What Is a Digital Marketing Consultant?

Geri Mileva
Last Updated:

Many businesses today struggle to keep up with the fast-changing marketing trends. Let’s face it: online platforms have only become more diverse and complex. Consumer preferences shift in the blink of an eye. The competition within the same markets is fiercer. So, what can businesses do to thrive given these factors? Well, businesses are turning to digital marketing consultants for help.

Small businesses with limited budgets for full marketing services rely on consultants for strategic advice. Larger companies with in-house marketing teams seek their expertise to fill internal gaps. To meet the needs of more businesses, marketing and creative agencies are also including digital marketing consulting in their portfolio of services.

Is it time to get a digital marketing consultant? Read on before deciding. In this article, get ready to discover what a digital marketing consultant is and how you can choose the right one for your needs. We’ll explore the role they play in the future of creative agencies and how they help businesses achieve their marketing goals.


What Is a Digital Marketing Consultant?

A digital marketing consultant, in a nutshell, is a tactical expert in the field of digital marketing. They specialize in developing strategies for effective campaigns. They are highly proficient in various aspects of digital marketing. Whether you need guidance in copywriting, content creation, market analysis, product research, and more, they can offer their expertise. The best ones are always up-to-date with the latest methodologies and tools for developing innovative campaigns.

Many digital marketing consultants serve as part of a marketing agency. Some work as an independent freelancer. They may also take on a more active role and manage the implementation of marketing plans themselves.

There are only around 71,285 digital marketing consultants in the United States. With the demand for consulting services increasing, this small pool is hardly enough for all the businesses in need of consultants.


Role of Digital Consultants in the Future of Creative Agencies

The advertising and marketing industry is dynamic in nature. Trends constantly change and the preferences of modern consumers evolve swiftly. So, staying competitive demands creative partners with business expertise capable of developing strategies promptly.

Recognizing this need, marketing agencies are adapting their services and introducing new models that combine industry knowledge, creative capabilities, and technological innovation. This evolution enables businesses to deliver extraordinary and relevant experiences across all consumer touchpoints, ultimately impacting revenue and growth. Digital marketing consultants are key players in these new models.

With digital marketing consultants on board, creative agencies can craft cohesive solutions for their business clients. Consultants act as primary collaborators, helping brands navigate the uncertainties of their specific industries and helping them stay ahead of the curve. Working alongside agencies, they offer business clients more flexibility, especially smaller businesses that have yet to afford comprehensive marketing services.

They meet with marketing heads or other business leaders to assess the unique needs of the business. Often, this starts with an in-depth discussion of marketing goals and a thorough review of existing marketing strategies where bottlenecks, loopholes, and other problem areas are identified. Then they determine which digital marketing methods and creative solutions will be most effective in helping the business achieve its marketing objectives. Using best practices on SEO, market research, and data analytics, they identify the ideal channels and platforms where a business could reach the right audience and they develop a strategic marketing plan that the business can implement on their own.

In a way, digital marketing consultants are reshaping the trajectory of creative agencies as they help align creative projects with business goals. At times, they also oversee the execution of marketing campaigns. Particularly in small businesses and startups without marketing teams, consultants play a more active role in managing the implementation of the campaigns. Indeed, they are now indispensable to marketing agencies that want to remain agile in meeting emerging challenges.


What to Look for in a Digital Marketing Consultant

If you’re looking to accelerate growth, you would do well to gain strategic insights from a digital marketing consultant. But keep in mind that working with one isn’t a one-off deal. It requires continuous long-term collaboration. Your digital marketing consultant will be your partner for success, so it’s important to choose one that is right for your business. Here are some qualifications you may want to consider in choosing your consultant:

how to select digital marketing consultant

Experience and Expertise

Well-known digital marketing consultants have developed their careers over time. Often, they have vast marketing experiences from the ground up and know the ins and outs of different marketing sectors.

Look for one who has worked with other marketing experts, especially in the early part of their careers. This would have helped them gain a deeper understanding of the marketing field. Extensive experience in your particular niche would also be a plus as this familiarity would enable them to create marketing strategies that resonate with your target audience. Also, check for expertise in the specific platforms you are using or plan to use.


Education and Skills

Most digital marketing consultants have, at the least, bachelor's degrees in marketing or related fields. But more important than the level of educational attainment is their skill set. Choose those with a proven track record of exemplary performance and can demonstrate proficiency in various aspects of marketing. This may include skills in copywriting, data analysis, market research, search engine optimization, and ad management, among many others. Familiarity and access to the latest digital marketing tools are also a big plus.

Reliablesoft, a digital marketing agency and training academy, shares the core skills a digital marketing consultant should possess.


Training and Certification

Continuous learning is important in an industry as dynamic as marketing. Consultants who constantly update their skill set by attending advanced training and taking specialization courses would know the latest digital marketing tactics. When you check their portfolios, check for certifications in programs related to digital marketing, such as Meta Certified Marketing Science Professional, Google Ads Apps Certification, Hootsuite Advanced Social Media Strategy, and AMA Professional Certification in Digital Marketing.

Once you have a shortlist of digital marketing consultants, set an initial consultation to assess for culture fit. Aside from their credentials, their rapport with you and your team would pave the path for successful collaborations.


Where to Find a Digital Marketing Consultant

Now that you know what to look for in a digital marketing consultant, it’s time to scour the internet and your professional network for vetted professionals. You can find freelance consultants on social platforms like Fiverr, LinkedIn, Facebook groups, Slack groups, and Upwork, or on online directories like Clutch and Mayple. Many digital marketing agencies also have consultants on board who are available on an hourly or per-project basis.

