Online Marketing: Hire A Company, Hire A Consultant or Do It Yourself? Here’s Some Guidance

ReachLocal is a company that helps businesses marketing online. Their are many companies that offers services like ReachLocal and I wondered what made them different and in particular how a business could decide when to market on their own or hire an individual consultant.

Todd Ebert, Senior Vice President of Marketing, ReachLocal gives some answer.

There are many online advertising services on the market – OrangeSoda, Deluxe, and others – what makes ReachLocal different?

Well, part of the answer to that is in our name! We are on a mission to make local marketing easy and effective for businesses. We’re 100% focused on local and have been since the beginning. To that end, we’ve invested millions to make sure we’re always delivering what’s latest in local online marketing, from strategy to technology to service. Everything we do – from search, display, and social advertising to content, social, and reputation marketing to conversion and retention marketing – was built specifically to meet the challenges and needs of local businesses. We’re essentially your outsourced marketing team, providing a custom plan and bringing it to life with our technology and services.

We’re also different because we have local teams who work directly with our clients. So, they not only know online marketing, but they know your community, too. On the technology side, we have built proprietary systems that both track all of our campaigns so we can tweak and tune them to achieve better results and provide powerful reporting that shows those results. Plus, our service teams are working proactively to monitor and adjust the campaigns, so they know what’s going on and can share that with our clients to help them understand what’s working.

What’s the biggest mistake you see that businesses make when starting to do online advertising?

One of the biggest mistakes we see is not tracking results so you can learn from what’s working and make sure your budget is going toward efforts that are bringing you customers. It’s easy to just set one overall budget, look at your number of clicks, and assume your advertising is working. But is every dollar working as smart as possible to drive the most results? And is your advertising making the phone ring? At the end of the day, that’s what businesses really care about, and that’s why we are optimizing our products to make sure you get more calls, emails, and conversions.

What are the differences between DIY advertising, hiring a consultant, or hiring a company like ReachLocal?

One difference is the expertise level you’ll get from these different approaches. DIY advertising is a very time-consuming process in and of itself, not to mention building expertise in that area. So it’s important to think about what you’re really paying – not just in terms of a dollar amount budget, but in terms of the value of your time as well. Going with an experienced professional, whether a consultant or a company, means you’re getting not just the service, but the experience they have built over time –  which will help improve your results. Another big difference between ReachLocal and a consultant or DIY approach is our technology. At ReachLocal, we’ve put a lot of time and effort into building a system that gets you the most out of your advertising dollar and tracks everything, even down to recording the phone calls that come in from your campaigns. And, we have run literally thousands of campaigns for thousands of customers over the years, so we’ve been able to learn from those campaigns and tune our technology to benefit every customer. That’s one of the biggest differences between a consultant and a company like ReachLocal – we not only provide expert service, but we also have proprietary technology that’s been built specifically with the local advertiser in mind, so the combination of both is very powerful.

What’s it like when first engaging ReachLocal – what are the first few steps that one goes through?

Well, first you’ll meet with a local Internet Marketing Consultant who will talk with you about your business and what you want to accomplish online. Then, they’ll put together a custom plan for you that will help you build your brand and generate leads online. You’ll meet to go over that plan and make sure it fits. Next, they’ll work with our different teams to bring your plan to life, keeping you updated regularly on the results of your campaign.

We’ve got more information available online! http://local.reachlocal.com/reachlocal-difference

 

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Ramon Ray, Editor & Technology Evangelist, Smallbiztechnology.com . Editor and Founder, Smart Hustle Magazine Full bio at http://www.ramonray.com . Check him out on Google Plus, Twitter or Facebook

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