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7 questions to ask a prospective inbound marketing agency

Many businesses today don’t have the time, resources or knowledge to navigate the complexities of an inbound marketing program.

Hiring an inbound marketing agency can be a solid option for growing your business by producing high-quality content and driving leads without the headache. But how do you choose the right team for the job?

Here are 7 questions you should ask a prospective inbound marketing agency:

  • Do you understand my needs? A great inbound marketing agency should listen before they talk. Their services need to be tailored to you – your needs, your goals, your challenges. Are they asking a lot of questions, trying to get to know you? Inbound marketing isn’t about one-size-fits-all. Beware of the “standard package.” How can they help you? Make sure their plan is unique to your needs.
  • When will this be ready? What is the timeframe for achieving these goals? Don’t be fooled: quicker does not necessarily mean better. When it comes to inbound marketing, significant results take time, effort, and dedication. Be wary if an agency can guarantee results in “30 days or less.” This is about foundation-building, steady content, keyword research, etc. Trusted inbound marketing agencies won’t optimistically promise a quick fix.
  • Who came before me? It’s a great sign if the prospective agency has worked with clients in your industry, and clients who have faced challenges similar to your own. Find out who they worked with, if they were successful, and how they achieved that success. How are your needs similar, and how are they different? Familiarity and a history of hands-on experience is a huge asset.
  • Can I see your case studies? Reputable agencies are proud of the good work they’ve done, and even display it on their website. If they haven’t, then ask to see case studies – testimonials from former clients, campaign strategies, and numbers. Are they achieving the clients’ goals? Are leads and traffic increasing? Don’t be ashamed to ask for references, either. The agency’s modus operandi should be transparency and full disclosure.
  • Do you practice what you preach? You want an agency that abides by their rules. Do they tweet as often as they say you should? Are they updating their blog regularly? Is their website peppered with call-to-action buttons? How active are they on social media? An agency’s credibility increases tenfold if they do inbound marketing for themselves.
  • Do you outsource your services? Sometimes agencies themselves might not have the resources needed to complete a certain aspect of a project. Maybe some of their services aren’t completed in-house. Ask the agency to be upfront: Who is responsible for each piece of the puzzle? Probe them about their partners.
  • How will I know if it’s working? In other words, how does the agency measure results? Ask how they intend to track your ROI, what metrics and tools they use. The right agency should be as determined as you are to track progress, success, and the completion of your goals. Expect regular performance reports.

Choosing the right inbound marketing agency shouldn’t be left to chance. Do your research, ask questions, and find the agency that best fits your needs.

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