The last time I bought something after watching a TV commercial was in 1991: I was so mesmerized by the new “Cyndi Roller-Derby”, with her cute dress, tiny rollerblades, and shiny blonde locks, that I raced upstairs, raided my piggy bank and rushed out to the nearest toystore.
The last time I bought something after searching online and reading several reviews, articles, and FAQs was last week: I needed new pillows and, after a Google search for “the best pillows for stiff necks”, I found the perfect company who supplied me with the perfect pillows.
Traditional, intrusive outbound marketing tactics such as TV commercials, cold calls, paid ads, junk mail and billboards no longer work in this noisy, crowded marketplace we live in. Self-education and softer inbound marketing techniques such as FAQs, blogs, videos and customer reviews do work: Over 70% of consumers will make a decision to buy a product or service based on the content they’ve found, watched or read.
So, outbound is OUT and inbound is IN: But what type of inbound marketing content should you create? Where should you put it? And how do you get shoppers to see it?
An inbound marketing agency will give you the answers to all these questions, and more. But with over 5,523 inbound marketing agencies out there, some charging between $4K-15K per month for their services, is it worth hiring one?
Let’s find out as we work our way through this Wordsmiths, Inc. post and cover the following topics:
- What is an inbound marketing agency?
- What does an inbound marketing agency do?
- 4 reasons to hire an inbound marketing agency
Ready for some self-education?
What is an inbound marketing agency?
An inbound marketing agency hires experts in all jurisdictions of inbound marketing and offers this expertise out to companies who need help and support with their inbound marketing activities.
But, before we get deep into what an inbound marketing agency is and what they can do for you, let’s quickly recap on what inbound marketing is.
Inbound marketing vs outbound marketing
The days of telemarketing, unsolicited blanket email campaigns and expensive print ads are gone. In fact, only 18% of marketers feel like this type of bold, in-your-face marketing generates the high-quality leads that they need.
Outbound marketers spend time and money chasing customers down and trying to push them into a sale with loud, intrusive marketing tactics such as TV commercials, billboards, cold calling and print ad campaigns.
By contrast, inbound marketers simply create and supply the relevant information to the right people, at the right time, in the right way.
This unintrusive marketing approach appeals to shoppers because the informative content offers them value. It doesn’t rush or push them into making a decision and it places the ball firmly in their court: Which is empowering, right?
Plus, if your content is right, your customers will come to you. And, because they’ve made the decision to choose you, it hasn’t been thrust upon them, they’ll be a better, higher-quality lead.
Now we’re clear on what inbound marketing is, we need to know how and where an inbound marketing agency fits into the picture.
What does an inbound marketing agency do?
As we’ve established, nowadays, customers prefer to self-educate themselves before they make a purchase. They want to find the information they need themselves and be in control of what, when, how and where they get their marketing messages.
So, inbound marketers need to create the right types of high-quality content and place it in exactly the right places so that their target audiences can find it, engage with it and act upon it.
I mean, how hard can that be?
Well, let’s see:
- Can you create, update and maintain an effective content strategy?
- Can you write informative, interesting and topical blog posts and publish them at least once a week?
- Do you know how to create and continually optimize web page copy?
- How about building engaging landing pages that generate interest and click-throughs?
- Have you got time to conduct interviews with customers and write them up into case studies?
- What about video production, do you have the skills and expertise to record, edit and publish top-class video content?
- Do you know how to get the maximum amount of engagement from your social media posts?
- Do you have the tools to report on key metrics and assess performance against objectives?
Let’s be honest, you could probably do most, if not all of these things. But have you got the skills, experience and time to make sure that the content you create and publish gets results? How do you know if something is working or not? That the work you do is effective at attracting, engaging and delighting prospects?
This is where hiring an inbound marketing agency will pay for itself three times over.
An inbound marketing agency is jam-packed full of experts in every inbound marketing discipline. From writing informative blog posts and creating engaging social content, to developing a long-term content strategy and reporting on key performance metrics.
They know exactly what content to create, how to get it in front of your prospects, how to engage them in the content they’ve created, and how to test, analyse and optimize it to make sure it performs against key metrics.
An inbound marketing agency can help its clients develop an effective content strategy that will increase visitors, prospects, leads and ultimately sales.
Take WordSmiths, Inc. for example. Specializing in SEO, guest posting, PR management, content marketing development and strategy and reporting analysis, they’re an inbound marketing agency that works with a variety of top brands such as Nissan, Sumo and Oracle to attract, retain and grow their customer base.
