What’s the one common element shared by every single successful brand on the planet, in every industry?
It’s great marketing.
You can offer customers the best products, the most in-demand services, or the cheapest, easiest solutions on the market. If customers don’t know about it, you’re out of luck.
The thing is, great marketing means different things to different people. Its meaning changes based on the context and the industry it is being applied in.
For instance, look at the wildly popular hot sauce, Sriracha. Marketers and entrepreneurs look up to Sriracha as an example of a hugely successful product with a marketing budget of zero.
While it’s true that Los Angeles-based Huy Fong Foods doesn’t spend a cent on advertising, it did get its start distributing free samples to working chefs in local Asian restaurants. It capitalized on its advantages in a clear niche market with clear needs and avoided fighting uphill battles in the process.
Imagine the tiny upstart hot sauce company taking out television ads to go face-to-face with Tabasco’s $2.5 million-dollar marketing budget. It wouldn’t work.
Instead, Sriracha hot sauce directly addressed the needs of Asian chefs and restaurant owners in Los Angeles in the 1980s. These people were used to ordering perishable food items from China and Vietnam and waiting weeks for supplies to arrive.
Now they had an immediately available alternative that was cheaper (thanks to no shipping fees or import taxes) and fresher (since the chilies were locally grown and processed).
So how should web developers market their services to customers? What is the best marketing strategy for web agencies in 2018? It turns out there are some clear, tried-and-true methods that work wonderfully because web agency customers tend to share common pain points.
Building your Web Agency Marketing Strategy
Marketing a web agency is different from marketing a hot sauce. But there some underlying patterns that you should be aware of. Here are some of the most important building blocks for marketing a web agency in today’s competitive marketplace:
- Develop a Niche. Your marketing plan relies almost entirely on the niche market you dedicate yourself to. Nobody wants a jack-of-all-trades web developer, so it’s pointless to waste time and resources trying to be one.
- Know Your Niche’s Pain Points. Look at how well Sriracha met its customers’ needs. Once you identify who your customers are, you can position yourself to address their needs to the letter. This is by far the best way to gain a foothold in a competitive marketplace – start by serving your niche and solving its problems.
- Demonstrate Your Expertise. Once you identify your niche and learn everything you can about the unique problems it faces, you can position your agency as the one best-suited to solve those problems. To do this, you have to demonstrate that you really know what you’re talking about and that your agency is authentically concerned with that niche.
- Develop Relationships. Not only do you need to develop relationships with your customers, but you should also build bridges to non-competitive businesses in your niche. Corporate marketing executives call this business development and use it to broaden niches into full-scale markets.
Each of these steps puts you closer to putting a winning marketing strategy into effect. The last – and most important – step towards developing your marketing strategy is putting it all together in the content marketing format.
Content Marketing Is the Best Way to Market Web Development
Now that we’ve established a framework for successfully marketing a web development agency, it’s time to look at the marketing framework that best serves web agency customers.
There are plenty of options to choose from: Traditional marketing, paid to advertise, and other forms of outbound marketing tend to appear first in most people’s minds. But content marketing is by far the superior choice when it comes to web development and design.
Why is that?
Content marketing is a form of inbound marketing. Instead of interrupting the things people are interested in to show branded marketing messages (like ads), it guides brands to become the thing that people are interested in.
Overall, businesses that use content marketing enjoy conversion rates six times higher than those that do not, on average. 70% of B2B customers prefer to learn about products they buy from blog posts than from advertisements.
Consider your ideal customer. Anyone who is interested in making and maintaining their own website must be pretty familiar with the Internet. Implicitly, they understand that the Internet is a useful place to learn about valuable products and services.
This means that it’s overwhelmingly likely that they will look for products and services they need online. And if you create content that establishes your agency as the most authoritative source of information on your niche’s concerns, you are likely to gain serious marketing traction from that.
How to Make Content Marketing Work For Your Agency
If you understand your niche and the pain points of the customers who make it up, you are halfway to starting a successful content marketing campaign. From here, all you need to do is offer the relevant, high-quality information that your customers are looking for.
For most web agencies, this means starting a blog. But content marketing can take any number of forms – including video or even interactive media. The key to marketing your web development agency successfully is using the highest-value formats and channels available to you.
- Starting a blog? You’ll need a steady stream of high-impact blog posts. Consider hiring a professional writer.
- Interested in video marketing? It requires investing more time, money, and resources than most other types of content, but it can generate huge returns.
- For the best dollar-for-dollar value in the world of content marketing, nothing beats email marketing. Using email, agencies can generate 3800% returns on their marketing investment!
- Social media is a landscape of its own. While paid advertising is key to social media marketing success, you can strategically invest in social media content to earn industry-best cost-effectiveness.
There is a lot you can do with content marketing. All you need to start is a clear idea of who your audience is, the challenge those people face, and an argument that positions your web agency as the solution to those challenges.