The ROI on inbound marketing cannot be denied. Sixty percent of marketers are now using inbound marketing tactics. Setting out to find an agency to partner with may help you best implement inbound tactics.
If you have decided to invest your precious marketing dollars in an inbound marketing agency, you have a plethora of choices.
How do you choose? It’s certainly a tough decision to make. Do you go with a specialty shop or a jack-of-all-trades, a smaller, more nimble agency, versus a multi-department behemoth, a proven leader or an energetic newcomer?
We recently created the Ultimate Guide to Hiring an Inbound Agency. The guide will explain the 11 core attributes to look for and also tell you what to avoid. Click the link below to get our guide:
It is important to understand the guidelines in choosing an inbound marketing agency:
- Aligned with needs: After you and your marketing team identify your most urgent marketing needs, you can begin your search. Winnowing away agencies that don’t provide services like email, social media, web design or SEO specific to your needs is the first step to identifying the ideal inbound marketing agency.
- Plan of attack: Many agencies may make convincing proposals without fleshing out the exact mechanisms on how to achieve your marketing objectives. Zero in on the most critical details of your inbound marketing strategy and ask for hard facts.
- Track record: In some cases choosing a creative new inbound marketing agency may help re-invigorate an old marketing campaign, but it is usually best to go with an agency that has proven they are capable of handling a multi-faceted inbound marketing plan. Ask for case histories and testimonials to gauge past performance.
- Reliable partners: Many agencies are unwilling to share their skills with clients, which means you have to rely on them. Choosing an agency that is eager to help your marketing team acquire SEO or social media management skills provides greater value to the relationship, and is indicative of confidence. After all, true inspiration isn’t transferable.
- Adept managers: Clearly articulated planning is one of the key benchmarks of a well-managed inbound marketing agency. The marketing proposal should detail what types of interactions and time investments your in-house marketing team must provide. If they appear overly reliant upon your personnel, you may wish to find a more independent agency.
- One-stop shop: Many agencies utilize partnerships with other groups or specialists to handle areas that are not their strengths. While this may not always present a problem, it often leads to elongated schedules, as duties are shuttled to third parties.
- Walk the walk: Many agencies are great at the sales game, but may not be able to support their boasts. Closely examine their agency website, blogs, social media accounts and Google rankings to determine if they can deliver on their promises.
- Define the metrics: It is possible to present a vast array of measurements with regard to any inbound marketing initiative, so identify the metrics you would most like to see improvement with. Discuss with any potential agency what metrics they use, and ask why they use them. If you believe they are using outdated methodologies, it may be wiser to keep shopping.
Any inbound marketing agency you hire should be able to provide a wealth of ideas, methodologies and metrics that will accelerate your business’ growth in the market.
Using these guidelines to identify the most important characteristics of an ideal marketing agency should save you enormous time, money and confusion.