A year ago you decided that now was the time.
You were going to leave your job behind and embark on an exciting new adventure: to become the owner of your own agency.
With some contacts from your existing jobs and a good reputation in your local area, you set out to become the next Maurice Saatchi.
It was all going well, but then the leads started to dry up.
Your network is exhausted, but the pressures of growing your business didn’t subside.
What next? You’ve spent your career learning how to grow other people’s businesses.
But now, the onus is on your to grow your own.
With tight budgets and the unique set of challenges that come with growing an agency, there are only a few go-to strategies that pretty much always work.
One of those is content marketing.
Don’t Get Left Behind
If your digital marketing agency is not yet using content marketing, you’re among the few.
Currently, 89% of B2B businesses are using content marketing to fuel new business. And these businesses are generating leads and saving money: research shows that content marketing generates three times as many leads as traditional marketing, but it costs 62% less.
If you’ve been putting it off, 2017 is the perfect time to finally launch a content marketing campaign. Successful content marketing doesn’t require hiring a team to focus on writing and publishing new content multiple times each day.
You can reap the rewards of content marketing even with a small-scale approach and—if successful—scale your efforts later.
Why Content Marketing Matters for Modern Businesses
Several studies have uncovered findings that highlight why content marketing matters to modern businesses:
- Advertising is not as effective as it used to be. More than 200 million people use ad-blocking software—they don’t even see ads when browsing the web. Additionally, Google may be adding a built-in ad blocker to a future version of its Chrome browser.
- Your target audience is using search to make decisions. When making a decision, 71% of B2B buyers begin the process with a web search, and that number continues to climb. A recent report shows that almost half of B2B buyers report relying on online content to make decisions more heavily this year than last year.
- Content marketing drives more leads and increases revenue. B2B brands that maintain an active blog generate 67% more leads than those who don’t, and conversion rates are nearly six times higher for businesses that have adopted content marketing. 82% of marketers who blog report a positive return on investment.
Content marketing engages distracted decision makers in the places where they’re conducting research, isn’t impacted by ad-blocking software, and leads to increased leads, conversions, and revenue.
There’s a reason why 89% of B2B brands utilise content marketing.
Why Is Content Marketing in 2017 Important for Digital Marketing Agencies?
In addition to the benefits listed above, content marketing is important for digital marketing agencies because it allows them to highlight their expertise and build authority.
Publishing high-quality, in-depth, and unique content builds credibility with visitors—it shows that you know your business.
For proof of the power of content marketing for digital agencies, consider these case studies:
- After adopting content marketing, internet marketing agency Vertical Measures was able to eliminate its need for outbound salespeople. Instead, the company uses its website and blog to answer the questions that outbound salespeople used to answer. The company’s remaining sales personnel handle inbound requests, and they’re able to close sales more quickly because customers are already fully educated.
- After investing time in several content marketing campaigns—including guest posts, blogging, and content partnerships—PPC management company KlientBoost built their traffic up to 50,000 unique monthly visitors. Anyone can have an agency, so KlientBoost’s founder Johnathan Dane used quality content and exceptional design as a differentiator to build brand authority and establish trust with audiences.
Often, digital marketing agencies provide services that are exceptionally complex.
Services like SEO, CRO, and analytics tracking and reporting—as a few examples—could lead to hundreds of how-to guides that walk audiences through each important step of these techniques.
But some agencies fear that divulging the process for completing tasks that the agency provides will encourage prospects to do the work themselves instead of hiring an agency.
But in many cases, the opposite is true.
Prospects often get overwhelmed by the amount of work that doing it themselves would require, so they decide to hire someone who obviously knows how to do it because they’ve clearly articulated the process online.
Getting Started with Content Marketing
There are dozens of ways that you can move forward with content marketing in 2017.
You could start a blog or a podcast, guest post on other sites or collaborate with other companies to produce comprehensive ebooks, create videos or infographics.
You could even dive into social media marketing or email marketing.
But starting with everything at once will keep you from focusing on anything—you won’t have time to refine your strategy, and you’ll struggle to determine which strategies and channels are effective and which aren’t. Instead, pick one or two approaches, and focus on making them great. Then, build and expand iteratively.
If you want to start with the smallest-scale approach, simply add a blog to your agency’s website. Then, make a few important decisions that will guide your content strategy:
- Establish your goals. Why are you creating content? What do you hope to achieve with content marketing? By defining your goals up front, you can develop a content marketing plan that supports those goals.
- Define your target audience. Who are you writing your content for? What are the needs, goals, and pain points of that audience? You must determine what that audience needs in order to provide answers that will drive qualified traffic to your site.
- Determine your publishing schedule. How often will you publish? Consistency is more important than quantity initially. You don’t have to publish every day, but if you decide to publish once a week, you should make sure to publish a new post each week. Consistency keeps audiences engaged, and it helps with SEO by ensuring your site is fresh and regularly indexed.
With this information, you can brainstorm topics ideas and begin creating an editorial calendar. You’ll also need to find someone to write the content: you can choose someone on your existing team who writes well and has the capacity for the extra work, hire a freelance writer on contract, or bring on a full-time content marketing manager.
Content Marketing Is No Longer Optional
The best digital marketing agencies are using content marketing to grow revenue, build authority, and drive engagement and awareness.
Get started with content marketing by adding a blog to your website and publishing once a week. Then, measure your results over time to decide if the approach is driving the results you hoped for. If it is, you can expand your efforts incrementally to publish more often and target additional channels.