Does Your Advertising Agency Blog Kick Ass?

Advertising Agency Blog Objectives & Strategies

This is how Google displayed my website to the world via a search on “advertising agency new business” – a perfect search phrase for my advertising agency consultancy. This makes me happy and is a direct result of my meeting the business objectives of my blog. My objectives are clear – get traffic for my keywords, present myself as an advertising industry thought leader and drive leads. I’ve achieved this via over 650 dedicated, focused blog posts. Does your advertising agency blog meet Its objectives?

Your Advertising Agency Blog

Here are what I consider the leading objectives and strategies for an advertising agency blog. I know that if you follow these best practices that your blog’s traffic will grow exponentially.

To get started, know that: according to Hubspot, business blogging leads to an average of 55% more website visitors. I think that this is light – you will do better. Blogs are worth it – if managed.

The 7 Most Important Blog Objectives

Core Objectives – this is the blueprint:

  1. Drive Google love.
  2. Grow website traffic.
  3. Support your agency’s brand identity and credibility.
  4. Look and sound like an industry leader. A thought leader.
  5. Build an email list.
  6. Attract the best talent.
  7. Attract media attention.
  8. Build a blog that drives leads.

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Advertising Agency Strategic Planning And Insights

How Your Advertising Agency Can Leverage The Value Of Strategic Planning And Insights For Growth

I am sitting next to a 1.5-inch three-ring binder from Saatchi & Saatchi Advertising Worldwide called “Saatchi Insight. Strategic Planning Tool Kit”. This book was our advertising agency strategic planning and insights bible.

 I took this tome with me when I left Saatchi in 1995. At that time, I was running business development across North America and, sadly, this was the last year that Maurice and Charles Saatchi ran the company. No, don’t be too sad. The brothers went on to build the smarter M&C Saatchi and I moved into digital marketing and publishing. I believe, as do many, that 1995 was the end of the great Saatchi & Saatchi reign.

The “Saatchi Insight. Strategic Planning Tool Kit”.

This toolkit includes 15 sections with strategic process brand names like MASTERBRAND, BRAND Detonator, The Saatchi Temple, The Consumer Connector, Funneling, The Media Monitor and Scenario Planning (at a time when this term was rarely used outside of Saatchi). The brand names helped position us as super smart in our new business pitches and, of course, with resolving existing client issues.

I’ll be hitting up insights from this book in a few blog posts because I think that advertising agency marketing-oriented strategic planning is an underutilized agency specialty. I strongly believe that having a clear and compelling strategic program can be a differentiator for today’s look-alike advertising agencies. Read More »

13 Steps To Building A Well-Read Ad Agency Blog

What Is The Purpose Of My Ad Agency Blog?

If you run an ad agency blog – or any other word-centric social media platform – you will often ask yourself the difficult question, “What should I write about today? What pearls of wisdom will get us more attention?” Despite blogging for 15 years, I ask this all the time. It is like having an editorial meeting in my head.

The blog you are currently reading has, with this, 651 individual posts. The vast majority are spot on dedicated to one primary subject… ad agency business development. This dedication has yielded me page one positions for my keywords on Google. Good news, Google is the main driver of my consultancy’s awareness and business.

What To Write About? Where To Start?

The first success-oriented objective of a blog is getting traffic. To get there, business blogs need to be focused. With a billion blogs and opinions out in the world, being a generalist will not cut it. This is especially true in the advertising space where agencies often regurgitate the same, as in, similar, subject matter.

To really kick it, you need a solid plan. I suggest using the same type of creative or media brief you use for your clients. Clarify and agree on the following:

  1. Nail your blog’s objectives. Is it general awareness (if so, you better act-up a bit more like Gary Vaynerchuck)? Do you want to own a category i.e. pet products? A technology like mobile advertising? Your city?
  2. Nail your target market. Is it current or future clients? Your staff? Future employees?
  3. Have systems for finding new subjects. I read the trade press. I read my competition. I get off topic sometimes. But, I always have my eyes and ears open to even accidentally hear about a smart blog subject. A smart, traffic-generating, subject like this: What Should I Write About On My Ad Agency Blog?
  4. Have a point of view. Have some attitude. Please. That means having some personality. A voice. People tell me that I write the way I talk. It works for me. I write good stuff but I do not sound too serious.
  5. If you have multiple authors, agree on some parameters.
  6. Create a scheduled content plan. Schedule out three or so months of subject matter on your content calendar. However, pay attention to today’s hot topics. Example, Facebook and privacy is really heating up as I write. L2’s Scott Galloway has a strong opinion… do you?
  7. Understand your frequency. When I started blogging a few years ago, I wrote two or more times a week. Today, once a week sustains Google’s attention and gooses its algorithm.
  8. Vary your content. You will need to must have a bunch of 1,000-word posts (to look like an authority) as well and shorter punchier posts. Add photographs and videos.
  9. Do expert interviews. A 15-minute interview recorded and then transcribed by companies like yields the fastest easiest way to build content. The interviews from my book on pitching are also up on this blog.
  10. Repurpose your content as in amplifying it. Why just have your thoughts on the blog – re-post it as a long white paper (and vice versa). Take a blog post and turn it into a LinkedIn article. Amplify! Have this in your plan.
  11. Promote what you write. The idea that, “If I build it, they will come” is a recipe for disaster. Promote the blog on your website 9make it easy to find), in your emails, on your social sites, etc.
  12. Marketing 101! Make the blog a sales tool. This is a key reason you have it, right? Make an offer to your readers can’t resist that will get them to subscribe.
  13. Be very patient. Let’s face it, the world is not looking for another ad agency blog. However, the world is looking for relevant information that will make them smarter via insights and answers to their marketing questions — and even resolves their insecurities.

