If you’re shopping around for an inbound marketing agency, chances are you’ve been hopping from site to site to see which one would be the best fit for your company. The vetting process can be lengthy, so knowing what to look for when you're on their site will help you vet an inbound agency just by clicking around their site.
These tips will help you find out if their inbound marketing services are what your looking for just by spending some time on their site.
Check Their Inbound Commitment
Just like the saying “never trust a skinny chef”, don’t trust an agency to handle your inbound efforts if they don’t trust the process enough to use it themselves. This might seem like a no-brainer, but making sure the agency is committed to the inbound process and delivering value to customers at each stage of the buyer’s journey is important when evaluating how they’ll do it for your company.
Checking an agency’s commitment to inbound can be done in a few different ways:
1. Look at their blog
If they don’t have one, they’re probably not committed to inbound. If an agency doesn’t see the importance of blogging for inbound then you shouldn’t see the importance of hiring them. Blogging not only provides users with valuable information, but makes it easier for them to discover your company.
However, just because an agency has a blog doesn’t mean they have committed to inbound marketing. Make sure their blog topics focus on something that a business looking for an agency would want to find. In other words, make sure each post has a valuable takeaway.
Within their blog posts, look for Calls-to-Actions (CTAs) that give readers a clear and relevant next step. They should be easy to spot, as their purpose is to provide a clear next step for readers.
2. Downloadable Content
Click on one of the CTAs that should be within the agency’s blog post. A dedicated inbound marketing agency will have this button redirect you to a landing page where you’ll be able to access a more valuable piece of content so long as you fill out a form with your information. This is one of the key aspects of inbound marketing and serves the purpose to try and gather some information about users who are genuinely interested in the value the content will provide. This type of gated content will tell you a few things about the agency.
First, it will let you know they understand the differences of inbound marketing vs content marketing. Although similar, there is a clear distinction that differentiates the two, and this form gating the content means they understand the value their longer pieces provide.
Second, it will show you they are dedicated to moving users through marketing and sales funnels. This form serves as a qualifying agent, and allows the agency to see who is more interested in learning more about their services.
Subscribe to their Newsletter
Newsletters are just one of many ways you can see how they
promote and distribute the content they create. It should be easy to sign up, and a newsletter signup won’t force them to blast you with sales emails. Signing up to see what they’re sending will give you an idea as to the types of emails they’ll be sending, and you’ll be able to gauge their commitment to providing a personalized experience with inbound marketing services.
Even though their newsletter won’t give you their commitment to inbound email marketing with regards to lead nurturing, you’ll be able to get a sense of whether or not they cling to a batch and blast style email or focus on delivering valuable content to your inbox.
Look at their client list
Check out their portfolio. See what they’ve done for other clients and see if they’ve brought success to companies like yours. Some agencies are experts at providing inbound services for niche markets while others can adapt their skills across multiple industries.
Read reviews and testimonials to see what their past customers are saying about them. This will give you an idea of what partnering with them would be like for you.
These are just a few tips for you to keep in mind when you’re shopping around for inbound marketing services. No one likes to be bombarded with sales emails, especially if you’re contacting multiple agencies.
However, when you’re ready to pull the trigger, your best bet is to contact the agency directly. This way, you’ll be able to see whether they’ll be a good fit based on how they’ll approach your specific situation. After all, inbound marketing is all about providing a personalized experience, and a dedication inbound marketing agency understands that there isn’t a one-size-fits-all solution for digital marketing.