Whether you’re looking to augment your existing marketing efforts or ramp up lead generation and conversion for the very first time, every business faces the same question: do we use an agency or do the work in house?
To assist you in your contemplations, I’ve compiled a list of the areas of expertise you can expect to get if you invest in a B2B content marketing agency. For each, that’s one less skill set you’d have to recruit for (and fund) on the internal team.
Common areas of marketing mastery at B2B content agencies include:
1. An understanding of your product and position within the marketplace: First and foremost, you should expect our B2B content marketing agency to get to know your product, the problems you solve, the niches you fill, and the reasons a buyer would (and should) choose you.
2. Audience analysis and persona development: Once they understand your product, the team at your B2B content marketing agency should get to know your buyers, developing personas that represent your most important constituent types, what motivates them, what pain points matter most to them, and which features or benefits of your product resonate with them best.
3. Analysis of your buyer’s journey: Your B2B content agency team should also get to know your buyer’s journey. They should understand what the buyer’s life was like before they knew you, what inspired them to discover you exist, what paths there are for them to find you, and what options they have to connect with you next. From awareness all the way to conversion, your agency team should seek to understand what the path to purchase is like.
4. Development of messaging and positioning: With a keen understanding of your product, your audience, and the stages your buyers go through, a B2B content marketing agency can craft just the right messages - boilerplates, templates, and copy-paste phrases - that can serve as the basis for all your marketing efforts.
5. Creation of your marketing funnel: This is where B2B content marketing agencies really shine. A marketing funnel is created to help shepherd your best buyers (qualified leads) through the customer journey with less friction, providing support for sticky points and accelerating motivation along the way. More conversions with less manual effort - a high-functioning funnel is your sales team’s dream come true.
6. Campaigns for each stage of the funnel: From awareness and lead nurturing to customer onboarding, retention, cross-sell, upsell, and even customer win-back campaigns, your B2B content marketing agency will create robust answers for every moment your buyer might need encouragement, information, or support.
7. Strategy for those campaigns: Deep expertise goes into whom your campaigns should target, how often they should run, what main messaging points should be included, what channels are likely to be effective, and how each individual piece of the marketing puzzle should complement and benefit the others. Your agency will have campaign strategies down pat.
8. Messaging and design for those campaigns: Your messaging and positioning framework (MPF) and brand guidelines come to life in the hands of your B2B content marketing agency’s creative team. The right words are spun into headlines, copy, press releases, and ads, with captivating designs created specifically to match.
9. Launch leadership across multiple channels, mediums, and life cycles: Beautiful designs and compelling copy don’t do much when they’re left on (digital) paper. Your B2B content marketing team builds the pieces into actual interactive assets - whether that’s websites, interactive whitepapers, printed event collateral, or digital infographics. They then launch those assets in channels where your prospects and customers will see them.
10. Analysis of campaign efficacy: This is where the rubber meets the road. The B2B content marketing agency team gets down to brass tacks, looking at numbers that indicate how well the campaign did. It might be the number of people now aware of your brand, how many qualified leads an email captured, how many clicks you got on an ad - the point is, your agency team makes sure your efforts (and investments) are paying off.
11. Recommendations based on learnings: Indicators of efficacy or lack thereof are each opportunities for learning. Your B2B content marketing agency team should always be interested in learning and finding new ways to apply those learnings to your very next round of campaigns.
12. A repeating blueprint for success: Launched campaigns lead to learnings, learnings lead to data-informed iterations on strategy, and new strategy informs future campaigns. See where we’re going with this? Success is iterative. Results from your B2B content marketing agency improve with every opportunity you give them, and with the right team, your returns should improve over time.
The best part of investments in marketing agencies is that you decide where - and to what degree - each strategy above is the focus. You can hire a team to do it all or hire them to do just a couple of items on the list. While we may be biased in thinking the sum of our offerings is better than each of its parts, the truth is that there’s value in even tackling just 2 or 3 of these pursuits.
There’s no wrong way to staff for good marketing, but if you’re considering B2B content marketing agencies and have questions, feel free to drop us a line. We always look forward to the chance to chat.