Over the past few years there’s been a constant rise in the use of online marketing, more specifically the use of an inbound marketing consulting firm, for businesses of all sizes, whether a one-person home-based business right on up to Fortune 100 corporations. No matter what size business you may have, if you’re looking to outsource your Internet marketing services, rather than looking at only search engine optimization services, looking into a more all-inclusive inbound market plan may be your best option.
You may be thinking, “What is the difference?” Well, inbound methods includes, but are not limited to, search engine optimization, search engine marketing, creative content marketing, blogging, and optimized online press release writing. The key to all of these marketing channels working is using specific keyword research to integrate into each piece.
However, all inbound marketing consulting firms are not created equal. With the supersonic rise of online marketing, so too has the amount of so-called Internet marketing consultants risen. Like any business practice which will help you save critical time that you could redirect towards more productive measures, knowing what to look for when hiring the right inbound marketing consulting firm will certainly help you out tremendously in the long run.
So, what are some of the criteria to look for when hiring a top notch marketing consultant? Here are the top criteria to look at:
1. Experience: Does the company have clients who they provide monthly marketing services to? This will tell you right away if they are well thought of and able to keep clients.
2. Education: Do the consultants have advanced degrees in e-commerce, organizational and industrial psychology, business and marketing?
3. Practical Application: Does the marketing consulting firm of consultants who teach others through webinars, University/College courses or continuing education classes? One of the criteria of being a subject matter expert is not only having knowledge of the subject and being able to perform a task, but also being able to teach others to do so.
4. Published: Are the consultants publishing industry Journal papers, books, e-books, and manuals on an ongoing basis? This does not include blogging.
5. Certifications: One hallmark of a true professional is holding several professional certifications in their chosen industry. Look for certifications such as Certified Inbound Marketing Consultant, Certified Inbound Marketing Educator, Social Media Consultant and for leading Internet marketing University programs.
Using a checklist like this when hiring and inbound marketing consulting firm will greatly assist you in narrowing the field to only the top qualifying and competent consulting agencies.