5 questions you should ask a prospective Inbound Marketing agency
This post is written by Sandy Gans-
Inbound marketing is massive, covering everything from social media, SEO, lead generation, email marketing, web design- the list goes on. While there are clear rewards and benefits of Inbound, it does require you to commit time and resources to devise and execute a strategy that yields ROI for your business. You may feel that a winning plan is beyond the current capacity of your existing team, and therefore it is necessary it seek some outside help in the form of a dedicated inbound marketing agency.
We’ve put together a list of 5 questions that you should ask when researching and speaking with agencies, as we’ve heard from our own customers just how costly and time-consuming hiring the WRONG one can be.
#1 How much experience does the inbound marketing agency have?
Yes, inbound marketing is a relatively new concept. But, we would be wary of hiring an agency or consultant who has any less than 2 years’ experience in the field. You’ll also want to find out what they were doing before Inbound, for example, paid advertising, digital advertising, or PR. Ask them why they changed their focus to inbound. Do they truly understand its principles and are they passionate about it? Or, are they just trying to ride the inbound wave because they see it is a money-spinner? If you’re not totally bowled over by their enthusiasm for Inbound, stay clear.
#2 What customer testimonials can the agency provide?
If they cannot provide you with clear customer example of how inbound has worked for other companies, alongside customer testimonials that prove their ability to devise and execute successful inbound marketing campaigns, simply move on.
#3 How do they price their inbound marketing services?
Does the agency simply have one flat rate? Or do they have a tiered approach, based on your individual needs? One size doesn’t necessarily fit all with Inbound Marketing. If you are a 50 person company you may have different requirements to a 500 person company. So make clear what your objectives are and ask for pricing that will allow them to achieve these for you. If they are very inflexible, then it may be a sign they are not concerned with offering value for money or bending to meet their customers’ needs, in which case I’d cross them off the list.
#4 Do they offer a free inbound marketing consultation or workshop?
Before you agree to any kind of services or retainer, do they offer a free consultation or workshop? Is it offered over the phone or in person? Do they travel to you or expect you to travel to them? If you feel that they will barely even speak to you on the phone without some kind of retainer in place, you have to question how confident they are in their ability to win your business. Inbound marketing agencies that are comfortable talking to you for an hour or more tend to be the ones who understand that it is part of relationship building, and are looking to have you as a client for the long-haul.
#5 Do you feel confident that they know their stuff
A key part of inbound marketing is regularly producing useful, relevant and interesting content. Just having a look on their website should be enough to see if the types of content they are creating. Also, check out their blog. Are the articles well written, insightful and do they have a lot of social media shares? Remember, it’s the same people writing these pieces of content that will be working on your account.
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Let us know how you get on, or if you have any additional tips or insights! Use the comments section below, and don’t forget to share with your network if you found this article useful!