1. What’s Your Process?
What process the agency uses isn’t quite as important as the mere fact that they have one. It’s not going to be simple on their end, of course, but it needs to be simple on yours. If they don’t have a clear process that they can explain to you in a way you’ll understand, then move on to the next candidate.
Inbound Marketing without a process is not, in fact, Inbound Marketing. So, before hiring an inbound marketing agency, make sure they have a clearly communicated process.
2. What Else Have You Done?
Ask to see case studies. Any agencies worth their salt will have these on their website, but it’s also a good idea to get a better sense for whether or not the agency has been successful in the past.
3. How Long Have You Been in Business?
This is a bit of a double-edged sword. An agency that’s been in business for a while is going to bring experience and knowledge to the table. However, they might also bring some bad habits. (Inbound, after all, is a pretty new strategy, and we’ve seen some agencies not make that transition from “the old ways” to the new very smoothly).
With a newbie, though, you might be one of their first ten or so clients (if that.) So, the experience might not be there. On the other hand, they might be hungry and ready to kill it for you, working far more than what they’ve committed to.
4. Do You Have Experience in Our Industry?
To market to an industry, you need to understand that industry. Simple, right? So if you’re breeding reptiles, you’re going to want that agency to have at least a working knowledge of how your industry does things.
5. What are the Metrics for Success?
This is a huge one, mainly because success with Inbound Marketing doesn’t always show up right away. It can take months to see results. When those victories start rolling in, they only build on the momentum for long term success. But it takes a little bit to get there. So, you need to make sure the agency has milestones set up within their process that shows if everything is still on track.
So, before hiring an inbound marketing agency, make sure they have a clearly defined metrics.
6. Who’s Going to Do What?
This is all about expectations. If they write the blog posts, are they also going to load them onto your site? These kinds of details can make or break a relationship. Figure this stuff out up front.
7. How Much Does it Cost?
This is a good question to ask. You need to watch out for extremes in price here. If they’re way under industry standard, those are probably the results you’re going get. If they’re astronomically high, they might just be that good. And if they are, they better have the results to back it up.
Aim for something in your marketing budget… keeping in mind that in most cases you’ll get what you pay for.
I hope these seven questions help you on your journey to finding an Inbound Marketing Agency that can bring you a huge amount of success.
Just keep in mind that you want to find an agency that’s a good fit with your people, culture, and product offerings. Take these seven questions with you before hiring an inbound marketing agency. Even the best company paired with the best agency might not work if the chemistry just isn’t there.