At its heart, digital marketing is much the same as traditional marketing—you’re communicating with customers at different points along their journey. There are some subtle differences and one in particular that makes running a digital marketing campaign entirely different than a traditional campaign: the medium.
The tools and platforms of digital marketing aren’t the same old media mix of TV, direct mail, newspaper, radio, and magazines. Rather, it’s a tech- and data-driven blend of social media, SEO, content, search engine marketing (SEM), email, video, and paid advertising. To succeed, it requires near-constant monitoring and analysis of trends and data. You could even argue digital marketers are more mathematicians than marketers.
If this sounds like a complex balancing act, it is. And it’s why many companies turn to digital marketing consultants to help them level up their strategies and turn data into creative direction.
Here are some tips to help you find and hire the perfect digital marketing pro for you.
WHAT DOES A DIGITAL MARKETER DO?
With all of these tools—and the rich data they provide—digital marketing can be more efficient and cost-effective compared with traditional marketing. A digital marketer uses data to plan, execute, and measure multi-pronged digital campaigns, keeping an eye on spend and ROI so they’re ready to pivot (or pull the plug) on a platform when needed.
A day in the life of a digital marketer might include:
Data analysis and monitoring traffic
Public relations strategy and coordination
Monitoring of paid (e.g. pay-per-click, AdWords) and unpaid channels (blogs, landing pages, gated content, and social)
Project management, overseeing anything from a landing page design to keyword planning to promo video production.
Testing and experimentation
Data-driven targeted marketing, dynamic content, and retargeting campaigns
All of the above components can be balanced and prioritized based on your brand’s specific digital strategy, which a digital marketer can help you create and coordinate.
USE YOUR JOB POST TO ATTRACT THE RIGHT DIGITAL MARKETER
Now that you know a little bit about all a digital marketer can do you for your brand, start your search with a detailed and well-researched job post. The more you can explain your needs and sell your company in your job post, the more likely you are to attract top talent.
Be specific with your job post; for example, you may want to:
Talk about your business, industry, competitors, customers, and any other data that helps paint a picture of your brand.
Outline the scope of work, including the challenge you want to solve and the level of expertise needed
Discuss your current tactics, their impact, and areas you’d like to expand
Explain the skills you’re looking for
Include any timelines or target dates relevant to the project
PREP FOR THE INTERVIEW & NARROW THE FIELD
Once you post your job, proposals will start rolling in. When you’re ready to narrow the field of qualified freelancers, here are some of the key qualities to look for when interviewing, as well as some discussion topics.
Mastery of marketing fundamentals. Look for the marketer to know fundamentals such as the consumer decision journey, or funnel. This creates a solid foundation for how he or she will translate your marketing goals to an effective digital strategy. Ask them about their marketing background, and how they’ve evolved to the demands of digital.
Deep understanding of data. A digital marketer is part marketer, part data scientist. He or she should know where to look for data, what metrics are most valuable, and how to extract insights. The marketer should be as comfortable talking about Google Analytics as they are discussing Twitter vs. Facebook.
Knowledge of when and how to apply paid advertising along the user journey. Understanding how to use various ad channels (e.g., Google AdWords, Facebook advertising, remarketing platforms) so they’re most effective is critical, and ensures you’re getting better ROI from your ad spend.
Channel optimization. Digital marketing is packed with options, but they may not all be for you. You want a marketer who will be selective and focused, and who knows which to include in your mix and to what degree.
Organic (unpaid) channel strategy. It’s difficult to build a successful organic presence. To do so requires mastery of the unpaid mix, each of which is its own discipline. They know when and where to use blog posts, CTAs, landing pages, and tracking links to clarify the sometimes murky waters of unpaid ROI.
The ability to test and experiment. Everything evolves in digital marketing, from search engine algorithms and social feed shifts to customer interests and mobile technology. That means a great digital marketer needs to be willing to keep learning and experimenting.
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