There is a higher degree of trust from prospects when they are reading content from credible, third-party experts.
The ability to easily access information from a variety of online sources has fundamentally changed the way prospects research advertising, digital, media and PR agencies and, ultimately, is how they choose their marketing partner(s).
Instead of chasing business, it’s now more important to be found. This makes content an integral part of your new business. program.
There are some important insights to be learned about the effectiveness of content marketing from a recent study commissioned by The Nielsen Company, The Role of Content In Consumer Decision Making.
The primary objective of the research was to learn how consumers were using different sources of information at the various stages of the purchase process.
- Expert content includes reviews and articles selected from third-party websites and blogs dedicated to the relevant product category.
- User reviews includes the reviews portion of major online retailers or forums.
- Branded content was content taken directly from the official websites for each product.
Over the past five years, consumers have greatly increased their use of branded content, user reviews and third-party expert content, when researching new products and services.
The results of the study shows that expert content is the most effective source of information in impacting the purchase decision. According to the study report:
“While each content type had some success at increasing product familiarity, affinity, and purchase intent, content written by credible experts performed best overall. Expert content was the only content type to exhibit a strong lift in all 3 areas of the purchase cycle.”
Expert Content provided:
- The most familiarity lift; 88% more than branded content and 50% more than user reviews.
- The most affinity lift; 50% more than branded content and 20% more than user reviews.
- The most purchase intent; 38% more than branded content and 83% more than user reviews.
The report identifies two key differentiators as to why expert content was the only content type that exhibited a strong result across all three areas of the purchase funnel:
- The perceived partiality of the source.
- How informative the respondents perceived the content to be.
Fifty percent of the responders indicated they wouldn’t trust branded website content for an unbiased assessment of a product and sixty-one percent of the responders were less likely to trust reviews paid for by the company selling the product.
Expert content was perceived as unbiased and consistently provided a much stronger performance in all areas of the purchase process.
The report concludes that there is a higher degree of trust from consumers when they are reading content from credible, third-party experts.
Prospects are also looking for expertise. If you want to be positioned as an expert, you must write.
Here are some tips and resources for creating expert content that will lead to new business opportunities for your agency:
- Create a niche blog. A niche blog allows you to focus on a very specific target audience, to create a stronger point of differentiation and a gain a positioning of expertise. This platform is central to your content marketing strategy.
- Don’t try to be everything to everyone. By going narrow-niche, your blog gains a single purpose and brings a focal point from a central theme. It will help provide focus in developing your content for a primary target audience. You will find that it makes blogging much easier.
- A themed blog will be highly optimized for search. This will help you to accelerate your rankings in Google search and to be consistently found.
- Allow the blog to live offsite, apart from your agency’s website. You’ll gain much more credibility for delivering helpful, unbiased content for your readers.
- Don’t lead with the brick and mortar agency. The blog should be personal, not corporate. I recommend that this niche blog be built around the agency owner and connect with his/her personal social media accounts.
- Provide helpful “reader-centric” content. You must be willing to give to receive. Self promotional content will lessen your appeal and negatively impact new business. Readers don’t care about the new creative director you’ve hired or the awards you’ve won.
- Content creation will require a system for your agency to have success. Create and carry out a plan of action. Have a person designated to manage the process. Set realistic goals and objectives, create a plan and work it.
To help get you started, email me, for a copy of my 7 Steps for Fueling New Business Through Social Media. It was developed from my work with over 170 agencies helping to create their content marketing strategy. It’s filled with tips, tactics and examples.
Here are some additional articles that are good resources for creating appealing content for new business:
- Why You Need Content for Ad Agency New Business
- 20 Tips to Create a Niche Blog for Ad Agency New Business
- Can You Damage Your Ad Agency’s Brand By Ignoring Yours?
- Thought Leadership, Millennial Marketing and Ad Agency New Business
- How to Write A Blog Post for Ad Agency New Business
- Ten Toughest Content Marketing Challenges for Ad Agency New Business
- 10 Ways to Create An Ad Agency Blog That is Reader-Centric
- A 70 Point Checklist for Jump-Starting or Tuning-Up Your Blog for New Business
- How to launch a blog for ad agency for new business — fast!
- Nobody reads ad agency blogs?