Getting Started with a New Inbound Agency THE BEST APPROACH TO GETTING STARTED INBOUND AGENCY WITH A NEW INBOUND

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1 WITH A NEW THE BEST APPROACH TO INBOUND AGENCY GETTING STARTED INBOUND 1

2 BIGSHOT'S ALL-INCLUSIVE MARKETING SOLUTION...can provide you with the right content, expert design work, and marketing automation, all focused on generating a return on your investment. WEBSITE DESIGN Optimize your website to convert qualified web traffic to leads SEARCH OPTIMIZATION Effectively utilize keywords to improve your rank in search engines 2 BLOGGING Generate blog content written for the consumer with strategic placement of keywords and calls to action Inform and nurture your existing database, while growing your contacts and segmenting lists based on predetermined factors LEAD MANAGEMENT Track, nurture, and convert leads into customers SOCIAL MEDIA Increase social engagement and brand awareness through popular social media platforms

3 YOUR COMPANY DECIDED IT WAS TIME TO FIND A NEW OR A MORE EFFECTIVE MARKETING AGENCY. You did the due diligence, identified the most viable candidates, and now find yourself happily partnered with a top-of-the-line creative team. Not only are you sure that they will be able to handle the work, but you even like the people you have met or dealt with while making the arrangements. But You knew there had to be a cautionary but in there somewhere, right? After all, this is not new terrain for you and your business. You had to find a new marketing agency because the previous one was not delivering as expected. You may have done all of this same due diligence for your previous firm, felt that they were the ideal fit, had confidence in them, and liked their team, too. And then all of your hopes were dashed by slow progress (or even no progress), no gains to report at your quarterly meetings, and a lot of frustration or miscommunication that bogged down the entire marketing effort. You still wonder just what went wrong. 3

4 MOVING FORWARD WITH CAUTION Your enthusiasm for your new agency may be tempered or cooled a bit by your concerns about a repeat of the past. The rest of your staff or colleagues may not be convinced that this team will work out, either. How do you set the stage to ensure the best results? How do you go about proving to the company that your choice was indeed the best? How do you head towards the next quarterly meeting sure that your to-do list will not have a line item about finding yet another agency to handle inbound marketing? No need to panic. This ebook will review the simple steps and best approaches to use when partnering with a new agency. Not only will this approach get you all off to a strong start, but it will provide the foundation for an effective and successful ongoing relationship. 4

5 Remember, you are only at the beginning stages with your new agency. Once you build a good system, you have to maintain it. The steps below are those foundational steps, and most of them can be said to be self maintaining to one degree or another, but you still cannot check out or step away from your commitment. Certainly, your advertising agency has to handle the bulk of the work, but if you give them what they need to start quickly and effectively, it will make everything smoother now and as your relationship develops and grows. With any investment in inbound marketing, you need to know that your ROI (return on investment) will be immediate and measurable. But you also need to accept that this comes from working with your agency as a cooperative team. How is that done? Here are the simplest steps to your success. 5

6 FORGET THE OUTSOURCING PERSPECTIVE While it might seem nice to just hand everything over to your marketing agency and allow them to tackle the work, you are not outsourcing your marketing. You have partnered up with a group that is meant to implement your vision for your brand, and that means that you are playing just as much of an active role as they are. In fact, you are playing even more of an active role. For example, as creative, brilliant, and successful as your digital marketing agency may have proven itself to be, it is up to you and the other members of your company s team to communicate, follow through, make your process clear, and more. You must review every single thing designed or created by the inbound agency. You have to challenge ideas that are not in line with your audience or brand. You have to be the gatekeeper (so to speak) that ensures everything is in line with the mission. 6

7 Of course, that doesn t mean that you can make unrealistic demands. After all, the firm you chose had a reputation for quality work, and that means that demanding radical changes is inappropriate. And so, you have to forget any outsourcing perspective you might have inadvertently developed. Instead, look at your advertising agency as a cooperative partner with the exact same goals as your firm. They, too, want you to get the results desired, and within a timeframe and budget that meets your needs. Start with clear communication, be sure plenty of information is shared, and consider every possible way you might streamline the educational process. Doing these things brings a much faster turnaround time and gets the inbound agency up to speed and able to start working towards your goals. Handing the work to the agency, sitting back and waiting to assess or pick apart their initial efforts without any input from your end, is a recipe for disaster. So, make your process clear from the start (including your Deadlines history with inbound marketing, your buyer personas, and your goals) and things will be far different this time around. Review work Teamwork Communication?? Final approval?? 7

