You're excited to align your marketing with the way today’s prospects are buying, but you've also identified a skills or resources gap between your company's capabilities and the requirements for an inbound strategy that performs. This is where agency help comes in.
An inbound marketing agency acts like your stabilisers, keeping you aloft while you learn your way around the gears and guiding you down the best route towards your goals.
But what does this look like in practice? How can you be sure an agency will meet your expectations, and what does the right agency look like?
Search for the top certified agencies in HubSpot’s Partner Directory
What actually is an inbound marketing agency?
An inbound marketing agency provides you with digital marketing support using the inbound methodology to help you engage today’s prospects and nurture them into tomorrow’s customers.
“In practice, this means supplementing your marketing team so that you have all the resources and the capabilities you need to deliver an inbound marketing strategy that will perform.”
Depending on what kind of support you’re looking for, this might involve helping you to define and create that strategy in the first place.
It also often extends from marketing into sales. After all, you want to be able to prove a return on your investment, right? Aligning your marketing team with sales means you’ll be able to show just how much of an impact your activity and results are having on the whole business.
“To achieve this, an agency has to know your business inside out. Whether you’re working with an agency on a short-term project (ideal for proving the ROI of that agency and its services) or you’ve signed up to a longer-term retainer with a dedicated team and resources, an agency will typically start by getting to know you and your market.”
This usually involves lots of questions that can be used to build up a picture of your business, your customers, and the space in which you operate.
They’ll then use these insights to identify and deliver the kind of activity that will generate the best results for your business (that gentle but firm 'push' you remember when learning to ride a bike).
Find out more about inbound marketing versus outbound
Inbound marketing agency solutions: how can they help?
Depending on your goals and your inbound marketing strategy, a partner agency could be providing all kinds of activity, from optimising your SEO, your website, your email activity, your blog, and your landing pages to recommending an effective content strategy, maintaining your social media presence, and picking up anything else that has a role to play in turning strangers into happy customers.
The important thing is that any agency you speak with takes the time to understand (and demonstrate that they understand) your business and your goals. This will ensure that any activity they recommend is tailored around you and your precise requirements.
- Are they listening to you on the sales calls?
- Can they repeat back to you what has been covered?
- And are they offering solutions that reflect those conversations and your department/company goals?
Discover these 5 inbound marketing tips you won't want to miss
Choosing a HubSpot inbound marketing agency
It’s one thing for an agency to use the inbound methodology and the flywheel (attract — engage — delight) to help you grow. It’s another thing to be able to demonstrate that growth through tangible business results. We’re talking about revenue you can actually attribute to specific marketing channels, campaigns, or articles.
As the importance of data-driven marketing grows and software evolves from small platforms into sprawling suites, it’s increasingly important that you can simplify your technology requirements wherever possible. Global growth platform HubSpot has realised this for a while now, leading to its development of a range of integrated platforms (or ‘Hubs’) for Marketing, Sales, Services, and even the free HubSpot CRM.
“All of these platforms talk to each other, so the data your marketing team is gathering is usable by the sales team, and your customer service people know exactly who they’re talking to and how they can help when someone reaches out to them for help.”
Helping businesses to align internally is also one of our founding beliefs, so it was a natural decision for us to partner with HubSpot, back in the day. Today we’re an Elite-tier HubSpot Solutions Partner, reflecting the revenue and business growth we’ve been able to prove for our clients time and time again by combining our inbound marketing expertise with HubSpot’s integrated technology suite.
An inbound marketing agency case study:
Back in 2018, Conn3ct was on a mission to maximise the value it was getting from HubSpot, improve the effectiveness of its inbound marketing, and generate more qualified leads for its sales team — challenges that many businesses find themselves faced with, year on year.
“Researching their options, Conn3ct’s in-house marketing team recognised the advantages an inbound marketing agency could offer in helping them to achieve this.”
Shortly thereafter, they reached out to BabelQuest to discuss their goals and how we could help them to close the gap between where they were and where they wanted to be.
