Every business needs marketing, and yet the ingredients for an effective marketing strategy remain stubbornly variable. Business-to-Business (B2B) marketing can be particularly complex, reflecting the innovative nature of many B2B products and services, and the longer sales cycles involved. Hiring experts in B2B digital marketing services to help develop a watertight marketing strategy may be the solution.
A good agency demands less commitment and responsibility than adding another salaried employee in-house, but will discover insights and generate quality content at a rate you may struggle to replicate alone.
But with a wealth of digital marketing agencies all vying for your clientele, how do you determine the right one for your business?
In this article, we’ll look at nine crucial questions to ask of potential B2B digital marketing services.
B2B Digital Marketing Services: Big Picture Questions
Do You Specialize In B2B or B2C Marketing?
As mentioned above, B2B marketing is a very different beast from B2C, and industry knowledge is one of the single most important indicators of whether your agency will be a good fit. If an agency says they serve both B2B and B2C clientele, beware. Make sure that they actually have experience working with similar clients to yourself and understand the different strategies required in the B2B space.
Do You Have Any Testimonials From Your Clients?
A good, well-established agency will have testimonials from clients. They should be able to demonstrate practicing what they preach. Look as well for reviews online, and case studies. Study their portfolio carefully – do they have many repeat customers or longstanding clients? That’s a good sign.
What Services Do You Consider Your Specialities?
Some agencies will claim to do it all – and be armed with the expertise to back it up. Others will bite off more than they can chew. On your part, determine exactly what you’re looking for before contacting B2B digital marketing services. Does your site desperately need a technical SEO audit? Do you simply need some well-written content to pad out your blog? Or a full-blown content strategy incorporating paid inbound and outbound techniques? Knowing your business will give you a massive advantage, to avoid being oversold options you don’t need and allow you to weed out empty promises from actual strategy.
B2B Digital Marketing Services: Fine Print Questions
What’s Your Working Process Like?
You need a team with great communication skills, not only in their content but in their working processes as well. You must retain a level of authority in overseeing your marketing. Will you have log-ins to the analytics for your paid campaigns? Will these B2B digital marketing services take the time to develop a deep understanding of your buyer personas and use cases before they begin strategizing? Do they perform thorough keyword research? It’s important to have open channels of communication right from the beginning, so there’s no misunderstanding down the line.
What are the Average Years of Service Among Your Employees?
This question allows an insight into their company culture. Some B2B digital marketing services outsource work to freelancers in other countries or use a steady churn of interns. These are both major red flags, as the quality of work you can expect to receive is liable to fluctuate hugely, and it means your marketing team will eternally possess only a superficial understanding of your brand. Instead, look for agencies that have long-standing employees, hire for character and train for skill, and actively invest in their workers. You can also look on websites like GlassDoor for honest, anonymized reviews of the potential agency from former employees.
What Tools From Your Tech Stack do You Consider Indispensable?
Credible, well-established B2B digital marketing services will use – or at least be intimately familiar with – Hubspot and SEMrush. This question is a good place to look for demonstrations of technical knowledge and consistent SEO best practices. Your potential agency should be able to illustrate a methodical approach to executing the services they offer.
Another good – if not as essential – question is: do they use similar task management or communication software? This can be worked around, but it will make collaborating potentially much easier.
B2B Digital Marketing Services: Process Questions
What Accreditations Does Your Team Have?
Look for certifications from Google Analytics, SEMrush, and Hubspot. These are all signs of an agency that’s committed to offering high-quality services. The best B2B digital marketing services will always be hungry to further upskill their staff.
What Do You Think Is A Realistic Timeframe to See Results?
Content marketing is a long process – and because the target audiences for most B2B products and services tend to be specialized, this can further slow proceedings. What you’re looking for here is a proactive, honest strategy for driving qualified leads to your site when organic search traffic is slow – such as via supplementing with paid ads. What you are emphatically not looking for is idealistic promises of quick results and ‘guaranteed SEO’. Black hat techniques refer to unethical SEO practices that go against search engine guidelines to game the system for quick wins. These strategies always implode eventually and can do severe damage to your reputation – steer well clear.
Does Your Team Have a Set of Best Practices for Content Creation?
Depending on the size of your business, and its future growth, your chosen B2B digital marketing services may task several writers to work on your content. The aim here is to determine their strategy for making sure this team employs a compelling, singular voice throughout.
Company-wide understanding of what makes for good content is powerful.
A great indicator of this is their own marketing – is their website teeming with value-rich, optimized content? Are they ranking highly on relevant searches? If you aren’t impressed with what they do for themselves, don’t expect them to provide better for you.
Hopefully, these questions help provide a framework for finding the best B2B digital marketing services for your business.
The bottom line is that your chosen B2B digital marketing services should be focused on your industry, well-established, accredited, and unified by strong company culture. They will value your insight into your business and also infuse them with a fresh perspective and expertise.
At Nituno, we appreciate that finding the best marketing for your business can be far from straightforward. Running his own B2B start-up, our CEO couldn’t find an innovative, skilled agency that specialized in disruptive B2B marketing – so he founded Nituno. We specialize in helping B2B clients turbocharge their growth, via inbound, outbound, and paid marketing methods. If you want effective strategic marketing based on a deep understanding of the B2B industry, get in touch with us today.