9 Creative Agency Tactics to Increase Your Clients and Boost the Success of Their Campaigns

Nadica Naceva
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We recently wrote about Creative Agency Strategies to Consider as a Point of Difference from Your Competitors. The obvious next move is to consider the creative agency tactics to put into place to action your chosen strategies.

In these articles, we are following the definitions clearly outlined by Asana in their article:  Strategy vs. Tactics: What's the difference? Indeed, these terms date back to Sun Tzu's The Art of War, which originated in 401, although its first English translation wasn’t until 1910.

Strategies are action plans that you will take in the future to achieve your end goals. They help to define your long-term goals and how you go about achieving them. As we showed in our creative agency strategies article, these tend to be large-scale decisions or processes you decide upon to meet your major goals. With strategies, you are looking at the bigger picture.

Tactics, however, are much more concrete, nitty-gritty, and down-to-earth. They are the specific actions your team takes to implement the initiatives outlined in your strategies. As Asana emphasizes:

“Tactics are the concrete action items that take you where you need to go”

If you relied solely on strategies, you would have excellent planning, but no action.

Creative agency tactics, therefore, are the activities your team can undertake that will help you meet your most important goals.

Creative Agency Strategies

Social media marketing agencies are simply one type of creative agency, but they could teach a valuable lesson to others in their wider genre. It’s all very well having a large social following, but it’s even better when you can turn your social followers into leads. It is a relatively easy, stress-free way to build your brand and find potential customers. Your agency’s social followers may not be in the market now for an agency (of your specialization), but in the future, when they may have a need, your brand will be near the top of their minds.

Use your social accounts to showcase your work. You may be highlighting your clients’ products, but in doing so you are also showcasing what your services can achieve. You are showing off your creativity to the world and giving ideas to your future customers.

However, you don’t need to limit your social activity to increasing your brand recognition. You can also find ways to shift potential customers further down your sales funnel. This can be as simple as linking to your blog posts, and in turn, collecting email addresses. You could perhaps even come up with some form of lead magnet to further encourage people to leave their email addresses for you.

If your specialty and talent is more video related you could make videos and upload them to YouTube (if long) or TikTok (if short). You can encourage viewers to sign up for your channels at this point too. 

You can’t pitch too blatantly on social media. Therefore, you need to build a two-step chain: social post, leading to blog/vlog/video channel, leading to a pitch for your services.

One way you can make your creative agency feel relevant to your target audience is to contribute to the communities that they spend time in and care about. The level of contribution can vary from actively becoming part of the conversation, to helping out with some relevant charity or cause.

There may already be existing communities you can join and become a valued part thereof. In more niche cases, however, you might need to create new communities yourself where you notice a need.

In our post on creative agency strategies, we emphasized the importance of establishing your agency’s values. Investing in relevant communities allows you to put those values into practice.

Indeed, some creative agencies go one step further and make charities their target customers.  For example, Australian creative agency, Parachute Digital states that their purpose “is to connect people that care with the causes that they care about”, and goes on to say that they “exist to help your charity raise more money online”.

At a simpler level, you can create a presence for your agency in relevant chatting and ideas-sharing communities, for example, relevant Reddit, LinkedIn, or Facebook groups. An obvious place to have a presence is in the appropriate Adobe forums if you use their software. However, you shouldn’t look upon these as blatant selling opportunities, but more as chances to become viewed as thought leaders in your niche.

You will have the greatest impact by establishing yourself in a mix of formal and informal communities in your niche.

Don’t limit yourself to being a passive member of your communities. Make sure you devote enough time to become known and add value to the knowledge of your fellow members.

Creative agencies have one gigantic advantage over most people and firms. No matter what their specialty, it is likely that they have the talent and capability to make interesting, entertaining, informative content for people. And there is no reason why you should restrict your efforts to your existing paying clients.

One of the best ways to attract your ideal clients is to showcase the types of work you can prepare in the form of content that attracts their attention. We’ve talked about what you can do on social media and in niche communities, but much of this requires you to share quality content that provides value.

However, there is little point in devoting time and other resources to making content for the “wrong” people. For example, as much as we see the value of TikTok as a marketing medium nowadays, it makes no sense to devote your resources to creating short TikTok videos if you target middle-aged corporate CEOs and CMOs as your clients. Similarly, a blog about traditional marketing techniques will be of little value if you’re after the youth market, who prefer their social content to come in bite-sized video chunks. 

Use many of the same techniques in your agency’s marketing that you use in your work for your clients, even if you’re not typically a content or social media marketing agency. You presumably know your target industry well, and you have creative skills. Combine your knowledge and skills to craft the perfect content that will make your intended audience double-take with awe.

For example, the British influencer marketing agency, House of Marketers, is a specialist TikTok Marketing Agency launched by early TikTok employees and TikTok partners. While, on the surface, you might think that the obvious content they make should be TikTok videos (and they do have a TikTok account) that ignores who their target client actually is. They are targeting the marketing directors (or CEOs) of firms, who in turn target young TikTok users. Therefore, an important House of Marketer’s marketing channel is its blog, which focuses on how to use TikTok (and its influencers) for your marketing.

We mentioned in our previous Strategies article how important it is to establish your creative agency’s values and also to ensure that you and your clients’ expectations are aligned. It is vital, therefore, that you establish the best “voice” to use when working with (and on behalf of) each of your clients. 

