Increasing revenue should always be a priority for agencies, which means exploring and deploying various sales and marketing techniques. One which has gained increasing popularity during the last few years is content marketing.
Blogging for businesses, basically.
Naturally, that’s a simplified explanation of content marketing, but it does start with writing and publishing blogs. One after another, like learning to walk. An increasing number of digital and creative agencies are also selling these services to clients, with 90-92% of B2B and B2C marketers investing in content, according to Content Marketing Institute (CMI) and MarketingProfs research.
Content acts like gas in the tank. It's the fuel for your search, email and social media marketing needs to keep running.
It also acts as another touch point between your agency and clients. And between your clients and their customers.
Show Me The Money
The main challenge businesses, agencies and marketing professionals are having with content is how to pinpoint the bottom line growth as a result. Marketing is all about results. Revenue.
You don’t have to look far for examples of companies and individuals who are generating millions from content. Buffer, a social media product, like Hootsuite, is now at $5.5 million revenues; content has been at the heart of their marketing since 2010. Neil Patel, the founder of KISSmetrics, Crazy Egg and Quick Sprout, writes around eight blogs a week. His firms generate millions, which he attributes to a killer content strategy, combined with email marketing.
If you frequent a local coffee shop for example, they know you personally. They might even have your coffee order just the way you like it ready as you step up to the counter. Why is that not happening on the web? Why can’t we help businesses re-create that warm and fuzzy feeling online.NEIL PATEL
New media companies, such as BuzzFeed, Vice and Business Insider regularly publish articles that most media wouldn’t - How-to pieces, listicles, infographics - and they are thriving as a result.
People who have built strong personal brands, even multimillion dollar business empires, such as Tim Ferriss, Michael Arrington and Arianna Huffington all started with blogging.
Content works. Content is the secret sauce for increasing web traffic, improving search results, getting more social click throughs, more email conversions and inbound leads.
Making It Work For My Agency?
Be mindful of the fact that generating results takes time, whether you are implementing a content campaign for your agency or a client.
Readers won’t materialise overnight.
Readers expect quality and consistency. Once you throw time and money into content, you are competing for a little slice of your audience’s time. You are a publisher, a highly specialised media company, a voice in a noisy marketplace. Why should someone read your content? Why does anyone consume content?
People want to learn something or laugh or be distracted. Be consistent with your aims and value proposition. Whatever you set out to do with content, keep delivering, one blog at a time.
For agencies, think about who buys your services: what can you teach them which would make their jobs easier? What knowledge can you give away, for free, which will make you stand out? Publish consistently around your area of expertise and you will establish a firm basis for your blog as an inbound source of leads.
However, you mustn’t blog in a vacuum and just assume readers will find it. One tactic Buffer and KISSmetrics used to devastating effect was guest blogging. Popular blogs and media outlets are your distribution method.
Once you’ve established your blog as a source of knowledge on subject x, go and borrow an audience for a while. If you can keep up both sides of content marketing (a blog and external posts) then traffic, with a percentage converting into leads, will increase over time.
• Have clear aims;
• Establish a set of expert topics you can create a content schedule around;
• Write, edit, keep writing (whether you do this in-house or hire a content agency or freelancer, make sure is skilled writer is doing the heavy lifting);
• Consistently publish high-quality blogs (and external posts);
• Measure and track. Don’t expect quick results, but do keep an eye on traffic and inbound conversions.
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