The landscape of print journalism has changed dramatically over the past decade as more content has moved online. While print journalism has played a vital role in America’s history, and newspapers were a huge industry in our country by as early as 1800, the rise of the internet has changed the way stories are researched, presented and consumed.
Finding the right digital marketing agency can be a lot like finding the right match on a dating site: You want someone who is going to be attentive, understanding and will listen to what you want for the future, not just talk about what they’ve done in the past. You want them to be located close enough that you can sit down and meet them face to face, and they should be eager to go the extra mile to make you happy. And, of course, you want to make sure that they’re as fabulous in person as they appear to be online.
You wouldn’t think of setting out on a cross-country road trip without a plan for reaching your destination, and the same should be true of your marketing plan. Having a map that outlines how you’re going to reach your marketing destination can be the difference between success and failure.
Content Marketing Institute reports that 62% of the most successful content marketers have a documented strategy in place and 72% of successful marketers said strategy was a major contributor. Surprisingly, while most B2B marketers have some sort of strategy, only 35% have a documented strategy.
Every marketer needs a well-documented strategy to accomplish the goals. This strategy, which should be developed with your client, outlines what kind of results you want for your clients and how you’ll achieve them.
When creating a content strategy for clients, a marketing map can help document exactly what you’ll be doing and how it will improve your client’s business.
You know you need a digital marketing agency to help you generate leads, attract customers, manage your social media pages, write and send your emails, write your blog posts and secure backlinks on high-authority websites.
But you aren’t sure whether you want to hire a local digital marketing agency or go with another company that’s not in your backyard. While there are numerous considerations to weigh when choosing which marketing agency to work with, working with a local agency has several advantages.
Here are four benefits of hiring a local digital marketing agency to handle your marketing needs.
Redefine your relationship with your audience by taking a cue from “The Godfather” — become a method marketer.
Being “on brand” all the time can actually be a bad thing. It’s the equivalent of a wallflower who stays in her comfort zone, never branching out to new social groups. Innovative marketers know how to produce content that balances creativity and commerce by embracing failure, pushing limits and continuously testing new possibilities. Marketers who suspect their content is going stale can ramp up strategy by following innovators’ leads and learning to:
Companies and associations that produce annual meetings, conferences and other events are sitting on a treasure trove of highly shareable content. They can mine events for content to promote overall brand awareness and drum up interest in next year’s event. The key is defining customers’ pain points — what problem are they hoping to solve? — and offering content that explains why your service, product or event is the solution.
Sit down and look around on any commuter train, and you’re certain to see a sea of screens — iPads and Kindles and cell phones occupying the attention of their owners. A decade ago, the scene would’ve included newspapers, books and magazines, leading many to proclaim that print is dead.
How do you make someone fall in like with you?
Think about the last time you really wanted to make a good impression. Take a first date, for instance. You want the person to like you enough to go on a second date, and maybe even more from there. The approach that you’d take in this situation is the same approach that you should be taking in your content marketing strategy.
To better explain, we’ll walk you through a first date/content strategy explained with the four P’s (because everything is better as an alliteration): Prepare, present, participate and pursue.
It’s unlikely that you would roll out of bed and head straight to a fancy restaurant to meet someone for a first date. You want to take some time fixing yourself up so that you look presentable enough to make a good impression. You might also prepare by doing some research on the person beforehand, by checking out out their Facebook page or doing a Google search. Identifying their likes and dislikes will help you engage in better conversations, which will result in a more successful date.
This is exactly what you or your digital marketing agency need to be doing in stage 1 of your content strategy. Before you start reaching out to potential customers, make sure the image you are presenting, online and off-line, is something that you are proud of and something that would make an audience take interest.
Next, research your target audience to find out what kinds of conversations they’re having. This will help determine the best ways to interact with them.
You’ve spent time preparing for the date, and now it’s time to head to the restaurant and present your best self to the person. Your stomach is in knots, because you know that first impressions mean everything, and you don’t want to screw up. You want to appear confident, friendly, personable and authentic, all without seeming like you’re trying to hard. Same goes for your content strategy — It needs to be attractive, but natural.
Gone are the days of shoving your product in people’s faces and listing all the descriptors that will entice them to buy. You need to be delivering content that will peak your audiences’ interest. If you are unsure whether or not they will be interested in something, ask yourself, is this something that my customers would want to share with their friends? If the answer is yes, then you’re likely presenting good content.
Even if you nail the prepare and present stages of the date, it can still be a dud if you’re not able to engage with the other person. There are two key elements of engagement — talking and listening. Several brands are great at the talking part, but fail when it comes to listening to the conversations that their customers are having.
The listening stage is crucial because that’s where you’ll find the best opportunities for new content and conversations. Actively listening and responding to your customers’ also makes them feel valued and appreciated. Just like on a first date, you need to make the other person feel like you’re as interested in them as you hope they are with you.
You just had a great first date, so what’s next? If you never reach out to the person again, that could be the end of the relationship. You know that relationships of any sort take effort, and so you pursue the person by continuing conversation with them through text messages, emails, phone calls, and of course, more dates. Just like a potential partner, your customers also need to be pursued, or they might start checking out your competitors.
Continuing the conversation is easier than ever in the digital age. Some great ways to do this include weekly e-newsletters, updating your blog based on what your audience is most interested in, constantly engaging in social media and even hiring a digital marketing agency to take your content to the next level. However, even though you can easily gauge audience participation by tracking clicks and likes, don’t completely abandon old-fashioned techniques like a phone call or postcard. These methods remind your customers that you’re interested in engaging with them, even when they aren’t online.
Effective content marketing is a relationship and should be nurtured as such. Developing a relationship-focused content strategy will help your customers see you as their most trusted source in the industry.
Don’t settle for the “it’s complicated” phase — you’re ultimate goal should be to end up “in a relationship.”
Your coworker is a subject matter expert (SME) with valuable insight on your company’s latest white paper topic, yet the outside writer you hired has been trying to track her down for weeks, to no avail. She insists she doesn’t have time for the 20-minute interview. How can you make content creation appealing to team members who are more focused on the technical aspect of business?