The number of agencies across the world that specialize in content marketing is in the thousands. Content Marketing Institute (CMI) lists 243 in its agency directory, and that total only scratches the surface.
Agencies are critical partners for companies that produce large volumes of content, and require additional resources to keep their programs running smoothly. With numerous different client initiatives coming through each week, agency marketers must remain nimble and prepared to handle unexpected challenges as they arise.
Content marketing managers at agencies are especially under the gun. They are accountable for ensuring all the work gets done, on time, and meets quality standards. When juggling multiple client programs and team members (while also often helping with their own agency marketing needs), managers tend to have their hands full. Which can make it difficult to keep up with things like agency marketing trends.
But this awareness is important. We want to know how our own shops stack up in comparison to the field. Where do we have advantages and where are we falling behind? Where are content marketing agencies placing their focuses, now and going forward?
The annual benchmarking research from CMI is very helpful for these purposes. If you haven’t had a chance to dive into the Agency Content Marketing 2019 Benchmarks, Budgets, and Trends report, we’ve got you covered.
Here are the insights that today’s agency content marketing managers should have on their radars.
CMI’s Agency Marketing Report: 5 Key Insights for Content Marketing Managers
1. We Still Need to Document Our Content Strategies
More than half (58%) of agency marketers say they still haven’t documented their strategies. That seems kind of crazy because, with all the moving parts involved in an agency operation, the need for centralized and concrete process/underpinnings becomes all the more critical to keep things straight.
Those who don’t have a documented content strategy are missing out on numerous benefits, which seem pretty important:
For what it’s worth, adopting DivvyHQ is basically equivalent to documenting your content strategy because all of the many components (topic clusters, SEO data, workflows, integration of tactics) are housed within the same platform.
2. We Should Build More Bridges with Strategic Influencers
When asked for their opinions about various aspects of their agencies, content marketers were generally positive and confident about things like valuing creativity, focusing on loyalty, and earning audience trust. But there was a noticeable drop-off when it came to building relationships with influencers such as brand advocates and journalists, with only 61% responding affirmatively:
This is surprising, because it seems like something that should be an area of strength for agencies; build up a stable of experts and authoritative sources, and then tap them across your client programs when relevant. These influential contributors can power up results by infusing credibility and expanding reach. They also might help you earn some quality backlinks.
3. Technology Keeps Us Sharp
Unsurprisingly, agencies are prolific users of content marketing technology, from which they recognize many key benefits. Top among them are better insight into content performance, better insight into audience behavior/preferences, improved workflow and easier content repurposing:
Since agency marketers are clearly enjoying these perks, I can’t help but note that several of them are distinct advantages of using a content marketing platform like DivvyHQ.
4. More Than One-Third of Us Don’t Use Buyer Personas
Personas are handy tools for personalizing your content at scale, enabling you to segment and align your messaging with similar prospects and customers. People today want content that speaks to them personally, and this is difficult to achieve with super-general information and guidance oriented toward everyone in your audience.
Aligning content items with personas is easy in DivvyHQ, where you can use the content strategy fields to to affix these details as well as others such as buyer stage, topic cluster, publishing channel, and more.
5. Algorithm Changes Cause Anxiety
Only one content marketing issue looms larger in the minds of agency marketers than changing social media algorithms, and that’s SEO/search algorithms:
It’s somewhat reassuring that fewer than half of respondents pointed to “content marketing as a revenue center” as a primary concern, suggesting that perhaps we’re getting better at showing ROI and demonstrating value. But the algorithm anxiety is understandable, and relatable.
As digital marketers depend on search and social media to help our content get seen. Understanding how to maximize our impact on both is essential, but awfully difficult when the underlying rules and principles are constantly in flux.
If you want an up-to-date primer on the core fundamentals of successful SEO in 2019, we recently published a modern guide to SEO-centric content strategy.
Age of the Content Marketing Agency
As content demands keep elevating, the role of marketing agencies becomes all the more vital. If you work at an agency, and are looking for a better way to keep all of your initiatives organized and running smoothly, we’d love it if you tried out DivvyHQ.
And here’s another fun fact: We have an agency referral program, so those who spread the word and help their fellow agency marketers tap into the power of our platform stand to benefit. Please don’t hesitate to reach out if you’d like to learn more.