It’s the last post of the year 2013, and what a year it’s been for Content Marketing. It’s begun to feel a little like the early days of Blogging acceptance, when the market moved from ‘What’s a Blog?’ to ‘What’s your Blog Strategy?’. As then, the movement in the market creates both a need and a market opportunity for Agencies to assist companies with being successful with this new marketing competency. In a post next week, we’ll discuss in more detail why we think that 2014 will be the year of the Content Marketing Agency, but suffice to say that content marketing agencies should be setting up to position themselves for an outstanding business year. Here are some tips to help do that:
1. Hone your strategic tools and process. The amount of strategy work will be intensive. From educating clients on the methodologies and their utility, teasing out necessary information and creatively coming up with your own documentation and solutions, there will be no shortage of work to do. And that’s not even counting the content delivery that is a natural extension of the strategy. Therefore, you need to decide and define the strategic tools that you will use, from the Reference Document, to Personas and Persona-Journeys, to the Editorial Calendar and more. Build your repeatable processes and workflows so that you can comfortably handle the business and build predictable client value.
2. Build your multi-customer workflow. Related to point 1, you need to prepare how you will handle multiple clients at once. Marketing.AI provides you a seamless way to handle multiple client dashboards and calendars in one, with advanced filtering, permissions and workflows. You still need to get comfortable on how you will build that out into repeatable and predictable daily, weekly, and monthly routines. Reach out to your account manager if you need help on that, and/or refer to our learning resources.
3. Define your resources and team. Get to know what you have available to bring to bear to service clients, especially in a pinch. Do you have enough strategists, writers, and editors? How about by specific industry verticals? Which resources are dedicated and which are on-call, as needed? If you need help in building up any of your on-call resources, particularly for a specific vertical, talk to your account manager about our back-office bullpen set-up service that can help fill out any gaps you may have.
4. Begin gathering assets. Related to point 3, you want to begin to gather up assets that you can use for specific clients or for all clients. This includes links, stats, images and videos among others. The focus here is on having a go-to library that is easily accessible when you need it.
5. Drink your own champagne – by focusing on your niche. The market for content marketing services is wide. Clearly you need to be a resource for walking through the key methodologies to your end-customers, but also try and focus on your strengths and by picking an audience persona or two to focus on. For many content marketing agencies, a natural focus will be local. The opportunity for #1 on Google for ‘Content Marketing Agency in NameYourCity’ is wide open. But so is ‘Content Marketing Agency for NameYourTargetIndustry’. So focusing on how your chosen methodologies apply to and help your target audiences will be fruitful in the year to come and beyond. Good luck!
One of the problems inherent with a market movement of this magnitude is that inevitably it will also attract a bunch of charlatans who will call themselves content marketers but won’t be. For our part, we’ve committed to do two things to counteract this:
1. We’ve created the first Content Marketing Agency Certification. This four-level, 36-module certification will ensure that certified agencies are equipped with the knowledge necessary to create client success.
2. We’ve created ContentMarketingDirectory.com to provide a curated list of resources for customers of agency and other content marketing services to those seeking them.
For more information on being listed in the directory or getting access to the certification course, contact your account manager through our dashboard chat facility. Have a great 2014!