As an entrepreneur, starting and running a successful online business or extending your current offline business in other to have a notable online presence, comes with a lot of complexities and demanding activities before you can get even the least result. The days of relying solely on intuition without the bigger picture have long gone; It requires a lot of industry knowledge and technical know-how in broad areas such as marketing, website design and development, social media presence, and much more.
Covering most of these areas yourself is totally impossible and getting the right team or agency to assist you is another matter altogether. Thus the role of a Digital Consultancy is on the rise and has become even more crucial to the success of any business. Working with a Digital Consultant helps you get your business on track with proven strategy and vast industry insight for you to leverage reducing time and effort as well as risk factors.
Digital Consulting as an industry in its own right has experienced steady growth over the last ten years, according to Statista. World-renowned Accenture, Oracle, and IBM are among the leading digital consulting agencies dominating the market today. Back here in Africa adoption rate of a professional consultant to help businesses get expert advice and support is not encouraging and this may just account for the poor performance of many businesses since most entrepreneurs enter the business with a survival mindset never really prepared to deal with the harshness of the business world.
In this article, I will be covering what a Digital Strategy Consultant is about and the five benefits SMEs can derive from working with a Digital Consultant.
Who is a Digital Consultant?
Digital Strategy Consultant or simply Digital Consultant refers to a professional advisor and strategist who help businesses and organizations plan, implement, and improved their business strategy across digital platforms such as web, mobile, social media e.t.c so that they can effectively achieve their business goals (which is included and not limited to Improved sales, marketing ROI, customer engagement, customer acquisition e.t.c).
Digital Consulting is an umbrella term and comes in many varieties, the most popular being Digital Marketing Consultant. Generally, a Digital Consultant wears many hats which they acquired over long periods of personal research, experience and even using digital technology. This wide array of experiences makes their work invaluable as they can help you understand the web design process one minute and at another time help you understand online advertisement.
Though the primary focus of Digital Consulting is helping businesses plan and implement digital strategy across various digital platforms, helping them achieve their goals in innovations and digital transformation, offerings also include a broad list of services including website design and development, counseling/coaching, SEO, Social media marketing, eCommerce, branding e.t.c.
Digital Consultant vs Marketing Consultant
As stated above Digital Consulting is an umbrella time with the main focus on providing strategic advice and support to businesses in other to help them leverage digital technology. Digital Marketing Consultant on the other hand is a subcategory of Digital Consulting that deals more precisely with online marketing strategy. Digital marketing consultants plan and analyze different actions. They know which marketing technique fits into your strategy and map out the implementation strategy for a brand.
Why is Digital Strategy Consulting Important for SMEs and Startups?
A Digital Consultant may be the best solution for any small business or brand looking to have the most lucrative online presence and I will list just some of those seasons:
1. Reducing Cost and Risk Factors:
Implementing new technology, developing new products or services, and increasing online presence comes with a lot of things to consider in other to maximize return on investment. Just because it works for a certain brand does not mean it will work for you and a Digital Consultant can help a business reduce any risk that can result in spending money on the wrong strategy.
2. Cost-effective business coaching;
A Digital consultant can provide small businesses and startups with the most effective advice that a business will need to get started or even sustain and scale up their growth. They have worked with different industries, done a lot of research, tested different strategies, and know what works best which can positively improve your business.
3. Digital Strategy Planning and Implementation:
Improving your business performance is more than designing a website or having a social media handle or posting content here and there, but a strategic approach to implementation is what is more needed to get a brand past the noise, Though creating an effective strategy for a business is not easy as it looks but it very possible with the right methodology. A digital consultant can make the process easy and result-driven for any small business.
4. Technology Implementation advice:
For a brand to have the right technology that works for them require technical knowledge, which most entrepreneur may not have. This is where a third-party agency or professional advice may come in handy. For example, a website is a very good way to get your presence out there, oftentimes, a social media presence may be what a business needs at a particular time. On the other hand, a business may be limiting its sales potential to social media and Whatsapp when they can get more customers and make more sales with an online store.
5. Digital Sales and Marketing Assistance:
Digital marketing is really a broad term that encompasses social media marketing like Facebook and Instagram, content development and marketing, Search engine optimization e.t.c. Expert knowledge is also needed to help optimize these channels so a brand can reach its targeted audience. A digital consultant becomes invaluable.
A digital consultant wears many hats that enable them to create value for any brand they work with. Small and medium businesses can take advantage of this to improve their business by being on the lookout for agencies and professionals that can provide more than technical services but also business advice. Reducing risks and improving business results.
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Emmanuel Okaiwele is a Freelance Web Developer with Experience in Front End and Back Website Development, Linux Servers Administration, and Digital Strategy.