As perhaps the UK’s leading new business agency, we always try to stay at the forefront of thinking and practice.
Being ahead of the market means we can get our clients to places other new business agencies can’t, they win and we win. Simples.
We recently conducted some research into how clients select which agencies they want to take a closer look at, ahead of any pitch (we are not really interested in browsers over here at incite).
We spoke with 333 marketers across the UK from the big and beautiful brands and also some less glamorous ones.
One big insight we found was 28% of agency selection decisions were based on research from press and online sources, with online wielding the majority of influence.
This is a huge argument for marketing your agency using content marketing.
We meet with lots of agencies in the course of our business and we work with a lot too – the number with a solid content marketing strategy in place is pitiful, with agencies usually falling into two camps:
1) They do it wrong – it isn’t joined up, wide enough and doesn’t deliver leads
2) They don’t do it at all – not enough time or belief
Agencies only need to look at the content marketing industry for clues how to do it right.
Here are some common mistakes in agency content marketing
1) We’ve loads of twitter followers – but often these are all students, competitors or suppliers
2) We write a blog – but it is updated every two months and not search optimised. Content marketing is about consistently and regularly producing relevant content not occasional bursts
3) No variation in content – marketers want infographics, detailed white papers, quick overview blog entries, short tips, slide videos, case studies at different stages in the sales process
4) Content is not optimised for different stages of the sales cycle – you need early, mid and late funnel content – wrong type of content at the wrong time
5) Content is never seen as it isn’t marketed – you need online PR, paid and organic search, social and discovery strategies for your best pieces and, I’m afraid to say, a small budget for each
6) No activation strategy – activating content marketing is the difference between good ROI and no return at all – how do you monitor who looks at your content and how do you follow up with them and nurture them – speed is of the essence in this. Leads go cold in minutes and hours, not days and weeks.
Agencies really do suffer from cobbler’s shoes syndrome. The best people available to write content are tied up with big pitches and big clients, which makes all the above quite understandable really.
Perhaps it’s time to treat content marketing as a specialist discipline (in the same way traditional trade PR is) and outsource it to professionals like us who can get the right strategy in place, link it and activate it.