As important as it was for your ad agency to have a website, it is now equally important that your agency have a blog. A blog is becoming the gateway for agency new business.
Ad agencies need to rethink their approach to new business and intensify their focus for creating magnetic content that will attract prospective clients, rather than relying primarily on the interruption model of cold calls an unsolicited direct mail, which consumers are responding to less and less.
In a recent Ad Agency New Business Survey that I recently conducted, 64% of the 430 responding ad agencies said they have a blog. For the remaining 36% of the agencies that don’t but should, I’ve compiled the following check-list to help get your agency’s blog quickly up and running for new business:
- RSS Subscription button so your readers can opt to read content through a tool such as Google Reader. Readers may also choose to get these feeds for new content from your blog through their in-box. You can easily set this up through Feedburner.
- Email Subscription: provide a linked-button for readers to opt-in to receive your email newsletter.
- Also provided linked-buttons in your blog’s sidebar for people to be able to connect with you through your Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn accounts.
- Use a Facebook app to post new content directly to your Facebook account. There’s also a similar app for LinkedIn. Anytime you posts, those posts will automatically be published to your social media accounts.
- Provide readers a way to ‘Like’ and ‘Tweet’ your posts. Also provide the button-links for your readers to easily share content through sites like Stumbleupon, Digg, Reddit or that would allow them to share it through an email or print out a copy.
- Host your blog on your own domain. You never know when you might want to change from a WordPress or Typepad blog to something else.
- SEO Measure: the number of your inbound links and the power of those links. You can use Page Rank Checker, a free tool, to check the current page rank of your blog. Rankings will range between 1 and 10 (with 10 being the highest)
- Unique post titles, less than 75 characters. I recommend consistently including key words to dominate in Google (i.e. for me it’s “ad agency new business”, which I include in almost every post title.
- Post 2 to 5 times per week, 1 ‘original’ post for every 4 to 5 ‘resource’ posts.
- Average post length should be 350 to 450 words. Less than that your post probably doesn’t have enough valued content to make it worths someones effort to click-through. If it’s more than 450 words, the amount of content is daunting and they often wont even begin to read your content.
- People generally don’t read word-for-word online, they tend to scan. Make your posts scannable. Use bold, italics, indention, quotation marks, bullet-pointed and numbered lists.
- Add links to your posts when appropriate. Be sure to provide attribution for resources used in your post and links to your primary resources.
- Add 1 image per post, it will make your copy visually more interesting and emphasize your primary point.
- Check your blog’s analytics frequently (once or twice a day) to see top posts, number of page views, referring sites, search engine terms, clicks, incoming links, etc. Keep your blog traffic trending upwards from month-to-month.
- Your blog should be easy to navigate by your readers. Provide at least 10 to 12 blog post categories and search feature for your blogs content. Highlight your top posts in a sidebar widget.
- Make it personal. Include your photo in the blog’s sidebar and a welcome which states the purpose of the blog and ways for your audience to connect. Keep in mind that people want to work with other people that they know, trust and like. Your blog provides them that opportunity.
- I would recommend that you add and About page, Contact page and Services page for when a reader wants to check you out further, in their on time. Provide specific information about your first-steps with a new client so that they know exactly how to engage you. For example, my first-point of engagement with a client is a social media | new business workshop.
- Be sure that you have a nice a clean blog template that allows for easy navigation and also highlights your content. Content is more important than design and is key to your blog’s traffic.
Here are some additional agency blogging resources that may be a help to get you started:
- How to launch a blog for ad agency for new business — fast!
- 10 Ways to Create An Ad Agency Blog That is Reader-Centric
- Top 5 Benefits for Having an Agency Blog
- Top Ten Reasons Your Ad Agency Should Blog
- 10 Reasons Advertising Agencies Shouldn’t Blog
- 50 Blog Post Ideas to Fuel Your Ad Agency’s Blog
- How to Write Your Ad Agency’s Blog
- 40 Ways to Take Your Ad Agency’s Blog to the Next Level