As companies realign their marketing strategies to reflect inbound best practices, marketing dollars are beginning to shift away from traditional outlets like PR, print, radio & TV advertising, and cold calling. Unfortunately, the skill sets of internal marketing teams often lag behind. For some organizations, the time and resources needed to train internal people on how to master inbound cornerstones like content creation, email marketing, and data analysis simply do not exist.
As a result, businesses wanting to take advantage of ROI-charged online tactics like blogging and social media are turning to inbound marketing agencies for help. These agencies can leverage their deep experience with inbound marketing best practices to help companies and businesses short on time and internal resources increase their online visibility and lead generation efforts.
Isn’t the real question about value?
No one likes spending money if they do not have to. Working with an agency means spending more money.
After all, if there is an internal marketing team, shouldn’t they be able to handle the work? How hard could it be to actually execute a successful inbound campaign?
So where is the real value? What makes an inbound agency worth the money instead of having your internal team just figure it out?
The real value of working with a HubSpot Partner Agency
The value an agency provides isn’t just copywriters, designers, or team in general. The real value is the expertise hidden behind those job functions – a core understanding of how everything works and how it all fits together in the larger picture of your business and your prospects/customers.
Companies hire inbound agencies for their expertise and strategic abilities.
A HubSpot Partner Agency really knows HubSpot well, and can train your internal marketing team to use it effectively. Partner agencies with a long history of experience can help you add elements to HubSpot to communicate more effectively with your audience.
Need a simple Add-to-Calendar function? Got it. Need to display an always-current list of upcoming events? Got it. Need multi-channel attribution reports? Got it. Need banner ad campaign analytics right in HubSpot? Got it. Need a product catalog of 4,000 products that loads faster than standard HubSpot pages? Got it!
The real value of working with an experienced HubSpot Partner Agency is exactly that. . . their experience!
Start with strategy
The two most important elements of a successful inbound campaign are strategy and execution.
Everyone wants to jump right to execution. Why? It’s exciting, it’s sexy, and it feels like work is getting done. Guess which one of the two is most important? Strategy. Executing a poor strategy doesn’t get results.
Any marketing team in the world can write blog posts, create ebooks etc. Not every marketing team understands inbound enough to bring all elements together successfully. Inbound is more than just content creation. It’s persona identification, proper goal setting, proper funnel creation etc.
Internal marketing teams at companies all over the world can execute. Few can form the winning strategy. That is where an agency’s value lies.
No one builds a house without a blueprint!
Have you ever built a custom house? If you have, you already know that long before the foundation is poured, you need to make a significant investment to create a blueprint.
No one in their right mind would ever start construction prior to talking to architects, contractors, designers, and a host of other trades so that a detailed set of blueprints could be created. Only then, can construction begin.
Surprisingly, many people who are new to inbound marketing actually start writing blog posts without having invested the time needed to create a detailed inbound marketing game plan — much less one based on the Alaniz Marketing Model™.
If you want to succeed with inbound marketing, just like building a house, you need a blueprint for success.
Develop a scalable process for execution
The key ingredient to being able to build your company without spinning out of control, is to have solid business processes. These processes might be tweaked from time to time, but they are the core of your company, and define the tasks that need to be done.
Your payroll person (or people) processes payroll in the same manner each time. Your front desk person answers the phone the same way every time, and always greets people at the door politely and with a smile. Why shouldn’t your marketing work the same way?
Your marketing processes define how marketing gets done and make this area of your company very scalable. Your staff doesn’t need to spend meeting after meeting to determine how to create the next marketing campaign – there is a process for that. Your new content writer doesn’t need a lot of help figuring out the steps involved in writing a blog post – there’s a process for that. Your PPC campaigns don’t need to be re-invented when you want to test new headlines – there’s a process for that.
Conceptualize a new ebook, create, write and design it – yes, there’s a process for that. The process goes from solving for the customer at the beginning (what do our customers want to know?), through the final approval, and into the promotion of this new piece of content on your website, other web properties, social media, etc. All documented, all consistent, all focused on the needs and challenges of your prospects and customers.
And because you have these processes in place, marketing suddenly becomes scalable in ways it never was before. And scalability means efficiency, as well as proven effectiveness.
Hire an agency to control costs
This sounds counterintuitive. Maybe even paradoxical. How can hiring and agency help to control costs?
How many people would it take on your marketing team to do everything and do it well? You’ll need a lot of different skillsets from content marketing to social media, from copywriting to understanding analytics, from email marketing to relationship building. And don’t forget web technologies and user experience!
What if you could purchase all of this, along with deep knowledge and experience, for about the same price as you’d pay for a skilled Marketing Director? In most companies, that would be considered a really good hire, and a great way to control personnel costs.
As a bonus, your outsourced marketing team comes ready to go, and you don’t have to pay them any benefits!
Inbound marketing is a seismic shift in the way B2B companies are marketing themselves, and businesses that blend inbound marketing into their traditional marketing methods are reaping the benefits.
But the skill sets of internal teams lag behind, and as a result, companies wanting to take advantage of inbound marketing tactics like blogging and social media are looking to outside agencies for help.
Start with an overall marketing strategy before writing content or doing other marketing activities. Then build scalable documented processes that can easily be repeated as your business grows.
Support your internal marketing team with an experienced HubSpot Partner Agency to enhance the efficiency and effectiveness of your marketing.