Here are a handful of sites where you could start your search.

Ignite Visibility

Ignite Visibility is a digital marketing agency that offers a comprehensive suite of services. It specializes in multichannel strategies, social and paid media, search optimization, and online reputation management. If you already have an in-house marketing team but need a bit of a prod in the right direction, consulting services from Ignite Visibility may help steer your team on the track to success.

With well-known digital marketing consultant John Lincoln at the helm as CEO, Ignite Visibility’s consultants are highly capable of providing advice and guidance on SEO, local search, social media, PPC, and other digital marketing channels. You may also request internal process audits, recommendations on existing marketing plans, and hands-on support when needed.


Jives Media

Jives Media, a digital marketing and advertising agency, has a team of MBA brand strategists and expert marketing consultants who are available for one-on-one consulting services. If you’re a new business, they can help you develop the right strategies that are aligned with your business goals. If you’re looking to scale, you can leverage their specialized marketing expertise to amplify your online presence in your niche.

What’s great about Jives Media is that it’s a full-service agency. Aside from digital marketing consulting, they provide website design, social media marketing, video production, search engine optimization, and Google Ads management. This means they can provide holistic solutions for your marketing concerns.


Mayple

Mayple is a digital platform where you can hire marketing talent on demand. It’s pretty similar to Fiverr but is focused on marketing pros.

Mayple vets the marketing professionals it adds to its database. They are evaluated based on their previous work, methodologies, account structure, and other factors. Most of them are C-suite executives who are well-experienced in various niches. When you book a one-on-one consultation through video call, you will be asked to fill in a brief with your specific marketing needs. Mayple’s proprietary AI system then matches you with the consultant most equipped to address your needs. Another advantage of this platform is that you can book calls whenever you are available.


Deloitte Digital

When it comes to consulting services, Deloitte needs no introduction. It’s known worldwide as one of the largest networks of firms and professionals. One of its subsidiaries, Deloitte Digital, provides digital marketing consultancy services to businesses.

Deloitte Digital consultants can guide you in developing strategies that will win and engage customers. They have access to data and analytics platforms that enable them to unlock insights crucial to effective digital marketing strategies.


The Cost of Hiring a Digital Marketing Consultant

Digital marketing agencies usually charge about $100 to $149 per hour for consulting services. But, if you're dealing with an independent consultant, you might be looking at a wider range. Generally, the rates would depend on how seasoned the digital marketing consultant is. Those who are still building their names in the industry might charge lower than $100, while those who have already earned a stellar reputation might ask for more than double the standard rates.

digital marketing consultant cost

Many digital marketing consultants work on monthly retainers approximately $1,000 to $3,000 per month. Some also accept project-based terms, where they set a fixed price for all the work they expect to perform during the entire duration of a campaign. In both arrangements, the actual rates would depend on the expertise of the consultant and the scope of services they are required to deliver. 

For startups and small businesses, a few thousand dollars a month can still be a hefty added expense. However, compared to $127,830 to $140,000 annual wages for an advertising or marketing manager, the cost of hiring a digital marketing consultant is more manageable.

Understand that a digital marketing consultant can help you increase revenue in the long run. To get top-notch services, consider hiring one that’s not just a mere expense but a worthwhile investment for business growth.


A Digital Marketing Consultant Is a Long-Term Partner

Remember that successful digital marketing requires collaboration. So, choose a digital marketing consultant who can be your partner for the long term.

If you are a startup, you’d gain immense benefits from working with a full-service marketing agency. Aside from giving you access to the latest marketing tools and strategies, agencies enable you to focus on your core business operations. But if budgets are really constrained, hiring a digital marketing consultant is a smart option, too. As a new business, you’d do well to seek the advice of experts through consulting services. This would allow you to have a clear direction for your marketing initiatives.

If you have an established brand with your own marketing team, a digital marketing consultant can provide you with a fresh perspective and enable your team to gain insights that can steer your marketing efforts in the right direction for more effective and successful outcomes.

Frequently Asked Questions

Should I hire a digital marketing consultant or a digital marketing agency?

If you already have an internal marketing team, a digital marketing consultant would be able to give them expert guidance and fill any knowledge gaps. If you require different marketing services, an agency that offers a full suite of services might be best for you. An agency would be able to handle all aspects of marketing without you having to invest in all the tools or software needed for them. An agency can also create a more cohesive solution aligned with your business goals.

When should I get a digital marketing consultant?

If you have just started your business, get the advice of a digital marketing consultant early on. A consultant can help you define vision and goals, strategize for both short-term and long-term growth, and launch digital campaigns to raise brand awareness. If your business is already established but experiencing a slump in engagement, get a digital marketing consultant to identify areas that need improvement and revamp your marketing strategy.

Is hiring a digital marketing consultant worthwhile?

Yes, hiring a consultant can be a worthwhile investment. A digital marketing consultant brings an unbiased perspective and fresh insights into your business. You stand to benefit from their expertise and their access to the latest marketing tools and technologies.

About the Author
Geri Mileva, a seasoned IP network engineer and esteemed writer at Influencer Marketing Hub, excels in demystifying the complex worlds of the Creator Economy, AI, blockchain, and the Metaverse. Her expertise is showcased through in-depth analyses and insights featured in prominent outlets like The Huffington Post and Ravishly. Geri's educational foundation was laid at Sofia University St. Kliment Ohridski, where she earned a Mast