What Does an Inbound Marketing Agency Do? Answers to Common Questions

inbound marketing transformationAn inbound marketing agency is a partner and agent for change in the growth and transformation of your company’s sales and marketing.

This post summarizes some of the top questions I get asked on a regular basis by prospects, current clients, past clients, those who are curious, etc.

If you wonder what an inbound marketing agency does, hopefully this will give you a better idea.

A bit of inbound marketing history first

Inbound marketing is much more than a “buzz word” today. The pioneer in inbound marketing software, HubSpot, has done more to educate the marketplace about the inbound marketing methodology than anyother company.

If you look at how the landscape of how online marketing, social networks, buyer mentality and behaviors have changed over the last 5-10 years, you can easily understand how we arrived where we are at today.

Are more traditional forms of advertising as effective today as they were 10 years ago? You can read all the data you want, of course, but what is a better litmus test? Talking to the people directly who are making the decisions to buy advertising and marketing services.

The daily conversations I have with decision makers from very seasoned business men and woman, to senior level sales and marketing directors tell me the shift has definitely taken place. (see the eBook The New Commerce Shift – no registration required)

Common Questions & Answers

How does inbound marketing work?

Inbound marketing helps your company get found by more in your target market, convert them into leads (prospects), and give a measurable ROI on your sales and marketing activities. (Generic answer, I know. Read the next paragraph)

Inbound marketing is attracting your ideal customers to your services and products by providing them first with information that is useful to them (great blog posts, social media engagement, resources, newsletters), and converting them into an interested party in your company.

They might not be, and probably won’t be 100% ready to buy from you right away, but through the process of nurturing them and educating them with content and resources that provide real value, you can more effectively walk your lead along the inbound marketing sales funnel, giving them what they want and solving their problem.

How much does inbound marketing services cost?

What kind of results or expectations do you have? Maintain a steady course, increasing growth, or high octane?

An inbound marketing agency’s responsibility is to go through the discovery process with a prospective inbound marketing client to find out what results and expectations are needed and wanted.

Let’s face it, what company doesn’t want to grow? While every company is at a different growth and maturity stage, most of the conversations we at Keenpath have are with companies that are in the increasing growth stage. They need to increase their revenue, but the current way of doing things aren’t or haven’t been cutting it.

You can categorize the pricing by the growth and objectives:

Maintain a steady course

Businesses that want to begin the process of building a solid inbound marketing campaign to generate leads and meet business goals. Ideal for businesses that have the available resources to produce basic content, such as blog posts, regularly, and semi-frequent advanced content (eBooks, white papers). Increase in traffic and leads expected in 6-12 months.

Maintaining a steady course requires a minimum investment of around $1,000-$2000 a month, or $12,000-$24,000 a year.

Increasing growth

Fueled by a mid-octane inbound marketing campaign to boost lead generation and conversions to meet business sales and marketing goals. Built on a strategic system, but put into full throttle through tactical means with content marketing, search engine optimization and social media marketing. Boosted increase in traffic, leads, and conversion rates expected in 6-12 months.

Increasing growth will require an investment between $2,500-$5,000 a month, or $30,000-$60,000 a year.

High octane

Driven by a high-octane integrated inbound marketing campaign that leverages premium content to push to the max lead generation and conversions to help aggressively meet marketing and sales goals. By putting extra focus on the strategic planning process, the tactics of using advanced content marketing, search engine optimization and social media marketing are ultra refined to provide results. Electrifying increase in traffic, leads, and conversion rates expected in 3-6 months.

High octane is a heavy hitter and requires a minimum budget of $8,000 a month, or $96,000 a year.

These are ranges. These prices reflect the current marketplace, and the actual strategy and tactics vary for each company, but usually the overall big picture is relatively common.

How will inbound marketing help me grow my business? I don’t get it.

Inbound marketing agencies are equipped and designed to effectively become an outsourced marketing department and lead generation channel partner.

Your success is your inbound marketing agency’s success.

Some of the largest inbound marketing agencies have built highly scalable models, built to service their clients from a ‘maintain growth stage’ to ‘high octane growth stage’.

As Keenpath continues to grow, we leverage, and reach out to our network when necessary to get something done for a client, particularly in an area we can’t claim to be an industry expert. This is habit #4 of the 7 habits of a highly effective inbound marketing agency.

There is a ten step process that is really involved to going from start to cruising altitude:

Step 1: Align with goals
Step 2: Website meet objectives
Step 3: Benchmark metrics
Step 4: Establish objectives
Step 5: Buyer personas
Step 6: Benchmark competition
Step 7: Campaign tactics
Step 8: Milestones & Resources
Step 9: Launch campaign
Step 10: Measure and shift*

(*Measure and shift is the regular meeting, strategy, team and communications that happen to measure results: ROI, effective channels, lead acquisition, revenue changes and shift as necessary: focus more on one channel, invest time in another area etc.)

While these ten steps guide along the strategy and tactic process, it in no way is the same for every situation. The inbound marketing plan is going to look different and have varying goals and objectives based on the company, budget, and current market outlook.

Takeaway

If anything, take away this key point: inbound marketing is really a way of thinking, a methodology.

How you get along the path to reaching your business growth goals and objectives may vary. Embracing inbound marketing and transforming how your sales and marketing works and thinks, is a positive change agent to continue to grow while keeping the pipeline full.

You can continue doing what you have always been doing and put off inbound marketing without a second thought, but how will it work out? The decision makers with the “real stats” show that in many cases the status quo isn’t cutting it anymore.

Remember, measure and shift.

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