The blogger’s bottom line(s)… Nobody automatically loves you can and you can count the ones that do

Just realize that the world is not waking up every morning to read your blog. Give the people something they want to read. Serve it up in ways they will find it. A great ad agency blog will attract website views, will help sell you POV and will act as a powerful marketing tool.

One more bottom line… pay close attention to your blog’s analytics. I use both Google Analytics and my WordPress stats. Not surprising, my very targeted ad agency blog post, Cures For Poor Advertising Agency Profits is a hot seller this month.



The Idiocy Of Ad Agency Christmas Giving

Yes, Ad Agency Christmas Giving Is Stupid

Does your ad agency send out Chrismas cards or gifts to clients — even prospects? I call this practice stupid. Strong words? Sure.

Look, I have nothing against season’s greetings. But, after working at a couple of agencies (including my own) and watching dozens/hundreds more send out very “creative” Christmas (Chanukah, Kwanza, etc.) cards and gifts during the late-December season, I have to say this is very ill-timed even highly-inefficient outreach. It is wasteful in three critical ways:

  1. Bad timing. From a marketing point of view, you are sending out stuff into a high-density environment. You are gifting what you might think is special just when everyone else is… from other agencies to families to friends. Crazy. A savvy client might even question your giving, er agency marketing.
  2. Most clients don’t care. They are not looking for your card or gift. I know this. Even after my agency got smart and switched to a, LOL, Chinese New Years gift, I got limited thank yous from clients even long-term clients. We sent out art directed + artfully etched fine-wine bottles that celebrated each year’s animal. I still think it was a cool gift. Even avoiding the Christmas season, we still got very limited thankyous. One year, I was so pissed off at being impolitely ignored, I asked silent clients why they (serious clients like AOR Nike) did not thank us. Their tail between the legs response was unfulfilling.
  3. Back to inefficient. Finally, how much time do you think the average agency spends on thinking about, planning, art directing and producing cards and gifts? Too much! I think that this stuff has become an agency joke. At best, it yields some agencies a bit of press. See what I mean: An example from The Drum: Agency Christmas round-up: Cards, charity initiatives, chatbots and creative hangover cures

By the way, the Christmas image at left is from the agency KBS.

Marketing Lunacy Resolved

If you want to look creative via gift giving – and say thanks… I suggest being a bit more strategic.

Why not celebrate a different holiday every year to look different without the major effort that stresses out your creative department. Unless, of course, it is the only time they can kick some creative butt.

By the way, Happy Holidays.


Cures For Poor Advertising Agency Profits

Cures For Poor Advertising Agency Profits

I work to provide cures for low advertising agency profits. That is my specialty. I do not get many calls from super successful, as in high-margin agencies unless they are very very hungry to expand.  I LOVE those call from the relentless.

Here Is A Key Question

Within the range of the business questions that I use at the start of an agency business development assignment, there is one simple, but revealing question:

Why do you run your advertising, PR, digital agency?

This question generally yields a somewhat standard answer…

The marketing communications industry (advertising, digital marketing, PR) is fun.

No surprise here. Marketing hits many sweet spots including working with a wide array of clients and their issues (great for advertising people with ADHD); delivering marketing that drives sales is fulfilling; the daily use unique skills; being paid for creative thinking; working with fun people; it beats owning a dry cleaner shop. I don’t usually get told that people make a pant load of money. For most ad shops, those days are (unfortunately) over.

Super high-profit days are in the past due to the move to fee-based compensation; absurdly competitive price cutting; the art of giving services away for free; incessant cost-cutting; increasing workload; increasing advertising platforms; staffing issues; the commoditization of services; claiming the impossible to own “we are creative”; not zeroing in on the most important client need of all… business results.

OK, OK, Enough!

Elemental Cures To Grow Advertising Agency Profits

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