Marketing, like everything in the world today, has digitally evolved to become more complex and dynamic. It cannot be done half heartedly and needs to be constantly iterated on a daily basis. If it sounds like a lot of work, it is. Thats why 50% of companies outsource their marketing activities to an agency.
But how do you know what to look for? Here are the six questions you need to keep in mind when hunting for an inbound marketing agency.
1. Do they offer the core services?
According to a Hubspot report, digital agencies should provide four core activities:
- generating traffic (using SEO, social media etc to get users to a site)
- creating premium content (using blogs and other content to target and engage the audience)
- generating leads (finding potential leads and passing them over to sales)
- having analytical measures (using analytics to measure progress on campaigns)
If an agency cannot provide examples of how they provide these basic services, that should raise a red flag. Measures and analytics is very important and should be a part of the agency's DNA, because that is how success and failures are being measured.
2. Do they have a clear process in place?
A marketing agency should have processes in place to tailor their services to your specific needs. If your business has a poor web presence, then they should have a process of generating website traffic first (not leads). If there is a low conversion rate, they should focus on the process of improving the quality of leads. The agency should also be able to articulately describe how they plan to deliver their services for your business.
3. Do they have a strong digital presence?
So, now you have identified how the marketing agency can deliver services to improve your marketing. Now you need to see if the agency practices what it preaches. Check to see how THEY execute their digital marketing.
- Is their SEO done well? i.e. When you google them do they rank at the top?
- Is their social media presence good? i.e Do they use the appropriate channels and post engaging content?
- Do they have a blog that is updated frequently?
These are the checks and balances you have to consider before selecting an agency. If not, its going to be a case of the blind leading the blind.
4. Do they know my industry?
When it comes to marketing agencies, one size does not fit all. Certain agencies specialise in certain industries. For example, marketing for a B2B client is different for a B2C client. Whenever you approach or get approached by an agency, ask if they have done any work in your field and ask them to show you the WORK and the RESULTS. Ask for CASE STUDIES and make sure you get a sense that they know what they are doing. If they do not provide concrete evidence, then they are not to be taken seriously.
5. Do they actively measure results?
Like we just discussed, make sure they have case studies of past client’s success stories. The internet gives you the ability to measure the effectiveness of a campaign as soon as it goes live. Make sure the agency is one that practices running tests and analytics. This is how you make sure you get your money’s worth. As a business, you must have set out marketing goals, and it is the agency’s job to help you hit or surpass them. If not, with constant measuring, the right adjustments can be made as soon as possible
6. Can I afford them?
This should have been number 1. Once you are satisfied with the competency of the agency, this question is the key. Is this agency in your budget? This does not need explaining. DO NOT LIVE ABOVE YOUR MEANS. If the prices are too high, find another agency. If you can’t find a cheaper one, use beginner’s guides and other online resources to do marketing yourself till you can afford to hire professionals.
Now you know what to look for, you can easily pick the best inbound marketing agency for your company, while you focus on other aspects of your business. Since you are here already, take a look at who we are and what we offer:
7marketz is an international marketing consultancy that specialises in finance, tech and education industries. Its team of marketing professionals runs digital campaigns, performs social media, content marketing, web analytics and marketing optimisation. 7marketz has a range of pricing plans for startups and big corporations, and offers a free online marketing assessment to potential clients.
To sum up our discussion, here is a checklist to selecting a marketing agency.