Choosing an inbound marketing agency to work with is a big step. Even if you’re satisfied that they meet the criteria you’re looking for; it's still a leap of faith.
If you've picked them, then there's definitely “love” there. But how do you know whether you’ve made the correct decision?
Ultimately, much of the success of the new relationship will come down to how well it is cultivated. Working fruitfully together is dependent on numerous factors. You need to have clear channels of communication, establish tangible business goals and regularly review your efforts.
So how can you go the distance with your agency?
The importance of a two-way exchange
In any walk of life, the best relationships tend to be partnerships. If you and your inbound and content marketing agency feel like you are on an equal footing with one another, you are more likely to produce successful work.
In practice, this means not treating your agency as though they are simply doing a job for you, but rather viewing them as an extension of your organisation. Positioning them as an integral branch of your company will help your relationship to flourish - and your business to grow.
After all, you should both be benefitting from working together. By helping and supporting one another, each of you will be able to achieve your goals.
Managing expectations and keeping things on track
When you first chose an inbound and content marketing agency to work with, you may have had a very distinct vision for the future of your company. However, in reality, plans often change.
So it’s important to ensure that both you and they are reading from the same roadmap. It usually takes time to reap the benefits of implementing an inbound strategy. Initially, you may feel as though you are investing time and other resources without seeing a return on your investment. But as you create and distribute more valuable content for your target audience you will begin to witness a sea change.
It’s a good idea to define clear goals, which both of you are agreed on and set the timeframes in which they should be achieved. And consider drawing up a schedule to arrange regular phone calls, as well as face-to-face meetings, to make sure things are running as they should.
Trusting your agency
There are many reasons you may have decided to hire an inbound agency. Perhaps your previous marketing efforts weren’t as successful as you had hoped, maybe you don’t have the time to do things in-house, or you’re not sure where to start.
Whatever the reason, you’ve outsourced your marketing because you need help. You want to form more connections with those people whose pain you can remedy. So let your agency provide that help.
Petra Ignjatovic, account director at Degordian, says: "You hire an agency based on their expertise and creativity, so leave that part of the job to them. Trust me, they create your campaign with a lot of effort and attention to your business goals."
New ideas and processes can take a bit of getting used to, but have faith in the inbound partner you’ve chosen. They want things to work out just as much as you do.
Creating a long-term partnership
Ideally, you want your relationship to last. The stronger the relationship and the more time you invest in it, the better results you will achieve - which can only be good news for your business.
Of course, sometimes things just don’t work out, and you have to cut ties. But you're more likely to avoid this scenario by going in with your eyes wide open.
You've probably chosen your agency because they feel "right" for your business. That loving feeling is there. So aim to look after that love by nurturing your partnership.
Writing on HubSpot, Lorraine Lockhart says: "Agency-client relationships need structure to function yet love to create something special: a dynamic where client and agency teams work together to create ideas and brands that impact the world and engage others in community and conversation."
By working and growing together, you and your agency can create something special, helping you to reach more of the people whose problems you can solve and enabling your business to develop.