Digital Marketing Agencies vs. Consultants – What’s Right For You

When it comes to getting help with your digital marketing strategy, there is no shortage of options. You can hire in-house, partner with an agency like Living Online, or hire digital marketing consultants in a freelance capacity. Today, we’ll look at the pros and cons of choosing to hire Digital Marketing Agencies vs Digital Marketing Consultants so you can make an informed decision that will have the best outcome for your business.

Digital Marketing Agencies

Digital marketing agencies are a bigger arsenal in your corner. They bring together a team of specialists, each a master in their field—be it SEO, content creation, or social media management, to name a few. You have a full time marketer on your side to cater to your every digital marketing desire. However, bigger is not always better. Or rather, bigger isn’t always what your business needs.

Digital marketing agencies like Living Online (Perth’s best digital marketing agency) specialise in a variety of services and strategies, including:

  • Search Engine Optimisation (SEO): This involves keyword research, on-page optimisation, and link-building strategies to enhance rankings on Google and expand a company’s reach organically.
  • Content Marketing: Writing relevant content is crucial for digital success, and agencies work with their copywriters to create and distribute engaging content across various platforms to attract and convert audiences.
  • Social Media Management: Social media is a vital component of digital marketing. Agencies manage and curate content for platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, TikTok and LinkedIn. Typically agencies will either focus on lead-generating social media activities (through paid ads) OR day-to-day posting to build up a loyal community through organic social media scheduling.
  • Google Ads: This involves strategic budget allocation, keyword targeting, and continuous optimisation for maximum ROI, and is one of the best ways to increase a company’s revenue online by targeting in-market customers looking for your exact products and services right now.
  • Email Marketing: This involves designing and implementing email marketing campaigns to reach, engage, and nurture target audiences effectively. Agencies can also assist in integrating your website with the email platform of your choice to automate the growth of your database.
  • Web Development and Design: A web development and design team in your corner is a big added benefit! It gives you access to a team of professionals that can improve user experience, maintain website security, and fix website bugs to ensure it’s always an attractive, lead-generating machine.
  • Analytics and Data Analysis: Agencies leverage analytics tools to track and analyse campaign performance, user behaviour, and other metrics for continuous improvement.
  • Strategic Planning and Consultation: An agency acts as strategic partners, helping businesses define their goals and develop comprehensive digital marketing strategies. You can consider them as an outsourced marketing department.

Pros of Agencies:

  • Holistic Expertise: Agencies are a one-stop solution for diverse digital marketing needs, offering comprehensive strategies to address every facet of your business online presence.
  • Innovation Hub: Positioned at the forefront of industry trends, agencies have the resources and insight to pioneer innovative approaches, ensuring your business stays ahead of the curve.
  • Scalability: Agencies are adept to scale and evolve with your growing needs.
  • More For Your Money: For a set monthly fee with an agency, instead of getting one person with a limited skillset, you get a team of specialists and experts, so you’ve always got the most effective, talented person working on the tasks and projects that are their bread and butter.
  • Availability & Continuity: Having the full force of an agency means that if your usual point of contact is off unwell or on leave, you still have a team able to step in seamlessly and keep your campaign firing on all cylinders. If your sole freelancer is off sick unexpectedly and an emergency occurs… well, your business could be up crap creek without a paddle…

Cons of Agencies:

  • Budget: Because you’re effectively hiring a team of people, partnering with a digital marketing agency often comes with a bigger price tag than choosing a freelancer.

Digital Marketing Consultants

In contrast, Digital Marketing Consultants operate with the agility of a skilled soloist. These professionals often well versed in most digital marketing channels, but don’t necessarily specialise in any of them.

Ther arsenal of a digital marketing consultant is similar to that of an agency, but their scope is smaller because it’s one person vs many.

Pros Of Consultants:

  • Cost-Effective: Consultants often present more budget-friendly options.
  • Responsiveness: Because you’re dealing on a one-on-one scale and they tend to have less clients, freelance consultants can provide a level of responsiveness that can be challenging for larger agencies to maintain (although this varies per agency).
  • Adaptability: With less bureaucratic constraints, consultants can be more adaptable in pivoting offering and retainer agreements.

Cons Of Consultants:

  • Scope of Expertise: While versatile, consultants may not cover the extensive range of digital marketing services provided by agencies.
  • Risk of Overextension: Some consultants may claim to excel in all areas, but they might not be at the same level than an agency specialist that only focuses on one channel.
  • Overdependence: A consultant who knows your business inside and out is amazing… until they become unavailable or decide to stop working with you. You’re now left completely helpless, while an agency has a strong talented team who can always step in to make sure you’re always looked after.

Finding Your Fit

Ultimately, the choice between a comprehensive agency approach and a consultant depends on the specific requirements of your business.

Opt for a digital marketing agency when:

  • Your business seeks a multifaceted, all-encompassing strategy.
  • You have budget and needs that justify a bigger investment.
  • Your business operates on a scale that demands a robust, expansive approach.

Engage Consultants When:

  • You are looking for a smaller engagement and strategy.
  • Your business operates within more modest financial constraints.

Get Started With Digital Marketing

The choice between digital marketing agency and digital marketing consultants is about finding the partner that can deliver what your business needs at that point in time. If you’d like to learn more about how a full-service digital marketing agency can help your business journey, don’t hesitate to get in touch with us!