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How agencies can use media intelligence to drive their own content marketing

Usually, when agencies think about media monitoring and measurement, they consider it in terms of how they can improve results and reporting for their clients.

But media intelligence tools enable agencies to help themselves, too.

Most agencies will benefit from content marketing programs that help to demonstrate their expertise and establish their team members as thought leaders in their target markets.

With effective use of media monitoring and measurement, your agency’s content marketing program can produce better results with less effort.

Start by defining your target audience

An important requirement for most successful marketing is to clearly understand who you are trying to reach. For an agency, that means having a carefully crafted ideal client profile that you can use to evaluate the best content to create.

With a well-defined audience, you can customize your media intelligence program to capture the outlets and topics that your prospective clients are most likely to track themselves.

Identify trending topics

Using your list of target outlets, you can utilize a media monitoring platform to keep an eye on the topics that are receiving the most attention. This gives you an opportunity to weigh in on timely issues and create content that is most relevant.

The key to integrating real-time topics – often referred to as “newsjacking” – is to balance what you do in the moment against a longer-term content plan for the quarter or year that helps to ensure that you are reaching the right people with the right messages.

Trending topic analysis can help you tailor pre-planned content to take advantage of the news of the day, in addition to being able to create new pieces on the fly that match up with popular conversation.

Discover influencers and journalists

While pre-populated media databases have their place, many agencies will find that they can better identify relevant outlets, journalists, and influencers by using media intelligence tools.

For many of us who focus on very narrow niches, generic lists of beat reporters can’t compare to the real-world analysis that we can do by discovering those who are writing and talking about the topics we are most interested in discussing and who may have included perspectives from other agencies like our own.

Produce research-driven content

Now that we have a better understanding of who we want to reach with what messaging and in what outlets, it’s time to think about the actual content that we create.

As marketers and communicators, we can really demonstrate our expertise by analyzing real-world situations that our prospective clients can relate to.

One great way to do this is by using media monitoring and measurement to create blog posts or even downloadable reports that look at media coverage around a particular issue relevant to our niche. By sharing our assessment of the research with potential new clients, we can help them to understand how we think and what we would do in similar situations for them.

The added advantage of original research like this is that journalists and influencers are much more likely to embrace sharing this with their own audiences because it is not merely opinion that can appear self-promotional, but objective data that is genuinely perceived to have more value.

You can start with ad hoc one-time reports using media intelligence data, but it can be even more valuable to provide an ongoing series that your target audience comes to anticipate on a regular schedule.

For example, if you serve a particular industry, you might consider a quarterly or annual overview of the media coverage impacting that sector. Done well, this will help to raise your agency’s profile and position you and your team as the true experts in the space.

Create news roundups

Many agencies recognize the need to stay in front of prospects on a regular basis. After all, many agency-client relationships come about from being in the right place at the right time, so you should try to make sure your agency’s name is on the tip of a prospect’s tongue when they are ready to hire.

Regular newsletters can be a great way to accomplish this relevancy in your target market, but many agencies shy away from them because of the level of commitment required to create meaningful content on a weekly basis.

That’s where a media monitoring tool can really come in handy for an agency. By taking the time to craft some relevant search term profiles with a well-defined outlet list, you can easily generate a list of articles to include in a weekly industry news roundup that your prospects will likely find helpful.

Many media intelligence platforms include the ability to select headlines to include with a simple click. With just a little bit of effort each week, you can create a valuable news briefing that allows you to regularly enter the inboxes of key decision-makers.

Offer expert analysis in various forms

The highest level of success from content marketing for agencies comes from establishing you and your team members as true experts.

Using your media intelligence platform, you can begin to identify specific stories and topics that are worthy of your commentary and analysis.

As you unearth these items using the software, begin to comment on them on platforms like LinkedIn in a thoughtful way that encourages others to join the conversation.

The beauty of using a social platform for this activity is that it requires fewer words (and less time) than a full-fledged article, yet it reaches a pre-existing audience of your contacts who are more likely to be interested in what you have to say.

Of course, the goal is to move beyond providing this unsolicited expert commentary to actually being asked by media outlets and others to share your point of view with their own audiences.

Conclusion

When you leverage your media intelligence resources effectively, you can develop a highly effective content marketing program for your agency that showcases knowledge and gets in front of your best prospects on a regular basis.

By speaking to your target audience about topics that are in the news, you will be able to marry timeliness and relevance in a way that positions your agency as the experts who really understand them and can help them to effectively address their challenges and opportunities.

A version of this article originally appeared in The Measurement Standard.

Picture of Chip Griffin

Chip Griffin

Chip is the Founder of the Small Agency Growth Alliance and a longtime agency leader and entrepreneur. He helps PR and marketing agency owners build businesses they want to own.
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