Most business owners already know that in order to start targeting and reaching a wider audience, they should bring in an external B2B SEO agency.
But for some, it’s a pipe dream they never think they have enough money for, and for others, it’s a neglected item on the to-do list that they swear they’ll get round to eventually.
Whatever your reason is for still going at it alone, here’s the most important thing you need to know: Marketing will cost you more if you don’t have an expert strategy behind it.
When executed correctly, marketing should never be just an added expense in your already overstretched budget. It should be a valuable investment that will pay for itself multiple times over.
In this post, we’ll look at the unfortunate yet inevitable outcomes businesses experience when they choose to handle their own marketing.
Before we get into that, let’s look at what a specialist B2B SEO agency can help you with and (perhaps even more importantly), what they can’t help you with.
Understanding what a B2B SEO agency can help you achieve
What comes to mind when you think of a “content marketing agency” or a B2B SEO agency? Assuming you’re not a content marketer yourself, chances are that clever campaigns, social media posts and blog posts are the first or only things you can think of.
And while marketing certainly involves these activities, and there are various things a B2B SEO agency will do to boost your sales, there’s actually a much bigger picture at play.
Modern content marketing for businesses is all about creating a high-level, multi-channel strategy that focuses on creating and delivering value to customers through relevant, engaging, and consistent content.
Every single touchpoint your content marketing agency launches will be designed to deliver value that will ultimately lead to profitable customer action.
This bigger picture is usually why the brands who scream about their product/services from the rooftops with no clear strategy or direction don’t often see much success with their marketing efforts. The modern customer is savvy, intelligent, and informed, and if you want to win them over, well, you need to reflect those same qualities in your marketing endeavors.
But that’s not all. Modern marketing also means establishing yourself as a thought leader in your industry through in-depth content, expert guides, and press opportunities that put you on the map and get you in front of an even bigger audience. It’s how top brands manage to get their voice heard in saturated markets and how they gain mass levels of exposure.
With a B2B2 SEO agency like Wordsmiths Inc, your marketing strategy might involve:
Thought leadership content creation like long-form blog posts, whitepapers, ebooks, and reports, which all help to establish you as a leading authority in your industry.
Guest blogging opportunities that will feature your brand on high-value websites and in reputable publications so you can tap into larger, targeted audiences.
SEO best practices to ensure you never fall off Google’s radar and always rank highly for the most important keywords that are relevant to your business.
Key metric reporting and analysis to understand what’s working and what needs tweaking. Your business success isn’t a guessing game, and your marketing strategy shouldn’t be either.
3 things a B2B SEO agency won’t do for you
To ensure you get the absolute best out of your team of marketing experts, and to understand if you should outsource your marketing or not, it’s equally as important to understand what a B2B content agency can’t help you with.
They won’t be your yes-man
When you partner with an external content marketing agency, what you’re really getting is an extended team. This means that if you want to get the most value out of your new team, you should treat them as if they were an in-house part of the business. See them as an extension of your existing team who can share their expertise to get you the highest return on your investment.
A great team of content marketing experts will give you their honest and informed opinions on how to get the best possible results, even if it means a little push back here and there.
Remember that it’s in their best interests to see you succeed, and they’re bringing in years of expertise to make that happen.
They won’t “post and pray”
The “post and pray” method is what lots of businesses do when they know they should be active online and maintain a digital presence, but don’t actually know how modern marketing works.
Unfortunately, you’ll find a fair few “marketing guru” agencies that will do exactly that, and it’s a shame.
A high-quality content marketing agency won’t cobble together a few memes on Canva and slap your logo on it in the hope of seeming witty. Nor will a top-notch marketing agency chuck a pretty asset on your website and social media accounts and sit back, waiting for something to happen. Here at Wordsmiths Inc, for example, not a single word leaves the building without a strategy behind it, and that’s how we plan to keep it.
They won’t prioritize deliverables
Most businesses start their relationship with a marketing agency with good intentions, but it’s ultimately up to the agency to ensure that you hit your goals and targets.
That’s why a great B2B SEO agency will be more focused on what you want to achieve, rather than what you want to do.
Let’s say, for example, that you wanted to start launching campaigns on Facebook because you’d heard it was a great way to bring in leads and you knew your competitors were doing the same. An inexperienced marketing agency would get that done for you, tick it off the list, and move on.
At an experienced marketing agency, like Wordsmiths Inc, it works differently. Rather than working through a list of what a brand wants, we try to understand if that particular deliverable contributes to the bigger picture or not.
In other words, our team at Wordsmiths Inc. will ask “what do you want to achieve?” more than we will ask “what would you like us to do?”
That’s because modern marketing is a dynamic process that doesn’t fit into a box, no matter how many one-size-fits-all packages you might find online. Our priority is to make sure that we’re adding value and scaling your business at every stage of the process. Results over deliverables, always.
7 inevitable outcomes if you don’t use a B2B SEO agency
We’ve covered what to expect from your B2B marketing agency, and what not to expect. But rather than listing all the reasons why you should go ahead and bring in an external content marketing team, I want to walk you through what might happen if you don’t. Let’s dive in.
1. You may come across as arrogant or disingenuous
You might not want to call your business your “baby” but that’s exactly how lots of business owners treat their products or services. You’ve worked hard to build up your business and create something that you believe your customers will value. So, it’s only natural to want people to see it in its best light. We hear you!
But the reality is, you can’t see yourself from the outside. This means it’s going to be tough for you to separate market value from customer value and create a genuine connection with your audience.
