7 IDEAS FOR YOUR BLOG CONTENT
- Clearly define your niche
Content is everywhere. The latest research indicates that 88% of B2B companies are now using content marketing; and this means the competition among content marketing agencies is fierce.
Fortunately, there’s a simple way to differentiate yourself from 90% of the competition. When you become known as a content marketing expert in your niche, you’ll find the competition much less severe. Instead of trying to become a generalist agency, drill down and focus on a single industry. Do you have experience or knowledge in a particular niche? Offer specialized content services to businesses in that field.
Believe it or not, specialized content marketing services are in demand even in “unsexy” niches like dentistry and construction. Instead of competing in an already-oversaturated market, these agencies offer content services specifically to businesses in their chosen field. This allows them to produce highly specialized, expert content that generalist agencies cannot. Greatest thing about them, you can work from anywhere.
- Offer a range of services for every budget
Particularly when you’re just starting out, having a wide range of services is imperative. You’ll find some clients want to be very hands-on, and just need a little guidance with their content strategy. Other clients will want you to take complete charge of their content strategy, development and marketing.
Keep in mind that smaller companies may want to test the waters before investing in a more expensive package. For this reason, you may even want to create DIY packages so small businesses can take advantage of your expertise without a huge financial risk.
Some of the services you could consider offering include:
- Content creation and promotion
- Training of in-house content marketing staff
- Social media marketing
- Email marketing
- Web analytics setup and tracking
- Web design and SEO (some companies prefer to hire one agency to do it all)
- Consider taking the consulting path
If you prefer strategy over the day-to-day tasks of content marketing, consulting may be the right choice for you. While most content marketing agencies tend to be more hands-on, consultants focus largely on giving recommendations, planning and strategizing.
Being a consultant will mean you don’t have to be involved in specific tasks related to content creation, promotion and distribution. Instead, you can advise companies on content marketing best practices, and on helping them create a strategy that will set them apart from their competitors.
- Market your own business with content
If you’re going to establish yourself as an expert in the content marketing field, you need to show that you know what you’re doing. The best way to do this is to become a content leader in your field.
This means regularly producing stellar content about content marketing, having an active presence on social media, becoming a prolific guest blogger on well-known industry sites, and building out your own email list.
Prospects who see you growing your influence in the content marketing space will be much more likely to trust you, and will feel much less risk when deciding whether or not to hire you.
- Decide whether to hire in-house or utilize freelancers
This is one of the biggest decisions you’ll need to make. I know successful agencies who have done both, so it really comes down to what works best for you.
If you’re going to use freelance writers and editors, I highly recommend investing in long term relationships. Training takes time and patience, and usually entails extra hands-on involvement from you. Using the same writers for all your projects also ensures consistency in writing style and voice.
While in-house staff may be more costly, they can be a great addition to your team as your agency grows. Having reliable writers and editors who are available during set hours can greatly reduce turnaround time and ensure you consistently meet deadlines.
- Build out your case studies and testimonials
Unfortunately, every industry has a few bad seeds. Content marketing is no different. In order to reduce the risk your prospects feel in hiring you, maintain a document or page on your site dedicated to your content marketing successes.
Be sure to include case studies that show long-term results, and specific client KPIs that have been met. Provide specific results and ROI calculations, as well as testimonials from satisfied clients (the more specific those testimonials, the better).
Finally, have a portfolio on your site or available by request so prospective clients can see the entire range of content you’re capable of producing. Include samples of all the content formats you create (blog posts, infographics, videos, etc.), as well as links to ongoing projects you’re responsible for.
- Differentiate yourself by collecting your own market data and research
While there’s an unprecedented amount of content being produced on a daily basis, only a fraction is truly original and unique. If you want to build your agency into a leader in your field, consider producing high-quality content based on original research and data.
One of the best ways to do this is through conducting your own research – either independently or alongside your clients. A single study or survey can be used to create a number of different pieces of content, including blog posts, white papers, social media posts and infographics.
Content built on original research is also more likely to accumulate links and social shares, which will go a long way to boosting search rankings and visibility both for your own agency and for your clients.
There’s no better time to be in the content marketing industry. Whether you’re planning to specialize in content marketing or offer it as an add-on to your existing services, the tips above will give you the best chance of success.