10 years ago SEO freelance consultants and digital marketers did not need half of the skills they require today to help their customers bring in sales leads from online sources. How things have changed!
Today, online marketing and SEO are completely different beasts. I remember the days when one person could control their entire email list comms, social media, SEO campaigns, and their AdWords (Now GoogleAds). For a small business, all these tasks are just about doable by a single person.
However, what you will see today is that people have now begun to specialize in one particular field of digital marketing. For example, in a digital marketing company, you will have several departments each of them specializing in a particular segment of digital marketing.
Therefore we now have :
- SEO Consultants
- Google Ads Consultants
- Social Media Consultants
- Content Strategy Consultants
- PR Consultants
- Email Marketing Consultants
You can also start to add web developers and graphic designers to that list because nearly every digital marketing agency will need to have both on their team.
What Are The Main Challenges For Businesses Using Different People For Different Tasks?
To keep this simple, you would need to break this section up into 2 parts. There are people that are using online platforms like Upwork.com or freelancer.com to hire digital marketers. Next, we will need to look at digital marketing and SEO consultants from the point of view of a digital marketing company or manager.
Obviously, the marketplace is much more complex than breaking it down into just these two categories, but I am just trying to put it all into perspective. This is so I can then tell you about the biggest mistakes made by SEO freelance consultants as well as people working with Google Ads and other departments that involve digital marketing.
1. Hiring Digital Marketing Freelance Consultants
In all digital marketing, the communication channels need to send the consumer the same brand message. The problem is when you are a company that would rather hire a number of digital marketing consultants separately, then the challenge is to have them all in the same wavelength i.e. making sure they are all working together to send out the same brand message.
Now I specialize as an SEO freelance consultant and I am also a freelance content writer. That is it. I do not do Google Ads, I rarely get involved in email marketing or social media. Therefore, I come in from the perspective of someone that wants to write content that matches the message being sent through all digital marketing channels.
The number of times I cannot understand the brand message is amazing!
This is the shocking part of it. I look at Social Media, and the brand message says one thing. Then I look at the website and there is another brand message. Over to email marketing and once again the brand is not positioning itself the same as it is on Social Media, Google Ads, and email marketing.
In short, the overall integrated marketing strategy is all over the place. This confuses the consumer especially if on the Social Media platform when the firm is saying it offers quality, cheap and affordable services, then on the website the company is making itself out to be a high-end supplier within its industry making out it is exclusive thus giving the impression that its services are expensive.
Already just reading the previous paragraph is confusing to some extent. It would be the same as me saying I am James Donaghue a digital marketing consultant, but then all over my website its says James Donaghue SEO Freelance Consultant.
Which is it? Am I a digital marketing specialist or am I an SEO freelancer? If I am a digital marketer, then surely I operate Facebook campaigns, email marketing and so on. No, I do not as mention, so I need to make sure my message is clear. I could also add in the fact that I am also a content writer, but that goes hand in hand with being an SEO consultant.
So what is the key message here when hiring freelancers? It is consistency!
Make sure that there is one single brand message across the entire company online and offline presence. There needs to consistency right down to the colours the company uses to represent itself. As an SEO freelance consultant, I have to write about the company in order to outreach to websites that will allow me to place content about the company on their website.
It is certainly much more affordable to hire a team of freelancers than hire a digital marketing company. Freelancers generally do not have the expense of an office to contend with, taxes, and other costs a business does. As a result, a team of freelancers is far more affordable to hire as long as you make sure they are all on the same page when it comes to the firms brand image.
2. Digital Marketing Managers
As in the previous section I have already covered the issue of consistency, this section is going to be much shorter because I will draw ideas and comments from there.
As a digital marketing manager, you are either working for an agency that supplies marketing consultancy services to other businesses, or you are part of a marketing department in a large company.
In all cases, as the manager, you are responsible for brand consistency. Whether you are managing let’s say five accounts or you are managing a single company’s online marketing presence, your job is to make sure your whole team from SEO specialists, web content developers as well as graphic designers to paid ads experts and social media experts are all sending out the same message.
On top of this, you will need to consult with the offline marketing team. Are they creating billboards, local ads in magazines and newspapers? You need to see the offline marketing messages being sent too.
If you spot inconsistencies in the way the company’s image is being projected, then is your job to point this out and make sure all messages about the firm that can be read by the general public are all in sync.
In the past, one person was able to control all aspects of businesses online digital marketing. Today, each technique used to bring in online leads are a lot more complicated to manage as the competition has broken down the market and tools used to reach the market to a point where they gain a competitive advantage. A single person will not have the time to do this on their own for larger businesses.