Four skills to look for when hiring an inbound marketing agency

Partnership Strategy Meeting
Good inbound marketing requires an intricate strategy that takes audience, content and communication channels all into account. It requires someone who understands each of those components and how they work together. It’s a very different way of looking at marketing plans and to do it well, you need a partner who can guide you through the process.

What should you look for in an inbound marketing agency?

1. Look for a strategic partner

This is a time when you don’t want a vendor you can boss around. Instead you want an agency that will take the time to learn your business and has already taken the time to understand inbound marketing. To quote one of our inbound marketing clients, Deidra Colvin, Chief Marketing Officer for Baker Hill, you should be looking for “...a true marketing partner - not an order taker - someone to keep your internal team on their toes and always thinking.”

If you are looking for a strong inbound marketing agency, you want a partner that works with you. There are a lot of intricacies to successful inbound marketing and you want a partner who will listen to your experience and who brings experience of their own. Combine those strengths for a smart strategy. If a vendor comes in with a one-size-fits-all plan or template, that’s not strategic and not likely to bring the strongest results.

2. Look for a clear process

There are a lot of pieces involved and you want to make sure your inbound marketing agency has experience managing those pieces smoothly. Once the higher level strategy is determined, you should expect your vendor to walk you through well-defined project phases. Those phases can differ from campaign to campaign but you want your partner to have clearly defined gateways as you move from campaign review through workflow planning and into execution. A process helps make sure nothing gets overlooked and that all the pieces of your campaign are working together for the best results.
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3. Look beyond the materials

If an inbound marketing agency offers an upfront package that includes 6 blog articles, 2 content offers, etc… is that really what you need? Is the value in quantity of materials or the leads those materials generate?

There is value in having a well-defined price for a set of materials but a successful campaign is about much more than materials. If your agency offers an upfront content package before discussing your needs be sure to ask these questions:
  • Do we need all the pieces in that package? 
  • How can we take the general package and tailor it for our company's goals and available resources? 
In short, you should expect your agency to offer you a recommended content strategy without it being a one-size-fits-all package. The materials should always be focused on your specific goals.
#ProTip: If you don’t see analytics in the pitch… it is probably an agency to stay away from.Tweet this

4. Look for an agency that can measure results

You want an agency that knows how to measure results and doesn’t shy away from the numbers. Progress should be measured along the way and long-term as well. When you establish your campaign parameters, goals and objectives should be part of the conversation. Inbound marketing is a longer term process than some campaign but the results tend to be of higher quality. In other words, they are worth the wait but you won’t know that if you’re not measuring. If you don’t see analytics in the pitch… this is probably an agency to stay away from.

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Tatum

About the author | Tatum Hindman

Tatum is the president of TBH Creative and is responsible for building long-term client relationships. She enjoys the strategy behind web design and sitting down with clients to define online marketing goals. She likes to blog about questions or topics that clients ask about as well as sharing new tricks.

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