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Creating Content That Creates Revenue

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Content. It may well be the most overused word in agencies today (if you count synergy, partner, and win/win as givens), but we can’t deny that it’s here to stay. It’s not just a part of our lexicon — when done well, it’s a significant part of our revenue and business development efforts.

Every agency is creating content. But many of you aren’t all that happy with the consistency or quality of that content even though it’s taking up a serious amount of your agency's time and attention.

The truth is, for most agencies, content generation is a huge drain, and the result is (at best) inconsistent and generic.

But would you treat it differently if you knew you were able to monetize it?

In this webinar, Drew McLellan, CEO of Agency Management Institute, discusses:

- Content's role in agency evolution
- How to move content from the costs/investment side of the ledger to the income/profit side
- What you need to do to create content that actually generates revenue and grows your business

Published in: Marketing
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Creating Content That Creates Revenue

  1. 1. Creating Content That Creates Revenue Hosted by
  2. 2. 25+ year agency veteran Agency owner of 23+ years Owned Agency Management Institute since 2010 Work with 250+ agencies a year Published in AdAge, AdWeek, Forbes, Inc., Entrepreneur, Wall Street Journal, New York Times, Agency Post, Chicago Tribune and others Drew McLellan
  3. 3. Agencies have always evolved. We’re entering into a huge shift that is going to turn us into trusted advisors again. How did we get here?
  4. 4. Agencies gave away creative, strategy, account service and PR — and made their money on media commissions and production mark ups. Mad Men Days
  5. 5. Agencies sold creative and executions like PR — but continued giving away strategy to make money on media commissions and production mark ups. 1980-1990
  6. 6. Agencies added rudimentary websites into the mix but still sold creative, gave away strategy, and attempted to make money on media and mark ups. 1990-2000
  7. 7. Google launches AdWords and we enter the era of social and digital — while agencies start charging small fee for strategy — most AGI came from creative (the stuff we make), media, and mark ups. We were making some good progress on getting paid to think until the recession hit. 2000-2010
  8. 8. Agencies scramble to keep up with all of the channels, deliverables, etc. Clients demand proven ROI (post- recession)“Content Marketing”becomes a thing. Now…we’re all spitting out as much content as possible because we need to be findable but consumers and clients are skeptical. 2010-2017
  9. 9. What’s next?
  10. 10. The channels will keep changing. And will keep changing. We must plant our“flag” in firmer ground. 2018+
  11. 11. How do you recognize them? What does someone have to do to earn and keep that title? Describe a true thought leader
  12. 12. ANTE: you have to create content to compete today. But it can no longer be generic or we will get lost in the noise. Upside – it doesn’t have to cost you a lot of time/money. But you can make a boatload of money doing it well! We can’t fake it anymore
  13. 13. There are three essential elements to making this work long-term. You must have all three. Mandatories
  14. 14. You need to have a strong point of view — a belief — and make it the focal point of how you talk about your agency and how you differentiate your agency. You have to plant a flag in the ground. Essential #1
  15. 15. What truth have you learned that influences your work? What recommendations do you always make? How do you uniquely serve your clients? Essential #1
  16. 16. What truth have you learned that influences your work? We believe that mom drives all healthcare decisions and actions for a family. What recommendations do you always make? You should spend 75% of your marketing budget on your existing customers. How do you uniquely serve your clients? We embed an employee into our client’s office. Essential #1
  17. 17. Because we understand the community hospital buyer, we know that mom drives all healthcare decisions and actions for a family. In the building materials space, 80% of your net new revenue should come from existing customers so you should spend 75% of your marketing budget on them. Because an airline needs to respond/market in real time, we embed an employee into our client’s office. What about niches Drew?
  18. 18. It’s our mission to help community hospitals reach the moms who are in charge of their family’s health. We have to protect our building materials clients from spending their money on the wrong audiences that will just deliver lackluster results. In today’s 24/7 connected world, airlines must be communicating with their customers in the NOW. Translation
  19. 19. Because we understand the family health decisions, we know that mom drives the decisions and actions for a family. (hospitals, pediatric pharma and organic produce) In the building materials space, 80% of your net new revenue should come from existing customers so you should spend 75% of your marketing budget on them. (insulation, overhead doors and flooring) Because the travel industry needs to respond/market in real time, we embed an employee into our client’s office. (airlines, high end resorts, car rentals) What about 3 niches Drew?
