How to Choose an Online Advertising Consultant

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For many businesses in need of advertising help, figuring out which of the many online advertising consultants to hire to help you grow your business can be a frustrating and time consuming process .

Here are some important factors to consider that will help you make your decision with less stress and more objectivity.

What Industries Categories and Company Sizes Do the Consultants Work With?    

When it comes to consultants with or without experience in your industry this can be a tricky point.   While the mechanics of online advertising are similar for all businesses , there can be differences, so look for a consultant that has experience with businesses similar to yours… but only to a point

Why can this be a problem?  Because too narrow of focus can also lead to being out of touch with broader marketing trends and this can lead to dated, sub-optimal approaches.

PPC (Pay-Per-Click) vs. Organic Search Results

Certainly there is more to online advertising than PPC and search engine optimization  but they are the two largest, most well proven online advertising tactics and firms typically specialize in one or the other. This is a fundamental decision that will influence everything going forward so choose carefully.

 Who is Going to do the Work? 

You are probably already doing a number of roles  in your business. Right? So the last thing you need is an online consultant who makes more work for you  !  Yet unless you are careful you may just get yourself a whole lot more work  when you bring the wrong online marketing consultant on board. Here’s why.  Many “consultants” are great at telling you “what to do” but not so great at actually “doing” what needs to get done. So choose carefully!

Qualifications and Experience 

How much and how varied are the qualifications   of the online advertising consultant you are considering? Look for a wide experience base in a variety of business markets and revenue classes  and look for depth of experience as well. If the consultant only has experience in one industry or only one facet of marketing or advertising  (e.g. graphic design, web programming, SEO ) then you should have a low confidence level that this consultant  has the depth of experience and knowledge  necessary to pull together a complete online advertising  solution.

Campaigns vs. Complete Solutions 

Thislast point  may just be the most critical  comparing online consultants to assist you , so ignore this at your own risk  ! A website, PPC advertising, Search Engine Optimization, article marketing, email marketing and social media marketing (the list could go on far longer!) are tactics NOT Complete Marketing systems.

Insist that the consultant you bring on board demonstrate to you exactly how their SYSTEM handles these 3 “must have” components:

  • generating traffic
  • converting traffic to customers
  • creating nurturing conversations with research oriented potential customers .

Do not be satisfied with  anything less than a complete  marketing and advertising system   or you will likely be wasting your online advertising investment  and maybe risking the future growth of your business as well with an online advertising consultant that cannot deliver what you need.

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