Tips for finding great content ideas for clients

We have added additional great content ideas that can help propel your content marketing program forward fast:

New commentaries

if your company is in an industry with high visibility or much change, there are bound to be numerous news stories.  Using the news commentary content type, you can use those news stories to help build out your blog, while staying on point.
Simply write a blog post that summarizes the article and provides your company’s point of view.  Don’t forget to link back to the original news story.  Also, don’t copy text.  Doing so creates a plagiarism liability for your company.  Simply summarize the article.
Your point of view should be thoughtful and tie to your company in a meaningful way.  If the connection is tenuous, the news commentary will not provide value to the reader and will detract from you brand.
Viewing how competitors’ blog posts show up in online search results can make a compelling case for developing a content marketing strategy. But once you’ve sold your clients on the idea, the real challenge is ahead of you.
As creative organizations, agencies are typically adept at coming up with stimulating and provocative content topics, but regardless of how scintillating the subject, content marketing is not a one-size-fits-all situation: content marketing is a sophisticated balance of communicating meaningful, intelligent information to customers without directly selling to them. An advertisement is for selling; online content prepares them for the sale.
Here are a few tips for developing great content ideas for your clients.

Solve a problem

How-to formats are popular with many audiences, whether it’s for a hands-on project, like tips for refinishing antique furniture, or settling nerves before a public speech. The good news is that this popular format can be applied to every industry — it just may take some thought and brainstorming to unearth the topics. Asking a company’s customer service or repair department, depending on applicability, can be a good starting point. What’s the No. 1 complaint that comes into the call center, or through an online form on the company’s website? Could arming the customer with more intelligence — information — potentially reduce the number of incoming complaints? It can be anything from “when to replace a part before a breakdown occurs” to “how to lengthen the life of my widget.”

Jam-packed information piece

A well-written, comprehensive and informative piece on a relevant industry topic can end up being a bookmarked reference — or shared throughout social media platforms — for months, even years. Client companies should be able to come up with a decent list of industry concerns, but agencies can impress them by presenting a few of their own. What are industry media writing about? One way to find out is to subscribe to a media query listserv. Reporters, editors, bloggers and authors pose questions based on current stories or books they are working on, but for which they need sources. Many times their work is based on current events but the reporter is making it specific to the industry he or she covers. For example, a new discovery on Mars can be applied to many industries, from higher education to prepare for a future Mars mission, to how Mars can be good for businesses here on earth. Tying individual industries to current events can bring client companies up in online searches in surprising and unexpected ways.

Readers want to know why

In addition to learning how to do something, Internet users also want to know why — what is the reason for or specific purpose of something? Regardless of whether the client company is selling a product or service, there is likely more than one “why” attached to that industry. For example, why is it important to not use the same topical products on cats that are used on dogs? Why is it a good idea to hire an appraiser prior to a divorce? Why is a company’s parental leave policy important to employees who don’t or won’t have children?

Seasonality matters

Some industries are more obviously affected by seasons than others: retailers count on Christmas holiday shopping while service companies may see a decline in business during that time period. In addition, however, seasons can guide content creating and scheduling. A technology company can use the end of the year to review the latest gadgets introduced that year, even if they are not a retail company. It positions them as experts in technology, while meeting the content goal of delivering intelligence to their current and prospective customers. Education topics are likely not sought out during the summer, but spring topics can include tips on prolonging the educational experience by looking for a summer internship, or a student’s guide to trekking across other continents. Fall foliage topics can integrate recipes from food industries, an environmental message for many other types of industries, or travel tips for fuel, automotive or hospitality industries.

Don’t forget visual

Content marketing is not just about writing. Incorporating a visual, such as an infographic or video into a written piece not only appeals to additional audience segments, but also can be a great way to clarify or illustrate a complex topic. Many how-to topics are good choices for visual reinforcement.
Uncovering content ideas for specific companies can take work, but once the process has begun it becomes easier. Once those topics are selected, however, they must be executed in a timely fashion to take advantage of a rapidly moving content world. Hiring a content partner that is proficient at executing ideas into well-written content pieces is one way to help keep clients one step ahead of their competitors, so that the next time they perform an online industry search, their names come out on top.

Need help?

If you have a content marketing program or are planning one, download our e-book “100 Mistakes Businesses Make When Starting, Optimizing and Scaling Content Marketing Programs.”
This e-book will walk you through the mistakes of hundreds of other companies and the challenges they faced in implementing their content marketing programs. To learn more about how Tempesta Media can help you streamline your content creation process and deliver quality content at scale, contact us today.