We know this because we’ve seen it over and over again. You probably have, too.
When a business is determined to handle its own marketing, it typically uses overly corporate jargon, it often writes copy that is filled with a ton of self-praise, and it produces blog posts that are packed with technical product benefits that customers have little interest in.
With an external content marketing agency, they don’t get wrapped up in the internal outlook of the business and they don’t push hard sells on unwilling customers that will ultimately hurt the reputation of the brand.
When you bring in the expertise of an external B2B SEO agency, you give your business a chance to connect with your customers in a way that’s more genuine, natural, and trustworthy.
2. You might waste your time and resources
Content marketing agencies have spent years marketing and branding businesses or products. They’re dedicated to keeping up with the latest trends and honing their skills to help their clients grow their businesses, year after year.
So unless you’ve done the same, handling your own marketing is like throwing spaghetti at the wall and hoping something sticks.
Without marketing expertise, you’ll struggle to understand why potential customers can’t find you online or why you don’t consistently show up in Google’s search rankings.
You might look at other businesses in your field and wonder how they’re getting all the air time: Why are they always getting featured in reputable publications while you’re still Googling “how to do SEO”?
When you bring in a team of SEO marketing experts, there’s no guesswork or trial and error. They’ve done it before with hundreds of businesses just like yours, and they’re ready to put their expertise into action so that you get the best possible results.
3. Growing a loyal community will be tough (or even impossible)
Businesses that blog see twice as much email traffic than businesses that don’t.
That’s not a coincidence when you consider that Google prioritizes active pages that produce high-quality, useful content that answers questions. And what’s more, a recent Hubspot study found that businesses who regularly blog get 97% more links to their website from other sources.
This whopping number means that the more eyes you have on your content, the larger your audience becomes. And, a targeted content marketing strategy is what will nurture that audience and turn it from a bunch of lukewarm leads into a large base of loyal customers.
Without a clearly defined content marketing strategy that answers the questions that customers are asking, and moves your audience through the sales funnel, most businesses will struggle to build an active and engaged community.
You might not know what content to share, what your audience wants to know, what they’re talking about, how often to post content, or how to stay fresh and relevant in an industry that moves fast. But a content marketing agency will.
4. You’ll keep spending unnecessary money on poor results
When done right, great marketing pays for itself multiple times over.
Unfortunately, a full-time blog writer on your payroll can’t plan, execute and maintain a high-level marketing strategy alone. Nor can an SEO specialist conduct the right market research to write killer copy that gets your customers scrambling to buy your latest offering.
Half-baked marketing is expensive, and you’ll continue to empty your pockets to get these half-baked results without a content marketing agency.
5. You might spend the rest of your career pitching
As a business owner, you’ve got a million things to do each day.
Chances are you probably don’t have a ton of free hours to spend trying to understand exactly how your customers speak, what they resonate with, where they’re hanging out, or how they want you to communicate with them.
For most business owners, that’s a hard no, and it shows in the dreaded Never-Ending Pitch. You’ve most likely seen it too. Brands that can’t stop talking about their services/products and spend all their marketing time and dollars trying to convince the world how great their product is and why everyone should throw their money at it.
When brands try to sell at every opportunity, customers lose interest. It rarely comes across as a genuine exchange of value, it usually sounds desperate, and it doesn’t instill trust.
In other words, you need to know how to get the right content in front of the right people, at the right time, and in the right places.
This is where a content marketing agency comes in. They understand that growing your business requires you to build steady relationships with your audience. To do this, you need to constantly provide them with value at the right times and places, in the right way.
6. Your brand voice might get lost
While your business is yours, you most likely have someone else in-house responsible for getting any key messages out via social media, newsletters, or any other form of outbound marketing.
That might work for the occasional tweet or announcement post on Facebook, but if your goal is to establish yourself as a thought leader in your industry and build meaningful relationships with an audience that will eventually become your customers, you’re going to need more.
Brand consistency is absolutely paramount for businesses that want to stand out. That’s why when you bring in a team of B2B marketing experts, your marketing strategy will be built around your ultimate key messages. It means that every single word that goes out will get you closer to reaching your business goals.
7. Your messages might get stale
In hoping to create some buzz around their product, too many businesses fall into the marketing trap of using all their resources to promote themselves. The results? Stale messaging that customers glaze over, pushy sales talk, and small-picture ideas.
Fresh ideas come from external perspectives looking in, and it’s one of the most common reasons businesses choose to partner with specialist marketing agencies.
While you might think you’re the best person to handle your brand messaging, it’s more likely that you’re too close to the source. This might cause your audience to disengage because let’s face it, nobody likes a brag!
When you bring in a team of external marketing experts, you’ll get more than the sales pitch.
Your extended team will dig deep into your ideal customers and industry and create a high-level content strategy that will do more than push out your latest product. It will pique customer interest and encourage profitable customer action.
Partner with a B2B SEO agency that can help you attract, retain and grow a loyal audience
So there you have it, a deep dive into what it’s really like to bring in a B2B SEO marketing agency, what you should and shouldn’t expect from your new team of experts, and what the outcome of doing your own marketing is likely to be.
It’s not all doom and gloom, though. Whether you want to convert more leads into customers, enhance your digital presence, become known as an industry expert, or feature in the most reputable publications, our team of content marketers here at Wordsmiths Inc can get you there.
Ready to get started? Get in touch with us today and ask us how we can help you to grow. And in the meantime, check out our recent case study with Idyoma.