8 COMMUNICATE, COMMUNICATE, AND COMMUNICATE A BIT MORE Clear communication is the next big factor in your success with a new inbound agency. It may even be one of the key reasons you severed ties with the previous agency unreturned calls, too many in person meetings requested, or communications that weren t workable according to your needs are all common reasons for the failure of marketing relationships. At the very beginning of your new working relationship, you must communicate with the inbound team about just how you intend to work. For example, how will you review their work? What sort of deadlines can your team work with? Who on your team will give the green light or final approval for any of the work submitted? That is a lot of communication, and it is only a tiny portion of the kind of communications that will need to occur. So, to avoid delays, problems, and glitches, establish clear communication expectations from the start. You might also look for systems and solutions that help create nearly flawless communication channels. 8

9 Digital Marketing for Cosmetic & Plastic Surgeons and Medical Spas One of the smartest ways of doing this is to use some sort project management software that allows you to collaborate with the marketing team. Not only does this eliminate risks of redundancies in work, but it makes things far more efficient. Project management options of this kind would eliminate the need to send files via , such as text docs, images, timelines, or PDFs for approval. They also streamline communication, and erase the chance of messages being lost or sent to junk mail folders. Naturally, you might be tempted to just use cloud options for collaboration on marketing efforts, and to rely on classic to communicate throughout the days. However, this often does not work. Project management means file sharing, feedback, sharing of schedules, checking on deadlines, and more. Keeping tabs on current, past, and upcoming projects as well as their progress is a key, and even with a good project management system, things can fall through the cracks. 9 That s why all-in-one solutions like the software available through HubSpot are such commonly chosen resources. HubSpot is designed to facilitate collaboration by offering everything from Salesforce sync to CMS and blogging. This sort of comprehensive system cuts down on the traditional daily to-do lists for those on both teams because it keeps everything in one place, clearly dated and organized, and prevents misunderstandings or miscommunication.

10 Here is where we need to touch on the issue of then and now. What we mean is simple: How were you doing things before hiring this firm, and how do you intend to do them now? Were you already using a single platform such as HubSpot, or were you using a collection of different tools and resources? WHAT As you start a new relationship with an agency, it could be an ideal time to work from a blank slate and begin to implement the all-in-one solutions. However, this means that you still have? to show your new team just how you were working before they came on board, and share all of the different outcomes, results, failures, so they have a clear picture of where you are coming from. how?? why SHARING THE DETAILS EVEN THE LESS THAN STELLAR ONES Again, it is important to remember to set aside the outsourcing perspective as you begin working with your new marketing agency. This new marketing relationship is not a set it and forget it scenario. You must communicate clearly with the agency and share all of the relevant facts, tools, resources, and data. 10

11 This means that you have to give them information about your past marketing methods and everything relating to them. If you were using CMS, social media, different analytics, an ecommerce tool, or a site that supported your landing pages, any and all of the former and current tools must be revealed to your new agency. Why waste time forcing your agency to tackle all kinds of research and analysis when you already have the reports in your possession? Why waste your precious marketing dollars asking them to second-guess things? It doesn t make sense, especially since a major part of their work is to discover how you have been handling marketing in the first place, and why it hasn t yielded the results you wanted. If you have enjoyed successes, make sure to share these details, as this information will also benefit the inbound agency. A large part of their initial efforts will be to seek to discover more about your firm, your marketing, and your overall process. What worked? What didn t? What tools were used? Which tools were not put to work for inbound marketing? Don t forget that your new agency is an entirely fresh set of eyes, and highly skilled eyes at that. A few members of their team may take a look at the details and immediately see things that you did not, or could not, see because you do not have the experience or insight. 11

12 How do you share the details? You can hand over things like your marketing schedules, the lists of sites or resources that you used, and lists of names within your company who are in charge of these marketing efforts. It s very wise to take the time and responsibility for drafting some sort of comprehensive list for the new team, and making sure that every possible detail is available to them. One of the most immediate benefits of doing this master marketing list is that you begin to recognize a lot of things you might not have seen before. This is extremely useful to you at the beginning of your new relationship with the inbound agency because it helps you organize your efforts. CLARITY AND GETTING ORGANIZED As you start pulling together that list of tools, resources, data, and results, you may start to recognize some patterns in your earlier marketing efforts. Though you had already decided to work with your new agency to get different results, you may not have been able to put those desires into clear terms. 12 Often, this is because you did not assess the things you d done in the past in order to get very specific goals. What we mean is this: You decided to sever your former relationship with an agency because you weren t getting results. What results are you talking about? More qualified leads? More conversions? Lower cost per lead?

