Hiring an inbound marketing agency is perhaps the best choice you can make for your business—the next step is finding the right one. With dozens—if not hundreds—of agencies out there, all trying to lure you in with alarmingly low-cost package deals, it can be pretty difficult to weed out the generous and cost-effective from the shams and the low-quality-but-desperate.
So before you close a deal, make sure you know what your marketing needs are. Once that’s established, you’re better equipped to filter through multiple agency options. To get you started, here are some non-negotiable qualities you need to look for.
Offers Well-Rounded Services
Inbound marketing has many aspects. It follows that a good marketing agency will cover most—if not all—of said aspects. If your company has an existing in-house marketing team that only focuses on some areas (i.e. purely digital, video, or content), it would be in your best interest to hire a marketing agency that is well-versed in every area—that way they can fill in the gaps. This eliminates redundancies and unnecessary expenses.
Some agencies may also offer to take over your marketing, which is ideal. This way, your strategies will be more cohesive and resource-efficient. All you need to do is request regular updates, make major informed decisions, and then wait for the monthly or quarterly reports.
Make sure that the agency you choose can also effectively communicate with yours. Even when you decide to hand them your entire marketing plan, they’ll need to check in with you from time to time and inform you of major decisions, campaign status, and the like.
Applies a Systematic Process
One thing every excellent marketing agency has is a systematic process. This starts with the on-boarding procedure and continues on until milestones or parameters are achieved. The key is looking for an agency that can set observable and clear objectives.
You’ll recognize a well-organized agency because of their ability to track campaigns and report on performances consistently. Basically, they follow SMART objectives: specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, and time-bound.
Has Tested and Proven Experience
When talking about experience, we mean experience with expertise. Investing in a marketing partner can define the difference between a failing funnel and a thriving pipeline. And it’s only logical to want to spend on a trusted service.
Therefore, check the agency’s background and history; this will tell you a lot about their experience. You also want to listen carefully during discussions. As experts, they’ll have a solid grasp of the technical marketing concepts and terms. And since you’re they’re client, they’ll be considerate enough to phrase them in ways you can easily understand. They might reference their previous successful campaigns, which is what you want. Make sure to stay away from agencies with only theoretical successes to back up their claims.
You can ask about important subjects to evaluate their expertise and judge how well they navigate the field. For instance, how do they manage lead generation? What are their conversion strategies? How do they manage sales?
Offers Customized Solutions
Aside from being well-rounded, make sure the agency you want to go with is capable of providing customized solutions. A one-size-fits-all approach is outdated and often frowned upon. The right agency will take the time to know your company and understand your marketing needs. From there, they’ll devise a plan with specific goals and parameters tailored to meet your request.
If an agency insists on using a pre-made plan that was a “success” for all their previous clients, it’s best to move on to your next choice—even if their clients were in situations similar to yours. The right marketing partner should understand that you’re paying for a specialized marketing strategy—not a recycled one.
Has a Website that Reflects its Services and Success
By virtue of their work, it’s only safe to (partially) judge your inbound marketing agency through their website; why trust an agency that can’t even present and sell themselves effectively?
The agency’s website should accurately reflect their services, their work ethic, and their company profile. It should be professional, easy to navigate, and aesthetically pleasing. Essentially, their site should also relay all the critical information you—and any customer—needs to know.
Even with limited knowledge regarding inbound marketing, you can filter prospective companies by matching them to the aforementioned qualities. Be sure to get your money’s worth—as well as your time—from your partnership. Stay away from a trial-and-error process and improve your lead generation and conversions by finding the right inbound marketing agency.