To keep your ad agency’s new business pipeline full, create an agency blog.
I’ve shared often that the “gateway” to your agency is shifting away from the agency website (static, online brochure) to an agency blog. As important as it was to have an agency website it is now as important to have an agency blog.
Benefits for creating an agency blog:
- Is better designed for SEO
- Provides more “benefit” to your prospective client audience
- Gives your audience a reason to come back frequently
- Is a platform for dialogue and rich feedback from your audience
- Generates new business leads for your agency
Here are 14 tips and recommendations for how to get started include:
- Use the WordPress.com blog platform. It is easy to use. You don’t have to involve your IT Department or initially anyone from Creative. Keep the process simple. To begin just concentrate on doing two things: reading and writing. Content trumps everything.
- Own your URL. WordPress is a free service but they do charge $10 to allow you to use your own URL. It is a necessity to own your URL. It will allow you to change blog platforms in the future without losing your traffic.
- Identify your audience. One of the most critical questions to answer, “who am I writing to?” Your blog will have no focus and you wont be able to generate traffic without choosing an audience. Think “narrow and deep” rather than “wide and shallow.” The blog She-conomy states clearly that it is “A Guys Guide to Marketing to Women.” The audience is male advertisers who should be marketing to women.
- Create the subtitle for your blog before your blog title. The subtitle should be your “descriptor” that states clearly what your blog is about. Mine is “Fueling Ad Agency New Business Through Social Media.” The descriptor statement is more important than your blog’s title so create one that is crystal clear.
- Choose a blog title that is differentiating. One agency received little attention and traffic with their Brand Tracks blog. A closer introspection the agency president said, “we’re all about boots, bowling balls and boats. When you look at the brands that are the best fit for us its almost all blue collar. Thus he came up with a blog title and emphasis for “Blue Collar Branding” which is receiving much more attention and traffic because it is differentiating. Will Tiffany’s ever call on this agency? No, but they weren’t going to call in the first place.
- Identify the categories that you will be writing to. This provides an outline for your blog and will help you to stay focused. I would suggest keeping them around 10 to 12 instead of a large number.
- Prominently provide a way for your readers to subscribe to your blog. Place it toward the top, above the fold in your sidebar.
- Use your photo as a logo. Keep it consistent, not only for your blog but across all other social media platforms (i.e. Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, etc.).
- Get in the habit of publishing a post 5 days a week, Monday through Friday. These can even be written and a publish date and time preselected.
- Repurpose your blog’s content through an email newsletter that highlights the posts that are trending higher in traffic. This simplifies the creation of a newsletter which helps you to be consistent. Also repurpose posts through Twitter and tools such as Tweetlater. These things will also greatly increase your blog’s traffic and traffic generates new business opportunities for your agency.
- Write your posts the way people read online. They usually don’t start reading a posts word-for-word, they tend to scan. Make your posts scan-able.
- Lead with the “nugget” the “benefit.” The inverted pyramid style of writing that copywriters use. Peoples attention span and patience for online reading is much shorter than print.
- Agency principals should have a prominent role writing for the agency’s blog. They are the consistent face of the agency and particularly for the small-to mid-sized ad agencies prospective clients want to know you. People always want to work with people they know, like and trust. An agency blog provides a great way to introduce yourself to them.
- Create a list of keywords your audience is most likely to use to find your blog. Check these keywords with Google’s Key Word Tool. Select the words or phrase that you should try and dominate in search.