4 simple strategies that can improve any agency’s operating margins

Most digital marketing agencies have had to deal with the problem of shrinking profit margins at some point or another. As more clients expect agencies to deliver a wider variety of expert-level services, and more companies bring more of their marketing work in-house, agencies face the tough battle of proving the value of the services they offer. Further compounding these issues is the problem of finding – and retaining – top talent.
And so, agencies must adapt and find new ways to maximize each hour and each dollar they spend. Below are four simple strategies designed to improve operating margins for digital marketing agencies.

Reduce churn

The simplest way an agency can reduce its churn rate is by simply talking to their clients. While this may seem like common sense, many agencies don’t communicate with their clients outside of upselling a service, submitting reports, or dealing with a complaint.
Agencies need to be more proactive in gathering feedback, whether it is through customer surveys, social media, or the random email message asking a client how they are doing and if they need any help. It is much better to be proactive than reactive. Clients will notice this.
Work smarter
Working smarter leads to expending fewer resources and enjoying increased stability. One way of doing so is to plan for long-term capacity. By creating revenue projections that include the number of staff hours needed, an agency can better anticipate growth and avoid scrambling to outsource work at the very last minute due to limited staff.
While many agencies know that finding new clients, creating proposals, and scheduling meetings are critical for revenue generation, they can also be a notorious time waster. One way to save time with this process is to use templates, which can be created for the following:

  • Proposals
  • Project outlines
  • Service estimates
  • Troubleshooting

Templates reduce inefficiency by automating repetitive tasks, helping streamline entire processes.

Use new technology

Several new technologies offer agencies a way to save time, employee hours, and operating costs in exchange for a relatively small investment. Fintech apps, for example, allow an agency’s accounting staff to streamline the payroll system. This frees up several hours for other important tasks. Likewise, many project management applications are specifically designed for agencies, and are always worth a look.

Outsource certain tasks

Outsourcing tasks like content creation allows an agency to tap people with skills in specific areas. A content partner knows how to evaluate an agency’s content marketing needs and can fill in productivity gaps that need the most help.
Outsourcing also helps to solve a marketing agency’s problems with finding talent and doing so without the need to hire new employees on a full-time basis. It also allows the agency to expand their reach beyond their immediate vicinity, opening their doors to skilled talent around the world.

Conclusion

As digital marketing agencies grow, the risk of failure and problems also increases. The key is to be proactive in ironing out inefficiencies and cutting costs without affecting employee morale. But with hard work and persistence, any agency can reach its goal of improving operating margins. To learn more about how Tempesta Media can help positively impact your revenue this year, contact us now!

High-quality content marketing spurs agencies' confidence in continued growth

Tempesta Media finds digital agencies and PR firms see no immediate slowdown in US economy

CHICAGO, ILLINOIS – According to a recently released survey conducted by outsourced content marketing company Tempesta Media, over 64 percent of digital agencies report that they are either stable or growing. In fact, digital agencies and PR firms paint a decidedly positive picture. Of the 50 percent of agencies reporting outright growth, the median growth rate was 26 percent. Indeed, the accelerating commitment to content marketing is an important factor in building this confidence.
“Ad agencies have always represented the leading edge of the economy. When companies begin to shift into a defensive posture, agencies are usually the first vendors to feel it,” said Michael Marchese, founder and CEO of Tempesta Media. “We wanted to tap into this leading indicator to really see what is going on in the U.S. economy. As important, we wanted to see how content marketing is impacting their businesses.”

Key growth driver

One of the areas acting as a key growth driver is content marketing. Digital agencies and PR firms are wholeheartedly embracing content marketing as an integral part of their service offerings. To demonstrate, 81 percent already have or are planning to have a content marketing solution available to their customers this year. Of those companies that stated they were growing, 90 percent of them had or planned to have content marketing service offerings for their customers. This compared to less than 50 percent for companies with declining revenues.
Tempesta Media, with partner TangoCode, conducted the research survey from April 1, 2016, to May 2, 2016. It was based on a sample size of 107 U.S. digital agencies and PR firms. The survey targeted agency owners and top agency executives for input. To order a copy of the full research report, The Current State of Content Marketing and Marketing Technology, please visit this site.
If you have a content marketing program, or are planning one, download our ebook:  100 mistakes businesses make when starting, optimizing and scaling content marketing programs.  Learn from the mistakes of hundreds of other companies.  100 mistakes walks you through common and uncommon challenges that they faced with their content marketing programs.

