So you’ve decided to take your business to the next level and you are implementing an Inbound Marketing strategy; great! When you are in the research phase of who to hire you will want to be armed with some questions, so you can hire the best agency for your needs.
8 Questions to Ask an Inbound Marketing Agency Before Hiring Them
1. Do You Do Inbound Marketing For Yourself?
This question is a little tricky because there are plenty of professions who do great work for other people, but neglect to do it for themselves. Think of a landscaper with an over grown lawn, or a tailor with raggity clothes.
Now with that being said, I would still prefer if an Inbound Agency was doing work for themselves and this is why; When they are doing Inbound themselves they can clearly show you that it works. They’ll be able to show you an increase in web traffic, downloads and leads. I also like this question better than, “How long have you been in business?” Just because an agency hasn’t been in business for awhile doesn’t mean they don’t know what they’re doing. Granted they can learn with experience, but if it’s a newer agency you may get a better price; and if they preformed exemplary for themselves they can prove that they’re on the right track.
2. How Much Does it Cost?
Inbound Marketing is not a one-size fits all solution. Some agencies prefer to offer “packages” that offer a set amount of services. Other agencies will tailor their services to better fit your needs and will adjust the pricing accordingly. The price can also change depending on what you specifically want. Maybe social media is better for your business, but infographics are better for somebody else. This will all change how much you are paying a month.
3. What Type of Software Do You Use?
Almost every Inbound Marketing agency is going to use some type of software to create landing pages, CTAs, and to track visitors and leads. We use HubSpot but there are a bunch out there. It’s important to ask what type of software will be used because like the cost, your needs will be different. You may want software that integrates with salesforce or PPC campaigns.
It’s also important to ask what software will be used because they vary in price. Most likely the cost of the software will be in addition to what you pay the agency.
4. Do You Have Any References?
This question is somewhat associated with #1, but if an agency has been around awhile, and does a good job, they should have no problem providing references. In fact, you should check out their website and they may even have case studies or testimonials that clearly show who they’ve worked with.
5. Who Is On Your Team?
When a lot of businesses hire an Inbound Marketing Agency they do so because they don’t have a large marketing department themselves, if any at all. Don’t be afraid to ask who will be on the team you’re hiring and/or who you’ll be working with. Is there a dedicated copy writer, social media person, account manager, etc?
6. How Often Will We Be In Touch?
This question is important because you don’t want to just send someone a check each month and trust that they’re doing work. It relates to #5 in the sense that you should know who’s working on what and when. If there’s a dedicated account manager you should be able to call or email them anytime.
In addition to open communication you should also receive progress updates. These will most likely be monthly or quarterly, and they will highlight what happened in the previous month/quarter and what’s coming up.
7. How Long Will It Take?
I like this question a lot because an agency needs to give you an honest answer. If they tell you a week then you need run and not look back. Inbound Marketing is not a silver bullet and it does take time. Now with that being said, the timing can vary. If you blog 2x a week, publish an eBook & an infographic a month it may be quicker than if you just blogged 2x a month. It takes time for leads to funnel through the sales cycle, and a potential client that you close may need to visit your website 3-4 times before they become a ‘qualified lead’.
8. What Is Required of Me?
Like a lot of these questions this answer will vary. It’s important to ask because you might not want to do anything. When you work with us it is definitely not just hiring us and staying in the background. We prefer to know the intricacies of your business so we can target your specific buyer persona’s and do the best job possible. We are going to require that you fill out Blueprints and that certain staff members are available for interviews. This may not be your thing and that’s ok. You just need to know before you sign any contracts.
When done properly Inbound Marketing can be an extremely effective marketing tool, but you are certainly right to be thorough in who you hire. Even if an agency gets stellar results they may not be right for you because of price or the size of their organization. Don’t be afraid to ask questions when investing in an Inbound Marketing plan.