Inbound marketing isn’t rocket science, but it needs to be done right. In other words, there are certain things that need to happen in order to experience results with inbound marketing.

Remember putting together puzzles as a kid? Inbound marketing is pretty much just like that. Didn’t certain pieces need to be put together in a certain way, and in a certain sequence to experience the glory of the final picture?

That’s exactly like inbound marketing, but the final picture is leads and new customers… aka what we really want as business professionals.

Just like a puzzle, the pieces of inbound marketing need to be put together in a certain way and in a certain sequence to reap the harvest of new leads and customers.

So how do you hire the right inbound marketing agency that will make these things happen? How do you make sure that they are doing the right things that will allow your business to experience more leads and produce more customers?

Here are 3 questions you must ask any inbound marketing agency before you buy. Digging for this information will enable you to choose the right inbound marketing agency to go with.

Question 1) What exactly am I getting?

Don’t be fooled by fancy words and fantastic explanations from marketing agencies out there. If they are confusing you, it’s probably because that’s exactly what they’re trying to do.

You need to know exactly what you will be getting.

Evaluate what your company really needs.

  • Is it strategy?
  • Is it execution?
  • Is it a combination of both?

Many inbound firms only help with one or the other. If you’re a small or medium sized business with limited resources, obviously a bunch of inbound strategy without the knowledge to execute it won’t do anything for you. That’s like someone handing you a map that directs you to Madison Avenue in New York without a car and saying “good luck.”

Sometimes all you need is a map! Obviously it just depends on your business and the resources you have at your disposal.

So make sure you know exactly what you’re getting. Dig in, ask questions, paint specific scenarios and make sure the answers and evidence the agency provides matches up with what your business really needs.

Strategy? Execution? A combination of the 2? Know this going in.

Question 2) At what level of quality?

Getting new things is nice. Getting work done is nice. But is it at the level of quality that will allow you to actually get results?

Quality is everything in the inbound world. For example, just posting content isn’t enough. Posting new content won’t mean anything to your business unless that content actually drives traffic, communicates value, shows expertise.

Obviously there’s an enormous difference between an article that is poorly written and not interesting, and one that goes viral and people love. Creating content is all about quality and there are certain methods and angles that allow an agency to up the quality of the content they produce.

The same can be said for everything else too, not just content.

  1. Is your offer great?
  2. Is your web design on point?
  3. Is your messaging creating an impact?
  4. Is your SEO approach smart?

Quality is king. Make sure the agency you’re looking into is producing quality stuff (not just stuff). Check out their client work, and check out their own stuff! If they can’t do inbound well for themselves, you think they can do it well for you?

Not a chance.

Question 3) How much personalized interaction along the way?

Now that we’ve talked about the 2 basic questions you need to investigate, let’s talk about the human and communication component.

Effective and consistent communication is required when you’re trying to go somewhere. These days, an inbound agency can very easily get too busy; too many clients, too much going on, not enough time and energy for you.

But what is actually needed between you and your agency is personal interaction and communication! They need to understand you, you need to understand them. This constant communication is a foundational piece to getting results.

This can only come if the agency has been set up properly where they aren’t overloading on clients just to make more quick money. Are they set up to get you real results? Or are they set up to take your money and leave you behind 8 months later.

Make sure the inbound agency you go with has enough bandwidth and desire to make things move for you. Make sure you have a great account/project manager that is willing to give you the personalized interaction that is required to create inbound success.

So pay close attention to how the agency operates before the sale.

  • Are they timely?
  • Do they deliver on the commitments?
  • Do they seem 100{e108bb21be762fc6fa6f79a68ef8277ec5dd508afc1fd385a5d42c82a88a4204} on top of things?

Make sure the answer to these questions is yes.

Conclusion

Choosing the right inbound marketing agency can be a daunting and confusing task. The good news: if you go through these 3 questions and keep them in your mind during the research process, you’ll be much more likely to make the correct choice.

Remember, inbound marketing is like a puzzle. Certain pieces need to be put together in the right way, and in the right sequence. Make sure the agencies you’re looking into clearly understand this and are willing to put in the required effort on your behalf to get your campaign results.

Ps. We’re offering a free inbound marketing analysis for companies looking to expand their inbound efforts. Find out how well your current efforts stack up!