Most of the content you create needs to reflect the voice and values of the relevant client, which is a major reason why you need to be picky with the clients you accept. Do you really want to be producing content for your client that conflicts with your agency’s own?

For example, the content you make for a brewery’s marketing campaign, targeting young males in their 20s, should look and sound different from what you create for your local church. And how would you react if a politician came knocking on your door, asking for your professional (creative marketing) services? Would you accept an oil mining company as a client, and what voice would you use in the content you create for them? I would imagine it would be very different from whatever you would put together for Greenpeace if they contracted your creative agency’s services.

One way that your creative agency can keep on top of things is to provide a real-time means for your current and prospective clients to contact you. And we don’t mean that you have to have somebody monitoring your phone lines 24/7 for this to occur. However, if a customer has an issue, you need to be able to respond ASAP. 

If, as with many agencies, you market to “the world”, rather than just in your neighborhood, you have to find a way to communicate with people in other time zones than your own.

There are multiple ways you can do this, from installing a social media monitoring tool to “discover” mentions of your name, to installing a chatbot on your website, ready to answer (most) questions people throw at you.

If somebody asks something particularly tricky, beyond the means of your chatbot, for instance, provide an easy place where somebody can leave a message and get back to them as soon as possible. 

People have been predicting the death of blogging for years – after all, it was one of the first parts of Web 2.0, back before videos were commonplace and even pictures online were rare. Yet blogging isn’t dead. It has simply evolved. The Influencer Marketing Hub certainly hasn’t found any less interest in our blog posts – they have simply had to become longer, more informative, and include more graphics as time has progressed since our first post in 2016.

Neal Schaffer reports that businesses that have a blog enjoy 126% higher lead growth than businesses that don’t blog and that 77% of Internet users read a blog every day. You are, of course, reading a blog post at this moment! Schaeffer also found that 60% of consumers will buy something after they’ve read a blog post on the topic. And, then there’s the social media effect: 23% of social media posts have at least one blog link.

Google rewards websites that contain useful information in its search engine. Many of the top organic search results are blog posts, as are quite a few of the landing pages advertisers have selected for their PPC ads.

While many of these blog posts will have been created internally by blog site owners and their teams, quite a few are created by content marketing (and full-service) creative agencies. You can include a blog as part of an overall marketing package you offer your clients.

As with virtually every other creative agency tactic we’ve included here, you will want to think carefully about the wishes and needs of your clients’ target audiences. You need the “right” people reading the “right” blog posts, and these could vary greatly depending on your clients.

You’ve probably heard much about the importance of search engine optimization (SEO) if you want your agency’s website, blog posts, videos, and other content to appear in the search rankings. Indeed, you hopefully already engage in sound SEO practices when you make content for your clients. We have written numerous posts about specialist SEO agencies and the services they offer, including Top WordPress SEO Agencies for Elevating Your Digital Presence. You may even include SEO among the services you provide and clearly understand its importance.

However, don’t let SEO override your common sense. Remember that humans are the most important users of your content – not Google’s bots. If breaking a few SEO rules occasionally provides the most readable or viewable material, then be prepared to do so. Google prefers quality content that interests its readers, rather than formulaic posts that follow a set of digital laws. The old days of keyword stuffing are well and truly behind us now.

Once you’ve worked for a few clients you will have a bank of work that you can use to showcase your talents. Have you noticed how most of the larger creative agencies include client case studies and testimonials on their websites? 

Take time to craft compelling case studies highlighting the work you have done for your clients. Outline a client’s problem and why they came to you for help.  Then explain how your creative agency came up with a unique solution to solve the issue and highlight specific results of the campaign. If you can, source some quotes from your clients you can include in the case studies. 

While you’re talking with satisfied clients, just after the completion of a job, ask them to write a testimonial that you can use on your website. Even better, make it easy for them to create a video testimonial. A Wyzowl study revealed that 79% of people watch video testimonials to learn more about a company and its products or services. Out of these, 77% say the video testimonials played a part in convincing them to make a purchase.

You might notice that many creative agency websites highlight the various industry awards that they have earned through their campaigns. We even see examples of it on the Influencer Marketing Hub, where agencies have written brief descriptions of themselves.

For example, digital growth agency WEBITMD writes that they are “both a HubSpot Platinum Partner and Klaviyo Partner Agency.” Online marketing agency, Thrive, takes a similar approach by focusing on their various accreditations: “Thrive is a Google Premier Partner, Google Analytics Technology Partner, Bing Ads Accredited Professional, Shopify Partner, MailChimp Expert, and a Yext Certified Partner.”

You might wonder why these agencies place so much emphasis on this. It’s because it provides social proof to new clients that your agency is genuine, qualified to do what you do, and can provide evidence your work is of a high standard.

Wrapping Things Up – Employing Creative Agency Tactics

If you’re a creative agency you will hopefully have decided the high-level strategies your agency should follow to meet your goals. However, while strategies are important, they generally don’t involve day-to-day actions. Many are conceptual and indicate the general direction you should take, rather than how to get there.

The tactics we’ve discussed, however, are specific actionable steps your creative agency can take to help move you toward meeting your goals. They help you find the “right” clients and avoid targeting and attempting to work with the “wrong” kind of audience for your marketing activities. 

And inevitably, of course, many of these tactics will be the same as what you recommend to your clients. If you think about it, creative agencies should be the best marketers of their own services – they have marketing in their blood and DNA.

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