When it comes to promoting your brand, there’s no better money move you can make than hiring a digital marketer. While you have been able to get by in-house when your business’s marketing needs were less arduous, growth is going to bring greater demand for your online presence.
We put together a guide to help you get started with finding the perfect digital marketing fit for you. These are general rules to keep in mind, but remember that the final decision is ultimately up to you. Trust your gut, do your research, and watch your social media profiles sell the story your brand wants to tell.
What Makes a Great Digital Marketer?
Before you start making phone calls or conducting interviews, you need to get keyed in about what to look for when hiring a digital marketer. While there are always going to be differences in personality, task management style, and general demeanor, there are a few traits that every digital marketer absolutely has to have in order to be successful at their trade.
They Know How to Engage and Communicate
Your digital marketer needs to have a presence through the screen and in-person. Because they serve as the face of your company, or at least the ghost-writer behind the face of your company, they have to be able to communicate with your followers in a way that represents your brand without jeopardizing your reputation. You want to trust that they are going to answer questions, seek feedback, and post content with a consistent, friendly voice.
Your digital marketer should also be willing to seek out other businesses to partner with, whether it’s cross-posting content, having others guest write for a blog, or promoting a particular product. Typically, these opportunities are easy to find, if your marketer is willing to ask the right questions of the right people.
They Know that Digital Marketing is an Art…
At the heart of digital marketing is boundless creativity. While writing blog content might not be their main goal, unless that’s part of your marketing strategy, there’s going to be a lot of ad copy, social media posts, and Instagram photo captions that have to work to sell your product or service.
The digital marketer that you choose for your team should be able to craft persuasive, inspiring media that tells a big story in very little time. Afterall, a 2015 study conducted by Microsoft notes that consumers only have an eight second attention span… which is “one second less than that of a goldfish.”
…And a Science
But it’s not enough to catch an audience’s attention. Your social media presence must be data-driven and flexible, ready to adapt at any moment to the changing tastes of those you’re hoping to engage. They need to be well-versed in both the tools and tricks of the trade, and also willing to translate that information from marketing jargon to easily-digestible summaries that help you stay in the loop of the direction of your marketing efforts.
Finding the Right Digital Marketer
Now that you know what to keep an eye out for, you can start your search for the digital marketer that’s going to fit well with both your brand and with your team. The process is quite similar to that of hiring for any other position in your company… With the added benefit of online reviews that can bolster your confidence in making the right decision.
One pro tip is to pull information from all available resources to create a more comprehensive picture of what you can expect from working with an individual before you offer them a gig. While a reference might offer a sparkling review, anonymous online reviews could tell a different story. Your brand’s success could live or die on your digital marketing strategy, so take the time to be thorough.
Look at Their Social Media
What better place to start than a digital marketer’s social media profiles? Start with the “Big 4,” (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram) then expand your search if you work in a niche industry that requires specialized marketing. For example, if you are looking for marketers that specialize in the gaming community, you might check out Twitch streams that they’ve done work for.
A few things to keep an eye on include how active they are with their followers, what kinds of sources they pull external content from, and a general sense of their aesthetic. While most marketers are more than capable of adjusting to your needs, it isn’t a bad idea to find one that already aligns with the vision you have in mind for your online presence.
Ask to See a Portfolio with References
The proof is in the pudding, and the pudding for digital marketers would be a portfolio that showcases their best work. It should include examples of past campaigns, ad mockups, and data on how successful their efforts were. You can also check out the range that they are capable of in terms of branding, voice, and industry. If every portfolio example has something to do with sports, that probably means that this sector of marketing is where they are most comfortable. While that doesn’t mean they can’t market for anything but sports, it might be worth your time to look for candidates who have a bit more experience in your particular line of work.
Read Online Reviews
We encourage you to read online reviews, but we also encourage you to take them with a grain of salt. While platforms like Yelp, Clutch, and Google My Business can paint a general picture of how satisfied past clients were with the work of your potential marketer, remember that those waters can be muddied by misunderstandings, personal grudges, or even anonymous people just looking to get their kicks.
Two things to keep in mind:
First, look for trends. If a business has fifty wonderful reviews and two bad ones, it may have been situations outside of the marketer’s control or a conflict of personalities. On the other hand, consistently middling or negative reviews is more indicative of potential issues to come.
Second, pay attention to how a marketing firm responds to concerns that are expressed through these reviews. If you notice that they are blame-shifters or act defensively even against polite critiques, it’s time to move on. When hiring a digital marketer, you want someone who is going to be accountable for their work and willing to quickly fix any concerns you have.
Save In-Person Interviews for High-Value Candidates
The interview process is a long and arduous one. In fact, interview fatigue is very real and can negatively contribute to your ability to choose a worthy candidate. Reserve your energy for the top two or three candidates that you feel are a good fit based on the rest of your investigation, and space those appointments out with a few days between. Not only does that give you the chance to discuss each potential digital marketing firm with your team, it also helps you maintain enthusiasm for the process. Hiring a digital marketer is a big move for your brand, and you want the experience to be a positive one.
Tame Your Digital Marketing Landscape
When it comes to digital marketing, being seen can be next to impossible, especially when you’re competing against brands with a longer reach, bigger budget, and a bevy of network connections that you don’t have yet.
That’s why we created the NATIV3 Action Funnel. It helps even out the playing field by using the same big brand strategies, tailor-made to fit exactly the message that your business wants to send.
To get the most bang for your buck, we use a multi-pronged approach centered on increasing your Google rankings, building a captive audience on social media, utilizing the plethora of opportunities that is email marketing, and building out incredible content that demands to be seen, shared, and discussed. Along the way, we help you understand the who, what, and why of your marketing strategy with a range of tools that delves deep into your demographic data.
Get in touch with our team to jump-start your journey into hiring a digital marketer, and let us show you how we can boost your brand using data, creativity, and a whole lotta hustle.