Chances are, you’re looking for a content marketing agency but are undecided which one is best for you?
It’s likely that you came to this page because Google brought you here.
Well, here’s the thing;
We didn’t pay to rank for this article- it rose organically.
Sure it took a little time (as most organically grown web pages do) to rank for top searches.
The fact is, we predicted a high ranking because we play by the rules.
What are ‘the rules’?
The rules are content strategies that any content marketing agency worth its salt must know to justify calling themselves such.
I have news for you…
Content marketing agencies are not wizards.
Agencies all use the same sort of strategies and research software, albeit maybe of a different brand or cost.
The main differences between them are in how much input they give you for the price you’re prepared to pay.
Some large agencies employ consultants from within their organisation to deal with a range of clients.
With their investments and overheads, it’s possible for them to sit on information that only took a few days to discover and trickle-feed it to you to get you to engage into lengthy contracts.
Other inbound marketing agencies (as content marketing agencies are also known) are perceived to be a large company to justify their fees.
It’s difficult to know which is better for you as it all boils down to trust.
All you can do is to look at case studies, read reviews or feedback- or go with your instinct.
We believe, ultimately it should be about what you get for your money.
Content Creation is About the Customer Journey
The days are all but gone from a time when you employed web designers to design and build a simple shopping site.
Now a new approach to content management has to be employed to absorb the reader completely with creative content.
A prime reason for this is how the internet has evolved and the part that Google has played in shaping that evolution.
Google’s algorithms tend to reward sites for content heavy topics and how long visitors may stay on, or return to a website.
The result is that there is a constant battle for a website to get noticed, and ranking highly on Google’s search engine is the holy grail.
Some of the methods used to achieve higher ranking are well known and others are some of the best-kept secrets in business.
Google’s algorithms can’t be readily quantified, such as whether bounce rate (often misinterpreted as the speed at which a visitor leaves a site) is used in any way.
Also, studies have shown that long site visits can produce higher ranking- so maybe there is something to it?
In any event, most site owners will create content to try to ensure target audience interest.
Content creation in itself is all part of a marketing ‘game’: The game is customer engagement.
If you don’t ‘play the game’, then you must have exciting products or services to sell which don’t require promotion. Even then, you can never be sure when the bubble will inevitably burst.
How do you play the game in content marketing?
Content marketing strategies include producing interesting topics, articles, or blog posts.
Forums or social media platforms are an expected feature for almost every ecommerce site.
A digital agency will use its marketing technique and specialised software to target and determine the demographics of visitors.
What captivates a visitor’s interest in the site (and what is being overlooked), can be found through software such as hotjar.com.
There’s nothing complicated about the concept of digital marketing. The term is used to describe any form of trade via a digitised medium.
Determining what is considered ‘digital marketing’ is, however, open to interpretation and it’s this that confuses.
There’s an argument that as soon as web developers begin to build a website, digital content is the core of the site’s design.
But digital design in marketing terms is much more than building websites.
The objective of digital marketing is to promote your product, brand or service, through digital media in all of its forms.
Images, videos, apps and television advertising, are all forms of digital strategies used in the pursuit of business promotion.
The giants of ecommerce invest heavily in researching what it is that attracts customers to their platforms- digital media being one.
Freelance digital agencies are engaged, or large organisations directly employ staff in a constant battle to attract interest in their products or services.
Video production companies are brought in to produce advertising campaigns, app developers for software development, and creative copywriters to provide blogs and posts, all with one purpose.
The sole purpose of a digital agency is in optimising content: Creative and engaging content that entices and convinces you to buy.
Their expertise is primarily in devising a digital strategy to generate customer engagement.
Among other specialities, digital content agencies deal with social media marketing and media planning.
Media planning is the process of choosing the most appropriate platform to promote their client’s products or identity.
One of the favourite areas in which to quickly ‘spread the word’ about a new online company is through the exploitation of social media networking.
Marketing campaigns are specially devised to take advantage of ‘free advertising’ through social media networks.
Brands attempt to promote their products through the social media and one of the highest ranking factors for Google is through social content and Facebook referrals.
Market research teams scrutinise the phrases, sentences, and written conversation from feedback and reviews from social networking.
Media platform users on social channels reveal invaluable insights into how to market a product or service.
Sales teams are then appointed to echo the positive sentiments originating from social media, through catchy taglines and slogans.
These taglines form the basis of headers, paragraphs and topics for SEO companies writing copy for the marketing industry.
Influencer MarketingHow many times a day do you see or hear a respected actor or celebrity endorse a product or service?
Have you ever considered why?
It may seem crazy when you think about it.
Society, in general, seems to appear impressed when able to metaphorically ‘rub shoulders’ with a celebrity by purchasing a product that they have endorsed.
An insight into why this may happen is published here by Forbes.com.
The fact is, this is one form of influencer marketing- and it works: It must work as the concept would have died out years ago otherwise?
We, as a consumer society, are surrounded by influencer marketing almost every waking hour, from celebrities endorsing products to friends and family recommending a coffee or a new movie.
A more scientific study on influence marketing was carried out by The University of Tennessee and may be worth reviewing here.
B2B Content MarketingBusiness-to-business content marketing, or B2B as it’s often abbreviated to, encompasses many of the same requirements as that of B2C (or ‘Business to Consumer’).
The main difference is that generally, the buying business will be aware of the seller.*
If products or services are specialised, there’s a better idea of the target audience than those aimed at a broader market.
Whatever you do, apply the same care to the b2b content either way.
The goal should be to produce a brand presence through authority and trust, which engages the interest of the visitor to the site.
One of the first ways of determining brand awareness is by studying your products or services and noting what makes you different from your competitors.
