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What Does an Inbound Marketing Agency Do?

Image of Brock Ashton
Brock Ashton

What does an inbound agency do?

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’ve likely heard the saying ‘the way people buy has changed’.

And it has. The traditional method of buying television and radio ads to push your message to the masses is fading, and a new approach has become the dominant force.

For many businesses, mass marketing is dead. It’s been replaced with an approach that places an emphasis on the customer, and on listening rather than shouting. 

This approach helps position businesses as experts in their field; trusted advisors that work with their customers, rather than the loudest voice in the room who forces a solution on you.

It’s an approach that has been favoured by marketers for over a decade. It’s one that brings together marketing, sales and service teams to unify them under common goals - solve your customers problems through relationship building by creating valuable content that improves your online visibility, empowers customers to champion your brand, and reduces advertising spend.

That approach is Inbound Marketing.


What is Inbound Marketing?

The inbound marketing methodology is a whole-of-business approach to building relationships with visitors, leads, prospects and customers. 

At its core, this approach is about positioning your business as a trusted advisor, placing an emphasis on understanding your audience’s problems and providing solutions, rather than trying to sell to them.

By prioritising being helpful, prospects don’t feel like they are being sold to, instead feel like you’re working with them to achieve their goals. 

When the time comes to make a purchase, you’re in pole position because you’ve established yourself within the hearts and minds of your leads.

Inbound marketing is applied in three ways:

  1. Attract - bringing the right people to your website through the creation and distribution of valuable content designed to position you as a trusted advisor and authority
  2. Engage - present insights and solutions that align with your audience’s problems and goals, helping them move towards purchasing from you.
  3. Delight - continuing to provide advice and support to customers, empowering them to become a champion of your brand.


Inbound vs Outbound

It can also be helpful to think in terms of inbound vs outbound, or sometimes referred to as push vs pull marketing.

With inbound (pull) you want to increase your online visibility for carefully selected keywords and topics that relate to your business, your products and services, and your customer’s pain points. It’s about showing up when someone is actively seeking information or a solution.

Outbound (push), is a more traditional approach of delivering your message to eyeballs through advertising and similar tactics. It’s about disrupting your audience with engaging content that encourages them to take action.

While outbound tactics are still popular, and effective, inbound places an emphasis on relationship building and connections, something that can be difficult through outbound marketing.


What is an Inbound Marketing Agency?

An inbound marketing agency works with their clients to implement the inbound marketing methodology, providing everything they need to achieve success and hit their goals. This can be done through managing their marketing for them, providing guidance and being a trusted advisor, or helping setup their inbound marketing software, such as HubSpot.


How does this differ from a normal marketing agency?

An inbound agency works differently to a more traditional, outbound agency. While outbound agencies can be great at capturing attention through disruptive tactics, an inbound agency helps clients attract leads and acquire customers through creating and distributing valuable content.

Inbound agencies also tend to focus on quality of leads, outbound tend to prioritise quantity.


What Does an Inbound Marketing Agency Do?

So let’s dive into the core of this blog - what can an inbound marketing agency do for you? 

We’ll break it down into three sections: the goals they can work towards, the services they provide, and the teams they can work with.


The goals they work towards

As mentioned above, the inbound methodology focuses on online presence and visibility, building relationships with customers, positioning your business as a trusted advisor and empowering customers to champion your brand.

Inbound marketing is also useful for:


The services they provide

Inbound marketing covers a wide variety of marketing activities, and an inbound agency can help you execute many of them. Diving back into the ways inbound marketing is applied, we can see the types of services inbound agencies can offer:

  • Attracting visitors
    • SEO
    • Content creation and blogging
    • Lead magnets and downloadable resources
    • Social media
    • Website optimisation
  • Engaging leads
    • Email marketing
    • Sales enablement
    • Lead generation and management
    • Marketing automation
    • Chatbots
  • Delighting customers
    • Website optimisation
    • Surveys and feedback tools
    • Social listening
    • CRM management


Inbound agencies can also help you set up vital reporting dashboards, and help you analyse your data.

Certain agencies, such as FocusHawk Digital, can also help with conversion rate optimisation and AB testing.


The teams they work with

Since inbound marketing is a method that can be applied across an entire business, inbound agencies are well-equipped to work with any team that has contact with customers and the community.

This includes:

  • Marketing teams - helping develop and execute the marketing strategy
  • Sales teams - helping sales teams have contextual conversations with targets and prospects, implementing an inbound sales approach to business development. They can also help align sales and marketing, ensuring both teams are on the same page and moving towards common goals.
  • Service teams - inbound is also for service teams, since creating educational content is key to helping customers get the most from your product or service. Service teams have a library of resources they can share with customers to help them overcome any issues they face.
  • Leadership teams - working with leadership teams is an overlooked aspect of partnering with an inbound agency. Through careful analysis of data, inbound agencies can help leadership teams make informed decisions about their overall growth strategy.


Who Should Partner With an Inbound Agency?

Any business can find value in adopting the inbound approach, since the scope of activities is so wide and covers a variety of goals - there is something here for everyone.

Let’s run through some examples:

Firstly, inbound is perfect for B2B brands and businesses. Selling to other businesses relies heavily on having a strong relationship, and being able to demonstrate a perfect fit between you and your prospect. Inbound is perfect for this.

Next, businesses with a long buying cycle. Again, building relationships is key when the decision to purchase will take a significant amount of time. Positioning yourself as a trusted advisor and subject matter authority plays well during decision-making.

Third, businesses with a complex product or service. One of the biggest obstacles to overcome during the sales process is the help your prospect understand how buying from you will benefit them. Educational content created by an inbound agency can do exactly that.

Finally, even retail and ecommerce businesses can benefit from inbound. While these industries traditionally rely on outbound marketing to push their message, there is definite benefits available to adopting inbound. A fashion retailer can blog about the latest trends; a make-up brand can create tutorials and guides; a tool manufacturer can create DIY videos; a jeweller can provide advice on how to choose the right diamond or other precious stone.

In reality, almost any business can benefit from working with an inbound agency.


When to Work with an Inbound Agency?

Usually, the best time to consider working with an agency is when one or more of the following situations arise:

  • Your business is growing and you can’t handle everything in-house.
  • You have a small marketing team and looking to expand into new activities that no one has any experience with.
  • You are launching a new product, or into a new market, and have no experience in this space.
  • Your results and performance is starting to decline and you can’t figure out how to correct it.

Of course, there are more situations than just these, but in our experience, these are why most businesses reach out to us.


What Can You Expect When Working with an Inbound Agency?

When you work with an inbound agency, you should expect them to practice what they preach. You should expect them to take the time to deeply listen and understand your exact situation and needs. 

In terms of the relationship itself, you can expect to be assigned a central contact point that acts as the middleman between your business and the various departments and services of the agency. They will brief new projects to the design team, coordinate the social media experts to manage your campaigns, and ensure copywriters are creating content targeting your main keywords.

You can also expect results to match your goals. What these are exactly will depend on your business, but for out clients we are able to achieve the following:

  • Increased website traffic from organic search.
  • Improved ROI on advertising spend across social media and Google Ads.
  • Increase in leads generated, especially high-quality leads.
  • Better conversion rates and an optimised website.
  • More revenue.

At the end of the day, while we want to achieve these results for all our clients, how we mark ourselves is based on how well we hit the goals specific to you, and how far we exceed your expectations, and produce results that matter.

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