Want to sell more development work and marketing services?
Then consider creating a plan to write content for your agency and for your clients. How will content help you drive revenue? Unique content for your site means more organic visitors, which means more leads and phone calls for your agency’s services. Crafting fantastic content for your clients is also a huge opportunity for your agency to sell more services.
Here are four fantastic content ideas for your agency, and three creative ways to drum up additional business from your existing clients.
Content for your agency
As an agency, it’s easy to forget that you need to practice what you preach. We all get busy helping clients, and forget that we need to be diligent about creating great content for ourselves. The following ideas will hopefully inspire you to create educational content for your agency, but it will only work if you create a content plan and stick to it. If you can do that, you’ll soon have more leads and calls than you can handle!
1. Create ecommerce comparison pages — Shopify vs X
Everyone loves to read reviews when they’re making a big decision, and choosing an ecommerce platform is no different. Your customers are looking for objective information about the many different ecommerce solutions, and your agency can provide that by creating comparison pages. Comparison searches are popular in Google, here are some example search queries, and how often they are searched for on a monthly basis:
- Shopify vs. Woocommerce 480
- Volusion vs. Shopify 480
- Shopify vs. Magento 390
You can see that many people want to do comparisons when deciding whether or not to use Shopify or Woocommerce to sell online. Really dive in, and flesh out the details of each ecommerce option, talk about pricing, compare feature lists, and even go so far as adding quotes from different development shops (they would love to be a part of this project, as you’re putting their name in lights).
You can create a series of pages on your site comparing Shopify to other platforms, and you’ll have great content that is helpful for your users, and very much primed to be outstanding SEO content, as well.
Think of each page that you create as a click funnel; you’re grabbing attention and want to drive the potential customer to contact you. A great way to capture their information is to put email capture boxes within the post and/or create a popover that incentivizes customers to sign up for your newsletter.
2. Write welcome newsletter drip emails for your customers
What is an email drip campaign? It’s a series of automated email messages (I like to do between three and six) that passively market your company’s capabilities to newsletter subscribers.
A drip campaign is your way to connect with users that signed up for your agency newsletter, and are interested in learning more, but who are probably not quite ready to purchase your services.
Think of your drip campaign as a way to educate users without being overly “salesy.” Here are some great topics you can include in your drip campaign:
- How to Get Started Selling Online
- Can I Make Changes to my Site Without Knowing How to Code?
- 10 Great Resources for Starting Your Ecommerce Store
Early in the drip campaign focus on educating your user, only after email two or three emails should you start adding any sales language. Focus on building a rapport with the email recipient before you make the ask.
Less text is more in a well done email, and this Hubspot post is a great resource for best practices on creating your own drip campaign. If your goal is to get your lead on the phone, make sure to ask for that in your email. A quick 10-15 minute phone call is a very small ask that can get your foot in the door with a potential client.
Also, plan to use a third-party service for your drip emails. I personally love Mailchimp, as they have an extremely easy to use interface for creating emails and setting up templates that you can reuse on a regular basis. In addition, if you grow your business and need to start sending a large volume of transactional emails, their Mandrill product has been outstanding for us at Content Runner.
Also don’t forget to post your drip emails in HTML somewhere on your site. You’d be amazed at the long tail SEO traffic you can get, plus your potential customers may end up going back to them, if they failed to open up the original email you sent.
3. Draft company blog posts
Writing is hard. Writing requires planning, idea generation, outlines, research, and of course putting pen to paper (or fingers to keyboard in our modern world). If you’re in charge of your company blog, and are doing it alone, then you know how daunting this all can be. If you want to take your company blog to the next level, here are the areas where a freelance writer can really help out:
- Idea generation
- Writing an initial draft
Coming up with new ideas for your blog is difficult, but if you get stumped use the brainpower of a freelance writer. You can have them create 10-20 topics (tip: don’t ask for too many ideas from one writer, as they can get stale), and with each idea have the writer include a few bullet points of detail to help flesh out the angle. Here are some ideas to get you started:
- 5 new Shopify Apps for Managing Shipping
- 3 Gorgeous Themes For Your Shopify Store
- How to Work with a Programming Company, Tips for Getting the Most for your Money
Choose topics that will educate your users, and show them that you are an expert in ecommerce. The goal is to build trust with your potential customers, so they can reach out to you when they need help. You can track the effectiveness of your posts through Google Analytics, you can view time spent on the post, number of visitors, and if that user ended up contacting you for assistance.
Hire a freelance writer to help you write the first draft of your company blog post. A freelance writer doesn’t know your company inside and out, but if you give them a proper outline, they can get started with the meat of the post. Make sure to have the writer include links to authoritative sources, and if you have a style guide, share it with the writer to cut down on editing.
