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‘Do You Even SEO, Bro?’ 5 Questions You Should Ask Before Outsourcing Your Inbound Marketing

October 18, 2016 Daniel Berry


All of life’s biggest decisions involve asking the right questions. After all, you wouldn’t just buy the first car you saw on a commercial or marry the first attractive person you ran into at the grocery store, would you? (If you would, I’d love to sit down and discuss an investment opportunity about an ice cube-tuna cat treat idea I came up with the other day.)

Outsourcing your inbound marketing is one of those big decisions. If you’re searching for the right agency, you need to ask the right questions. Lucky for you, we have five to get you started.

1. “Do you have a documented marketing process?”

A smart inbound marketing process will give you confidence in an agency’s ability to properly plan and implement strategies to give your business results. Some important key elements to look for in the agency's process are: Having a comprehensive strategy phase where you and the agency plan out your inbound strategy to ensure clear alignment and a pathway to success.

2. “Do you have writers on staff that will be creating our content, or is it something you outsource?”

By creating most of the content involved with inbound marketing in-house, an agency will be able to provide much higher-quality content than if it outsourced it to a third-party. Also, you’ll be able to have more control of your content’s look, voice and tone. Ultimately, the more content the agency creates in-house, the more value you’ll be getting for your investment.

3. “How do you shift or prioritize projects, if needed?”

The right agency will have operational flexibility and be able to easily adapt to any potential stumbling blocks or obstacles. Furthermore, while there may have to be adjustments in timelines and priorities, everything will be "in scope" for an agency with operational flexibility.

4. “What inbound marketing skillsets do your in-house, full-time employees have?”

According to HubSpot, 54% more leads are generated with inbound tactics than traditional paid marketing. But without the right skillsets, inbound marketing is basically like throwing darts in the dark. Make sure the agency you’re considering has the following skillsets in place:

  • Content creation
  • Analytics
  • Email marketing
  • Graphic design
  • Lead management
  • Paid ad supplementation
  • Press releases and other PR
  • SEO
  • Social media
  • Strategic planning
  • Website design, management and optimization

While most of the skillsets are good, it’s best for the agency to have all these in-house.

 5. “Do you only do inbound marketing, or do you provide other marketing services as well?”

If you’re really interested in seeing how inbound marketing can pay off for your business, you want an agency that makes it a top priority versus an agency that has an "additional service" of inbound. The agency’s focus for all of its clients should be on delivering maximum results with proven inbound marketing methodology.

These are just a few questions to ask before outsourcing to an inbound agency. Make sure you ask all the right ones to ensure you find a good fit for your business.

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