If the product is easy to purchase elsewhere, focus on your better prices, delivery times, or aftercare service.
Base your content creation on who your customers are and put yourself in their mindset.
There are plenty of online software providers who can provide demographic information about who visits your site and what peaks their interest.
The biggest, Google Analytics, offers a free alternative to their Google 360 software (which is fortunate because their premium software has a base rate of around £110,000 a year!)
A B2B approach to content marketing is explored more fully by wordstream.com.
Their guide gives statistics on content marketing strategies, and examples of quality B2B content.
*(B2B companies are created daily, but the sentiment still applies.)
SEO MarketingNo content marketing strategy is working to its full potential without SEO (or ‘Search Engine Optimisation’ to give its full name).
When explaining ecommerce, there is always a crossover of subjects, and SEO tends to have a role in most, if not all.
Online marketing is all about creating audiences, and SEO marketing is a cornerstone for attaining that goal.
Optimising for the most popular search engine platforms should be at the forefront of any website build.
Thankfully, most web developers and website designers know this already, so test regularly to check each aspect of a new site loads and performs as it should.
How a website is displayed on a search engine platform is just the tip of the iceberg concerning SEO.
To rise within the rankings of Google’s search algorithms, the main categories of a site that you should look to optimise are, at present;
- How many links that point back to your site -organically, and not manufactured as some SEO companies attempt to do.
- The trust and authority of your website, and how long it’s been ‘live’.
- The site’s structure to enable Google to ‘read’ the elements within.
Take a look at this guide from Shopify.co.uk, and it will explain in more detail.
This link to Backlinko.com tells of 200 SEO ranking factors in 2018.
Newest Content Marketing Methods
The marketing industry is waking up to a new style of advertising and promotion.
Many companies are now using the power of augmented reality by investing in software apps that help sell their product or services.
A good example is the Dulux paint app.
When downloaded and used on a smartphone, the application allows a user to ‘see’ what a wall may look like in a different colour.
Ray-Ban has an augmented reality app that uses your smartphone camera to superimpose sunglasses or spectacles on your face so that you can ‘try’ before you buy.
There’s an entertaining site, Newscred, which shows some of the potential of augmented reality as a selling tool using Pepsi Cola’s digital pr stunt.
Pepsi used a humorous video production as an example of a public relations exercise.
The brand content wasn’t as exploited as the effort to show that Pepsi had a modern tilt on life and a sense of humour.
Quality content is more vital than overemphasising the brand.
Apple has teamed up with Ikea to produce virtual reality furniture on their app, called Ikea Place.
Who can forget the craze that is Pokemon Go?
This article from wired.co.uk touches on the speed at which augmented reality and artificial intelligence are expanding, and how it will impact marketing with engaging content.
Take a look at your own business to see if this sort of artificial intelligence marketing is something that you could use to your advantage.
There are app developers springing up all across the internet such as this market leader, Harmony.co.uk, who can advise you about your company’s potential.
Newest Content Marketing Methods
So, What Are You Looking for in a Content Marketing Agency?
Let’s put it this way;
If we can be so bold, we’ll tell you what should be vital for you.
Ideal Content Marketing Agency Structure For You
Both the client and the marketing agency need an openness of approach.
If you are to engage a content marketing expert, you need to believe in them.
It may be that some changes or suggestions are counterintuitive to you: This is especially true when you have a fear of change.
It’s understandable to be concerned if the advice is radical or costs money.
Know that any reputable content marketing agency is only as good as the changes they are free to make.
If the agency is doing its job, it should be able to justify the changes with clear reasoning.
A content marketing agency should not pull the wool over your eyes: You have the right to understand the work that goes into optimising content.
What Some Content Marketing Agencies Don’t Want You to Know
It’s Possible to Do Yourself
Contrary to what many agencies may tell you, content marketing is not rocket science.
Content strategies are based on experience from market research and tried and tested methods.
Hard work from the marketing agency you employ and ultimately from you as the client, gradually begin to be realised.
Any company who tells you otherwise is doing you an injustice as, most likely, they are opting for paid advertising for short-term results.
Sure, there is a method known as ‘growth hacking’.
Growth hacking involves market experimentation over shorter periods compared to conventional marketing methods.
Measurements are taken within the different segments of a business to determine if there are noticeable traces of digital growth from quick changes.
If you are lucky, you may find some nuggets of information from doing things this way, but in our experience, we see this as more of a ‘blunderbuss’ strategy for digital growth.
So long as you remember the position you were in before you attempted growth hacking, it’s probably the more natural strategy for those who want to try to market their business themselves.
The only thing holding you back is knowing where to look, what you need to know, and what time you have to do all of these things.
Strategies like being able to determine what is working for a direct competitor and having the experience to know how to improve upon it.
Another tactic used is by establishing the intention of your customer and designing content to funnel that use or interest.
Knowing the value of your online content is essential, as is having the wisdom to discard that which is ineffective, detrimental, or even harmful.
Effective content marketing encompasses web design, words used within the content, visual triggers, and the ability to interact with a client or customer.
Inbound marketing ploys include connecting with influencers, building backlinks, and using sound material and brands to support your website.
Add to this a flair for creativity and the ability to think outside of the box, and you have a pretty good insight into what you require for content marketing.
So when we say it’s possible to do yourself, it is, but you need to have a methodical approach and dedication.
We mentioned transparency and continue in this vein by including URLs of companies we feel offer the same sort of service as a marketing company.
Most are based in the United Kingdom, but those overseas will still deal with UK based business.
At Salesbloom, we can’t change the world, but perhaps we can change yours- for the better.
Have an informal chat with our marketing manager about your content management today.
You’ve nothing to lose from a simple phone call- and everything to gain.
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