30% of content marketing agencies, will be exploring AI to increase efficiencies in 2019.
As content marketing continues to be the core of many of the world's most successful companies, we wanted to dig into what is driving the (sometimes, but not always) behind the scenes digital agencies fuelling that growth.
We connected with 33 owners of various digital agencies who share their insights on the trends of content marketing agencies today.
Check out their insights below:
Interestingly enough, we recognized that most digital agencies who focused on content marketing did not have a specific type of company they served.
Seeing as content marketing can be an effective strategy regardless of what industry you are in, digital agencies are serving a multitude of different companies.
As previously stated, 39% of respondents stated that a majority of their clients are mid-market companies which have 51 - 200 employees.
Interestingly enough, it is safe to say many of these companies have mature marketing teams who recognize the value that strategic content marketing can bring to a business.
After all, a study by Kapost and Eloqua in 2017 states that content marketing gets three times more leads than paid search advertising.
Building on the effectiveness of content marketing, regardless of the industry you're in, we wanted to dive into exactly where these clients were.
As you can clearly see, 59% of the respondent's clients are in the Healthcare industry, 53% of the respondent's clients are in Financial Services and so on.
Why is this interesting?
It clearly demonstrates how content marketing can be used to support any and all businesses, clients or customers.
55% of marketers say blog content creation is their top inbound marketing priority. (HubSpot, 2018)
And so, the next thing we inquired about was how these agencies were being discovered.
Were they using their own content to generate leads? Offering up content to support their content marketing services?
Ironically, 88% of respondents said referrals or word of mouth was the primary way clients were finding out about these digital agencies.
As expected, 75% of respondents said search engines, meaning content or SEO efforts, were used to discover content marketing agencies.
As an agency, it is vital to create content to demonstrate your services, knowledge and expertise.
So, these agencies offer content marketing as a service. But, are they investing heavily in content to drive growth in their own business?
As we connected with more and more of these agency owners, we discovered that 30% of respondents have 1 full time employee dedicated to content creation for the agency itself as well as clients.
And, 30% of agencies said they have no dedicated employees for content creation.
Coincidence? We think not.
Building on whether or not there is a full-time employee dedicated to content creation or not, we wanted to know how much content was being created by the agencies we connected with.
In terms of creating content on a monthly basis, 34% of respondents stated that they produce 3 - 4 pieces of content each month, internally.
Ultimately, digital agency owners want to bring value to each and every one of their clients.
With a variety of clients, how do you prove value to all of them based on their goals?
66% of respondents say lead generation (66%) and performances increases (59%) are important stats that agency owners are measuring.
Providing value, services, knowledge, expertise, etc. comes at a cost.
Is it standardized? Is it customized?
When we asked if agencies customized their pricing model for each client, 91% of responders said yes.
An obviously large majority feel that is the most effective method.
However, 6% of respondents said other, meaning they customize pricing options based on the unique business needs of their clients, or clients' projects.
If content truly is king, one would assume every business would be looking to utilize content as a lead generation channel.
When consulting agency owners, 72% of respondents stated they are expecting to invest or spend more on content in 2019.
However, 53% of respondents do not offer a content audit as a service.
As content marketing services increase in demand, agency owners have to ensure they are pricing their offerings competitively.
Do they use fixed pricing? Tiered pricing? Is it based on volume of content?
In an effort to remain competitive, 47% of respondents set prices using a combination of different pricing methods to ensure they maximize the value they provide to their clients.
Any business or marketing team who is invested in content marketing knows that the only way to scale their success is by using software.
The content marketing tools available today make content marketers, marketing teams, agencies and enterprise businesses more effective.
As users of multiple software solutions, respondents listed Google Analytics (94%), Wordpress (88%) and Mailchimp (59%) as the most common tools included in their tech stack.
But, of all the tools in their tech stack, which are the most important?
Of all the available softwares, 38% of respondents say marketing automation software would be the most impactful in running their agency.
As the tech savvy digital agencies of the world continue to adopt cutting edge technologies, it was important to understand the adoption of artificial intelligence.
81% of respondents are not currently using an AI technology for themselves or their clients. However, when asked about exploring AI, 30% of respondents will be exploring AI to increase efficiencies in 2019.