1. Spray & pray distribution to a mass database
For mass email content marketing to work, you need to have a hefty database. The name of the game here is volume over quality. Not every contact on your database will be the right prospects for your agency, but you hope that within the thousands, and few might be a good fit.
You can buy email databases, but, in our experience, even the most expensive rarely hold the contact details of the hottest prospects.
Another drawback is the likelihood of getting a heap of unsubscribes which, as per GDPR rules, means a complete shutdown on any future comms with that individual. Aside from GDPR, lots of people are so turned off by spammy approaches that you may well be burning bridges from day one.
We rarely advocate this route.
2. Carefully curate your own bespoke database
A better option than flinging your content at innumerable uninterested prospects is to manually build up a custom database and deliver your content directly to these contacts. This is, naturally, enormously time-consuming. And you’re still likely to end up with a big chunk of those emails ignored at best. Less risky than off-target mass marketing, but still not our top choice.
If you’re looking to build your agency’s reputation, PR is a great long-term option, and fresh content is an essential element.
The downside of PR is that you have even less control over who sees your thought leadership. It’s a gamble that the right eyes will land on your content, which isn’t ideal if you’re working to a tight budget and timeframe. PR is a great asset to any agency, but it’s less helpful when you have a lean budget and a short timeframe to get some new clients through the door.
4. The Future Factory strategy
And the absolute best way to use content marketing to generate leads and convert prospects? Get precise. Which is exactly what we do. We identify the exact companies or industry niche that an agency wants to win business in, and then guide the creation of content to speak directly to that group of individuals. Once we have that super-specific content, we get in touch directly with decision makers to share it, detailing why we think they’d be interested in hearing what we have to say. If you’ve put all that effort into creating some proper great content, you want to be sure it’s getting noticed by the people it was intended for!
In many cases the content can be used as a nice juicy carrot to book in a meeting. Because going into an initial conversation with solid, shareable findings from a study you’ve conducted makes that introduction several degrees warmer than it would ordinarily be.