Content marketing may be the hottest marketing trend for 2015, but it’s also one of the more challenging sales pitches for a creative agency to make. Content on a whole is more subjective, more difficult to produce, and more difficult to get buy-in from multiple people – making it a more difficult concept to sell. With two out of every three companies outsourcing their content marketing according to Inbound Writer, there’s a large potential client pool. Your agency just needs to master the pitch to make the sale. Here’s how:
1. Do your homework. Like any agency pitch, a content market pitch needs to be targeted at the right people and, most critically, address their most pressing needs. How is your target client’s site performing? Who is their top competition and what are they doing with content marketing? Before walking into the pitch, you need to know their keyword focus, their social cloud, and their current publishing frequency.
How can your agency improve upon this? For example, if you see great content being published just once and disappearing quickly, your solution might be to offer atomized services that repurpose this content in five different ways over a set timeline, breathing new life into great material and giving your client multiple opportunities to connect with their target audience.
2. Deliver the references. Yes, there are many metrics for evaluating the success of a content marketing program, and you can certainly present a plethora of glowing statistics during your pitch. At the same time, however, content itself is very subjective and since content marketing is such a young field, clients can be hesitant to buy into a major program. References are essential for building trust with prospective clients and helping them feel confident in their decision to hire your agency over another.
From your project management expertise to your focus on customer service, references deliver a fuller picture of what clients should expect from your agency than metrics alone.
3. Go beyond written material. In 2015, it goes without saying that pushing out any old piece of content littered with keywords is a no-go. The content landscape is littered with subpar content; your agency needs to consistently go above and beyond to deliver real value for your clients. Think beyond written material with compelling multimedia pieces like creative videos, podcasts and infographics. There’s no need to reinvent the wheel: just be sure you’re selling a content solution that’s customized to meet your client’s specific needs.
4. Own the vertical. Brands become thought leaders by positioning themselves as curated, consistent and trusted voices – your agency must do the same with your client portfolio. Building high-value vertical channels positions your agency to own the entire client vertical. To do so, your agency needs to not only execute successful thought leadership programs on behalf of clients, but also to further your own business’s industry reputation. From tweets to whitepapers, follow a well-defined strategy that engages both your existing and prospective clients.
Erin M is a freelance writer with a strong understanding of agency-specific needs available for projects at WriterAccess.