These Are the Core Competencies an Agency Should Bring to the Table
Hiring a company to help you leverage the web to attract and convert new customers can be a turning point for your business.
Whether you are launching a new company or are looking to take an established brand to the next level, partnering with an agency on an inbound marketing campaign can yield measurable results.
But it’s important to hire wisely. Consider these four core inbound marketing competencies to help you choose a partner with the skills to build, and sustain, a successful inbound marketing campaign.
1. Understanding and Communication – Do They “Get” You?
A good inbound marketing campaign requires a clear-eyed understanding of your brand and of who your ideal customers are.
Your inbound marketing partner should take the time at the beginning of your relationship to understand what your brand stands for, and to whom it is selling.
You and your staff can help by clearly relaying an overview of your company’s product, mission, and values. You can also share demographic data on your existing customers; perhaps you even have client survey data you can share.
The inbound marketing company you hire should be able to synthesize this data and information into a detailed written description of your ideal buyer, or buyers. This “buyer persona” technique will underpin your inbound marketing campaign, as you will be creating targeted inbound content with these personas in mind.
2) Are They Proven Content Creators?
Content is the currency of your inbound marketing campaign, so the company you hire should have a proven track record of producing relevant, helpful content that engages potential customers.
The ideal inbound marketing company should have expert writers, graphic designers, social media managers, and video producers.
After the agency gets to know your business and your customers, it should be adept at suggesting myriad relevant topics for blog posts, newsletters, and social media posts.
The agency should also be dialed into the search terms and keywords that are specific to your industry – and know how to smoothly inject them into website copy and blog posts. This ensures your content is optimized for search engines and will get you found when potential customers are searching for solutions in your field.
3) Are They Effective Strategizers?
There is an element of timing to inbound marketing. Your marketing partner should understand this and know how to use timing to maximize the effectiveness of each piece of content produced.
Some content will speak to potential customers who are in the early stages of awareness about your industry. These educational, helpful blogs and social media posts work to draw in new visitors to your website.
The strategy should change when producing content for people who are already on your website – content that entices people to provide their contact information to your company for future follow up.
Your marketing partner should also be adept at speaking to your qualified leads, through email marketing and newsletters, for example, in ways that will ensure they think of your business when they are ready to make a purchase.
4) Are They Committed to Improvement?
Adjustments are a key part of a successful inbound marketing campaign. You should expect your marketing partner to have the technical savvy to mine web analytics to find out what is working (and what can be left out) of the campaign in future iterations.
Knowing which blog and social media posts are clicking, as well as the pieces of your website prospective customers are connecting with, should provide a solid basis for refining your plan for increased success over time.
Keep these competencies in mind when hiring an inbound marketing company and you will find the right partner to join you in raising your business to the next level.
Thanks for stopping by,
Editor’s note: This blog was originally published in May 2017 and has been edited and updated in February 2022.