Traditional marketing, conversational marketing, inbound marketing, outbound marketing, content marketing — the list of types of marketing can be long and confusing. This plethora of options can also make it difficult for brands and digital marketers to plan their marketing budget.
While we believe that different types of marketing often work together to deliver results, we are huge proponents of inbound marketing.
WHAT IS INBOUND MARKETING?
Simply put, inbound marketing is a way of amplifying your product, service, or brand by:
attracting customers with great content
engaging them with this content by providing value
turning them into customers by addressing their needs
providing support when they need it
WHAT TO CONSIDER BEFORE HIRING AN INBOUND MARKETING AGENCY
If you are considering investing in inbound marketing, you are on the right track. Inbound marketing offers many advantages such as being relatively less expensive than traditional outbound marketing, being a catalyst for you to build long-term customer relationships, driving brand awareness, and more.
However, there are a few things you should consider before hiring an inbound marketing agency:
WHAT YOU WANT TO ACHIEVE
Consider your business goals. Are you a fairly new company that wants to build brand awareness? Maybe you’ve been in business for a while and want to elevate your credibility. Or maybe you are focused on increasing sales. Whatever your goal, it is important that you are crystal clear about what you want to achieve.
Knowing your goal will help you and your inbound marketing agency be better positioned to deliver on them. The approach your agency takes will be different based on what you want to achieve.
Let’s say you are a local business owner and have hired a Denver inbound marketing agency. If your goal is to create more brand awareness, then the agency may recommend combining a social media strategy with a website content development strategy. If your goal is to get more sales, they may recommend creating specific landing pages. Knowing your goal will help you achieve them quicker.
WHAT SUCCESS LOOKS LIKE FOR YOU
A marketing agency may have success stories and it is likely that the agency’s plans and actions worked for other businesses, but will they work for yours? Does your business need short-term sales, or long-term authority? There is no right or wrong answer because every business has evolving needs and goals.
Let’s continue with the example above. Let’s say you are a small business in Denver and are shortlisting Denver inbound marketing agencies to work with. You should consider if you want to work with an agency that offers pre-packaged deals, or one that customizes a plan for you. Both of these models can work depending on the goal. For some businesses, it may make sense to create a few high-quality pieces of content, while for others, it may be beneficial to have a wider approach.
Some agencies specialize in only one kind of service and others offer a bundle. For example, the Denver inbound marketing agency you are considering may specialize in crafting search engine optimized content while others may offer more inbound marketing services such as social media management, email marketing, video production, customer interaction, etc.
WHAT KIND OF PARTNERSHIP ARE YOU LOOKING FOR
Just like your goals and your definition of business success, there is no right or wrong answer to this question. The size of your business, the make-up of your team, and even your personality can define what kind of partnership will work between you and the agency you hire. If you are a business owner in Texas, but have hired a Denver inbound marketing agency, maybe different time zones will define your partnership.
Before you hire an agency though, it is important to know what kind of relationship you are looking for. Some agencies will send you regular reports, but may meet only once a month, while others may request weekly calls. Some may constantly ask you for input, while others will ask for more independence. It is important to define your expectations before hiring an agency.
Just like you will define goals, success metrics, and work cadence before starting a business project, it is important you think of these steps before hiring an inbound marketing agency.