Ad Agency New Business: If You Write It, Will They Come?


Many marketing firms are quick to believe the promise of what an inbound-only approach to new business can deliver. Finally, they think, our problems are solved! We have a solution that is non-interruptive and easy to implement. But if you write it, will they come?

There is no shortage of experts providing advice on how to create content that will generate a steady stream of qualified leads. Unfortunately, these experts often don’t factor the following:

(1) Agency time comes at a premium.

Creating an in-depth stream of consistent content that resonates with your target audience requires a time consuming writing commitment from your top talent. It also requires the attention of a seasoned social media expert to position that content so it will be seen by the right audience.

As Jay Baer said recently in an article on, “Social media success is about the wizard, not the wand.”

Your subject and disciplinary experts must make the magic happen.

(2) Too many are talking.

Last month at HubSpot’s Inbound14, Chad Pollitt of Relevance described the once existing content deficit as a rapidly developing overload. This leaves one to wonder with so many talking is anyone really listening?


Obviously your agency can’t ignore content creation. Still, you need to be realistic about your message and plan accordingly. Creating a strategy to dependably deliver a unique and sustainable point of view is critical to your success.

Consider these steps when creating your firm's successful content culture:

Step One – Identify Your Wizards and Empower Them

Identify your content and social media experts. Assign your cerebral leaders the writing of material specific to their expertise. Empower a social media expert to direct distribution and engagement. Incorporate deadlines into your traffic schedule and make these activities a priority.

Step Two – Avoid General Blog Content and Start Small

Develop core, in-depth content around ONE SPECIFIC topic (designed to yield approximately 3-5 articles/posts) to moderately feed your inbound program.

In a crowded and noisy world, general content is often overlooked. Narrow topics specific to your expertise (and your prospect’s needs) will help break through the cacophony.

Step Three – Personalize Prospect Relationships

While social media can be helpful in building strong, prospect relationships, your goal is to move them off platforms not controlled by you. Serve one piece of content that requires an email subscription and then deliver that material via Constant Contact auto responder or a similar tool. The relationship is now in your hands! You can then use targeted outbound tactics to personally nurture it.

Consider this. If HubSpot’s sales people (the folks who coined the term inbound) still use the phone and email to connect with prospects brought in through their inbound channels (and they do), then maybe you should too.

Creating a robust new business program requires a serious commitment and a blended inbound/outbound approach. Plan for it wisely and utilize the strengths of each to hit your next home run.