A really interesting conversation emerged on LinkedIn recently.
The prompt: Why don't you hear more about a combined PR and content marketing strategy, especially as it relates to thought leadership?
To answer this question, we wanted to look at how content marketing has evolved and the options that are now available.
Marketing is probably one of the most cluttered industries, and that's for a few reasons:
In such a saturated landscape, it's no surprise that hundreds of companies consider themselves to be content marketing providers, so it would be nearly impossible to compare all their unique differences. But in this blog post, I've broken down some content marketing options in a few main categories, as well as the needs these companies can help fulfill.
Before you dive into looking at specific content marketing agencies, you have to take a step back and really consider your content marketing goals and what you're hoping to gain by working with a content partner.
To do that, you have to ask yourself a few questions:
At Influence & Co., we work with a variety of clients across a breadth of industries. But the way they respond to these questions tends to be quite similar, which is why our agency was the right fit for these companies. Here's an example of how one of our clients might answer these questions:• What goals does my company need to achieve?
We're looking to increase the number of qualified leads who are coming to our website and engaging with our company.• What resources (time and expertise) are needed in order to hit that goal?
We have subject matter expertise, but we lack the capacity on our team to actually use that expertise to reach our audience with engaging content.
We have a small marketing team, so we lack the bandwidth and expertise to strategize, write, edit, design, optimize, and analyze the performance of all the content that's necessary to work toward our goals.
Think through how you would answer these questions before reading on.
Once you've uncovered exactly what you're looking for in a content partner, it's time to explore what content marketing options are out there. Here are four types of companies that can help you reach your content marketing goals:
Because content marketing has evolved so much, it has created opportunities for companies to segment which pieces of content marketing they are experts in. A holistic content marketing agency, on the other hand, will build and execute a strategy that fuels multiple components of the content marketing funnel. This can be beneficial for companies looking for a strategy partner to whom they can outsource multiple pieces of their content strategy.
We fall into this holistic content marketing category at Influence & Co. We're a content marketing agency that specializes in on-site content, PR, and SEO to deliver comprehensive, results-driven content marketing strategies for clients in a wide range of industries.
Click below to learn more about Influence & Co.'s services and pricing:
As I mentioned before, some agencies offer more holistic content marketing services, while others opt to specialize in more niche areas. This can be beneficial to companies that have a solid marketing team but need limited support with specific services.
For example, a company like Brafton would fall into this category. Brafton is a content marketing agency that specializes in the creation and distribution of owned media (such as content writing, video, design, and lead magnet creation) through digital marketing tactics with the goal of helping clients lead prospects through the buyer's journey.
Because content marketing is now a digital-first initiative, companies can't ignore software that helps them plan and execute on their content strategy and understand its performance.
Reviewing key performance indicators over time allows companies to understand their content marketing results and pivot their strategies as needed to generate greater content marketing ROI over time. This is why companies specializing in analytics have cropped up over the years.
Parse.ly would fall into this category. Parse.ly is a software-as-a-service content marketing company that focuses on analytics. It helps marketers understand the performance of their content efforts and prove the value of the content they're creating.
But analytics isn't the only focus of tech-based content marketing companies. Other players in this space offer strategy and talent management.
Contently falls into this category. While Contently is also a SaaS company, its focus differs from Parse.ly. Contently connects clients with expert writers and journalists through its platform. It enables companies to execute on their content marketing strategies while managing the strategy themselves. Contently's tool allows clients to store their content strategy, plan their editorial calendar, and connect with writers and other types of content creators to execute on their strategy.
Lots of companies choose to engage with content marketing to position company leaders as thought leaders in their industry. One strategy for doing this is through events and speaking engagements.
Cred, an Influence & Co. partner, falls into this content marketing category. Cred helps companies work toward their thought leadership goals by focusing on creating events and securing speaking opportunities to help elevate clients as thought leaders in their industries. Some of its services include podcast placement, content creation and social engagement, virtual event management, brand positioning and strategy, sponsorship management, and virtual speaking opportunities.
I'm the director of brand and content for Intero Digital. I'm a wife and mom to two beautiful girls, and I'm a big Missouri sports fan and lover of sushi. I have a passion for using marketing to educate, tell stories, and drive business results.