When talking content marketing, a new agency client can instantly win me over with just two little words:
Obviously, there are practical reasons. As I plan out content production schedules for these agencies’ value-added email campaigns, it helps to know now what content will be ready for me in three months.
So yes, I’ve been known to do a silent double-thumbs-up on that first conference call with the agency when they utter the magic phrase, because it makes my next on-boarding steps that much easier.
But it’s not just satisfying my desire to streamline things.
It tells me something about the agency – my new client.
It tells me they take content marketing seriously as a tactic for driving new business.
That being my niche, I can’t say I’m unbiased, but from my perspective, content marketing is an often overlooked opportunity, even among professional marketers.
Any agency can throw a blog on its site, and most do.
That’s the problem. If you think you can get by with a sparsely, sporadically updated blog just so you can say you have one, think again.
I view a lot of agency websites in my position, and the ones that leave the strongest impressions are the ones regularly publishing original, thought-provoking, entertaining, or informative content.
Videos that are more than just a staffer talking in front of a blank wall, but that are well lit, well written, well performed and well edited.
Photo or case study galleries that tell the story of your agency.
Editorials and points-of-view that don’t rehash what I’ve read elsewhere, but add a new perspective.
Willingness to experiment with different media – podcasts, Vines, vlogs, music videos, behind the scenes, white papers, Prezis. (As long as it’s viewable without creating an account or downloading something first.)
It’s the kind of content one doesn’t just whip up in an hour on a Friday afternoon.
Of course, you don’t have to take it all on at once, but as a first step, at least plan out your blog content for the next quarter.
- Figure out how many blog posts you can realistically produce each month, and whether you want to get other team members contributing.
- Look at the topics other agencies are blogging about. Identify the ones for which you can write a unique point-of-view, or ask a question, or even tell a story.
- Get time on your schedule to write your content — don’t let it slide off the priority list. Commit to that target publish date.
- One popular kind of post that doesn’t require as much work is a “Link Roundup,” typically done once a week — often Fridays — and containing a list of 5-7 links to news stories, blogs/editorials, websites, videos or other content from the web that you thought your readers would be interested in.
- Then set up your blog to feed into your social media streams to start building a readership.
If you can’t do at least this much, the question is, why have a blog at all?
My last piece of advice on creating editorial calendars is this: a blog is not just a dumping ground for your press releases. Well, it can be, I guess, but any agency can do that.
An agency blog that revolves around the agency’s accolades and appearances breaks the fundamental rule of writing: Show, Don’t Tell.
In other words, show your readers that you are a best-in-class agency, don’t just tell them.
At the end of the day, the ROI of content marketing is directly proportional to the effort you put into it.
Related to What Good is Content Marketing Without a Plan-5 Steps For Agency New Business:
Gotta’ Show, Gotta’ Tell
Guest Post by Marisa Becker, Manager of Digital Marketing/Communications