How you know if an inbound agency really is an inbound agency

24 Mar 2015 | by Ian Blake

How do you know if an inbound marketing agency really puts their money where their mouth is? The first step is to look into how the agency handles inbound.


Within 5 seconds of viewing an inbound marketing agency’s website, you should be able to tell if they’re the real deal. A lot of companies will say they do inbound, but those that make inbound marketing an art form are few and far between. 

To put it frankly, inbound marketing is hard to properly execute; there are so many moving parts in the inbound machine, which take a committed, experienced team to operate with effectively. In this blog, we’ll break down the most important things you should look for when considering inbound marketing agencies.

The Agency Practices What They Preach

The following are key things you should look for when researching inbound marketing agencies and reviewing their website and content:


When reviewing various inbound marketing agencies to find the right fit for your business, the first thing you should do is take a look at their blog activity; this includes how often they blog, what they blog about and the informative value of what they’re saying. Also look for message consistency and tone, as these can be indicative of how they’ll blog for you, should you work with them.

Weekly blogging is the content backbone of inbound; it’s what generates the everyday ready and convinces them to fill out forms and learn more. If an agency inconsistently blogs or pumps out content with no value, it’s a sure sign to turn away.


While looking at an agency’s blog pages, take a peek at the calls-to-action (CTAs), located at the bottom of the post. Are you convinced to click (to act), and learn more about what the agency offers? Just like blogs, CTAs must be optimized to fit with the agency’s message, as well as fulfill some user need.

CTAs are the “triggers” to inbound content, and if the agency in question doesn’t format them in a way that has you ready to click through, there’s little chance they’ll be able to do that for your company.

Social media

How active is the agency’s social media presence? More importantly, what is the kind of content they’re posting to their Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter accounts? Much like the agency’s blog updates, social media content shouldn’t be pitch-oriented, but instead exist to inform or engage users in some way.

Additionally, make sure their posts are suitable for the platform being used; LinkedIn is devoted to professional circles and organisations, while Facebook is more suitable for content accompanied by a video or informative graphic. These are things you may not think of right away, but they’re reliable indicators of how an agency will handle your own social media activity should you enter a partnership with them.

Above all else, quality

The very foundation of inbound marketing revolves around the idea of generating business organically, based on user need, interest and engagement. Informing consumers with high quality content that resolves a need. Inbound does away with the sales-heavy aspects of outbound marketing, and instead grows businesses by giving audiences what they’re looking for.

In doing so, audiences become leads more naturally than they would with outbound; the connection is stronger, and soon those leads funnel into a loyal customer base. If you’re evaluating various inbound agencies to partner with, make sure to disregard any that pump out meaningless fluff or sales content, and instead focus on those that strive to actually help their audience.

Any agency can say they offer, or are even masters of, inbound marketing; the best way to sort the inbound pros from the pretenders is by evaluating their own inbound marketing efforts. How did you reach their site in the first place, and how does their blog, content and social media activity compare to others within the inbound marketing sphere? 

Inbound marketing agencies that excel in marketing their own website, and engaging audiences with high quality content, will do the same for their clients. In these cases, an inbound standard has been set, which is something you should always keep an eye out for when looking into agencies to help your business grow.

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