Our Director of Marketing, Patrick Armitage, has worked for small and midsize marketing agencies in his career. He’s seen clients come and go for a variety of reasons. And from his experience, there’s one thing that stuck out as a key reason for why agencies lose clients (but you’ll have to read on to find out). Before joining Verblio (formerly BlogMutt) he admitted that he had no idea blog writing services for agencies even existed. With hindsight, he shares his thoughts on the potential that awaits agencies who start working smarter and not harder by outsourcing some of their content needs. Enjoy!
Bring a New Idea to Every Client Meeting
There’s one reason marketing agencies lose clients: complacency.
I’ve worked at three agencies in my career. I’ve been in the trenches. I’ve put out the fires. I’ve fought complacency. I’ve made the logo bigger (again!).
In my agency career, the best piece of advice I received was to always bring one new idea to a client meeting. It made clients feel special. It showed we were thinking of them off the clock. By just doing that extra 10 percent I found that it made all the difference in creating long-lasting client relationships.
Now, I can completely empathize with the tight timelines, meager budgets and crazy clients that inevitably get in the way of developing solid, presentable ideas. But the reality is, if clients don’t think they’re special, they’re gone. Clients confuse why they pay good money for top agencies. It’s not just to serve as their outsourced design shop or production house. They’re paying for ideas. Great ones.
Three Steps to a Successful Client/Agency Relationship
Open communication: Without open communication, you’ll never have the opportunity to share your ideas.
Trust: Open communication begets trust. When a client trusts you, they’re open to ideas.
Ideas: This is the big one. As trust develops, the free exchange of ideas can take root. And as mentioned earlier, ideas are the best route to creating happy clients.
Content Marketing: The One Great Idea That’s Mutually Beneficial to Your Clients and Your Agency
The buzziest marketing words of late have been “content marketing” and “inbound marketing”. If your clients haven’t asked about content marketing yet, be prepared. As media budgets tighten, PPC spend becomes unsustainable, and Facebook changes their algorithm yet again, clients are going to be looking for a more sustainable approach to their marketing.
If small to midsize companies can’t compete with larger ad budgets, their approach needs to be more sophisticated.
Content marketing remains the most mutually beneficial tactic in the relationship between an agency and its clients. With a content marketing strategy in place, the dynamic of the relationship between an agency and client changes from being transactional and project-based to one that’s collaborative and scalable.
And yet, content marketing, like communism, is great…in theory. But in practice, it’s much harder to execute. Agencies don’t have enough people to create content. Clients don’t have enough time to review content. This results in content development getting pushed aside for “hot”, last-minute projects. If it was never really a priority in the first place, it’s the first tactic to get the boot.
70% of B2B Marketers Are Creating More Content Than They Did a Year Ago. How Will You Keep Pace?
Businesses are seeing increasing value in creating content. But content development requires time, resources and budget–three things in short supply for many agencies and their clients.
Lemme throw out a couple options:
Get an inflatable mattress and tell your sole copywriter that they’re going to have to up their production, even if it means sleeping at the office.
Ok, how about adding five more writers to your staff?
Don’t like that either?
Well, there’s one more option: outsource. But even outsourcing carries risk. How are you going to manage a network of freelancers? And many freelancers are expensive or unreliable, or both.
Agencies are Increasingly Starting to See the Value of Content Writing Services
For agencies made aware of content writing services, the opportunity cost is considerable. Partnering with a content writing service gives agencies access to a network of writers that develop consistent, quality content at a value that beats hiring more staff or managing disparate freelancers.
With Blog Writing Services for Agencies Benefits Both Agencies and Their Clients in the Following Ways:
- Reduces the potential of burning out your agency’s in-house writing team
- Allows your in-house writers to focus on long-form content, interviews, and on-location pieces
- Without having to spend an inordinate amount of effort developing content from the bottom-up, now agencies can use their energy toward reviewing content from a more strategic, top-down perspective
- Each piece of content developed is another opportunity to reach out and maintain healthy communication with your client
- Original content can be repurposed and shared via social media giving your clients greater credibility and authority
- Content marketing remains the biggest influencer on SEO performance
- Ongoing content development for clients ensures a recurring revenue stream for your agency
- Agencies no longer have to worry about optimizing the workload of every in-house writer. If there are fluctuations in the amount of client work, agencies no longer have to reduce hours for employees or commence layoffs
Content marketing is not going away anytime soon. In fact, it’s only going to grow. New ideas for your clients can come from the strangest places, but starting with a solid content strategy (with the ability to execute) is the first step to getting there. Trust can start with a new blog idea that’s delivered on time and on budget to the client. And as clients start trusting and listening to their agency for new ideas, and see those ideas executed, the potential is limitless.