By Matt Farber
Inbound marketing agencies are designed to be an extension of your marketing team, and the benefits of partnering with an agency to implement an inbound marketing strategy include significantly increasing exposure into your industry and filling up your pipeline with leads, contacts, and customers.
Your understanding of these benefits is without question, so it’s time to partner up and start seeing the results—but what you may not know is what to expect after you ink a contract. Here is everything you should expect during the first 30 days with your inbound agency.
Discovery and Welcome Call
The first thing you can expect from your partner agency is a welcome call, often referred to as a kick-off call. The agency should already have a good grasp of what your company does and the markets it serves, but it’s time to dig into the nitty gritty details about your company.
Come prepared to the call with as much data you can gather. Why? To create an inbound marketing strategy that is going to succeed, your agency will want to understand every nook and cranny of your business. If you’ve executed marketing campaigns in the past, it’s wise to give insight into the successes or failures of those campaigns, including:
- How was the campaign structured?
- How long did the campaign run?
- What marketing tools did you leverage for the campaign?
All this information will help your inbound marketing agency in crafting a strategy for success.
Buyer Persona Research and Creation
Personas are semi-fictional representations of your ideal customers based on market research and real data about your existing customers, and it’s common for businesses to have multiple personas. This step is critical to the success of your inbound marketing program, as it’s going to shape everything you do from the messaging used on your website to the type of content offered on your landing pages. Other things to consider about buyer personas include:
- Customer demographics
- Behavior patterns
- Customer motivations
- Customer goals
Your inbound marketing agency is going to help in the persona research, but they will lean on you to provide some data on the bullet points above. The more in-depth you can be with all of these elements the better. More than anything, persona research and creation will enable the agency—and your business— to attract the visitors, leads, and customers you're looking for.
Full Website and Inbound Marketing Analysis
Your inbound marketing agency will want to do a deep analysis of your website and see whether there are any inbound marketing elements already in place. (Here at SmartBug Media™ we call this your "gap analysis.") The agency will look at all aspects of your website but should focus heavily on:
- Inbound marketing elements (i.e., do you have a blog, CTAs, landing pages, conversion paths, and so on)
- Website navigation
- Overall look-and-feel of your site
Recommendations for a Long-Term Plan
After the agency has audited your website, you'll receive the findings. Make sure to record—or have the agency record and provide you with—any phone calls about the gap analysis. It’s likely there will be a heavy amount of information shared with you, and it’s important not to miss any critical elements.
The agency will make recommendations for goals and website restructuring, and we advise sticking to these goals and meeting deadlines. The agency is setting these benchmarks with your personas in mind, all with the goal of attracting the right kind of traffic to your site and turning that traffic into leads and customers.
When we craft short-term plans at SmartBug™, everything revolves around the offer. The idea is to turn visitors into leads and leads into customers, right? Well then we need to create an offer to present to your website traffic and contact database.
Once the offer is created, we create a conversion path for the offer and turn visitors into leads. We brainstorm and write different blog articles that have a direct correlation to the offer, which will help in driving visitors to the offer as well. These short-term plans will repeat themselves throughout your partnership with the inbound marketing agency, too.
Agencies often have different types of tools they use to communicate with their clients. The main tool you'll be introduced to is a project management system, such as Trello or Teamwork. These systems are used for scheduling and planning, sharing and reviewing documents, communication, time tracking, and to ensure the client has visibility into all projects. All agencies have different tools they use, and there may be one system used for all communication or multiple systems (e.g., one for communication and one for task management) depending on the scope of the project.