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Small Businesses: 3 Signs You’ve Found Your Inbound Marketing Agency Partner

Inbound_Marketing_MixIf your small business needs help building brand awareness, capturing leads, and developing a loyal customer base—you’ve come to the right blog post.

An inbound marketing agency is designed to accomplish those three goals, plus so much more. 

Agencies that live and breathe inbound create comprehensive and compelling campaigns that use search, social, content and public relations to help your business achieve a singular goal or vision, such as driving an increase in leads or total revenue. 

If you’re not sure how (or where) to even begin your search for a top inbound marketing partner, we understand the task can be slightly overwhelming.

Keep a lookout for these three signs as you assess potential agencies to see if they could be the right fit for your company.

1. They Make the Grade

To be sure you’ve found the best of the best, research how each agency you’re vetting stacks up against one another.

To do this, run each agency’s site through Marketing Grader (a free tool that analyzes a company’s marketing efforts) to get a comprehensive snapshot of performance across top inbound marketing qualifiers. Each report highlights a performance assessment of the following inbound marketing favorites:

  • Blogging
  • Social Media
  • SEO
  • Lead Generation
  • Mobile

Note any areas rated with a red X, which denotes poor performance. Use each agency’s overall score to quickly compare them to one another.

2. They Have a Meaningful Social Presence

Take a look at each agency’s social profiles with a critical eye. See if you can identify a strategic approach to their social presence—or possibly even a lack of direction. Assess each agency’s performance using the following factors:

  • Complete Profiles: Profiles should be fully built out with relevant keywords in their bio and profile branding that matches that of their website.
  • Followers: Run handles through an analyzer like TwitterAudit to quickly spot which followers are real people interested in the agency’s tweets and which might be fake SPAM robots. If the agency’s following is a ton of robots, it may indicate that they are only interested in plumping up their own follower numbers. An abundance of spam followers could allude to black hat or spammy marketing practices.  
  • Level of Engagement: Evaluate content shared. Is the agency simply pushing out its own content? You want to align yourself with an agency that actively engages with their followers, customers and market influencers. If they don’t, be sure to ask why. 

3. They Consistently Blog

All inbound marketing agency websites should have a blog. Hop in and give it scan. Here’s what you should look for:

  • Regular publishing: It doesn’t have to be every day, but are posts being published regularly (ideally once a week)? If so, this can indicate the importance the agency places on content and the need for it to support other aspects of inbound marketing.
  • Easily digestible content: Look for blog posts that break up text with images and white space, and use subheads to format the content and make it readily scannable.
  • Meaningful content: Avoid agencies that rely on stuffing posts with unnecessary keywords, or content that is obviously scraped from other sites. Look for those that publish articles that help readers educate themselves on core industry topics.

Evaluate the agency’s blog content. Would you want them writing for your company and helping to shape its voice? Also, if they write about marketing topics, how well do they understand what they are writing about?

Find The Agency That’s Right For Your Business

Take notes as you explore partnership possibilities. Align your team with the agency you think will understand your brand and industry the best—and can help lead your marketing programs toward success.

What does your business look for most in an outsourced partner? Share with us in the comment section below.

Image Source: Gavin Llewellyn under Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic