Are you thinking of investing in inbound marketing, and are looking for a strategy to help?
Perhaps you’ve read that just like anything, you need solid inbound marketing strategy in place in order to be successful – but when it comes to getting your hands on one, you’re left scratching your head.
As an experienced marketer, I talk to businesses every day who are in need of an inbound strategy, although not all of them know it – so congratulations, you’re already one step ahead of the game.
Below, I’m going to tell you why an inbound marketing strategy is important, your available options for getting one in place, and the things to consider when going through an inbound agency.
Why you need an inbound marketing strategy
A vital part of inbound marketing is coming up with helpful, quality content – which requires a strategy in itself. You may already know what a content marketing strategy is – and even have one of your own – but if not, this blog post will help you create one.
Now, think of an inbound marketing strategy as the next step up.
An inbound strategy covers the more holistic approach of inbound that makes all the pieces of the puzzle come together. It should include:
- Content marketing
- Email marketing
- Social media
- Website optimisation
And plenty more where that came from!
In order for your inbound marketing efforts to be truly successful, you need to be able to plan, execute and analyse every aspect of your marketing – which is why a strategy is so important. Especially if you’re going to invest a lot of your time and money into inbound marketing.
TIP: I’d recommend using an all-in-one sales and marketing platform such as HubSpot to help you do this effectively. For more information, read my blog ‘What is HubSpot and Do I Need it for My Marketing Campaigns?’
Should you DIY or hire a professional?
One of the most important things to consider when thinking about adopting an inbound marketing strategy, is whether to do it yourself or hire an agency to create one for you.
In order to make this decision, you really need to take the time to get a good grasp of what’s involved in inbound marketing, and deciding whether you have enough expertise and time to take on all it encompasses. Try to think as realistically as possible when making this decision.
Because I run an agency myself, I’m in charge of making sure the content is written, interviews are done, and that all the other challenges that go into an inbound campaign are overcome. To be honest, even this can be a challenge, as my clients are busy running their own businesses and don’t always have to time to contribute.
Ideally, I’d say that you’re the best person in the world to create content for your business, as you’re the expert and nobody knows your business better than you.
Unfortunately, in the real world, most businesses simply don’t have the time, talent or knowledge to create a complete inbound strategy – which is why they choose to hire an agency.
Bringing me nicely onto my next point:
Things to consider when choosing an agency
If you’re looking for a solid inbound marketing strategy for your business, the best place to get it is from an inbound marketing agency, and you should take the time to talk to at least two or three different agencies about your goals and what you’re hoping to achieve with inbound marketing.
Saying that, it’s equally important that you’re confident in choosing an agency that is really going to help you.
I’d recommend doing your research as much as possible, and having a list of questions in front of you when looking at an agency’s website and/or talking to an agency over the phone.
These can include:
- What are the results can I expect?
- What will my inbound strategy cover?
- Which software do you use?
- Will I have complete transparency?
- Do you practice what you preach?
- Can you show me some past examples of success? (Such as case studies)
- Do your services fit my budget?
To help you further, here’s a link to my blog,’10 Things You Must Ask an Online Marketing Agency’.
(And if they’re doing inbound marketing right, some of these questions should already be answered on their blog or elsewhere on their website – although it still helps to speak to someone directly)
Look for agencies that offer free consultations, or assessments. Something that will give you a taster of what it’s like to become one of their clients before you commit. They may even have a special offer or two that could include an inbound marketing strategy for your business – at a reduced price.
However, most good inbound agencies will carry out what’s known as a scoping project before putting together an inbound strategy. This should involve looking at your website and content to find out exactly what they can do for you.
This should give you a good idea of exactly what to expect from them as an agency, and what your inbound marketing strategy will involve – and it should ideally be completed before you’re tied into a 12-month contract.
All of the above should help you feel more confident that you’re getting the right inbound marketing strategy for your business.
TIP: For more information, read my blog post on ‘How to be Confident that Inbound Marketing will Succeed’.
If you’re looking for an inbound marketing strategy to help you achieve success with your marketing efforts, the first question is whether you want to go it alone or hire an agency.
In an ideal world, I’d recommend taking the time to research everything involved and come up with your own quality content, emails and social media campaigns – as you’re the best person to write about your business. Unfortunately, most of my clients simply don’t have the time, what with running a business, too.
The best place to get a detailed, tailored inbound marketing strategy is an inbound marketing agency. Look at the above questions to help you choose one that might be right for you, do your research, and look for agencies offering free assessments or consultations. This will help you get a feel for being a client, before you commit.
A scoping project will also help you to understand exactly what will be involved in your inbound marketing strategy, and what you should expect of them as an agency. This should be a one-off cost that won’t tie you into a contract.
What are you hoping to achieve from an inbound marketing strategy? I’d love to hear what your main challenges are.