13 If you cannot give your new inbound agency this kind of clarity, you won t really know how to instruct them properly. You won t get the different results you crave because you haven t taken the time to see what initiatives failed and what worked. Analyzing your previous marketing efforts also reveals any gaps in your marketing strategy. Inbound marketing incorporates SEO, blogging, social media, landing pages, lead generation, lead nurturing, calls to action, and marketing. Are you currently ignoring any of these pieces? Making this master list also tends to show you some details that are imperative to your overall success. For example, you may have never evaluated your ROI or determined the cost to acquire new customers. You might not have looked at your conversion rates or other incredibly relevant data. If you have goals for such figures, you now have a chance to compare whether or not your previous efforts even came close, and what your new goals with your new agency must be. What do you need to see in terms of numbers relating to your specific marketing efforts? What increases are necessary and essential? What is it you want or need to hear during those first reports you receive from the new agency? 13

14 If you don t have clarity relating to your marketing goals, it is unlikely that any agency can help you reach your overall business goals. For example, if you don t take the time to evaluate how landing pages are performing and whether or not they should remain an active part of your marketing, you could give your agency flawed directions. You could request that their emphasis be on the landing pages, and yet this would provide you with all of the wrong results. That master list of your past marketing efforts is the first initial step in building the best foundation with your new inbound agency. After that, however, you have to provide them with access to everything else. 14

15 REMOVE ALL BARRIERS Your new agency is part of your team not the competition. Withholding details is wasting your time and money. If you have taken all of the steps above, one of the final steps is to give your new agency unrestricted access to everything else you have in your arsenal. For example, your new agency is going to be creating the vast majority of your content (no matter what sort of content that might be). To ensure that it is accurate, effective, and strong, you must allow them to get the details straight from the best sources. Supplying the agency with a list of your key staff, and identifying their areas of expertise or special knowledge, will streamline preliminary efforts and future work. Your team will begin to make connections with the marketing team, and soon they will all be able to seamlessly collaborate on the creation of content, infographics, blogs, and so on. Your team has the knowledge, and it is in your hands to optimize and even monetize this by encouraging your staff to work directly with your agency. 15

16 Don t overlook the value of your initial market research, as well. You can give the inbound agency information relating to your competition, key people in your industry, trends, and more. Help them become industry experts, and they can then turn their creative genius towards the development of masterful marketing. Of course, you are not the industry in which you are involved you are a unique entity within it. Your agency needs to have the full perspective from your side, and from the customer s side. This tells us that the final method for building a strong foundation is helping your new inbound agency to experience what it means to be your customer or client. 16

17 TREAT YOUR AGENCY LIKE YOUR CUSTOMER Market research includes identifying your buyer personas. Very few businesses have a single type of customer, and it is always of benefit for companies to do the research and figure out just whom their marketing must speak to. Some firms take the time to develop very clear personas, which are essential outlines of the needs, wishes, and problems that these individuals have, and which you can solve. This is how sales funnels and marketing messages are designed, and you must share all of this information with your marketing agency. Even if you haven t done enough research, a good agency will be able to look at your sales process, access the specialized knowledge of different members of your staff, get product samples and demonstrations, and generally experience what it means to be your customer. This helps them become ideal spokespersons for your product, service, or brand, but it also lets them recognize just where to go with your inbound marketing. 17

18 BUILDING ON THE FOUNDATION At the beginning of this new relationship, you have to do a bit more work than you might have realized, but it will get you off to the strongest start. Providing support and nurturing a working relationship will pay off with great results, returns, and inbound marketing success. 18

19 For more information on how inbound marketing can help your organization lower its marketing costs and achieve its goals, contact BIGSHOT Inbound. Founded in 1997, BIGSHOT is a Gold Level Certified HubSpot partner specializing in inbound marketing, lead generation, social media, search engine marketing, and web development. As one of fewer than 75 Gold Level HubSpot partners, BIGSHOT has demonstrated exemplary performance in delivering the highest quality inbound marketing services to our clients. Contact us today for a free marketing assessment. INBOUND BIGSHOTinbound.com

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