4. Write a comprehensive FAQ describing your company’s Shopify experience
A thorough and well-written FAQ about your company’s services can serve many functions. It’s amazing how many potential customers will dive in, and start reading your FAQ to find about the different types of services your agency offers.
In addition, a comprehensive FAQ provides outstanding SEO benefits because you’re asking questions (just like people do in Google search) and providing answers. If you are able to mimic the exact questions people are searching for, there’s a great chance your answers can show up in Google search.
There are dos and donts to creating a proper FAQ page as well. Don’t overwhelm your reader with questions; if you end up with more than 10 questions, consider breaking your content down into the following sections:
- Quick answers (for the most popular questions)
- Search box (people are accustomed to searching for just about everything)
- Glossary of Terms (can be linked into the FAQs)
- Video help content
- Laundry list of questions (these can be found through the search feature or through a table of contents)
Don’t forget to maintain your FAQ page. You should plan to review and update it every six months, as information can quickly become out-of-date. As you add new sections to your FAQ and update out-of-date areas, make sure that you have setup the proper tracking in Google Analytics. You’ll want to get a sense of time spent on certain sections of the FAQ, as this will help guide future questions and answers.
Also, if you are getting questions on certain topics where the person is looking for more information, make sure to add that to the FAQ. The FAQ allows you to build credibility in your client’s eyes and when they reach out to you with questions looking for further assistance you can convert them into a customer.
You might also like: Why You Should Add a Content Strategist to Your Design or Development Team
Content for your clients
Your clients struggle to create content for their sites, and your agency can help them out. The first step is to come up with a content plan for your clients, and then to execute that plan on a regular basis. With creative content ideas, you can start driving more sales through the organic traffic they receive.
1. Use freelance writers to create unique product descriptions
Product descriptions are an afterthought for your clients, and this becomes a great opportunity for your agency. Often, ecommerce stores upload the stock descriptions provided by the manufacturer, and that is bad for a couple reasons:
- Copied product descriptions are horrible for SEO
- Boring product descriptions do an awful job of trying to sell the product
Why are copied product descriptions bad for SEO? Google views these as duplicate content, and that puts your entire site at risk for tripping a Google algorithmic filter, and jeopardizing all of your organic traffic. Creating unique product descriptions shows Google that these products are worthy of being ranked, and should be a destination for searchers.
Boring product descriptions also do a poor job of converting your client’s customers into buyers. If they read the same product descriptions that exist everywhere else, there is no way to differentiate what you sell from every other site out there.
I’ve always been a huge fan ofhow Woot writes their product descriptions; don’t be afraid to add a little humor (and even snark) for your clients, so you can jazz up a product description. Google, and your client’s customers, will love you for it!
2. Transcribe customer support calls into help documentation
Adding unique and informative content to your client’s site will keep customers coming back and Google in love with their site. Ecommerce companies take many phone calls, and they are a great source of information that can be repurposed for your client’s help files.
Did you know you can use a call forwarding service, like Twilio, to record all of your client’s customer support calls? Every time someone calls up with a question about your client’s products or services, you can record that call, and store the phone record online. At the end of each month, you can download the call files, and have a writer transcribe the text to build-out rich content for your client’s help files.
There are going to be great points of insight that come from customer questions. It would also make fantastic content for a FAQ page (as mentioned above) for your client.If you’re looking for ideas on how to get started with transcription, take some time to explore options, and find a process that is repeatable and sustainable for your client.
The end goal is to create complete help file documentation that will make your client stand out from the crowd. If you’re looking for help file examples, check out this list of companies; this will give you a great goal to shoot for. Novel ideas like this are how you build value for your clients, and keep them coming back for more services.
3. Use SurveyMonkey to solicit feedback and write up the results
SurveyMonkey is an extremely useful survey tool. One of the ways we use it is to install a survey on our client’s purchase confirmation page (here’s how you can do that). You can add text that says: “Thank you for your order! Can you take 30 seconds and give us feedback about the purchase process, or our site if you are returning customer?”
We have received over 30 completed surveys in the last year, and gleaned extremely useful information from the detailed responses. Some of the example questions we’ve used:
- How likely is it that you would recommend Content Runner to a friend or colleague?
- Would you like a calendar system built into Content Runner?
- What is missing from Content Runner? What specific features do you really wish we had?
The first question gives us an answer to the famous net promoter score question. The answer to the second question from our users was a resounding NO, which was a surprise, but ultimately valuable information that saved us months of development work. The third question was the most enlightening, as our users gave us many great ideas for new features.
Hopefully, you can take these ideas and craft some new content for your client’s site. You can setup the survey, and work with your client on which questions they should include. Also make sure to ask about features and site enhancements, as this can lead to additional work for your agency down the road.
You might also like: Paul Boag on Content Marketing & How to Start Your Blog