The world of marketing has become a challenging environment. Today, there are literally hundreds of potential marketing channels for promoting your company. If your agency has been handling your marketing through traditional media channels, do you know what’s working? On the digital side, are they driving significant traffic to your website? What is your conversion rate? Can your agency provide the metrics to back up their work and accurately measure your marketing’s effectiveness?
Since 2006, inbound marketing has proven to be the most effective method for driving online sales. Inbound marketing’s ROI is well documented and companies who follow their customers online can experience tremendous increases in key growth metrics like marketing efficiency and sales productivity.
The digital space can be confusing and frustrating. You need to honestly assess if your internal team has the skill set to effectively engage online. If you’re working with an agency, do they have a proven track record with inbound marketing? Your company can dramatically improve ROI by hiring an effective inbound marketing agency.
There are several key considerations to make when conducting a review for an inbound marketing agency. A good agency will have solid core values and skill sets that are necessary for effective inbound efforts. Agencies come in all shapes and sizes with different talents and specialties. Let’s examine 3 key areas to consider when interviewing an agency.
1. Hire an agency that will deliver the inbound services that matter the most.
Every firm should be able to offer services like social media or email. Any firm that considers itself an inbound agency should be able to offer your firm Four Core services.
To provide value; all four core services need to function in a coordinated way. First, they should be able to generate a measurable rise in traffic to your website through SEO, blogging and social media engagement.
Second, they need to be able to provide unique engaging content to capitalize on that traffic. That includes effective landing pages and managing lead generation efforts.
Next, they need to create targeted lead-nurturing campaigns offering unique value in order to turn leads into customers. Finally, they should be able to provide you full analytics and measurable results, throughout the process.
Make sure to ask your potential agency if they offer lead generation, lead-to-customer and analytic service packages. What tactics do they employ and can they provide examples to illustrate their success. If they integrate their efforts into an effective and cohesive strategy, it’s a good sign that they can execute and get results.
2. The Agency pitch should address your company’s needs and goals first and foremost.
A solid agency will begin their pitch with you. They will address your specific goals and challenges. Once they have addressed the specific needs of your company, they will explain how they can help you to achieve your goals.
They should begin be asking about your needs, your goals and the urgency of reaching them. How are you measuring your ROI? What metrics and benchmarks are relevant? They should also ask about your internal team.
By answering these questions in the beginning of their presentation, they will be able to develop a specific plan unique to your company’s challenges. Your goals become a segue to the discussion of their capabilities.
Make sure to ask about clients who faced similar challenges and how the agency responded. Make sure they offer specifics and a time frame when it comes to achieving your company’s goals.
3. Hire a firm that walks the walk!
Any agency can talk the talk. Make sure the firm you are considering walks the walk. Meaning: Do they do inbound for themselves? A visit to their website can give you a solid yes or no to this question. You’ve most likely been doing your due diligence and have visited their website. You’ve probably been focusing on their services and reference pages.
Look at their site with a different perspective. Do they blog with the frequency they’re recommending for you? Do their social media sites offer the types of activity they are proposing for you? How does their premium content look?
For an agency to be effective, they should practice what they preach. If a visit to their website shows only sales oriented content, think twice about engaging with them, and continue on with your search.
Asking the right questions can help you find and hire the perfect inbound marketing agency. Want to learn more? Download our free ebook “The Field Guide to Hiring an Inbound Marketing Agency.” In it, you’ll learn the core values to look for and how improve ROI by hiring an effective inbound marketing agency.