By Carly Ries

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Are you working with an inbound marketing agency? What have you learned from them thus far? If you’re drawing a blank on the last question, think harder as you should be learning quite a bit. While inbound marketing agencies are there to implement your inbound marketing efforts and give guidance and direction with your inbound strategy, it’s also important that they are educating you on this type of marketing throughout your relationship together. Below are five things you should be learning from your inbound marketing agency.

How Inbound Marketing Works

This may seem like a given, but not all agencies educate their clients as much as they should be. Although your inbound agency will most likely be handling your daily execution and strategy, it is important that you have a solid foundation and understanding of how inbound marketing works as well. This will allow you to collaborate well with the agency and work as a partnership.

How to Prioritize Goals

Looking at the year ahead can seem intimidating for a business as I’m sure there are so many things you want to accomplish over the 12 months, but how do you prioritize those things? Don’t stress, the best way to prioritize your goals is to simply create a list of SMART goals. A SMART goal stands for:

  • Specific: Your goal should be unambiguous and communicate what is expected, why it is important, who's involved, where it is going to happen and which constraints are in place

  • Measurable: Your goal should have criteria for measuring progress

  • Attainable: Your goal should be realistic for your team to reach

  • Relevant: Your goal should be important to your business and measure a core initiative

  • Timely: You should have a date in mind for when you’d want to reach your goal.

By creating SMART goals, you’ll be able to decide which goals are long-term and short-term as well as the goals you should accomplish first.

How to Decide Which Marketing Activities are Most Important

Once your goals have been set, you need to decide which marketing activities will support these goals. Is your goal to have your website be on the first page of Google by December? If so, you’ll probably want to do an SEO site audit, keyword research, and blogging on a frequent basis to help with search engine optimization.

Want more leads? Start to gate your content behind landing page forms and receive a visitors contact information in exchange for the content. This information can be used in additional targeted marketing efforts in the future.

See where I’m going here? For each goal, figure out the best marketing tactic to use to reach it, and start implementing it.

Often times a company will have an inbound marketing agency, PR firm, ad agency, and so on, in addition to their internal marketing team. In order to gain the greatest results, it is imperative that all marketing firms are on the same page and working towards the same goals. In fact, various forms of marketing can easily compliment each other. For example, if your PR firm wants to send out a press release, your inbound marketing agency can help optimize it for search. Conversely, an inbound marketing agency can leverage PR materials to assist in content generation. All marketing assets should work cohesively to help you reach your goals.

How to Understand Key Metrics and ROI of Your Inbound Marketing Efforts

One of the greatest things about inbound marketing is that you can tie everything back to metrics, and can tell which area is generating the most revenue for you. Something your inbound marketing agency should really teach you is which metrics you should be paying attention to. As an example, two of the most common metrics people track when it comes to email are open rate and click rate, but does open rate really matter? Not really. Sure, it’s nice to know how many people opened your email, but the click rate shows that people are genuinely interested in what you have to say and are more likely to become a lead. Not all metrics are created equal in terms of importance and relevance. Your agency needs to show you the metrics that matter to you and your business.

These are just a few of the many things you should be learning from your inbound marketing agency. The agency is there to support you and give you guidance on your inbound marketing efforts, but if it’s the right agency, they should be educating you along the way as well and keep you informed of all inbound marketing discussions.

What have you learned from your inbound marketing agency?

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Carly Ries

About the author

Carly Ries is a Senior Inbound Marketing Consultant for SmartBug Media. With over 7 years of marketing and account management experience, Carly helps clients develop and implement inbound marketing strategies to grow leads, conversion, and revenue. Read more articles by Carly Ries.

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