For many people, the first thing that comes to mind when they hear “public relations” is publicity in the form of radio, TV or print media coverage. That still is an important part of ad agency PR, but with so many media outlets either shrinking or going out of business—and the increasing influence of content marketing and social media—a niche blog that showcases your agency’s expertise is essential.
Here’s why. When you have an immediate need (i.e. a “problem to solve”), chances are your first step is to begin searching on the Internet for a solution. If you’re like me, you don’t appreciate the spam emails, junk mail and unsolicited sales calls that interrupt me on a daily basis for products or services that don’t interest me.
Outbound marketing—which involves cold calling, direct mail and other forms of chasing business—is becoming less and less effective, and agencies that rely on it for new business are more likely to be perceived as an annoyance than an expert. To put it bluntly, salespeople selling ad agency services smack of desperation. They also put the emphasis on your agency rather than providing value to a prospect.
Inbound marketing, on the other hand, draws customers to your agency by providing them with valuable content.
You want to attract clients who need and can afford your services, and the best way for that to happen is for them to find you when they are looking for a solution.
A niche blog positions your agency as a subject matter expert in a particular area, and makes you easier to be found by prospective clients searching for the solutions and expertise you offer. When done right, your blog will become a magnet for search engines.
The entire conversation changes when a prospect approaches you rather than you approaching the prospect, who may or may not be interested in what your agency has to offer at the time of the contact.
One of the most important reasons for having a blog is to establish or enhance your ad agency as an expert in a particular niche. Being seen as a credible, trustworthy and knowledgeable thought leader that provides useful (as opposed to self-serving) content can have big payoffs down the road.
Once you reach expert status in a niche, the news media covering that niche will come to you for insight and commentary—and your target audience will see you that way as well.
A niche blog gives your agency continuous opportunities to demonstrate that it:
- Communicates effectively
- Has the ability to solve problems
- Is well connected within your industry niche
- Knows about important industry developments and trends
Just as publicity tends to beget publicity, as your blog becomes a repository of relevant content, it will rise in search engine rankings and draw targeted readers to your doorstep, making your agency increasingly “discoverable” by decision makers you could only dream of reaching through sales calls.