I was originally led to the Content Marketing Institute (CMI) site in a discussion with an agency principal and I would recommend it as reading that will help boost your agency new business content efforts, and one post specifically, The 7 Business Goals of Content Marketing: Inbound Marketing Isn’t Enough.
The first half of the post delves into the fact that the author, early on, thought inbound marketing was pretty much the same as content marketing.
I have to admit, I often find myself lumping them together even now, but the distinction is there and worth noting. Per the post:
While inbound marketing (as opposed to outbound marketing) and getting found online by prospects are critical, what do you do with your story once they find you? If content marketing were a football field, inbound marketing would get you to the 35-yard line. Definitely critical, but hard to score from that distance.
After inbound marketing, you need lead nurturing.
While that distinction is 100% correct, the channels employed by you and/or your team in getting that agency new business content in front of your prospects are also important.
Agency New Business Content-Not A Singles-Only Dance Folks
Note the importance of the plural=channels. Per the post:
Even more importantly, content marketing is channel-agnostic. That means that content marketers should be looking at ALL available channels to engage with customers… print, in-person, and online (including mobile).
OK, ignore the mobile part for now perhaps, but the use of multiple channels is critical to your effort.
This all came about because I mentioned to the agency principal, in discussing our services, how important it was that we never focus solely on just one communications channel in our client programs.
So that means the phone (because nothing beats that actual personal conversation) but also email, direct mail, web sites, social media and carrier pigeon, if that’s what it takes to break through.
And that reminded me of the Springsteen song, 57 Channels and Nothing On. (Nowhere near my favorite Springsteen song, but it fits, so here we are):
Man came by to hook up my cable tv
We settled in for the night my baby and me
We switched ’round and ’round ’til half-past dawn
There was fifty-seven channels and nothin’ on
Does this sum up your agency new business content efforts?
All those channels and you’re not using any of them-in other words, there’s nothing on?
Or maybe you’re just using one.
You’re reading this and saying, “yeah, that’s great, not only do we not have time for agency new business content as part of our new business program, we barely have a new business program.”
Fair enough, one of my biggest pet peeves in this business is that agency leaders are constantly being told, “here’s what you should do,” and “look at all these options,” when the reality is you just don’t have the time.
Unfortunately, the reality is also that you have to make time, if you’re not doing it now.
But it really is about baby steps, you can do it.
If you want to have content marketing as part of your program, you’ve got to activate (as we like to say) your inbound effort, make a realistic schedule, assign a person to it, and make the time.
The biggest misconception is that you have to spend copious amounts of time generating the content-you don’t.
Understandably, agency leaders and members of the team put their heart and soul into the utmost quality of their client work, so they feel like, if they don’t spend enough time on their own new business content, they’re cutting corners or it’s crap.
Well, most likely it isn’t.
Focus on what you do for clients every day and write about it.
Then blog, Tweet, or create a white paper that speak to your prospects, and in the process, helps them understand you could help them as well.
Showcase your expertise in a direct, enjoyable way-you’re not writing technical manuals here.
And for goodness sake, once you do write it, don’t make your prospects “drop their remotes” in disgust because they’re checking the channels and there’s nothing on.