What is an Inbound Marketing Agency?
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How San Francisco’s Inbound Marketing Agencies Can Help Your Startup
Forward Push is a card-carrying inbound marketing agency serving the San Francisco Bay Area. Okay, so there’s no actual card involved, but there is a certification involved by HubSpot (the global leader in inbound marketing strategies). So while I don’t have a fancy business card, I am certified and, more importantly, a lot of knowledge regarding inbound marketing.
Why is that important? Honestly, it’s because there aren’t many inbound marketing agencies in San Francisco and Silicon Valley. That’s actually quite surprising considering how effective it is for the startup and tech sectors (or that overlapping part of the Ven diagram that is startup tech companies). In fact many of those companies may not even know what inbound marketing is or why it’s so effective. So let’s take a moment to review that.
What Is Inbound Marketing?
Simply put, inbound marketing is about getting people to you — hence, inbound. This is done through many different avenues, though the common thread across all of them is that they all involve relationship building. By building strong relationships over time, your brand becomes the long-term solution for customers.
How is this achieved? Most of this is handled in the digital space, as this is the best forum for mass back-and-forth interaction. From there, it’s all about putting out value pieces that can attract views and engagement. That means content creation: blog posts, videos, long-form articles, case studies, white papers, infographics, memes, or whatever else you think might appeal to your audience (Got a dating app? Seriously, try writing dating advice). Then do whatever you can to get traction: optimize for search, engage on social media, syndicate articles, and so on. The more content, the bigger the footprint, and the more you’ll pull customers into you — and once they’re there, keep creating content to help them stay engaged.
What Is An Inbound Marketing Agency?
An inbound marketing agency is, naturally, an agency that specializes in all aspects of inbound marketing. Keep in mind that an inbound marketing agency may not exclusively focus on inbound marketing. For example, at Forward Push, while we’re a Hubspot-certified inbound marketing agency, we also handle traditional marketing, such as broadcast and print ads.
However, as an inbound marketing agency — and as one located conveniently close to San Francisco and Silicon Valley — we offer end-to-end services that fulfill every checkbox on the inbound list. A good inbound marketing agency goes beyond just content (writing, videos, infographics, etc.) creation and helps you create the structure and logistics to succeed. That could mean starting with a fresh SEO-friendly website, setting up social media accounts, crunching trend and search data to find your target audience, and more. Some agencies create content and toss it over the fence at you, and while that could work, I personally find that startups in the competitive San Francisco/Silicon Valley market have enough to worry about. That’s why I personally directed the trajectory of Forward Push to handle the front end, back end, and logistical infrastructure of the inbound cycle.
How To Choose An Inbound Marketing Agency
So, now you know what inbound marketing is. And you know what an inbound marketing agency is (and what makes up a good one). How will you know what which one to pick? I’ll return to my personal experience to answer this: sometimes, I’ll get asked straight up “Why should we go with Forward Push?” I’ll tell them that in order to answer that question, they’ll need to ask more questions. Do I have experience with their industry? Do I understand their target market? How fast can I respond? What short-term and long-term strategies do I envision for them?
Those are the types of questions you’ll want to ask. In some cases, proximity is a huge advantage — while Forward Push can work remotely across the world, being local for San Francisco/Silicon Valley startups is extremely helpful for them so we can get more hands-on as needed.
If you’re not sure what questions to ask an inbound marketing agency, feel free to send an email directly to me or send me a tweet. [Tweet “My inbound question for @forwardpush is:”]
By Marc Apple
Marc Apple is recognized as a leader in the marketing industry and has 20+ years of experience helping businesses of all sizes improve their digital marketing. He specializes in website design, SEO, social media, and paid search programs. He is a frequent contributor to other marketing websites and speaks regularly about marketing to small business owners and startups. To learn about Marc and to contact him, visit his author bio page.
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