Questions agencies should ask their clients before outsourcing content creation

So, you just landed a new client. This particular client has a ton of content writing needs, and you do not have the internal resources to deliver. If you ever find yourself in this type of situation, seeking resources outside of your company is the only logical solution.
Unfortunately, this does not come without its fair share of headaches, since you not only have to find a solutions provider that delivers quality work, but you also need to be able to successfully relay what your client wants and needs, otherwise you will quickly find yourself in a position where there’s a disconnect between what your client wants and what your solutions provider is writing.
If you are planning on outsourcing content development for your clients, it is important that you ask each of them some fundamental questions first so that they are satisfied with the final deliverables.

What are the objectives and goals for your content?

Some businesses pursue content development and content marketing because they heard it works, but they hardly know how and why. In fact, a report by Starfleet Media, a B2B content marketing provider, shows 93 percent of respondents see “raise branding visibility” as their primary objective with content marketing. However, just 12 percent report to having been “very successful” in reaching that goal, suggesting a disparity between goal setting, and using the right methods to get there. Naturally, you want to keep your clients out of this territory.
It is important to ask clients what their content needs are so you can relay this to your content providers, who in turn, can write copy that matches your clients’ end goals. If the client’s goal is to have high quality and engaging content on the company blog, and your content provider’s main focus is search engine optimization, then you have a disconnect in terms of priorities. Sure, SEO is a goal, but it is not the goal your client is aiming for. As with any other business initiative, your client’s content needs to meet carefully outlined objectives in order to maximize return on investment.

What type(s) of content do you need?

Not only are more companies seeing the value of content marketing — especially when it comes to lead generation — they are also using different types of content to interact with their audience. For example, some organizations (like service providers) are finding success with eBooks, while online companies like Hootsuite have used white papers as a way to market their products and services. In the same Starfleet Media study, the top 3 content assets produced by respondents for 2014 were case studies and success stories, white papers, and webinars, with a share of 69 percent, 63 percent, and 59 percent respectively.
It is important to understand the types of content your client needs so that you can articulate this to your content writing provider. Chances are, the company you hired for content fulfillment purposes will have a variety of content writers on staff, many whom are well-versed in producing a specific type of content, be it white papers, press releases, SEO content, social media posts or something more specific. Think of it as having a team of football players, each with a specific position but all coming together to function as a team.

How do you want your voice represented?

Quality will always be a concern when outsourcing something as important as content creation to a third party, so it is important that you and your client agree on the tone they want their content to have. There are many ways outsourcing your client’s content could go wrong that are not necessarily related to quality and originality.
For example, you can still get high-quality content, but it will not be effective if it does not match your client’s tone. If your writer’s style is formal and rigid and your client’s readers have been consuming fun and engaging narratives, outsourcing could lead to a revolt by their audience.
The key to successfully outsourcing content to a third party is to get them familiar with your client’s business from top to bottom. Since your content developers might be hard-pressed to visit your client’s offices and get acquainted with their staff, more effort has to be exerted when trying to understand a company’s business and industry, products and services, as well as target audience and competitors.

Who is your target audience?

For content to be effective, your client must be able to identify who the target audience is. Is it the guy around the block, or the person sitting in an office in some other part of the world? If your client can’t answer questions about target market, there is no point in engaging in content development, much less content marketing.
There is no point in trying to send a message if you are not sure your clients are going to “get it.” It is tempting to think you will just create content that appeals to a large swath of people who are actively on the internet. But it is actually more advantageous to target a specific audience, one your client’s content will resonate with more. Writing for a specific target is often easier and more efficient than writing for many. It allows you to keep content ideas focused and on track.
The most basic thing any agency can do to understand their client’s target audience is to develop reader personas. These profiles will help you understand the personalities and interests of your client’s readers. You can then pass along these personas to your content writing provider. Remember, content creation is not just about targeting people who will convert into leads and customers; it is also about reaching out to people who will read and share the content.

