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If your business or organization is considering the benefits of an expanded digital media presence, the conversation is sure to move quickly from “Yes! Let’s do this!” to “Who? Who will do this?” Do you hire a part-time or full-time employee? Do you ask the intern or office admin to be on point? Do you engage a digital media agency, or a digital strategy consultant? Your current employees are already busy with work, and unless you are ready to spend some serious cash, expanding your workforce may be out of the question. With the median Digital Marketing Manager salary at $64,000 a year, it’s no wonder that digital media agencies and consultants have become such a valuable resource for small and mid-size organizations in recent years.

At SMQ Consulting, we address the needs of diverse clients by shaping each engagement to fit their specific goals, company culture, and resources. This has produced a wide range in the depth of our service offering, from modest engagements for strategy and staff training, to complete takeovers of an organization’s entire digital engine. Here are three ways that organizations are leveraging digital agencies and consultants to build their brand and achieve their business goals.

“We need some direction...but we’ll take it from there”

Some larger businesses and organizations already have the bandwidth to manage their expanded digital efforts in-house. But, without a proper digital media plan in place, and without experienced, trained staff, these businesses’ digital efforts are likely to fizzle before they get off the ground. Even with a well-intentioned, dedicated staff, lack of planning, accountability and expertise can result in significant wasted time, lackluster results, and frustrated staff.
 

A digital strategy consultant or digital media agency is often the perfect resource in this situation, where an organization wants their current employees in charge of their digital presence but are in serious need of digital media expertise, strategy and training. In these situations, we at SMQ Consulting frequently provide extensive digital strategy planning services, providing a web and social media audit and crafting a detailed digital media plan (including big-picture goals and specific day-to-day tactics, among other things). As planning turns to implementation we put the pieces in place to allow the organization’s staff to eventually take over completely.

Following the digital media plan creation and revision process, we spearhead installing tracking codes, optimizing the website, creating or updating all social media profiles, and initiating specific content strategies, contests, and the like. During the next three months, we test the strategies, report back to the client frequently, and make strategy revisions as necessary. During this time we are also engaging with the in-house staff that will eventually take over the digital media efforts, so that they have a clear picture of exactly how things should be done. We schedule training sessions with all of the staff that will be involved, train them in the areas that they will be handling, and provide examples and resources when applicable. Bit by bit, we hand each online activity over to staff members to manage. By the end of the three-month transition period, we’ve stepped out of day-to-day operations completely and conclude the project, or continue in a reduced capacity, such as providing advertising, consulting and reporting services as needed.

“We need a partner w/ expertise...but leave the execution to us”

It’s not all that uncommon for a brand or organization to desire direct control of their social media accounts. This is especially common in start-ups working to establish a nuanced brand image, companies in potentially sensitive industries like healthcare, and organizations whose voice stems from visible, vocal leaders that want to remain at the helm. Sometimes it’s this simple — you have someone on your staff that loves posting on social media, and you want to take advantage of that. That’s a great approach.

In cases such as these we’re happy to let our clients manage their own social media accounts. We support these efforts by providing strategy planning, training, tips and advice for the assigned community managers, weekly or monthly progress reports, and by handling other more advanced digital efforts such as online advertising, remarketing, conversion tracking, search engine optimization, email marketing and more. We encourage these organizations to share their own photos and stories on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram, while we keep our eyes on the big picture digital strategy and on more complicated or technical tasks.

“We need you...to do everything”

The majority of our clients are looking for a digital media strategy with measurable results and minimum added responsibilities. They want sales, increased visibility, and a better relationship with their customers; but, they don’t want anything to do with it! Maybe social media makes their heads spin, or they just don’t have the time to be deeply involved.

For these clients we handle every element of the digital strategy planning and implementation. In addition to the tasks outlined in the categories above, our responsibilities also include social media content creation and post scheduling, responding to questions and comments online, and taking photos and live video in the office or at events. Careful consideration is made in the planning phase of these engagements to accurately capture each organization’s unique voice. Often this involves a brief period of content reviews and approvals, or a “deep-dive” period for knowledge transfer. We’ll even work on-location at your business or organization, which provides us with an unparalleled view into the company culture, values and activities.

CONTACT SMQ CONSULTING

Do you have questions about this post, or your own digital media strategy? Submit your inquiry below, or email Steve McQuown directly at steve@smqconsult.com. 

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