4 Tips for Retaining Content Marketing Clients

By | August 25, 2015
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Jeremy DurantBelow is a guest post from Jeremy Durant (@BopDesignSD), business principal at Bop Design, a B2B content marketing agency and web design firm based in San Diego, CA, with locations in Orange County and Los Angeles. Jeremy creates successful web design and content marketing strategies for B2B firms.

 

Although widely accepted as the future, content marketing can often be a hard sell, particularly to the C-Suite. For many firms and agencies, the process of selling content marketing doesn’t stop at the signing of a contract, but actually continues throughout the life of the content marketing project.

As content marketers, we know a content strategy takes time and does not always have immediate results like pay-per-click ads. While clients may understand this at the onset of a content marketing project, they can start to get restless (possibly from their managers who are demanding results) as a project matures. In my experience working on B2B content marketing strategies, I’ve discovered four major things that are essential to retaining clients and ensuring a digital strategy is successful.

1. Track the Right Metrics

The metrics we can track as B2C or B2B content marketers are quite expansive, and that’s only in Google Analytics. You may track sessions, pages/session, session duration, landing page sessions, exit pages, referral sources, etc. All these metrics can be overwhelming for a content marketing client. Although these metrics have value for a content marketing strategy, it’s essential to pick those that are top priorities for your client.

Clients want to know what content pieces are popular or getting traction in search engines. They want to know what content is driving conversions and what types of conversions they are driving. Now, I’m not saying don’t share other metrics with a client, because they do show progress, but make sure to highlight the metrics that are most relevant.  

2. Regular Reporting

A regular reporting schedule should be included in any marketing project scope, especially content marketing projects since it can be harder to show all the behind-the-scenes work. The reporting schedule can vary, but I like a formal account review and report on a monthly basis.

I’m not a fan of auto-reports, since the main value of working with an agency is to get the extra human analysis. If auto-reports are necessary to save time, it’s a good idea to schedule a quick client call to go over the report. Typically, 20 to 30 minutes is all that is necessary.

Reports give the client a document they can review and compare over time to track performance. Monthly or quarterly calls give an extra level of value since they provide the opportunity for clarification, questions and feedback.

3. Informed Decisions

The expert analysis you perform on an ongoing basis is the main value you provide to a content marketing client. Everyone seems to think they can write blogs, dabble in design, and post to social media—but most clients realize they don’t have the savvy to create a content strategy and make metrics-driven decisions.

Communicate to clients that they are getting a custom strategy that is tailored to meet their needs and engage their audience. For example, if you find a particular topic fails in getting blog engagement, explain to the client why you changed topics or directions. Continually showing a client you are the expert reinforces the value of your services.

4. Flexible Strategies

A typical content marketing strategy for a B2B or B2C client is six to 12 months. While you may have an editorial calendar for the next six months, creating flexibility with alternate topics or mediums can add significant value for a client. Once you learn which topics and mediums work best for your client’s audience, adjust long-term and short-term strategies to maximize results.

The main way to retain a client is to show value before they doubt your value. Continually highlight the return on your services and the expert advice you provide to ensure the success of your project and client satisfaction.

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