I recently worked with a PPC agency that was very well known and has grown very, very quickly. I figured, hey, they grew like bananas making paid ads for people, so they must be good at paid ads themselves right?

Well you read the title of this article and you're an intelligent person, so you know where this is going: they don't run any paid ads themselves.

I asked the CEO why (I believe my exact words were "what the hell"), and he put it in a very succinct way:

"Every single PPC agency is trying to sell themselves using PPC. Every single content marketing agency is trying to sell themselves using content. Not a lot of PPC agencies are trying to sell themselves using content  - and that's how we win"

It's a bold strategy, but when you really dig deep it makes sense. Just because you specialize in some area of marketing, doesn't mean that has to be your core strategy of selling your own service - in fact, you can find far cheaper acquisition avenues by branching out.

Not only that, it forces you to become a generalist.

The worst thing you can do as an agency marketer is to pigeon-hole yourself in one area and forget about the rest of the the industry.

To live & thrive as a marketing agency, you need to live the code of the T-shaped marketer. Your own growth endeavors are the perfect opportunity to experiment with & learn new channels, techniques & strategies - while keeping your tried and true marksmanship for the customers.

Now, with that in mind, how do you actually do it? You live and breathe PPC all day, how do you actually start leveraging content to sell your business instead?

I'm glad you asked that, internet stranger.

How to use content marketing to grow your PPC agency

(Like that shameless keyword density-ing?)

  1. Track early, track often.

    Oddly enough, being a PPC marketer means you actually have a leg up in executing content marketing strategies over your typical competitors. Why?

    Because you're data-driven.

    The biggest mistake people make with content marketing is to be overly subjective with it. Random articles, arbitrary word counts, unplanned posting schedules - if you don't take the time to monitor all of these things, your content marketing strategies will fail (and fail miserably).
  2. Write from the soul.

    I can just hear your complaints now - "excuse me random blog I found on Google, what are you talking about? I'm trying to get keyword density, not nirvana"

    Look, the best way to kill it with content marketing is to deliver value. Take this article - clearly our entire blog is one big sales pitch to try and get you to use our platform, yet you're still here reading. Why? Because clearly our silly little diatribe is offering some insight your way.

    Stop focusing on selling, and start focusing on giving away value for free to your customers. Find what they actually care about, and then write about it - stop worrying about keywords, and just worry about writing content that people give a crap about.

    Every visitor who walks away from an article thinking "that was actually useful" is a potential customer down the line.
  3. Persona driven vs. Keyword driven

    Think about what makes you a great performance marketer. You focus on coming up with unique, value-driven headliens that speak right to the core of your target demographic.

    You structure your messaging in a way that resonates with exactly who you're targeting. You go knee-deep into personas to figure out exactly who to target and how to target them.

    This persona-driven thinking is what will lead you to success as a content marketer. Your average content marketer is thinking in terms of keywords - you will have a leg up by thinking in terms of persona.

There are fundamental advantages that performance/PPC marketers have from their training that, when applied to content marketing, can deliver absolutely phenomenal results.

By diversifying your area of attacking, your performance marketing agency can stand out form the pack by focusing on what's really important: the customer. Write from the heart, write from the soul, and god damnit, write from the data, and you'll find a booming audience eager to work with you.

Happy words.