So you’ve done your research and decided that inbound marketing is the way to go. You’re done spinning your wheels at trade shows, making cold calls, blindly blasting email lists and paying for expensive, untargeted advertising. You’re tired of looking for the needles in the haystack. Your buyers are informed, savvy and have more options than ever before. Simply put, your traditional techniques aren’t cutting it. It’s time to put your business and your product in front of your buyers. It’s time to put down the magnifying glass, dust off the straw and become a lead magnet.

So what questions do you need to ask potential inbound marketing agencies? What, exactly, do you need to know before hiring inbound marketing experts. Here are a few pointers for finding the right digital marketing agency for your business.

Do You Practice What You Preach: Are You Inbound?

Make sure that the agencies you’re interested in practice sound, ethical inbound marketing tactics themselves. Are they a HubSpot Certified Agency Partner? Are their project and account managers, developers and content writers certified inbound marketing specialists? Were they easy to find online? Is their content solid, up-to-date, interesting and useful? Now, pick up the phone and give them a call. Are they responsive? Are they clear and do they ask insightful questions. Most importantly, are they listening to you? Are they making an effort to truly understand your business and your unique needs?

How Does Your Strategic Marketing Process Work?

Understanding the process is critical to the success of your campaign. The more you understand an agency’s process, the more information you can provide. The more information you can provide, the better the solutions. Determine which agency employees will be key players in developing and implementing your inbound strategy. What methodologies do they use and does their process resonate with you? How, exactly, do they propose to attract, convert, close and delight? What do they expect of you, and can you deliver?

How Do You Measure Campaign Success?

Feel free to ask hard questions. Get specifics. Make sure that your potential agencies have a clear idea of your industry and your needs. Be wary of agencies that promise overnight results; building a strong, durable online presence takes time. Determine key performance indicators and ask how the agency tracks metrics. Ethical agencies consider metadata, industry-specific long and short tail keywords, content creation, link building, social media management, as building blocks to a strong organic online presence. Be sure that you understand how the agency tracks landing page conversions, social reach and content performance. Look for an agency that puts an emphasis on engagement.

So What Will the First 90 Days Look Like?

While building a rock-solid online presence takes time, it also takes planning. One of the advantages of working with a digital marketing specialist is that they know what they’re doing and will hit the ground running for you. They’ll work with you to quickly identify buyer personas and develop strong keywords for your content. Feel free to ask agencies how they plan on communicating with you. Who’s the project lead? How accessible are they? What, exactly can they do for you from week-to-week, month-to-month? A good agency will have a strategic long-range plan that extends beyond the initial three-month period. This is a good thing! It means they understand the scope of the work, your business and have vision.

What’s Your Idea of an Ideal Client?

It seems like a strange question, but think of interviewing agencies like hiring a new employee. Ask candidates what works well for them and what frustrates them. Ask for recommendations and follow up! Take a look at their portfolio and ask them about successes and challenges with specific projects.

Looking for a team of Inbound experts? Give Horton Group a call, we can help! 615.292.8642.