Content Marketing: Ad agencies should resist the urge to be self-promotional

content marketing for ad agency new business

Content marketing is the fuel for an inbound marketing strategy for new business, if done the right way.

It is now one of the most effective tactics to attract prospective clients, build their trust and gain a positioning of expertise.

According to a research report by DemandGen, from a B2B buyer survey, 82% of surveyed senior executives said that content was a significant driver in their buying decisions. 

With the rise of content marketing, agencies have jumped on-board creating articles, infographics, photos and videos. But, few are finding new business success.  One of the primary reasons, based on my experience reviewing and editing hundreds of agency articles, their content tends to be self-promotional.

self-pro·mo·tion : the action of promoting or publicizing oneself or one’s activities, especially in a forceful way.

A recent Content Marketing Survey, conducted by Kentico Software, the Web Content and Customer Experience Management provider, confirms that self-promotional content is a turnoff. 

“74% of the general public trusts content from businesses that aim to educate readers about a particular topic. It is however a fragile trust that businesses must take care in protecting: even signing off an otherwise objective blog post or newsletter with a product pitch will bring the content’s credibility level down by 29%.”

The rise of content marketing has created a glutton of branded content. Agency’s are as guilty to adding to the mass of generic words, sentences and paragraphs, compiling mounds of articles that are reflection of quantity over quality. Plus, the content is obviously created for the benefit of the agency instead of benefit to their audience.

Our audiences maybe more accessible than ever before, but it’s also much easier for them to completely ignore us.

If you are looking to break through the clutter content marketing, you have to create content that is of value to them.

Talking excessively about your agency’s credentials and capabilities is of no interest to prospects. It’s tough to hear, but they aren’t initially interested in your agency. They don’t care about your great creative, your strategic prowess, your proprietary processes or that you might be fun to work with. Trying to use self-serving copy in an attempt to “jump-start” their interest will have an opposite effect. It’s a huge turnoff.

You can quickly tell if you’re guilty of creating copy that is too self-promtional. It usually will contain a lot of personal pronouns such as “I,” “ours,” “us” and “we.” It’s telling that your content isn’t focused on them.

Effective content marketing is not about manipulation, it’s giving your audience what they want and content that they can use. This is the primary way you’ll build their trust.

Content that is of value to your  target audience, that lacks self-promotion, will provide greater opportunities for new business.

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.

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