Content is king

Nothing new or revealing in that title. But maybe that’s the point.

Because, for many agencies and businesses, the message that valuable and relevant content should form part of their marketing strategy often falls on deaf ears. At best, it can feel challenging; at worst, paralysing – and therefore ignored. A case of ‘cobbler’s children with no shoes’?…

In an ideal world, content sits at the heart of any digital marketing strategy – the Content Marketing Institute reports that “[it] generates over three times as many leads as outbound marketing and costs 62% less.” With the global content marketing market set to grow by $584.02bn during 2023-2027, it’s a powerful tool and an essential part of business growth, from lead generation, brand awareness and positioning as an industry thought leader.

Together with inbound best practices and a smart paid media strategy, content is a surefire way to fill the top of a hungry agency’s sales funnel and achieve scalability – so why is it considered a stumbling block by so many businesses – and what can they do to overcome it?

We work with businesses who often find themselves so busy producing client work, they neglect their own in-house marketing, which in turn impacts their new business pipeline. By creating thought-provoking, relevant content, we help them overcome the challenges to kickstarting engaging conversations and winning new clients. Here’s what we’ve learned:

  1. Planning is key
    To service existing clients and, crucially, win new ones, requires planning. It’s only by developing a regular rhythm and delivering regular quality content will you establish trust and stay top of mind for your clients and prospects. Be clear on what you’re hoping to achieve through your content. What tools will you need to execute the content plan and how will you distribute the content once it’s created?
  2. Ask for support
    The truth is, no-one is waiting patiently for your content to land. That’s down to you, but if you haven’t got the time to focus on content, accept that you can’t do it alone and seek support from a specialist who can. As a business owner I know how important this is; despite knowing the market and my offering inside out, translating that into a structured content roadmap requires the skillset of a third party. My side of the process is just as important and requires me to be planful, to pause BAU and ringfence time in my diary for delivering that content.
  3. Offer something of value
    Stand in your clients’ shoes; what do they want to hear? What problems are you solving for them? What issues are they facing? Flex your muscles, be brave and demonstrate your offering. Offer proof points, so the reader knows you’ve overcome challenges like theirs. Be original and relevant; think outside the latest marketing trends from agency land that everyone else will be re-hashing – and be sure the content you create encourages conversation. What do you want people to think about feel when they read your content and what do you want them to do? And don’t forget a call to action.
  4. Be consistent
    One email or one LinkedIn post a month will not build relationships. Schedule in a flow of content so your audience comes to expect regular quality, thought-provoking content. Sweat the assets like you would if you were working on a client brief and make the content work harder for you; try out different formats, behind the scenes of the creation, quotes from the research, etc.
  5. Involve everyone
    Explore the value that you have in the agency, canvas your team, your stakeholders and ask for their ideas, what they’re hearing in client meetings and how best you can support them through content. Make sure everyone in the agency is on board with the plan and knows how they can contribute and support the content strategy. Find advocates on whatever channel that you are sharing on and ask them to help you get the word out.
  6. Start small
    Don’t start with ambitions of creating series of whitepapers or thought leadership pieces which require more investment. Look at what you know and make it short, sharp and above all, authentic. It will grow at its own pace.
  7. Don’t be afraid to say you don’t know
    Honesty is the best policy, as they say – and as obvious as it sounds, saying you don’t have all the answers shows you’re human, humble and trustworthy – qualities your clients will value and respect.

Find out more about Beckon’s marketing-led new business program. Contact Emma Thwaite, for an exploratory chat – and don’t forget to follow our news and updates on LinkedIn.