What to Look for in an Inbound Marketing Partner
Interested in inbound marketing but not sure where to start? An inbound marketing partner can help you streamline the process, keep your ROI in check and increase your sales. But finding the right inbound marketing partner for your business is a tall order. The term “inbound marketing” is being used so much these days that it can be difficult to find a partner that is experience, qualified and able to help with your goals.
What is Inbound Marketing?
The first area to focus on when it comes to choosing an inbound marketing partner is whether or not they are actually practicing inbound marketing. It’s true – advertising, SEO and other business services agencies have glommed onto the inbound term in order to get new leads. But are they really inbound marketers?
Real and effective inbound marketing has three common principles:
-Increasing traffic from qualified prospects by making your website a hub that naturally attracts visitors.
-Engaging and converting your visitors by providing content and resources that speak directly to their needs.
-Analyzing your results and refine your content offerings, landing pages and other resources to become more valuable and profitable.
Because inbound marketing is focused on bringing traffic in through attraction, rather than traditional outbound “pushing” techniques it’s not only more effective in terms of conversions – it’s more cost effective.
How to Find an Inbound Marketing Partner
With these broad strokes in mind, it’s easy to weed out any companies that are using advertising, PR and other outbound techniques. Once you’ve determined whether or not a company is really focusing on inbound marketing, it’s time to look at some other criteria.
A great inbound marketing partner:
Sets objectives based on your business goals – Producing results for your company may look a lot different than producing results for another company. A qualified inbound marketing partner knows how to tailor objectives to your specific business.
Has a specific, tested process to follow – Knowing how to talk about marketing is one thing but understanding how it works in real world situations is another. Your inbound marketing partner should be familiar and experienced enough with the tactics to have a process they follow in order to get results.
Uses the industry’s best practices – Inbound marketing has been in the public knowledge for several years now, so best practices like “create valuable and relevant content” is common knowledge. Your potential inbound marketing partner should reflect these best practices on their website, in their blog and through their initial intake process with you.
Pulls several different tactics together to create a comprehensive plan – Inbound marketing is a method but not a single technique. It requires SEO knowledge, content creation resources, social media expertise and a whole lot more. A qualified partner should have a balanced and complete approach to your marketing – not a single solution.
Cares about your business – This isn’t a warm, fuzzy sentiment. It’s just good marketing practice. A great inbound marketing partner will take time to understand the inner workings of your business so they can market it effectively. They will want to know about your target market, how you approach your solutions and the specific benefits of what you do. This is the only way they can create an inbound marketing approach that truly works.
Finding an inbound marketing partner is a lot easier when you keep these criteria in mind. Don’t get fooled by advertisers offering solo solutions or limiting your marketing result. By using this blog post as a checklist, you can find the partner that you need.