Picking a HubSpot Partner Agency

When you think about inbound marketing, it’s hard to overlook HubSpot. Considering they coined the term all the way back in 2006, it comes as no surprise that more and more marketers are turning to the popular platform to help take their marketing efforts to that next level. It’s all about turning your website into a magnet of sorts - doing whatever you can to attract visitors through content creation, social media, personalisation, SEO and so much more.

The great thing about HubSpot is that the software includes all the tools you need to do inbound marketing. 

The problem many marketers like you have is that you might not have the time, bodies or even the knowledge to go all-in with HubSpot right away to see success.

There is a solution, though, as many agencies - like us - have dedicated themselves to becoming experts in HubSpot. Despite the popularity of HubSpot, a lot of marketers and brands are in need of support when it comes to adopting the platform and managing it effectively. Working with a HubSpot partner agency makes implementation far quicker, simpler and your long-term business goals are made the priority.

That’s why we’ve created this guide - so you’ll know everything possible about how you can pick the perfect HubSpot partner agency.

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1.

HubSpot Partner Agencies

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What is a HubSpot Partner Agency and the Directory?

If you’re all-in on HubSpot but you need someone to do most of the heavy lifting for you, then you need to head over to the HubSpot Partner Directory so that you can get help from a certified agency.

The great thing about the Directory is that you’re likely to find your ‘perfect match’ by being able to choose from plenty of certified marketing agencies and sales consultants from across the globe.

Obviously, don’t make the mistake of going ahead with the first agency you see and then end up regretting your choice down the line. Explore all of the approved agencies and consultants who can work with you to implement successful inbound marketing campaigns and sales strategies. 

The Directory lets you narrow down your choices as well rather than playing a guessing game for which agency might be a good one to work with. You can search by industry, services, countries, languages and even budget types.

Not only that, but agencies like ours also help you get to grips with HubSpot’s software so you actually know how everything works and can get hands-on when you want to.

What Can a HubSpot Partner Agency Help Me With?

Through the in-depth inbound marketing strategies, the best agencies can successfully help you in several areas, not just one. First, here’s what inbound marketing agencies actually do:

  • Brand and social media management.
  • Website design.
  • Content creation.
  • Email marketing.
  • Website optimisation.
  • Sales enablement.

You’ll already know how vital each one of the above services is when it comes to the contribution towards inbound marketing and the way they achieve results. However, make sure to pick an agency from the directory that focuses on each aspect.

An experienced and proven inbound marketing agency can help you generate more leads, increase your revenue and improve your ROI. We get it; it might sound either too good to be true or risky, but the agencies on the Directory have been vetted and recommended by HubSpot. In short, they’re proven partners.

HubSpot agencies can also help you create content from blogs to eBooks, using Growth-Driven Design to optimise your website, launch effective email marketing campaigns, take your social media accounts to a new level and so much more.

How HubSpot Partner Agencies are Ranked

You can’t be blamed for being slightly hesitant when rummaging through the 100+ pages on the HubSpot Partner Directory to see the agency options you have available to you. What’s important to know is that they’re not placed there randomly - HubSpot actually ranks them through the Partner Tier Programme.

This programme is designed to acknowledge agency partners like ours that have not only brought the inbound message to plenty of clients that have been interested in ditching the traditional methods and switching to inbound, but also ranks agencies that have executed inbound marketing services to the highest standard.

Partners earn tiers based on the level of success they’ve achieved for clients using inbound marketing, sales or even HubSpot’s software. Again, these aren’t randomly generated either, HubSpot actually uses a combination of metrics to determine who can move up the tiers and who can even move down.

On the Directory, you’ll be able to see the small logos at the top of each agency’s logos. The ones listed first are Diamond tier partners, which is the highest honour. This is followed by Platinum, Gold and then Silver. You’ll even find partners that haven’t earned a tier or aren’t HubSpot partners at the end, but many companies prefer to work with the higher tier agencies as it shows how experienced they are and the proven results they bring for clients.

At Digital 22, we’re proud to be Diamond HubSpot partners. To read more about what a Diamond HubSpot partner actually is, what it entails and what to expect if you decide to work with a Diamond agency, check out this blog.

