Not every business owner can possibly know everything there is to know about running a business. One of the most increasingly common third party agencies that companies are now using to help improve their online presence is an inbound marketing agency.
If you’re like most business owners and don’t have the time to learn about SEO and how to implement it properly, or set up social media and e-mail marketing campaigns, then an inbound marketing agency may be a good fit for you.
However, not all inbound marketing agencies are created equal. Here’s our list of 7 vital characteristics that a quality and qualified inbound agency should have:
1. Get the Right Kind of Services
Don’t make the mistake of thinking that an inbound marketing firm is all about redesigning your website – it’s a lot more than that. Inbound marketing is more about the content on your site and how to attract more leads.
This includes services like blogs, content creation, SEO, link building, and social media campaigns. To support these endeavors, good inbound marketing firms will also offer services that include landing page creation, marketing automation, e-mail marketing, and more.
Every inbound marketing firm should also have great analytical and statistical tools that will tell them – and you – just how successful your online presence really is.
The best thing you can do for yourself is hire an inbound marketing firm that jives well with your firm. You want to hire a firm that you can sit down and talk to, discuss ideas, throw around thoughts and express your goals. Tell them how you want your online presence to appear. Tell them what you want your ROI to be. Give them your ideas about blogs and social media. A good firm will be receptive to these ideas. After all, it’s not the firm’s online presence that they’re working to improve – it’s yours!
3. Their Strategy
Any good inbound marketing firm should have a strategy, and it shouldn’t just be any strategy – it should be one that’s tailored to meet your business needs. A firm should be able to discuss strategy with you after your first consultation. Look for what order they plan on implementing things, as well as the costs.
4. Their Measurements
Every good firm should be able to show you the success of your website through analytical data and metrics.
An inbound marketing firm should be measuring the progress of every marketing endeavor at every step of the way and give you continual reports on their efforts. You’ve given the inbound marketing firm your set of goals that you hope to accomplish; now the onus is on them to show you how well they are doing at helping your business reach those goals.
5. The Agency’s Web Presence
What better way is there to gage how well an inbound marketing firm is at inbound marketing than to see how well they’re doing online themselves? Check out the inbound marketing firm’s social media presence. See if they blog regularly. Try to find any landing pages (this shouldn’t be hard if they’re a good inbound marketing firm). As we always say, an inbound marketing firm should be its very own example and case study when it comes to inbound marketing itself.
6. Proof of Success
Apart from their website being a testament to their success, does the inbound marketing firm you’re considering hiring have a strong track record? Before you hire any inbound marketing firm, ask them for references. Do they have any successful campaigns they can show you? What sort of strategies and tactics have they used in the past, and which have proven successful? Do they have any contact information from clients they’ve used previously? When at all possible, hire an experienced firm that clearly knows what its doing.
7. Ethical Practices
Last but not least, it’s always a good idea to choose an inbound marketing firm that uses ethical practices. If you ever encounter a firm that talks about keyword stuffing, then steer clear. Ask about their SEO practices – do they use White Hat (desirable) or Black Hat (undesirable) SEO tactics? Do they use other shady methods, like cloaking? If an inbound marketing firm answers “yes” to any of the above, then look elsewhere. Using an unethical firm will only put your website at a disadvantage, and could even get you and your site banned from the web.
- Inbound marketing firms focus on generating more leads and content creation for your website rather than website design.
- A good firm will develop a campaign tailor made for you and your company’s needs.
- Be sure your company is provided with analytics to see just how well your campaign is working for you.
- Make sure any firm you hire is successful itself, and does not practice any unprofessional strategies when developing a campaign for you.
If inbound marketing is something you are interested in but are having trouble getting started, contact us today to schedule your free marketing analysis.