Social Media “Teaches” Ad Agencies to Promote Themselves the Right Way

What is Social Media?

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I recommend using social media as a central component for your agency’s new business program. The primary reason is that it “teaches” small-to midsize agencies to do the things they should have been doing all along to acquire new business.

 For social media to be effective you must:

  • Identify your niche and your best target audience.
  • Listen. Better understand your prospective clients marketing challenges, obstacles and frustrations.
  • Be transparent. The success of your audience must be more important than your own. But it goes without saying if you can help your audience with their success you will be successful.
  • Build relationships. People always want to work with people that they know, like and trust. Social media provides these opportunities. It is “networking on steroids.”
  • Always lead with benefits rather than agency’s capabilities. It’s all about your audience. The moment you try to “sell” your agency’s services will be the moment you lose your audience.
  • Become positioned as marketing leader rather than a marketing partner. Clients want leadership not partnership.
  • Better communicate and articulate what you know. Agencies are often poor communicators. Don’t believe me? Ask any of them what they do. They can’t succinctly define what they do apart from a prolonged discussion.

These are the things agencies should be doing but most don’t.

Social media becomes the tool to put these things into practice.  It helps agencies create a more clearly defined focus and differentiating business strategy that will give them a competitive advantage for new business, a higher-profile reputation, and an improved ability to attract and win the clients they really want.


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About Michael Gass

Consultant | Trainer | Author | Speaker

Since 2007, he has been pioneering the use of social media, inbound and content marketing strategies specifically for agency new business.

He is the founder of Fuel Lines Business Development, LLC, a firm which provides business development training and consulting services to advertising, digital, media and PR agencies.

Comments

  1. Thanks for the tips. Marketing in the 21st century is very different from the past models taught in the universities!

  2. Right on the point, more and more clients are looking for agencies that have successfully leveraged the social web internally. It’s essential for agencies to demonstrate how they “walk the walk” themselves.

    Fortunately, there are tons of social applications available for merely every discipline from PR to Human Resources to client service.

    I completely agree with you on the point of “Always lead with benefits rather than agency’s capabilities. It’s all about your audience. The moment you try to “sell” your agency’s services will be the moment you lose your audience.” as many agencies deliberately fall into the rabbit hole.

    It would be great to see some best in class examples of how agencies rely on social media for their self-promotion or internal resource management. Maybe AgencySpy can chime in on this.

  3. One agency doing this brilliantly is HubSpot in Boston with their inbound marketing practices.

  4. Mike Volpe - HubSpot says:

    I could not agree more. I always laugh when I get a cold call from an SEO or web design agency. If they are good, they don’t need to cold call!

    Also, just one clarification, HubSpot is a software company, not an agency. But I am happy Morriss likes our marketing!

  5. Mike,

    Thanks for the clarification. I was wondering if I had missed something. I’m a Hubspot fan. You guys have done an excellent job building awareness for your company by using the tools you recommend to your clients.

  6. Mike,

    Thanks for the clarity in you advice. One piece that continues to trouble me that you didn’t mention is measurement. Demonstration is good, but still anecdotal. In a time of extreme resource scarcity (NOW!) proof of concept becomes even more critical.

    Love to see future posts address that subject.

  7. Mike,

    Thanks for the clarity in your advice. One piece that continues to trouble me that you didn’t mention is measurement. Demonstration is good, but still anecdotal. In a time of extreme resource scarcity (NOW!) proof of concept becomes even more critical.

    Love to see future posts address that subject.

  8. Greg,

    Though social media isn’t costly it is time intensive. Any agency that commits the valuable resource of time should expect a good return on that investment.

    George Morris, Client Services Manager at Imulus, a web design and marketing solutions company, in the Denver/Boulder region, was kind enough to ask me to write a guest blog post on ROI and Social Media. You can view my article at the link below:

    http://blog.imulus.com/guest/opinion/roi-from-social-media/

    There are a several agencies that have been early adopters of social media as part of their new business program. One of those is Off Madison Ave, a full service agency in Phoenix, AZ. They have been at this longer than anyone that I know. They generate at least 5 inbound new business leads per day.

    Measuring ROI for social media, in my opinion, is much easier than trying to measure traditional media. I hope this helps and I’ll be sure to address ways to measure in future post.

  9. Thanks, Mike. I read your guest blog, which made great sense for an entrepreneur like you. We’re a small agency that could easily look at the metrics describing our SM inputs and outputs just as you have. But what happens when the client is $100M and their sales & marketing efforts are already complex and difficult to monitor and measure. How are thought leaders creating SM scorecards to validate spends and fight for more resources? It feels like that’s the frontier right now, and what we learn could be a precursor to a SM meltdown like the dotcom bust of 2000.

  10. well done on this article Michael – this is definitely what marketing agencies need to keep in mind moving forward.

  11. Thanks for sharing Rich. Right on target!

  12. No problem. Love your blog.

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