Inbound marketing is growing in relevance year after year. A solid inbound marketing strategy creates online content that attracts warm, qualified leads and then tends to those prospects with personalized content and marketing automation. It’s a methodology that works with, rather than against, the way customers research purchasing decisions now. They don’t want non-personalized, interruptive messages, but place high value on personalized, relevant content and connections.
If you choose to work with an inbound marketing consultant this year, make sure the one you select is actually more of a partner. When an outside firm tries to be overly controlling in developing an inbound marketing strategy, they’re less likely to see things from your point of view. Here’s some of what you should expect from an inbound marketing partner in 2016.
Expect a Proven Methodology for Customizing Your Inbound Strategy
The elements of developing, distributing, and drawing attention to content are part of the typical inbound marketing strategy, but these elements can’t be created with a cookie cutter approach. Any inbound marketing consultant you choose to work with should offer a customized approach, helping you develop the best inbound strategy for your industry, size, goals, and needs. They should bring the right skill set, and be willing to fine tune your strategy in terms of delivery mechanisms, content types, and platform usage.
Look For a Strong Track Record in Lead Generation Growth
Naturally, you want an inbound marketing consultant to have a track record of lead generation growth, with numbers and references to back it up. They should have a thorough understanding of how to set goals that make sense, how to pursue them, and how to measure progress, whether in terms of increased conversions or any number of other metrics. If you don’t meet goals by your established deadlines, your inbound consultant should be ready with sensible strategies for improvement.
Their Focus Should Be on You, Not What They Want to Sell You
Is your inbound marketing strategy consultant all about you? Don’t settle for one that doesn’t have a customer-centric approach. Inbound marketing strategy is not a one-size-fits-all proposition, and any strategist you work with should take the time and make the effort to understand your business and your goals thoroughly. They should help you with all aspects of successful inbound marketing strategy, such as connecting content with your customer relationship management activities, and optimizing communication even after a purchase.
Broad and Deep Expertise in Marketing Is Mandatory
Great inbound marketing strategy is created with the help of experts with experience in all aspects of marketing, including the relationship between marketing and sales. Not only that, your inbound consultant has to understand how your sales team works with leads and how the sales process typically goes. Inbound content must be developed so that it brings people to your site and increases conversions. You wouldn’t hire a pitching coach who had never played baseball before. Likewise, your inbound consultant should have extensive, relevant marketing experience.
Measuring Results Should Be a Top Priority
When you ask a prospective inbound marketing consultant how they measure and track results, the answer shouldn’t include hand-waving or obfuscation, but straightforward, easy-to-understand answers. What type of analytics do they use? What do their reports look like, and can you understand them? What parts of your website pull their weight, and what parts fall short? How can you develop a plan to improve weaknesses while capitalizing on strengths? How will you know if you’re succeeding and how well you’re doing?
You’ll Benefit From an Inbound Marketing Partner
An exceptional inbound marketing strategy, developed and measured with the help of a talented and committed inbound consultant can, for one thing, help you save money and make the most of every marketing dollar. At the same time, it will work toward building a strong asset base of content for your company, helping position your brand as a leader and a “go-to” source of valuable information.