Why Advertising Agencies Need to Invest in Content Marketing

By Lolly Spindler

Why Advertising Agencies Need to Invest in Content Marketing

via hojusaram on Flickr

Content marketing is the future of marketing. Brands get that, but ad agencies have been slow to realize it.

If 78 percent of Chief Marketing Officers see custom content as the future of marketing, why haven’t more advertising agencies harnessed the power of it yet?

In a recent podcast, Joe Pulizzi, founder of the Content Marketing Institute and Content Marketing World, and Robert Rose, the Chief Strategist at the Content Marketing Institute, outlined their belief that most ad agencies still don’t understand content. In fact, most agencies are more interested in getting bigger than building relationships with consumers.

Ad agencies still see digital as an advertising platform rather than a crucial space for building and maintaining brand-consumer relationships. As Pulizzi observed, “Agencies are all about getting the attention, getting activity, but not about building audience.” Yes, web traffic and social shares are important, but not if that activity isn’t converting. To help convert online attention into paying customers, Pulizzi urges more agencies to add value outside the service or product they offer.

This added value in the form of content is essential to digital marketing success. While 80 percent of people appreciate learning about a company through custom content, 90 percent of consumers find custom content useful, 70 percent feel closer to a company because of it, and 78 percent perceive a relationship between themselves and a company that’s using custom content.

Not only does the consumer benefit from such content, agencies’ pockets will as well. According to Gartner, digital marketing spending averaged one-quarter of the marketing budget in 2014. Furthermore, “of the 51 percent of companies who plan to increase their digital marketing budget in 2015, the average increase will be 17 percent.” These numbers are only expected to rise in the coming years, and content marketing provides the best bang for your buck.

In addition to costing 62 percent less than traditional marketing, content marketing generates approximately three times as many leads per dollar as traditional marketing.

If advertising agencies don’t change their perception of digital and continue to fail to understand the importance and power of content, Pulizzi believes that brands will take over and agencies will be left in the dust. Companies will go elsewhere with their marketing dollars, or bring their advertising efforts in-house, reducing agencies to mere commodities.

Advertising agencies need to move past their obsession with being relevant in digital and realize that building lasting, value-rich relationships with their customers is the key to digital marketing success.

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