How To Pick An Inbound Marketing Agency

While DC Dev Shop is primarily known for our web design and development services, we also offer inbound marketing consulting for all of our clients. In case you didn’t know, inbound marketing is a type of marketing that focuses on attracting customers through relevant and helpful content, and on adding value at every stage in your customer’s buying journey. Inbound marketing helps potential leads and customers find you in a more natural and organic way, through sources like search engines, social media, and blog posts. Inbound marketing is great because it is a more simple method of marketing that is much easier for a team of say 1 to 3 people to tackle, compared to traditional magazine and television advertising, which takes much more time and money, two of the most precious resources of any business. But even if you can take on the inbound marketing for your company yourself, sometimes it’s better to hiring an external agency to help you along in the process.

That’s where an inbound marketing agency comes it. But with so many agencies and businesses out there, how to you choose the right agency for your business? Here are some factors to be aware of when picking an inbound marketing agency:

Track Record

When you’re choosing any sort of consultant or outsourcing any work, it can be tempting just to go with the agency with the most experience (aka has been in business the longest). But this isn’t always the right answer. What is more important is the agency’s track record. Can they give you concrete evidence that their inbound marketing has benefited other clients? Get to the core of this and make sure to understand HOW they deliver results. Some questions to ask are:

  • How do you track sales conversion? How to you determine what revenue comes from what marketing source?
  • How do you measure the impact of campaigns?
  • How do you define leads and through what method are we getting our leads? What is the cost per lead?

There are many more questions that can be asked but these are just a few to help you determine whether the inbound marketing agency has the proven results that they advertise. Another aspect to note is whether the company does inbound marketing for themselves. For example, at DCDS we do much of our inbound marketing through HubSpot, which helps us manage our internal blog, social media channels, email newsletters, etc. If a company doesn’t have a good inbound strategy themselves, then it’s unlikely they can do much for your business.

Accountability And Transparency

In this day and age, your company needs to have a certain degree of transparency, and so do any of the businesses and agencies you work with. When selecting an inbound marketing agency, it’s important for them to be open and accountable to you regarding the project management process. What exact actions are they going to take, how are they going to do it, and how are they measuring the results? Remember, it’s YOUR business that is on the line and therefore you need to know what is going on with it. Transparency is key.

Along with transparency, accountability is also very important. You need to make sure your inbound marketing agency is going to do everything they say they will and at the proper time. A way to ensure that this happens is to choose an agency that is goal-oriented. By have goals set in places, you can then build out a goal timeline and measurements that will aid in your inbound strategy. By having goals set in place from the beginning, there is never a question of what needs to be done and if the inbound agency is truly helping you in the way you agreed upon.

Upfront Pricing

Pricing is a bit of a finicky subject. You do not necessarily want to be given a set price from an inbound agency before they begin working for you. In fact, it would be weird for an agency to give you an exact number before they finish assessing what you need and start building out your inbound strategy (that would be a red flag in our book!). But it is also important that they are upfront with you about service costs. Make sure you know initially about the cost of any software and platforms you might need. After meeting a few times to figure out what services you will need and what time the agency needs to put into your company, you should ask questions like:

  • Is there a set fee for this work and how is that fee determined?
  • How many hours a week do you approximate you will work on my projects?
  • If my needs change will the fee change too?

Again, this is not an all inclusive list but these are some questions to be aware of. Another way you could look at it is could pick an agency that does their pricing based on achieve goals. This way, you will know that you are actually getting your money’s worth out of outsourcing these services. But no matter what, make sure a company isn’t hiding their pricing from you, as you don’t what to be blindsided later when your bill is double what you thought it would be.

Personality Alignment

Probably the only truly “qualitative” factor to consider is whether your two companies have personalities that align with one another. Your business might be great and an inbound marketing agency might give other companies fantastic results, but if you don’t see eye to eye about certain issues or if you aren’t feeling comfortable around each other, that’s a sure fire sign that this is not the right agency for you. When two businesses work together, it is important that their core values and missions align somewhat with each other, so make sure your companies mesh well before signing any contracts.

Final Thoughts

Finding an inbound marketing agency that is the right fit for your business can be a bit of a daunting task. There are a lot of factors to take into accounting and you need to make sure you do your homework and due diligence to make sure an agency has the proven results and accountability you need. You also need to take into account whether the personalities of the two businesses fits well together. When talking with potential agencies, don’t be afraid to ask as many questions as necessary for you to have a true understanding of the agency and what they can do for your business. If you do all of that, you should feel confident that you made the best decision for your business.

DC Dev Shop offers services in inbound marketing consulting as well as web design and development. For more information, check out our inbound marketing services page.