They spend time getting to know you, your business and your target market. They conduct research into how your prospects behave online, what their goals are, and what content they like and don’t like. They then build-out a strategy that’s aligned with your wider business goals and start creating effective content that will attract, engage and delight new customers.
If you’d like to find out a little more about Wordsmiths, Inc. and what they could do for you, why not drop them a line here?
In the meantime, let’s look closer at the capabilities that an inbound marketing agency like Wordsmith, Inc. can offer…
4 reasons to hire an inbound marketing agency
Imagine a storm took out the power in your apartment block. To fix it, would you go into the communal fuse box and fumble about with the wires yourself, or would you call in an expert who knows what they’re doing?
The same approach applies to hiring an inbound marketing agency to help you generate red-hot leads.
Reason to hire an inbound marketing agency #1: They are experienced, skilful experts
As we’ve established, inbound marketing is an umbrella term that covers a myriad of different types of marketing disciplines. And, an inbound marketing agency has specialists in every single one of these disciplines: From writers, videographers and web designers to UX, social media and SEO experts.
Whether it’s writing or web design, these specialists have been hired because they’re the best at what they do. They have a ton of experience and are highly skilled in their specialist areas.
Agencies can be cut-throat and competitive. They’re known for hiring only the best and cutting the deadwood out, in a flash. If they hire below-par people that can’t produce results for their clients, this reflects badly on the agency. There are no second chances in the marketing agency game, it’s too competitive. So, if you hire an inbound marketing agency, you can be sure that you’ll be getting the creme de la creme.
Reason to hire an inbound marketing agency #2: They meticulously track performance
The only way to tell if something is working or not is to set a benchmark and carefully monitor progress, right? But this continuous monitoring can be time-consuming, and it can also be difficult to tell if a piece of content is struggling or if it simply needs more time. And, how do you know if the content you’re creating is helping to develop and grow your business?
An inbound marketing agency has the tools, knowledge and time to be able to track every single piece of content that’s been created, analyse its performance and establish ways to continuously optimise it to make it as effective as possible.
They can also tie these performance metrics in with your own company-wide goals so you can clearly see how their work is affecting your wider business.
Reason to hire an inbound marketing agency #3: They are cost-effective
So, inbound marketing is a no-brainer: it gives you a higher ROI and leaves you with more budget to invest in a new website, a paid acquisition strategy or…an inbound marketing agency!
Hiring an inbound marketing agency takes the cost benefits of inbound marketing to another level.
When you consider that the average company spends around $4,000 to hire a new employee, and it takes an average of 24 days before a position is filled, it’s actually cheaper to employ an inbound marketing agency than it is to hire a whole new in-house marketing team.
“A full marketing team requires several professionals. You’re looking at roughly five or six positions to fill, which means five or six extra employees to add to your payroll (salary plus benefits). You’ll also need to fund the supplies and resources they need to perform their roles — i.e. computers, programs, applications, modules, cameras and other video production equipment, etc...” – Medium, 5 Benefits of Hiring an Inbound Marketing Agency
Plus, with an in-house team, you have to spend time and money trying to recruit specialists in each area of inbound marketing. And, once you’ve got your team, to keep their skillsets relevant and effective, you’ll have to invest in regular training, seminars and conferences, and also pay for updates to the programs and applications they’re using. Also, to prevent them from jumping ship, you’ll have to work hard to retain them with perks, bonuses and salary increases.
With an inbound marketing agency, it’s just one monthly cost to pay for. You’ll get instant access to the best of the best, and you’ll be able to rely on the agency to keep their knowledge, skills and equipment up-to-date.
Reason to hire an inbound marketing agency #4: They free up your time
As a business owner or marketing professional, you want to focus on the tasks that will grow, expand, and improve the business. But if you want to execute a successful inbound marketing strategy you’ll also need to be all over tasks such as copywriting, graphic design, content management, SEO, data analysis, and social media management.
That’s a lot.
Inbound marketing agencies take the pressure, stress and responsibility out of creating effective content that generates leads. They spend time planning, creating, implementing, analyzing, tracking and optimising your inbound marketing content. And they are under immense pressure to deliver results that push your business forwards.
With all that off your plate, you have more time to focus on those higher ROI tasks that will drive you and your business forwards.
So there we have it: That’s what an inbound marketing agency can do that you, unfortunately, can’t!
Have you worked with an inbound marketing agency before? What was your experience? Let us know in the comments below!