Scaling your Digital Marketing Agency With ContentAug 12, 2021
Content. Seems pretty straightforward. But it’s a bit more in-depth than that.
This foundation of digital marketing revolves around doing research, developing ideas, and producing and promoting content that will appeal to your target audience. The goal of content creation is to attract new customers and maintain returning customers.
Inbound marketing leans heavily on giving away high-value digital content for free. Understanding the various types of content pertaining to different stages of the marketing funnel will create lasting results.
Your content establishes your brand’s visions and perspectives while providing readers with the information needed to make a purchasing decision and develop a lasting relationship with your services. It's the first step in establishing yourself as a thought-leader and authoritative expert in the space.
But what kind of content? And what makes content creation so vital?
Let’s dig in. This time-consuming process is a must when engaging with audiences and driving traffic toward your brand and web presence while driving sales.
What is content creation?
In addition to formalizing and producing relevant content to share with your audience, content creators often create and recreate their content to perfect it. Never forget that this is a process. Editing and re-editing are crucial to creating solid, reputable content.
Note that content can take many forms. Thank goodness for social media! Content can be shared via tweets, Instagram posts, reels, GIFs, stories, videos, and online ads. eBooks are becoming more and more popular, and you cannot underestimate the power of a good podcast! And, of course, blogging, SEO articles, and emails continue to be relevant and credible outlets for content creation. A well-written, informative blog post can give your audiences a taste of your skills and develop rapport with potential clients.
Never doubt the ability content creation has to boost your revenue. Studies continue to show that creators who produce well throughout and planned content consistently see an increase in sales and audience engagement!
Understanding the process of content creation, from start to finish, and streamlining your creative journey, will make it easier to stick with a routine and easily build your following. Your audiences and customers are coming to you for answers and solutions, so you demonstrate your value when you provide those for them. This is a process you want to solidify, and we’re here to help you do so.
Obviously, you can find sources of inspiration for content creation in a variety of places. Your target audience, relevant data, current customers, and anything that inspires you can all provide the nudge you need when creating content. Your sources of inspiration will most likely inspire those who are interested in your content.
Depending on your content's goal, you can tailor your message to fit your needs. The correct angle can be a complete game-changer for your content.
Searching keywords is a great way to research content ideas and topics. You can easily explore what your audience is saying about a topic. Keyword research can also help you find new opportunities for content that you may not have discovered yet. Use the same keyword tools and tactics you use for your client's businesses and apply them to your own!
One valuable resource for creating ideas for content creation that is the most obvious but is easily overlooked? Your customers. Their feedback is crucial and incredibly helpful. What do they need? What are they confused about? How can you help them better understand your products or services?
When you ask your customers for feedback, creating content around the questions your customers have, you create a discussion that reinforces rapport, but you are also generating opportunities for needed content. Think about the top questions they ask you in sales calls or during reporting meetings. Are they wondering how long it takes to rank? There's a content topic!
The brainstorming process should be an opportunity for you and your content creation team to get in your audience’s shoes. Your first responsibility as a marketer is to understand your customer. That’s the whole point. So think, what would your customers find engaging or interesting? What would they find helpful?
Understanding your customers' day-to-day concerns, frustrations, and perspectives will basically create the content for you!
Another great resource for generating content ideas is looking at what your competitors are right about. There is absolutely nothing wrong with using some of the ideas your competition is delving into to help get your creative juices flowing.
You should always be aware of your competitors' content and how your competitors are connecting with their audiences. Their approaches to different topics can be useful when it comes to bringing your own voice and approach to content that pertains to what your agency provides. Plus, your content can identify gaps in your competitors’ content strategies and help your content stand out in the sales process.
After generating ideas from the many resources available to you, the planning and outlining begin.
Planning it out
What persona am I targeting with this specific content?
At what stage of the buyer’s journey do I hope you connect?
How much time and money can I invest into creating this piece of content?
Is the content I’m creating timely and relevant?
Which audiences will this content help?
All important and necessary questions to ask as you begin the planning process for your content. So important that they should be among the first to come to mind as you get started.
Another question to ask yourself is, what form do you want your content to take? Some content will thrive as a visual representation. A graphic you’ve created to show the steps of a process or a video describing the ins and outs of SEO can be useful to your audience. Other pieces that can be developed into a blog or article make sense to be presented as a text. It really just depends on what fits best.
As mentioned before, looking at what others are producing can be helpful to gauge the approach you may want to take. Look at your competitors. Look at other content you can find. Searching Google for keywords or topics to see what content pops up on the first page will give you a great sense of what approach works best.
Do you see a lot of videos when you search for specific topics? Do images tend to appear? How often do you see texts, like blogs in the SERP? What already exists can aid in your decisions about what type of content to make!
A few other aspects to keep in mind during the planning phase are understanding the goals of your content and where your content will fit in the buyer’s journey.
What do you hope your content will accomplish? Who are you writing it for?
Keeping these things in mind ensures that you are not only reaching your target audience but also using the content to accomplish what you’d hoped is very important. Content for the top of the funnel should seek to answer questions and demonstrate, whereas content for the bottom of the funnel should be more detailed and help facilitate a purchase decision.
As you continue planning content, you also have to determine how in-depth your content topics need to be. Specific, limited content may only need a single blog or video dedicated to it. However, a large topic may need multiple pieces, presented in various ways, to clearly solidify the points you are making. Topics that are quintessential to your business’ area of expertise should be completely explained and developed for your audience. These are the things your customers or potential customers came to you for.
Once you’ve completed the planning process, it’s time to start creating your content.
All that planning will finally result in amazing content.
Keep in mind that your content is an extension of you and your agency. As you create, never hesitate to backtrack a bit, adjust and pivot. You certainly do want to make the wrong impression, lose clients or steer potential clients away from you because of something small like using the wrong tone or presenting invalid information. Take your time and be willing to change gears.
Also, consider SEO, Search Engine Optimization, in your creating process. Not to worry. We will look deeper at SEO, how to do it, and how it helps your agency scale in another post.
Once you publish your content, remember that it is also your job to promote what you’re sharing. Social media is such a blessing when it comes to getting the word out about your content.
Share as much as you can. Post left and right. Email blasts about your content can get more eyes on your work and attract new prospects.
Amplify. Amplify. Amplify.
Now’s the time to evaluate the reach and reception of your content. This is very much trial-and-error to determine if your content is really doing what you’d hoped it would.
There are several ways to check your content analytics, but it can take some time to get a true reflection of your reach. Patience is the name of the game. Continue to follow your content, seeing likes and shares, and engaging with people who may be talking about or simply looking at your content.
It is also your job to revise and edit your content as you see fit to make the most of your creation. If you see some tweaks and changes that could boost your content, making it more engaging for your audience, feel free to make those changes and continue to promote.
We will dig deeper into Content Amplification in another post, magnifying the many ways to promote your work effectively and better understand the best methods for specific forms of content.
The process is never-ending, but the results could truly turn a corner for your agency. Remaining diligent in content creation will provide relevant resources and a good representation of your skills as a marketer.