The Benefits of Working With a HubSpot Partner Agency

Even though the Diamond tier sets the more ‘elite’ agencies apart, there are some benefits that crossover throughout the tiers which you can benefit massively from. Three of the biggest benefits include:

1. Experienced Support

We’re not going to lie, getting to grips with HubSpot’s software does take some getting used to and just like any detailed platform, it takes time to master. Working with a HubSpot Partner agency, you’ll have their HubSpot expertise, recommendations and suggestions needed to make your business a success.

This also cuts the time you spend on learning about HubSpot and makes you more productive. Any HubSpot challenges you do face, you’ll be confident knowing you’re working with an agency that’s an expert in utilising HubSpot.

2. Increase Visibility

Inbound is all about reaching the right people at the right time, but it also means you need to be reachable for people so that they can find your content easily. That’s where the experienced HubSpot agencies come in, as they can utilise SEO tactics such as link building through blogs and landing pages to gain that visibility.

It takes a lot of time, but that’s why it’s more beneficial to work with a HubSpot partner agency as they have the tools and the skills to implement all the necessary steps to increase visibility while you focus your attention elsewhere.

3. Thorough Analysis and Optimisation

A lot of different components contribute to inbound results. Landing pages, emails, blog posts, CTAs and even social media posts need to be assessed, analysed and reported on. It doesn’t end there either - that data needs to be analysed so necessary changes can be made depending on what has and hasn’t worked.

HubSpot partner agencies are full of people that are experts in analysis. They also know the most effective ways of making sure your campaigns are moving in the right direction as well as knowing how to use the HubSpot portal to actually read and understand the results. HubSpot partner agencies understand the value of tracking and measuring your marketing efforts and can use the analytics to maximise them.

These just some of the benefits of working with a HubSpot partner agency. Rather than making you read a long list of them here, we’ll move on to the expertise aspect of HubSpot partner agencies. 

2.

HubSpot Expertise

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The Tools HubSpot Partner Agencies Use

The great thing about HubSpot is that all of the software you need for sales and marketing campaigns are combined in one growth stack, as opposed to trying to manage a stack of scattered tools. 

We don’t hide what we do here at Digital 22, so here’s a breakdown of the HubSpot tools the entire team uses.

Marketing Hub

We use HubSpot Marketing Hub as it gives us newer ways to drive growth for our client - which also means we’re in a better position to reach or even surpass your goals. Overall, this HubSpot tool gives us and the partners we work with plenty of powerful tools so that we’re able to get more out of the content we create for you so that you grow better as a result.

To find out more information on how useful Marketing Hub is for us as an agency and the contribution it can have on your results, head over to this blog.

Standalone CMS

The standalone CMS has been fine-tuned by HubSpot so that it doesn’t need to tie into a well-developed CRM. In fact, it’s so good that it’s now offered on its own because it’s moved on from its days of being basic. 

Some of the features included here that are massively beneficial are:

  • Content and conversion tools.
  • Design tools.
  • Reporting tools.
  • Managing tools.
  • Contacts and personalisation tools.

It enables us to build websites which are always optimised for lead generation, continuous improvement and performance analysis. All of this helps us to attract, convert and close your ideal buyers.

To read more about each feature and more - as well as how our expertise in each area can help you reach your goals, read more over at this blog.

HubSpot CRM

The CRM tool we use from HubSpot helps us to close those all-important sales which also makes it easy to manage data. It allows us to connect and align your sales team with qualified lead flows generated by the inbound marketing campaigns we help you with.

Service Hub

With HubSpot Service Hub, we can delight your ideal customers and grow referrals by delivering multi-channel, but most importantly, effective customer support. By configuring the Service Hub on our end, you’ll be in a better position to support your customers through numerous methods, like email and live chats.

HubSpot Video

You might not have thought about using video in your marketing strategy, but trust us when we say that it’s about time you seriously started to think about implementing it. 

Just check out these stats:

  • When it comes to buying, 90 percent of customers say videos help them make decisions.
  • On your landing pages, including videos can increase conversion rates by 80 percent.
  • Just by mentioning the term ‘video’ in an email subject line can help to increase email open rates by 19 percent.
  • After watching a video about a product or service, 64 percent of clients often buy that product or service.
  • By 2019, it’s expected that 80 percent of internet traffic will come from video while 13 percent of all internet traffic will consist of live video in 2021.

We’ve gone all-in on video and with HubSpot, it’s easier than ever. The HubSpot Video feature helps us to execute video strategies for you, matching how people are consuming video today. The more authentic, relevant and personal these videos are, the more attention your business will get.

