You’re convinced! You know Inbound Marketing is the right solution for your business. The next step is to find that perfect lead generation agency that will help you to achieve your goals. This is easier said than done as many agencies offer the same on the surface but how do you evaluate them and what specifically should you be looking for? Here are five tips to help you along:
1. Does the lead generation agency use inbound for their own business?
The answer should be 100% yes! And they should be keen to show you exactly what they’re doing to generate their own leads. Preferably they’ll be using a marketing automation platform like HubSpot and will be able to walk you through their content, workflows, emails, contacts, deals and social channel management.
If they’re not all-in with Inbound for themselves, then they’re unlikely to empathise with your business challenges. Choose an agency that has cut its teeth on Inbound for themselves first and you will benefit from their sometimes-painful experience.
2. Do they develop websites and what are their other digital services?
A good website is central to the success of inbound. A smart design is no longer enough. Visitors now expect a frictionless user experience that recognises their immediate needs. Websites developed by agencies that understand the Inbound methodology will outperform traditionally built ones every time. But websites are just one small aspect of the services you need. Also make sure they offer other digital services needed for successful Inbound campaigns such as:
· Strategy development
· Digital design
· Social media
· PPC, online advertising and social promotion
A good lead generation agency should be able to provide all of these services.
3. Do they have a strategic focus?
An agency that spends time thoroughly understanding your business, your market, your competition etc is what you absolutely need. Allocating those sessions to determining exactly who your ideal customer is by building personas, what your business goals are and knowing how to achieve them by finding the right keywords that will direct the right customers to your content will pay dividends in the long run.
The easy part is the content so don’t be tempted by an agency who wants to begin producing output as soon as they’re engaged. Choose an agency that focuses on the strategy first and foremost.
4. Can you work with these people?
It’s especially important that there’s a partnership between you and your lead generation agency as most likely, inbound is pretty new to you and your team and you’ll need to work as collaboration with people who are open and helpful from the outset. Meet the team who’ll be working on your business. It’s easy to feel bamboozled by tasks involved, the inbound methodology, the marketing automation etc so ensure you get the time to ask questions until you’re 100% satisfied that you’ve understood the answer and the implications for your business.
5. What does success look like for them?
Your inbound marketing should be completely aligned to your KPIs. Choose an agency that wants to get you those results and not one that just quantifies results as the amount of content that they generate. Having a complete inbound plan that’s aligned to specific KPIs becomes a great benchmark for measuring success whereas creating one website, four blogs, two eBooks and several landing pages as promised is just delivering content. Look for an agency that are as committed as you are to doing what’s right for your business.
Selecting the right lead generation agency isn’t easy and if you make the wrong choice, it can set back your programme back a good year. Even the best inbound agencies run into trouble if they’re working with a mismatched client. Take your time, make a good match and you’ll see the results you’re expecting from inbound marketing and inbound sales.