So you’ve decided to engage an Inbound Marketing agency, but where do you even start? This blog will help you shine some light on the top things you should be looking for.

You know, you need to generate more leads for your sales team but you don’t know what else can be done. Your marketing team is trying their best using traditional outbound marketing methods but the amount of leads are not increasing, or worse they’re declining, does this sound familiar? Don’t worry you’re not alone. This is where the Inbound Marketing machine can step in and get to work. How businesses attract buyers and generate leads is fundamentally changing. Thanks to the Internet, 70 percent of the buying journey is already completed before a buyer contacts a vendor, this gives the buyer complete control. As a result of this, your marketing and sales strategies must evolve or you risk slowing your company’s growth and experiencing a rising cost of sales

Inbound Marketing works, it will generate more sales qualified leads for your sales team. If your marketing team is unable to create an Inbound Marketing strategy, execute it, analyse it and continually improve upon it, then you need to outsource and engage an experienced inbound agency. It’s just that simple.

Here are our suggestions on what you should be looking for when employing the services of an Inbound Marketing agency.

1. Source local talent

You want an agency that is located preferably in the same city as your business or at least in the same country. What’s the main reason for this? You can accomplish far more in a face-to-face meeting than via email or on the phone. You should be meeting with your agency at least once a quarter to review analytics and develop an evolved strategy for the following quarter. This agency is going to be working closely with your business, which means establishing a strong relationship is crucial, as you need to know that you can trust them. You also want to be able to call them during your business hours and not deal with large time differences.

2. Make them prove their worth

You should ask the agency to give or show you examples of previous accomplishments they’ve reached with their clients. Even better if they can show you examples from clients in a similar situation as yours, ie similar size company with similar issues your facing. You want proof that they know what they’re doing and that they do it well before you start investing in their services. You wouldn’t buy a car without test-driving it, would you? Same principles apply for enlisting an agency, you need to see what they can do and where they can take you.

3. Compare, compare, compare

Don’t just go to one agency, approach a few. Learn what each of their recommended approaches are and take time to decide which offer will suit your company’s needs best. This approach will also give you good insight into costings and what bang you’ll get for your buck.

4. Concentrate on the deliverables

No matter which agency you go with, they need to be able to deliver on the following things:

  • Develop an Inbound Marketing strategy that will not only attract visitors to your website via a variety of mediums including; social media platforms, your business blog, email, SEO and Pay Per Click (PPC) but will also transition them from visitor to Marketing Qualified Lead (MQL) to Sales Qualified Lead (SQL).
  • Develop a content marketing strategy that will provide educational and insightful content that engages the reader and encourages them to learn more.
  • Provide a monthly report that analyses results from the previous month with suggested tactics to continually improve and evolve the whole strategy.

It’s the beginning of 2015, your employees are coming back refreshed (hopefully!) and energised for the new year. Get out there, find the best Inbound Marketing agency for your business and start making positive changes. Make this year, your best year yet!

If you’d like to gain a better understanding of the state of your current marketing and the areas in which you need help, download our free B2B Marketing Health Check tool.