If you want a full breakdown of what inbound video is, check out this blog. Or, if you want to learn just how important video is and we actually do it, there’s another blog you might find useful here.

What Else We Expertly do Using HubSpot

HubSpot is great for everything we’ve mentioned above and more. Although, it does need talented people to drive the platform as it can’t do it all on its own. To properly take advantage of your HubSpot portal and smash every marketing campaign out of the park, we put in a lot of the work for you.

If you want more information on how we’re experts in HubSpot and its different tools, then you’ll benefit from subscribing to our blog. You’ll find lots of information regarding HubSpot announcements, updates and even plenty of how-to guides from us.

How to Tell if a HubSpot Partner Agency is Truly an Expert

It’s not easy when you’re trying to decide which expert HubSpot partner agency is for you. In fact, it can be more challenging to find out whether or not the agencies you’ve narrowed it down to are experts at all. Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered. 

To properly make sure you’re working with experts, there are a handful of factors you need to take into account that can separate the proven agencies from those that aren’t quite there yet.

How an Expert HubSpot Agency Partner Works

It’s simple, an expert HubSpot agency partner needs to have a plan in place and not operate solely on guesswork. Expert agencies should have an inbound process in place and communicate it all with you, so you know exactly what to expect. 

Here’s the process we use at Digital 22.

The Blueprint

During the blueprint phase, we conduct thorough research and plan exactly what the goals, pain points and buying habits are of your prospects. The reason behind this is that this insight gives us the ability to create and deliver campaigns that actually resonate.

Build the Platform

Before we even think about pushing out the content, we map out and set up all of the technologies which underpin the campaigns. This lets us begin your campaigns on stable and effective foundations so that we don’t run into any problems moving forward.

Performance Tuning

Our team of experts then deliver inbound marketing campaigns in 90-day cycles. This gives us plenty of time to analyse results and focus on which aspects bring back the best results - but it goes further than that.

Tried and Tested 90-Day Campaigns

Expert agencies shouldn’t really switch the durations of campaigns. At Digital 22, we’ve tried and tested several durations from monthly campaigns to six-month long campaigns. That’s why we operate in 90-day cycles. 

The basic gist of sticking with 90-day inbound campaigns is that we’ve found we can build a much more detailed and accurate picture of exactly what is and what isn’t working. It just happens to fall nicely into that category of ‘it’s not too short or too long.’

We’ve also found that 90-day cycles work the best for analysing and iterating. This allows enough time to analyse results but the main learning here is that we then know which aspects bring the best results and those are implemented in your future campaigns.

When milestones aren’t put in the strategy of when we’re going to begin analysing, the time to analyse might never come. So, this duration works well as we’re able to point out times where you’re ready to analyse things like workflows and landing pages to see what is and isn’t working. Personally, we believe 90 days is about right to do that.

If you want a transparent and thorough breakdown of exactly what we do from day one right through to day 90, then head over to this blog. You’ll find out more information on why our inbound campaigns last 90 days, why it’s a good amount of time, problems of having shorter or longer campaigns as well as the full 0-90-day breakdown.

3.

Picking the Perfect HubSpot Agency Partner

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What Makes HubSpot Diamond Partners So Special?

Now that you know how HubSpot ranks partner agencies and the tiers they’re placed in, it’s clear that Diamond partners tend to be favoured by businesses like yours the most. It’s easy to see why, as agencies on higher tiers unlock unique resources and benefits to fuel growth for you even more.

1. Beta Releases

Working alongside a Diamond partner means you’re working with an agency that helps HubSpot perfect their products and make it seamless for everyone to use without any faults or glitches. 

Firstly, it shows that a Diamond agency is willing to take the time to help HubSpot smooth out the edges and help shape the future of the products. It also shows that these Diamond agencies can be relied on and that their expert opinions matter.

Finally, it means those same beta products and software can be used for your growth so you get somewhat of a head start - something not many other agencies can offer until the beta products are rolled out fully.

2. Partner Summit Participation

Each year, Diamond partners are gathered alongside other agencies to learn in an invitation-only event. Along with learning about advanced inbound content to help you down the line with new, updated methods, Diamond partners are able to get a sneak peek of upcoming HubSpot products.

What this means for you is that a Diamond agency will be one step ahead of others by getting familiar with products much earlier, meaning there’s less of a learning curve and they can be used to help you grow sooner.

3. Event Support Eligibility

Diamond agencies can have their events taken to the next level by having HubSpot Senior Marketers, Directors, VPs and the C-level Executive Team to appear at their events which you can also attend. 