Over the next month, we conceived a 90-day inbound campaign focused around a specific theme that aligned with one of Conn3ct’s core services or offerings. Key to this was a clearly defined Inbound Planning Strategy over the course of which we joined the dots between Conn3ct’s objectives, its core positioning, and the target personas it wanted to reach, enabling us to deliver the specific services and the real value the client needed from us to hit its goals.
“BabelQuest has quickly become an invaluable partner for Conn3ct. Their understanding of HubSpot and strategic mindset has given us fantastic support to reach our goal of implementing an inbound strategy that delivers tangible value for the business. We set ourselves ambitious targets and deadlines to reach our goals as quickly as possible, which has resulted in achieving a great deal in a very short space of time. I couldn’t have done it without BabelQuest.” Tony Dolan, Head of Marketing, Conn3ct
See Conn3ct’s journey to revamping lead generation with inbound marketing
How to choose the right inbound marketing agency
The value should start long before you become a customer. An agency’s sales process will reveal a lot about how it works and what it looks for. Think about how that conversation played out.
- Were they passionate about your business and how they might be able to help you?
- Were they transparent about how they work and what they offer?
- How inquisitive were they in terms of your own challenges, goals, and requirements?
- And were they open-minded to your terms, time-frames, and circumstances?
Just as importantly, do those values align with your own? This is the recipe for a true partnership, suggesting the agency with which your working is on the same page as you and will be able to work with you respectfully and productively towards your goals.
“This is certainly the approach we take as BabelQuest, diving deep into everything from your goals, your business, and your challenges to your existing set up and your industry to work out how we can support you in the ways that will benefit you the most.”
From the marketing material you first engage with to the early discovery conversations with Eric, Lily, or one of our inbound strategists, you should receive immediate value in the form of time spent exploring your needs and challenges. (Check out these questions you should always ask yourself before partnering with an inbound marketing agency.)
Here are four ways in which our inbound marketing agency could help your business:
5 benefits of partnering with BabelQuest
1. We’ll help you create SMART goals. This will help you to prioritise your short-term and long-term goals and will form the basis of your inbound sales and marketing strategy.
2. We’ll establish what marketing activities are most important for you to reach your goals. It all starts with defining who your target customers are (learn how to create customer personas). We'll then research where they interact with you and how they behave online, where they consume content, and what their challenges and goals are. Once we define this, we can align this with your goals and build out a strategy that includes a wide range of marketing tactics, integrated technology, and scalable processes.
3. We'll help you to implement your inbound strategy. The level of support you choose to receive from us is entirely dependent on your available time, internal resources, and how quickly you want to see results. We have a team of dedicated inbound marketers, specialists in content marketing strategy, and other experts ready to help. Our proven methodology covers:
- Listening: Finding out where your customer goes for their information, their challenges, pain points and their personal and business goals. This enables you to tailor your communications effectively to them.
- Attracting: Using the insight we have from listening to your customers we can create informative, educational, valuable and relevant blogs, ebooks, infographics and videos that help to solve their problem, whilst leading them through the buying process.
- Engaging: Once you have traffic, you want to open up a dialogue by promoting your inbound content and growing your social media engagement.
- Closing: By using landing pages, call-to-actions and forms to capture prospect details we can nurture them with email automated workflows and lead nurturing, which ultimately provides you with sales-ready leads.
4. We'll work with you to understand and interpret the metrics and ROI of your inbound activity. Inbound enables you to tie everything back to metrics across sales and marketing, giving visibility over what area matters to you and your business, such as what activity makes the most revenue. Don't wait until later to make use of your data. It's key to iterating and testing as an ongoing activity to ensure you are achieving the best possible results from your inbound activities.
5. We’ll help you with inbound marketing… and much more. With our well-rounded services, we have the experience to offer help to our clients in multiple business areas. We work seamlessly across marketing, sales and service, using HubSpot and other integrated technologies to keep your business processes and operations running friction-free.
Aligning your sales and marketing strategies around these steps brings accountability to your marketing process. Put simply, we want to drive your business growth by helping you to implement inbound across sales, marketing and services and drive revenue in a sustainable, predictable, and repeatable way.
Not quite sure if you need agency support or want to try inbound yourself first? No problem — download our free guide to laying the foundations for your new inbound strategy by clicking the image below.