketer has undergone training and passed assessments in areas such as SEO, PPC, content marketing, social media marketing, and more. Keep in mind that a certification does not always equate to the best candidate for the position. Skills, as well as good communication and cultural workplace fit are also important to consider.
Skills are perhaps the most critical aspect to consider. The digital marketer should possess a diverse set of skills that align with your business needs. This could include SEO expertise, content creation, social media management, analytics, email marketing, and more. They should also be familiar with a variety of digital marketing tools and platforms.
Moreover, soft skills like creativity, problem-solving, and communication are equally important. Digital marketing is a dynamic field that requires innovative thinking and the ability to adapt to changing trends.
In summary, the right digital marketer will have a combination of qualifications, certifications, and skills that match your business goals and challenges. Remember, these elements are not standalone but interconnected. A marketer might have an impressive list of certifications, but without the right skills and practical experience, they might not be the best fit for your business. Similarly, a marketer with extensive experience but no formal qualifications or certifications could still be highly effective if they have a proven track record and the right skill set.
3. Knowledge of Effective Marketing Strategies and Plans
Another vital factor to consider is the digital marketer's ability to devise and implement effective marketing strategies. While it's important for a digital marketer to follow your business goals and directions, you shouldn't have to micromanage them.
A competent digital marketer will have a solid understanding of various marketing strategies and how to apply them to different businesses. They should be able to analyze your business, understand your target audience, and craft a comprehensive marketing plan that aligns with your business objectives.
For example, if your goal is to increase brand awareness, they might suggest a content marketing strategy with regular blog posts and social media updates. If you're looking to boost sales, they might recommend a combination of PPC advertising and email marketing.
Moreover, an experienced digital marketer will know how to adapt the plan based on the results. If a particular strategy isn't working as expected, they should be able to identify the issue, suggest a solution, and adjust the plan accordingly.
In essence, hiring a digital marketer is like adding a strategic partner to your team. They should bring their expertise to the table and guide your business towards achieving its digital marketing goals. So, when interviewing potential candidates, ask them about their strategic planning skills and how they've adjusted plans in the past based on performance data. This can provide valuable insight into their problem-solving abilities and their capacity to help your business succeed.
4. Communication and Reporting
Effective communication is the cornerstone of any successful partnership, and your relationship with your digital marketer is no exception. You want someone who will not only implement strategies but also keep you informed about what's happening and why.
Your digital marketer should be able to communicate complex ideas simply and clearly. They should be able to explain their strategies and the reasoning behind them in a way that makes sense to you. This includes discussing the tools and platforms they plan to use, the type of content they'll create, and how they'll measure success.
Regular reporting is another key part of this communication process. Your digital marketer should provide consistent updates on the progress of your campaigns. These reports should include key metrics, such as website traffic, click-through rates, conversion rates, and any other KPIs that are relevant to your business goals.
These reports should not just be a data dump, though. A good digital marketer will also provide analysis and interpretation of the data. They should be able to explain what these numbers mean in the context of your goals, identify any trends or patterns, and suggest adjustments to the strategy if necessary.
Additionally, your digital marketer should be open to feedback and willing to adjust their approach based on your input. Remember, this should be a collaborative relationship. So, make sure you feel comfortable voicing your thoughts and concerns, and that your digital marketer is receptive and responsive to your feedback.
In essence, good communication and thorough reporting are essential for ensuring that you and your digital marketer are on the same page, that you understand what's happening with your campaigns, and that you're making informed decisions about your digital marketing strategy.
5. Portfolio and Case Studies
When choosing a digital marketer, reviewing their portfolio and case studies can provide valuable insights into their capabilities and experience. These resources showcase the marketer's previous work, giving you a clearer picture of what they could potentially do for your business.
A digital marketer's portfolio is a collection of their past projects and campaigns. It may include examples of content they've created, websites they've designed, social media campaigns they've managed, and more. By examining these samples, you can assess the quality of their work, their creativity, and their versatility across different types of projects.
Look for a portfolio that aligns with your business needs. For instance, if you need help with content marketing, check if the marketer has examples of blog posts, articles, or other content pieces they've written. If SEO is your main focus, look for evidence of successful optimization strategies they've implemented.