By having amazing influencers attend, it means you’re able to both hear from and meet inbound influencers and see just how dedicated the Diamond agency is when it comes to inbound marketing and HubSpot. If you’re attending these events, you’re going to witness experts from the very top in action and providing knowledge that is unattainable at other events.

If you’re interested in attending an event, then Digital 22 hosts the Manchester HubSpot User Group (HUG) four times a year. The aim of the HUG is for like-minded people to share their experiences and tactics so everyone can improve their inbound results.

Each session focuses on a particular aspect of inbound marketing, so you’ll learn what works for other companies. You also get the opportunity to network with other people using HubSpot to decide whether it’s for you and leave as a better marketer. To learn more about the HUG or to book your place at the next event, head over to this page. This alone should tell you why we’re considered HubSpot and inbound marketing experts.

4. Growth Fund

Diamond agencies are able to progress even further by taking advantage of the HubSpot Agency Growth Fund. This is where HubSpot makes capital available to Diamond agencies which they can then use for hiring sales, marketing and events.

What does this means for you? Well, it first shows that these agencies can be relied on to offer a much better service. Plus, the Diamond agencies are better-equipped to help you and your business grow.

What This Actually Means

These are only some of the points that make HubSpot Diamond partner agencies so special to work with. Basically, it shows that Diamond agencies have a proven track record in utilising HubSpot and achieving stellar results through inbound marketing methods.

It means HubSpot are big advocates of these agencies as they have a positive reputation and want businesses like yours to work with Diamond agencies because of how experienced they are.

If you’re interested in a more thorough breakdown of why HubSpot Diamond agencies are so special and what it all entails, click here to read a dedicated blog post which also highlights many more benefits.

Important Questions You Need to Ask an Agency When Picking a HubSpot Agency Partner

Whether you’re stuck picking between agencies or you’re still weighing up the pros and cons of going to an agency or keeping everything in-house, there are some important questions you need to ask.

At Digital 22, we’re faced with a lot of the same questions that people and businesses like you have. It’s normal to have slight worries when you’re thinking of picking an agency but rather than going in blind, here are some important questions you should be asking the agency - and our responses are right below them.

Question: What’s the Difference Between HubSpot Onboarding and an Agency?

Our Answer: Our onboarding differs from other agencies in that it’s more customised to what you’re looking to achieve. Our onboarding process reviews the overall the overall strategy and then we focus on the technology stack to ensure that HubSpot is set up as required to effectively manage all of your campaigns.

Question: What’s Your Relationship With HubSpot?

Our Answer: We’ve achieved Diamond status through the experience of HubSpot and the number of clients we have using the system. We work with our channel manager at HubSpot regularly to support you with the right tools within HubSpot for exactly what you need to hit your goals.

Question: What Makes You Different From Other Agencies?

Our Answer: We are 100 percent HubSpot, nothing else. We have expertise running through our team as everyone is specialised in their own field, from content writing to social media and graphic design. That means you don’t have one person managing multiple tasks for you. 

We also keep everything in-house and don’t outsource even a single task. It’s why we’re the biggest HubSpot team in Europe. We also offer full funnel service to support your entire HubSpot portal - including sales, services, marketing, website and video.

Question: What Results Can You Generate For Us?

Our Answer: This is a tricky one. It’s always difficult to promise something as it all depends on your industry. But we’re honest, so on average, we would look to generate anywhere from three to five percent ROI but again, this all depends on the industry you’re in.

Question: Do You Offer Standalone Projects?

Our Answer: Some Diamond agencies might be able to squeeze in a standalone, but that’s not something we do at Digital 22. Instead, we work to a retainer model offering inbound marketing as the central service where all of our other services complement our overall inbound marketing service. 

We don’t offer individual projects as we want to provide the best level of service so that we can generate the right type of results. By offering inbound marketing and GDD together, we’re able to save valuable time and get much faster results through supporting your new website with the right level of marketing.

Question: How do You Price up Your Packages?

Our Answer: We use a points-based pricing structure whereby all of our deliverables have a certain number of points assigned to them. It’s quite simple really. We don’t price our deliverables based on time or effort as we don’t want to penalise you by assigning a task to a slower member of the team, for example.

This points-based structure provides us with the flexibility to amend our packages accordingly to suit your needs so we’re not embarrassingly having to come back and ask you for additional money.

