In today’s new era of content marketing, quality content is king! However, it has not always been so. There was a time when content was just an afterthought or plain information, with no real value for the clients. Quality was lacking too, as the emphasis was on sheer volume of content.
Today, the model for professional business services is unique and different. To attract clients, you must share something of value, show your expertise, and provide solutions. Currently, there is no better way to do this than content marketing!
A strategic approach to create and distribute valuable, relevant, and consistent content are prerequisites for an education or migration agency. Although, many businesses take help from a content agency to get this work done, you can try it out on your own too.
We have put together seven major steps to create content that attracts agency prospects, and converts them into clients:
Step 1: Understand the word “content”
To understand content marketing, it is essential to know what “content” really is. Content is a broad term and understood by people differently. However, content marketing is a specific way to create and deliver high quality and useful information or anecdotes to your clients.
It must be something that clients find engaging, relevant, informative, and interesting. Moreover, they should be able to relate to it, and willing to share. You can use plenty of mediums that incorporate content to set a digital footprint:
- Text: In the form of articles, scripts, stories, narratives, copywriting or social media uploads.
- Images: As photographs, infographics, presentations, print adverts or social media uploads.
- Video: Includes TV advertising, documentaries, promo videos, live streaming, and social media uploads.
- Audio: Includes radio advertising, jingles, music production for videos, and social media.
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Step 2: Identify your target audience
To create relevant and engaging content, you need to have an audience in mind. As an education or migration agency, what sort of target market do you serve? Look into your market research surveys to find this data.
Once you have this information, get the team together and brainstorm on what you would like to share and communicate with your prospects or clients. How do you want to communicate with agency clients and which mediums would you prefer? For example, if you are using email, learn the professional business email etiquette, this will help build your agency’s content marketing strategy.
Step 3: Build a small and dedicated in-house team
The truth about content marketing is that it requires more than one person to work on it. Whether you want to write blogs and narratives, create infographics or make videos, having a team is essential. For instance, if you want to write blogs related to your agency brand, you will need the following expertise:
- Copywriter: You need a writer who understands your agency business, including the basics of branding and advertising.
- Copy Editor: Do not expect the writer to edit as well. It is better to have an editor, who can look for mistakes and fine-tune the article. A second pair of eyes will refresh the blog and ensure your goals are on-track.
- SEO Expert: Writing blogs without knowing which keywords and phrases to use in the articles is meaningless. You need a person who understands how search engine optimization (SEO) works, and is able to identify the right keywords based on clients’ online search preferences.
Depending on the content delivery medium you choose to use, you may also need other professionals like graphic designers and video editors.
Step 4: Develop your agency content marketing strategy
Once your team is ready, make them work on a content marketing strategy. Provide them details about your target audience and any other information you feel is relevant. The content marketing strategy should cover these points:
- Brand Story: Conceptualize ideas and messages your agency brand wants to communicate, by differentiating it from the competition for driving digital brand awareness. All concepts should relate to your brand’s voice and personality.
- Channel Plan: Select the mediums you will use to tell your brand story, including the sort of criteria, processes, and objectives for each one.
- Audience Research: Describe the specific audiences for whom you will create the content. What are their needs and preferences? People take notice of content that has a personal touch, which speaks to them as individuals.
Step 5: Add a personal touch
It is no secret that everyone relishes the personal touch, especially in the services industry. The content must create a sense of engagement with the audience, without sounding general. It must speak to the individual and make them feel a personal sense of gratitude.
Think of it as giving away your agency-branded t-shirts to employees, but all with the same size. Although the gesture is nice, it is not logical, as each individual will have a different size and fitting. However, if you find out about their sizes beforehand and give the t-shirts accordingly, it will add a personal touch and make sense too. The same logic also applies to personalized content. If you are in the education industry, you can start by researching how to personalize international student recruitment.
Step 6: Map the content
Each type of content you create will play a different role in converting prospects to clients. Therefore, it is important to develop the right content. This is where mapping the content can help. Ask your team to plan these phases:
- Discovery – This is a time when prospects are actively searching for solutions to their problems. Develop content that can directly relate to their online search criteria, in the form of insights, best practices, webinars, and infographics.
- Educational – During this phase, prospects and clients will often visit your website or social media page multiple times, to seek recommendations. Your goal should be to provide a wide variety of valuable and informative content. Analyst reports, category research, audience insights, and eBooks can do the trick.
- Evaluation – This is the time to demonstrate your agency’s competence in solving challenges for prospects and clients by learning problem solving techniques. Provide them with appropriate case studies and samples of your agency’s work.
Step 7: Build an editorial calendar
Once the plans and content are in place, your team should prepare an editorial calendar. It will help your agency maintain a consistent flow of content, and ensure everyone on your team is on the same page. To make life easier, several companies provide templates for editorial calendars.
Your editorial calendar should include the following specifications:
- Target audience
- Type of content
- Delivery or method of promotion
- List of keywords and phrases
Prospects and clients these days are much more aware about their choices than ever before. Direct marketing does not interest them anymore and they rarely see any value in it. Breaking away from this pattern, the new age of content marketing is all about a genuine approach to engage with your audience. If you can do it well, business prospects and possibilities are endless!