“Marketing” is a broad term. In short, marketing refers to any efforts or campaigns that help your business attract new clients, increase sales, and build brand awareness.
This can take many different forms. Content marketing, for instance, involves the creation of different types of content (from emails and social media posts to blog posts, white papers, and one-pagers) to help meet the above goals.
If you’re a B2B business (a company that provides products or services to other businesses), you’ll need a strong B2B marketing strategy to help your brand attract new leads and stand out from the competition. And if you don’t have the time—or experience—to craft a marketing campaign that pays off, you may want to consider hiring a B2B marketing consultant.
Here, we’ll take a look at three must-know tips for hiring the right B2B marketing consultant for your business.
Why Hire A B2B Marketing Consultant In The First Place?
As a CEO, founder, or other company head, your time is likely consumed with the ins and outs of running your business. Overseeing product development and release; managing client relationships; securing funding—you have enough to worry about. And especially for small businesses or young startups, the time and effort it takes to keep the business running leaves little time to devise (and much less execute) large-scale marketing campaigns.
Regardless of a company’s marketing strategy, businesses often turn to B2B marketing consultants to help devise new marketing plans or execute large-scale campaigns they cannot handle with their internal staff alone. In fact, some B2B companies choose to outsource their marketing entirely, foregoing hiring a marketing team in favor of partnering with freelancers, agencies, or other B2B marketing consultants.
That said, even companies with internal marketing teams need additional support from time to time. Marketing directors, CMOs, or content strategists may all reach out to B2B marketing consultants to help ideate, strategize, and implement marketing campaigns.
How a B2B marketing consultant might help a small marketing team
Say, for instance, a startup has a small marketing team of three employees: a marketing director, a content strategist, and an SEO specialist.
- The marketing director will oversee and orchestrate the company’s overall marketing initiatives.
- The content strategist may devise ways to implement the marketing director’s plans.
- The SEO specialist will research the right keywords to help the business gain traction through organic search engine marketing (SEM).
Sounds good, right? But wait… who’s actually creating the content?
All three employees are busy enough with their respective responsibilities; there’s simply no way they alone could create, say, a 200,000-word SEO content hub. They may even struggle to execute smaller-scale marketing campaigns, such as daily social media copywriting and management or direct response copy (like a landing page).
Enter a B2B marketing consultant. This expert can fill in the gaps when a company or marketing team simply doesn’t have the capacity to carry out its marketing goals. This consultant may specialize in a certain type of marketing, such as inbound marketing or social media marketing, or wear several different hats and help their clients with numerous projects.
Alternatively, a B2B marketing consultant may help strategize new marketing campaigns or improve existing ones by providing expert guidance on things like SEO, creating content marketing calendars, and overseeing marketing activity.
1. Identify your goals
Before you even start to search for a B2B marketing consultant, you need to set some concrete marketing goals.
Does your team lack the expertise needed to create a successful marketing campaign? Have you tried a few different approaches with little or no payoff? In this case, you may be looking to create a new marketing strategy from the ground up.
Or, have you dedicated substantial time and effort to one or two campaigns, but none have seemed to stick? You may need a consultant who can improve upon your current marketing strategies, instead.
It’s important to keep in mind that you should identify specific, measurable goals that can be tracked over time. For instance, you may choose one or more of the following metrics to track the success of certain campaigns or pieces of content:
- Click-through rates for advertisements
- Keyword rankings for SEO blog posts
- Open and click-through rates for email campaigns
- Conversion rates for landing pages
- Visitor traffic for websites
- Engagement, followers, and like counts for social media campaigns
- Downloads for assets like white papers or one-pagers
Once you’ve identified concrete, trackable goals, you’ll have a much clearer picture of where you are now—and where you’d like to end up.
2. Consider your budget
In some cases, companies turn to B2B marketing consultants as a cost-saving measure. According to ZipRecruiter, the national average pay for marketing consultants is $27 an hour (or $57,111 per year full-time). This can vary substantially, however, depending on the type of consultant you hire (as well as their location, as the local cost of living factors into consultants’ rates).
Freelance marketing consultants, for instance, will often charge less than B2B marketing agencies. This does not mean that one is inherently “better” or “worse”—there are inherent pros and cons to both.
- Freelance B2B marketing consultants are likely cheaper than agencies. However, they are somewhat limited in their capacity; as one person, they can only do so much.
- B2B marketing agencies offer a team of experts with diverse skills and specializations. However, they may charge more than a freelance marketing consultant.
It’s important to consider these different factors—what kind of support you need, how much content you would like to produce, etc.—before setting your budget. Once you’ve settled on your wants and needs, set a concrete budget—and stick to it.
3. Look for experience in your industry
Even seasoned marketing consultants aren’t worth your time if they don’t understand what your company does. It’s important to seek out professionals with experience in your unique industry or niche—SaaS copywriters, for instance, will be better suited to help tech companies with their marketing than health and wellness copywriters.
That’s not to say that every B2B marketing consultant out there chooses a specific industry and caters only to those clients. However, chances are, they’ve found topics they are both interested in and knowledgeable about and have chosen to pursue clients that align with their experience.
The best way to gauge a marketing consultant’s experience? Their portfolio and client testimonials. A marketing portfolio can give you a closer look at the candidate’s versatility (do they write many different types of content, or do they tend to specialize in a few?) and voice (do they work with scientific or medical clients, which demand a more academic tone, or companies with more laid-back brand voices?). This portfolio should also include metrics on the different types of content discussed in tip #1 above.
Testimonials, on the other hand, will give you unbiased insight into how a marketing consultant works with their clients. Although some clients may demand that the consultant work under an NDA, complete unwillingness to provide you with testimonials or referrals is often a red flag.
Ready To Connect With Expert B2B Marketing Consultants?
The right B2B marketing consultant can help put your company’s name on the map, differentiate you from your competitors, generate new clients, and boost sales. But individual or freelance B2B marketing consultants can only do so much. Large-scale campaigns, like organic SEO content hubs, demand consistent, high-volume output.
Enter Tailored Ink. Our team of B2B marketing consultants can handle all your marketing needs, from one-off deliverables to high-quality, large-scale B2B marketing campaigns. Drop us a line and see how you can take your marketing strategy to the next level.