An all-in-one solution

As you have probably realized by now, outsourcing content is not a task you should take lightly. Your role in helping clients with their content development needs is to find partners who can keep the business moving forward safely and effectively with content, and that means making sure all parties are aware of their responsibilities.
If you have a content marketing program, or are planning one, download our ebook:  100 mistakes businesses make when starting, optimizing and scaling content marketing programs.  Learn from the mistakes of hundreds of other companies.  100 mistakes walks you through common and uncommon challenges that they faced with their content marketing programs.
Tempesta Media provides an all-in-one answer to the questions mentioned above with our content marketing solution. The Tempesta Media Voice ProfileSM, a unique software solution that ensures a writer’s tone and style fits the voice of your clients, allows providers to create any kind of focused, relevant and engaging content. For more information, contact us.

Outsource content – best types of content for agencies

Why do organizations choose to outsource content? A common phrase suggests “Content is King,” and no words seem truer in today’s competitive business environment. To remain viable, businesses cannot ignore the need for content. As companies vie for customer attention, it is critical to showcase good reading material on business websites.
An October 2014 report titled “B2B Technology Marketing Community on LinkedIn” said more than 77 percent of marketers planned to increase content production over the next year. Twenty-nine percent noted they also planned to “significantly” increase the level of content distributed. Only 15 percent indicated their content production would remain “flat,” and none planned to decrease the level of content they produced.
It is clear the majority of marketers are seeking to increase distributed content. But for many busy businesses, it is a challenge to be able to quickly and routinely publish content for clients. As a solution, many of these companies look to outsource content.

Why outsource content marketing?

Statistics suggest up to 90 percent of total sales are directly or indirectly internet-driven. This is especially relevant as no longer is it to a company’s advantage to toss up static content on a website and leave it. Businesses must continuously create new and interesting original content to distribute. This also keeps a website interesting and encourage repeat visitors.
Some marketers do manage all their content in-house, but many are also turning to third parties to provide subject matter expertise. Others often turn to an outsourced company to help them strategize ways to provide great reading material. The benefits of outsourcing content include receiving well-written material from proven writers. This very cost-effective solution also frees up employees to focus on core competencies.

What kind of content can you purchase?

Today’s readers are not interested in one-sided advertising; they want richer content. This means frequent updates on a variety of topics. A managed services provider can deliver almost any type of content a company seeks.
The types of content that organizations can easily outsource and distribute to web visitors include:

• Blog posts on a variety of topics
• Informational articles on best practices and shared tips in one’s industry
• White papers and e-books
• Miscellaneous website content

Content strategists who outsource content can buy a full solution and also pick what types of expert content they need.

Blog posts

Writing and posting regular blog posts can be time-consuming. It pulls employees away from other important tasks if there is no dedicated in-house staff to manage this task. A third party can provide posts for any topic desired. They can also report on any information about any recent awards received, highlight details on industry trends or provide industry forecasts.
Additionally, they can write general posts relating to topics clients would find of interest. A software security company might highlight malware trends or provide tips to customers on how to prevent data theft. A home improvement contracting company might want to share “how-to” information, do-it-yourself tips and annual maintenance schedules in addition to other useful information.

Informational articles

Sometimes businesses also want to share more detailed and/or research-based information with their customer base relating to their industry. Experienced writers in specific niches can do the research and present it in a user-friendly manner. Organizations that outsource content allow employees to focus on other important tasks.

White papers and e-books

White papers and e-books are also great ways to distribute authoritative information. As they can be very time-consuming, a managed services provider with a team of expert writers can help. They can create the information needed quickly and with limited client company involvement. Miscellaneous types of content, such as web page text or product descriptions, are other forms of content that a third party can also provide.
Essentially, creating a variety of content increases brand visibility and provides clients and customers with the information they seek (or valuable new information they may not know they want).
Tempesta Media is a managed services provider of expert custom content for agencies, website developers and PR firms that do not have the internal resources to do the work themselves. It has a network of more than 11,000 vetted professional writers who are knowledgeable in numerous industries. Tempesta Media can create any content you need to meet your marketing requirements. In addition to creating content, Tempesta Media provides services including strategy and topic development, SEO optimization and plagiarism protection. They can offer a high-quality solution at a cost that meets both your needs and your budget.
If you have a content marketing program, or are planning one, download our ebook:  100 mistakes businesses make when starting, optimizing and scaling content marketing programs.  Learn from the mistakes of hundreds of other companies.  100 mistakes walks you through common and uncommon challenges that they faced with their content marketing programs.

Get more information on what Tempesta Media can do for you.

 
 

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