In December 2010, W2 Communications launched its content development division. With this, the agency made a commitment to dedicated, in-house staffing for client content services, instead of contracting this work out to freelancers. The professionals in this division bring a wide range of relevant experience, including all forms of editorial and marketing research/business communications.
This investment immediately paid off, as a large number of our clients have turned to the division again and again to produce blogs, thought leadership contributed articles, white papers, editorials and web content. For them, the benefits are clear: Instead of adding a writing task to their executives busy workloads, they share their thoughts with us about industry trends/hot topics and best practices (usually during a quick 30-minute phone conversation) and – with additional research on our part – we then develop the content. The resulting product is generated quickly and balances key client messages while also adhering to publications’ stringent quality and word count requirements.
Given this, it was enlightening to see the highly regarded Content Marketing Institute (CMI) recently published its first-ever “Agency Survey” report, in which the institute sought to learn about the content marketing services that agencies offer. Here are highlights from the findings:
— Nearly one-half of all survey respondents report their agencies have been offering content marketing services for more than seven years, and that these services comprise 50 percent or more of their total business.
— Almost three out of four respondents say their agency is either “extremely” or “very” successful in achieving their clients’ content marketing goals.
— Nearly 70 percent report an increase over the last 12 months in the breadth of content marketing services offered and number of content marketing clients.
— Articles and blog posts are the top forms of content, as offered by 93 percent of agencies with “full scope” content marketing services, followed by social media content (90 percent) and website content (88 percent).
— One-half of respondents said their agency has dedicated staff for content services.
— 56 percent of respondents report that their agency’s content marketing work for clients is typically retainer-based.
The research validates what we’ve known all along: W2 Communications was ahead of the curve when it launched the content development division nearly a decade ago. Year after year, clients have come to us to position their executives as top thought leaders in their industry through the many forms of content that we produce. They do so because we have compiled a proven track record in delivering articles that are clear, concise and packed with compelling research and perspectives.
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