  20. 20. You must be brave enough to plant your flag and build all of your thought leadership around that core belief and all of the offshoots of that belief. Essential #1
  21. 21. Unfortunately...most agencies haven’t defined their point-of-view or committed to a specific niche — and many create generic“marketing tips” blog posts or monthly enewsletter content and hope that it will pass for thought leadership. It does not. Essential #1
  22. 22. “The cornerstone (or foundation stone or setting stone) is the first stone set — all other stones will be set in reference to the cornerstone, thus determining the position of the entire, permanent structure.” Essential #1
  23. 23. If you are the local general practitioner – like the country doctor and you need to know a little bit about lots of things and you only want to service your local community. But even that is a POV. When can you ignore this essential?
  24. 24. AMI’s model Our belief is that most small to mid- sized agency owners are accidental business owners — they are great in front of clients — but they need help in running their business better. Everything we do is to help agency owners run their businesses more profitably.
  25. 25. PROI’s model Our belief is that most businesses are going about sales in the wrong way. They make it harder, more cumbersome and less successful that it should be.
  26. 26. Our belief is that earned media in influential publications allows a company to position themselves as a thought leader and transform their expertise into influence. Influence & CO’s model
  27. 27. You become more than a business owner or advisor. You become a thought leader. The result of essential #1
  28. 28. A true thought leader is more than a“one trick pony”– their cornerstone content can be found in multiple formats on multiple platforms. Essential #2
  29. 29. Pick a primary channel and build spokes from that hub. Essential #2
  30. 30. We associate expertise with “coverage.” True experts or influencers seem to be everywhere. Really, you just need 2-3 consistent channels for your content and then you’ll be invited to new channels. Essential #2
  31. 31. • Podcast series • Primary research/study • Authoring a book • Co-authoring or crowdsourcing a book • Video series (just you or interviews) • Webinar series (just you or series of co-hosts) • Provocative articles/blog posts (prolific) • YouTube series • Be on the speaking circuit Cornerstone content
  32. 32. • Speak at conferences • Be a guest on a podcast • Write articles for publications • Rank up on The Google • Be linked to on LinkedIn • Sit on a panel of experts • Serve on a board • Write a regular column • Teach a class • Be a part of a webinar series • Be interviewed/a source by the media Leads to...other people’s spokes
  33. 33. • Weekly enewsletter • Blog posts • Live or recorded webinars • Social media posts • Quote cards • LinkedIn articles • FB or LinkedIn groups • Other cornerstone content Leads to...your own spokes
  34. 34. The more narrow your audience… the faster you can monetize. Essential #3
  35. 35. Most agencies go about new business wrong by not leveraging their cornerstone content to get them in front of their ideal prospects. The slam dunk of essential #3
  36. 36. You can apply both the push and the pull of this. Push – you will be found faster and considered an expert faster if you’re niched. Pull – You can use your position as a thought leader to lure your prospects in as “subjects”rather than sales targets The slam dunk of essential #3
  37. 37. Agencies should build their own Trojan Horse of Sales as part of their biz dev strategy. (And so should your clients) The slam dunk of essential #3
  38. 38. The slam dunk of essential #3
  39. 39. Whether you are comfortable writing articles, recording audio, or being in front of a camera — you should interview your ideal prospects. The slam dunk of essential #3
  40. 40. 1. You create cornerstone content that builds your fan base/ awareness 2. You create relationships with your prospect list that eventually turns into them ASKING to you sell them something The twofer of essential #3
  41. 41. You build a legion of fans through being a genuine thought leader. They rely on you and you can sell to that audience AND your subjects. You create spin off streams of revenue other than traditional agency services. You can sell access to your audience. The trident of monetization
  42. 42. 1. You must have a strong POV and plant that flag as the common thread for all you create. 2. You must create cornerstone content that is big enough to slice/dice & spawn spokes and unique enough to get you noticed 3. The more narrow the audience, the faster you get to the money The three essentials
  43. 43. You know you’ve hit gold when you can be known as the“XYZ”person The“fill in the blank”guy
  44. 44. Deciding on your cornerstone content Do you want to talk or write?
  45. 45. Podcasts, speaking and videos (oh my!) Talking
  46. 46. Writing Blogs, books, articles & research
  47. 47. Copyright 2018 • Agency Management Institute. All Rights Reserved.
  48. 48. Copyright 2018 • Agency Management Institute. All Rights Reserved. Are you an AMI member? Influence & Co. and AMI have partnered together to develop a custom content marketing package tailored specifically for AMI members at a discounted rate. Set up a call with us to learn more! The Content Marketer’s Guide to Lead Generation The Content Marketer’s Guide to Thought Leadership 4-Step Guide to Exceptional Content Marketing Resources

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