What should you look for in an inbound marketing partner? Do you know how to choose the right HubSpot inbound marketing partner?
In the last five years, we have seen the popularity of inbound marketing take off as more companies realize the benefits of publishing content that connects with their core prospects.
But finding the right inbound marketing agency for your business can be difficult. There are more than 3,000 HubSpot agencies to choose from, each with a range of experience.
Choosing the right HubSpot inbound marketing partner is critical for long-term success. The right partner will work well with your current processes, have relevant (and provable) experience within your industry, and consistent processes that have been shown to provide results.
Before choosing your HubSpot partner agency, there are a few traits that you should look for to facilitate a positive outcome:
They Provide What You Need
There is no one-size-fits-all solution when it comes to inbound marketing. Every company and industry is different. Each brand has a different relationship with its customers.
You may have some pieces of the puzzle already covered within your organization and are looking for a unique solution custom-crafted with your current operations in mind.
You have to make sure that any agency that you choose to partner with actually offers the services that you are in need of, whether those services are content production, email marketing, marketing automation installation, or a range of services.
Work with a company that is willing to custom-tailor a package that meets your very specific needs.
When choosing a HubSpot partner agency, you need to work with a company that has proven capabilities. They need to be able to back up what they assert that they can bring to the table.
Inbound marketing is a very broad strategy and encompasses many different services. A typical list of individual services included in an inbound marketing contact might include:
- Website Design and Development
- Research and Planning
- Content Planning and Creation
- Social Media Planning and Execution
- Sales and Marketing Alignment
- Sales Engagement
- Internal Inbound Training
The type of agency that you want to work with should be able to provide examples of their work for every service that they offer. Preferably, those services should be connected to direct revenue results that they have been able to deliver to clients.
Experience matters. Inbound marketing plans are typically larger and broader than standalone digital marketing services, covering many different channels and tying them together into a consistent lead generation strategy.
They should be able to provide specific examples of how they have been able to help similar companies and give you an idea of the approaches that they believe would be beneficial for your own.
Further, you should seek to work with companies that have experience working with other companies in your specific industry. The more examples of similar companies that they can provide, the more likely they are to be a good fit.
Inbound marketing strategies can differ from one industry to another and working with a company that has experience building inbound strategies that target your audience can give them a serious leg up in the initial setup stages.
A big piece of inbound marketing is content creation. Your HubSpot inbound marketing partner must be able to craft content that connects with your audience, including all of the industry-specific knowledge and jargon required to come across as authentic.
Content that doesn't ring true won't connect. Without industry experience, they are essentially starting from the ground up when it comes to learning about your audience.
A Track Record of Success
When you are considering working with a HubSpot agency, ask for numbers. Your ultimate goal is to find a partner that will help you grow your revenue through a variety of strategies.
They can craft the best content on Earth and help you grow your social following, but if those aren’t translating to cold, hard cash, then it’s not going to be a worthwhile investment for your company.
Before working with a HubSpot partner, do your homework to make sure that they are able to deliver on their promises. Read their case studies and white papers.
Ask for references and testimonials from previous clients. Follow up with those references and ask very specific questions about the service that they delivered.
All other considerations are secondary to the results that they are able to deliver. A company with a track record of success should have no problem proving its worth to a new client.
If you are considering working with a company that seems short on results, you may want to turn your attention elsewhere.
Practice What They Preach
If a company is able to deliver inbound marketing services that result in measurable revenue growth, it should be practicing those same strategies within its own business.
In fact, an inbound marketing agency that doesn’t publish any content or engage in inbound marketing for itself should be seen as a huge red flag.
Before beginning to work with a HubSpot partner agency, take a look around their website. Do they publish content on a regular basis? Do they have marketing automation built into their onboarding experience? What does their social presence look like?
If they aren’t engaging in these tactics, that should signal that they don’t provide enough return for their company.
If they aren’t able to generate a large enough return for themselves, what makes you think they would be a good choice for your own company?
A Well-Defined Process
Inbound marketing success most often comes from the processes employed. Great agencies have to refine their services into defined processes so that they can deliver great results with consistency and speed.
Ask them about the processes that they use to deliver their services. A company with a well-defined process is more likely to deliver a positive result, and less likely to fall behind on deliverables.
While inbound marketing does require a custom approach for every company, there are always repeatable processes that can help to make certain aspects of the work more efficient.
A well-defined process also helps you understand what you should expect at each phase in the process. When they have their processes defined, you know roughly where you are in the process of each step and can ask the right questions at the right times.
Having processes and tasks planned out makes it easier for your companies to work together for your mutual benefit.
Clear Communication Processes
When it comes to choosing a HubSpot inbound marketing partner, there are few traits more important than their communication. Clear and consistent communication is absolutely essential for creating, publishing, and promoting content on a consistent basis.
In fact, consistency plays a huge role in inbound marketing as a whole. You have to be consistently interacting with your customers and prospects through content, email, and social to build rapport and generate leads.
A solid partner will be able to tell you what their vision of successful communication looks like between your two companies. How often will they be in touch? How often will your input be required? When will you have meetings? Who will be involved in these meetings?
Working out the nuts and bolts of a communication plan before beginning to work together is essential for long-term success and setting expectations between your companies. These details set the stage for your engagement.
Before you work with a HubSpot agency, you should double-check to make sure that they are actually experienced in working with HubSpot specifically.
Believe it or not, there are many digital marketing agencies out there that provide inbound marketing or similar services but have never actually worked within the HubSpot platform.
Others have much less experience than you would guess for a company that focuses on inbound marketing services.
Start by making sure that they have the relevant HubSpot certifications. These are a good starting point for evaluating experience. Then, check into their history as a HubSpot partner. What is their standing within the HubSpot tiered partner program?
Being able to advance in the HubSpot partner program is difficult, and moving forward through the tier system shows a history of success that can be replicated for your business.
A Long-Term Decision
Inbound marketing strategies can take months to begin to deliver high-level results for companies that have never engaged in inbound marketing previously. An inbound marketing partnership is often a long-term decision.
Sure, you can change agencies at a later date, but if you make the wrong choice you may end up paying much more for a quality agency to fix subpar work and install better strategies.
Marketing automation done and thoroughly is an art form and you need to find an artist that can paint beautifully for your business.
Take your time as you look for a HubSpot inbound marketing agency partnership. There is no rush. Choose a company that has a track record of results, has the industry-specific experience, and provides clear indications of being an adept communicator.
Of course, I am here to be of help if needed. Please do not hesitate to reach out to me and let me know how I can help.