While a portfolio shows what a digital marketer can create, case studies demonstrate the results they can deliver. Case studies are detailed accounts of specific projects or campaigns that the marketer has worked on. They typically include information about the client's goals, the strategies used to achieve those goals, the implementation process, and the final results.
Case studies can give you a sense of how the marketer approaches problem-solving and how effective their strategies are. They also provide concrete evidence of the marketer's ability to achieve results. Look for case studies that show measurable improvements in key metrics such as website traffic, search engine rankings, lead generation, or sales conversions.
For instance, a case study from a digital marketer who helped a local bakery increase their online orders by 200% through a targeted social media campaign could be a good sign that they can deliver results.
6. Budget Considerations
Determining your budget for hiring a digital marketer is a crucial step in the process. It's important to approach this decision strategically, ensuring it aligns with your overall marketing budget and business objectives. Here are some steps you can take to decide how much you can spend on a digital marketer:
Understand Your Total Marketing Budget
Before you can allocate funds for hiring a digital marketer, you need to have a clear understanding of your total marketing budget. This should be a percentage of your overall revenue. As a general rule, small businesses might allocate anywhere from 5% to 15% of their revenues to marketing, but this can vary depending on your industry, business size, growth stage, and revenue goals.
Identify Your Marketing Needs
Next, identify what aspects of your marketing strategy will require investment beyond just hiring a digital marketer. This could include funds for advertising, software subscriptions, content creation, and other marketing expenses. Make a list of these costs and estimate how much you'll need to set aside for them within your total marketing budget.
Evaluate the Scope of Work
Consider the scope of work you expect from the digital marketer. If you need them to handle multiple aspects of your digital marketing—from SEO and content creation to social media management and analytics—their cost might be higher than if you're hiring them for a specific task.
Assess the Return on Investment (ROI)
Lastly, consider the potential return on investment. A skilled digital marketer can contribute significantly to your business growth by increasing your online visibility, attracting more leads, and converting those leads into customers. Although hiring a digital marketer is an expense, it should ideally be an investment that brings a positive return to your business.
After considering all these factors, you should have a clearer idea of how much of your marketing budget you can allocate to hiring a digital marketer. It's important to remember that while cost is a significant factor, the value and ROI the marketer brings should also be major considerations.
7. Cultural Fit
When hiring a digital marketer, or any professional for that matter, assessing their cultural fit is as important as evaluating their skills and qualifications. Cultural fit refers to how well a candidate's values, beliefs, outlook, and behavior align with the core values, culture, and mission of your company. This holds true whether you are hiring in-house or an outsourced marketer.
Why is Cultural Fit Important?
- Enhances Team Collaboration: When an employee fits well with the company culture, they're more likely to collaborate effectively with their colleagues. This can enhance teamwork, boost productivity, and contribute to a positive work environment.
- Improves Employee Satisfaction and Retention: Employees who align with their company's culture tend to be more satisfied with their jobs. They're likely to stay with the company longer, reducing employee turnover and the costs associated with hiring and training new staff.
- Supports Company Reputation: Employees who embody the company's culture and values can become strong brand ambassadors. Their interactions with customers, partners, and the public can reinforce the company's image and reputation.
Hiring the right digital marketer can propel your small business into the digital age, helping you connect with customers like never before. Take the time to consider these factors, and you'll be well on your way to finding the perfect digital marketer for your business.
Internet Media Consultants exemplifies the essential qualities of an exceptional digital marketing company. With over two decades of experience in the field, they have amassed a wealth of knowledge and expertise, keeping pace with the latest advancements in technology and marketing strategies. Their longevity in the industry is testament to their adaptability and commitment to continuous learning.
Beyond just offering services, they partner with businesses as an outsourced marketing team, seamlessly integrating into existing structures to drive results. Their track record demonstrates their ability to deliver tangible outcomes, cementing their reputation as a reliable and effective digital marketing partner.
This combination of extensive experience, technological savvy, and a results-driven approach positions Internet Media Consultants as a top choice for businesses seeking to enhance their digital marketing efforts.
Schedule a Call to discuss your marketing needs and see if we are a right fit for your business.