Content marketing provides a system to better understand and engage your prospects.
I can intimately attest how difficult a consistent writing program can be. But, the reason that I’m such an advocate are the many benefits content marketing provides. It makes new business more focused and much easier than the interruptive type tactics of the past, such as cold calling.
One of the primary benefits of content marketing is that it can provide an organized system to personally get to know your prospects. But you must be willing to provide the time and resources to do it the right way.
Content marketing has become a standard form of marketing and is experiencing unprecedented growth.
Almost 90 percent of companies now see the importance of content marketing and have implemented it in some way, allocating about 25 percent of their marketing budgets to their content efforts. However, most fell into the trap of creating content for the sake of creating content.
Ad agencies finally got on board with the content marketing bandwagon in 2010. But most agency’s still don’t have:
- A content marketing plan
- A defined goal for creating content, such as creating a positioning of expertise and business development
- A target audience to focus their writing
- A system for dispersing content
- Any consistency in creating content
- Appealing content, because their content tends to be self promotional
- Any measurable results because their doing it wrong
The harsh reality, when it comes to content marketing, no one cares about your agency. Content must relate to the needs of your audience. It’s not the place to push your agency’s services, proprietary processes and great creative. Prospects want solutions that will help them reach their marketing objectives.
To have success with content marketing for new business you need to remember, you must give to receive.
Even before the rise of content marketing, most small to midsize agencies never had a primary target audience. They were afraid if they are too closely identified with a particular audience, they will miss other new business opportunities. That same mentality carried over to agency blogs.
When your audience is unclear, it makes writing painful because it lacks focus. That’s why most agency blogs don’t create online traffic or new business leads.
Don’t make content marketing harder than it should be
Social media, fueled by content marketing, has become a crowded communication channel. To have new business success necessitates that you clearly define your target audience. The tighter the target, the easier it is to create and sustain awareness and appeal. You will also find that it will focus and simplify the writing process.
As you research your primary audience, you should be able to identify their age, gender, geographic location, socioeconomic status and other demographic and psychographic traits. As a resource, check out my article on Profiling Prospects.
Your knowledge of your audience will also be greatly enhanced, through a consistent reading and writing program for new business. When you write, you’ll know so much more about your audience, such as:
- What are their greatest marketing challenges
- The kind of content they find engaging and what they ignore
- What article topics and titles grasp their attention
- What information they search for the most and the search terms they use
- What is their social media prime time, when they are most active online
- Who their competitors are and how to help them differentiate
- What conferences, seminars and trade shows they attend
- What trade publications they read
- What associations they belong to
Content marketing is definitely hard work, but so is most anything that is worthwhile. The knowledge content marketing provides you about your prospects makes it worth the time and effort. Plus, there are many additional benefits for new business that shouldn’t be overlooked, such as gaining a positioning of expertise and creating a strong point of differentiation from among your competitors.
Have you benefited from content marketing? Please share your experience in the comment section below.
Additional articles of interest:
- Ad Agencies: Audience Development Comes Before Business Development
- A New Approach is NOW Needed for Ad Agency New Business
- Thought Leadership, Millennial Marketing and Ad Agency New Business
- Profiling Prospects is Critical for New Business