“The shoemaker’s kids have no shoes.” A tired trope you may have heard a time or two, and can often be heard around the ABC office when we’re talking about our own marketing efforts as a marketing agency. But we say it so much because, well, it’s true.
If you’re in this business, you may find yourself feeling the same way. We pour so much time, energy and creativity into our clients that we’re often last on the list of priorities. New business usually comes through referrals or word of mouth – which is great! But over the past few years, we’ve made a concerted effort as a company to put ourselves out there and give our marketing budget a small fraction of the love we give our clients’ budgets. Here are some things we’ve learned along the way.
SEM works … no, really.
We recommend it to our clients all the time. But – does it work in the agency world? Total disclosure: yes. Over the past couple years we’ve spent a consistent amount of our own money on search engine marketing, and it has paid off not only in leads, but leads that have now turned into clients.
We have tirelessly looked at our targeting parameters, nitpicked relevant and negative keywords and continued to debate whether or not we should be buying our *own* name (verdict’s still out on this one!) It’s not the sexiest tool in the marketing kit, but it’s a necessary one.
Organic social media is more important than you think.
We manage both paid and organic social media for most of our clients. We know how time-consuming it can be. And if we’re going to be selling those services, our social media better look damn good. What happens when a new prospect goes to check out your social feeds and you haven’t posted in …. <gulp> months?
We strive to post at the same steady cadence we recommend to clients. We meet as a team weekly to plan out content for the week. It’s usually a mix of workplace culture, thought leadership and blog posts, as well as work we’re proud of. You should check it out!
Oh, and this includes YouTube. Not only is it the world’s largest search engine, it may also be the world’s most popular social channel. It’s important to keep your YouTube presence up to date.
Show your work.
Speaking of work we’re proud of … we show it off as often as we can. Demonstrating your product or service is essential. Marketing 101. So, once we finish a project, we do everything in our power to promote the hell out of it. And not just organically on our social channels. For some projects, we put money behind paid advertising on platforms like LinkedIn to ensure the right people are seeing it.
Oh, and let’s put some emphasis on LinkedIn for a minute. In our experience and that of many clients, it has been an outstanding source of interactions and leads. Any paid social strategy in the B2B world should not ignore LinkedIn.
Over the past year or so as we kick off a new project, we discuss whether or not we should be documenting it for our own marketing purposes. And if it’s documentation-worthy, we record every step of the process to produce a top-notch “How It’s Made” video when it’s all over. This works for us two-fold: 1. It shows off our video production services and 2. It gives our audience a peek behind the curtain.
So, as you can see, there’s a lot to be learned about business-to-business communications from our own business. As an agency, we get to pilot tactics we may someday recommend to clients with proof this stuff actually works. Marketing a marketing agency may be the biggest challenge our Creative and Media teams face, but all the trials and tribulations are worth it when you consider the results of all that blood, sweat and (many) tears.
About The Author
Rachel brings her more than a decade of experience in marketing to ABC in her role as Director of Agency Operations. That experience spans work in nonprofit, health care, dairy, insurance and wholesale industries.
While spending most of her career on the client side, Rachel was drawn to the creative culture of agency life here at ABC. Through her understanding of the creative process, Rachel makes sure that all work that comes in and out of the agency stays on track.
Rachel works closely with ABC’s Creative Director and Account Managers to meet client expectations before, during and after each project.