If you’re interested in checking out our prices to find the perfect plan for you and your business, check out our simple pricing guide here.

Question: Do You Specialise in a Certain Industry?

Our Answer: Some agencies might have a specific industry they specialise in, but we don’t restrict ourselves to one industry. Instead, we have a complete mixture of accounts across B2B and B2C channels. There’s only one limitation we have - we refuse to work with a competitor of any existing client we have.

If we’re approached by your competitor, you’ll be the first to know as we emphasise having the strongest working relationship rather than picking a client depending on who gets the best results.

Question: How Can an Agency Write About My Niche?

Our Answer: This is probably the most common question we get asked. So much so, that we ended up writing an entire blog about how an agency can write about your niche. Some of the points include:

  • A wider pool of experience.
  • Unbiased opinions.
  • Constantly learning.
  • Inbound knowledge.

For a more in-depth answer on this popular question, read this blog.

Question: How do You Know What to Write About?

Our Answer: Our team undergoes extensive keyword research so we know what your target audience is regularly searching for on search engine website like Google. By collating all of the common keywords and other search terms, we’re able to plan titles and briefs for every stage of the buyer’s journey so that each piece of content is relevant to your target audience.

Question: How do I Communicate With an Agency?

Our Answer: Every HubSpot Diamond agency is different, so they’ll all have different methods. We keep it as transparent as possible by organising visits to your business, having you come to our office to meet the team that will work with you and arrange weekly calls - including video. We’ve found that regular communication makes for a healthy working relationship and it keeps you in the loop.

Question: Which KPIs do You Even Track?

Our Answer: At Digital 22, we tend to avoid the vanity metrics that businesses tend to obsess over. We don’t focus on likes, retweets, blog post views or even how big your email contact database is. The metrics we tend to focus on are more top-level aspects, as well as lead generation, social media metrics and email metrics. We even use a platform called Databox to gather the most crucial KPIs that actually matter.

We’ve actually created a blog about the important KPIs inbound marketing reports should include to be made more interesting. If you want to read and find out what we include, head over to this blog.

Question: How Often Will You Review My Results?

Our Answer: We can’t say for certain how often other Diamond HubSpot agencies review their results, but we tend to avoid creating one big report every few months. Considering that it takes around nine to 12 months for results to actually come to fruition, we analyse your results regularly and provide monthly inbound marketing reports. 

To find out why we create monthly inbound reports and which of your metrics we analyse, find it all in this blog.

Question: How Long do I Need to Stay With a HubSpot Agency?

Our Answer: This is where agency research comes in handy. Some agencies will lock you in for 12 months, for example. At Digital 22, we give you a chance to see how amazing inbound marketing really is first hand by working with us. If it’s not right for you, we just need 30 days’ notice.

Want to Work With an Expert HubSpot Diamond Partner Agency? Get in Touch With Digital 22 Today…

By now, you know what you need to research and ask and you’ve weighed up the options available to you when it comes to inbound marketing and HubSpot. It’s clear that it takes a lot of time and effort to get the results, but that’s where we come in.

Our expert team at Digital 22 can help you smash your inbound marketing goals using HubSpot. It doesn’t matter if you’re a marketing team of one or 100, our service has been tailored to work with you and make your life easier. So, why do companies like working with us?

  • Part of Your Team: We aren’t a faceless agency. We become a part of your team with regular meetings, meaningful reports and the same desire as you to hit your targets.
  • Expertise Under One Roof: Inbound marketing is time sensitive and requires many disparate skill sets to be successful. Inbound is all we do, and that’s why we have one of the largest and most dedicated teams in the UK with people who do inbound marketing everyday.
  • It’s Always In-House: From strategists to copywriters and SEO specialists to designers, we never outsource any work and keep everything under one roof. This way, you can pick up the phone and speak with the person working on your account whenever you want.
  • Experienced: We know diving into the inbound marketing and HubSpot adventure is new, but with us, you have a team who have done it before and know what to avoid to accelerate your growth with our experience.
  • Technology Knowhow: We bring the right technology partners and can integrate your systems with your marketing so that everything is tracked.
  • Deliver Results: Above all else, we know you need to get results and we know how to get results. We understand the importance of it and won’t let you down.

Don’t just take our word for it. See all of the great things our clients have had to say about us through the years and how we’ve helped them grow using HubSpot by clicking here

If that all sounds good and you’re ready to find out more, why not get in touch? 

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