Content will continue to be one of the top marketing tactics, and it should be for agencies as well. How can agencies create lots of good content to market themselves effectively? It seems to be a universal challenge, but it doesn't have to be. It should be a straightforward exercise if the agency has a clear value proposition and differentiating capabilities or expertise. When they don't, figuring out what content will best support the agency can be an agonizing struggle.
If you have a clear value proposition, start there. If you don't, whatever you do that your clients and future clients value are an excellent place to start. You can also read this post, Ad Agency differentiation is the hardest thing of all. Whatever it is, describe it with five primary benefits (you may have more or less) — for example, let's say you define your key difference as a full-service independent agency. What would you say to a marketer if they asked you to tell them about your agency?
Five primary benefits might be:
- All services seamlessly integrated for maximum impact
- Single accountability for every part of a campaign
- Experts at every tactic mean the best overall result
- Independent thinkers, unexpected solutions
- Client focused, not holding company controlled
Each of these represents a topic category for content that supports your five benefits. Identify or define content elements that speak about each benefit or give support for why you do this better than others. Start by looking for existing content. What things do you have around the agency that you could hand to that marketer that illustrate these benefits? Case studies are a great way to provide proof. With a little editing, you can create versions of the same case study to reinforce specific benefits. Recent blog posts, social posts, sections from RFPs, proposals, and pitch decks are additional sources. Again, a little editing can focus the take-away on one or more of the benefits.
Keep in mind that the primary objective for every piece of content, regardless of what it is, should be supporting new business efforts. Every piece of content must:
- creating awareness for the agency and what you do
- shaping perception around your brand strategy
- driving people to the agency website
- staying top-of-mind among potential prospects
- demonstrating why you are different
You can read more about the purpose and role of agency content in my recent post: Does LinkedIn work for new business.
To organize your content, create a simple matrix, or use Post-it notes. Use the five benefits as column headings. Add several rows beneath them (as many as you can) and label them as the content channel you plan to use. If you need some help deciding what channels are critical read this post, Your 2020 new business road map.
Row 1 – website blog
Row 2 – LinkedIn article (on agency leadership's profile)
Row 3 – LinkedIn post (on agency company page)
Row 4 – Facebook
Row 5 – Instagram
Row 6 – Twitter
Row 7 – Whitepaper, POV, article
Row 8 – Industry or trade guest post
Row 9 – Email
Row 10 – Direct mail
In the cells below the appropriate benefit plug whatever current content you have. A case study might be a LinkedIn article that demonstrates the use of a broad range of your capabilities seamlessly integrated and how it achieved maximum impact. A blog post might explain why Independent thinkers and unexpected solutions break through a crowded market. A tweet might take a shot at holding company agency decision making. In every case, the call to action is a link to the website for more content that demonstrates the agency's expertise.
Once you have placed all your existing content, the holes will become evident. You'll know what you need to create and what form it should take. Plan and schedule the work, and then put it into your agency content calendar to manage the execution. Be sensible about what your agency can realistically accomplish. It is much better to start small and scale as you can. Be flexible. The ebb and flow of agency life is always a factor. Above all, be persistent. Don't let perfect be the enemy of good.
While making content decisions keep in mind that video and interactive content outperforms static. Use the same creativity you recommend to your clients. Headlines and subject lines are just as critical for agency content. And great storytelling is both a powerful tool and a demonstration of the agency's creativity and expertise. Get everyone in the agency involved in brainstorming new content ideas and fresh ways to express the tried and true tactics. Treat your content project as if it were for your best client, and the results will be amazing.
Your matrix might look like this or completely different. You'll find lots of existing content around the agency to support each of your primary benefits, some of which will be ready to use while others might need a little updating. You don't have to fill every open slot. Make it manageable by prioritizing what needs to be created and build as you go. You'll have a clear roadmap for good agency new business content and lots of it. Let your creativity shine.
I’ve got a lot of advice on how to make your business development efforts more effective and would enjoy sharing what I know. If you like this post, click the thumbs up, so I’ll know and then sign up for my new business newsletter. Find me on Twitter and LinkedIn for daily tips, tricks, and insights. And, please share your new business advice, successes, and failures. #LetsGrow!