Self promotion is nothing new. Advertising ideas have existed from the beginning of time. Take this quote by legendary advertising tycoon, David Ogilvy.
“If you can’t advertise yourself, what hope have you of being able to advertise anything else?”
Selling your brand is probably the best proof to potential clients that you can sell. Ogilvy & Mather, N.W. Ayer & Son, and J. Walter Thompson are agencies that produced some of the most timeless and classic advertisements and advertising ideas that we still take inspiration from today.
And they were not shy about flaunting. While being a braggart may be frowned on in most circles, that same quality is what agencies today can use to take their own promotion to the next level.
How Can Marketing Agencies Market Themselves
If a marketer can promote the products, ideas, and events of other businesses, surely those same successful advertising ideas can be employed during self promotion. Make use of the talent that is already working for your agency and work to push your agency’s merits. Here are some advertising ideas to get you started.
Find (And Promote) Your Brand’s Essence
At the core of self promotion, lies the elements that make up your brand.
Praised by Ogilvy himself, this ad by Young & Rubicam is subtle, effective and an excellent example of advertising ideas for an agency, The simple, yet impactful copy and imagery that could have been used for a client’s product has been used by the agency for the agency.
A company looking for an agency can look at an ad like this and understand that this agency has the creativity and marketing knowledge to promote itself. It couldn’t be a stretch for the agency to do the same for them. The ad shows the agency to be aggressive, powerful, and attention grabbing. Those same qualities pull in readers and deliver the message right on target. Modern agencies can adapt this approach as well by building up their credibility and representing their brand.
White papers are such wonderful tools for ad agencies because they are multi-functional and highly relevant. They are like other advertising ideas in that they are informative and promote your agency. However, the long-form format provides more detail. With a well-written white paper, you are explaining why and how. And among the data and proof, you are selling, selling, selling.
Razorfish’s Outlook white papers gave their clients a review of their ad expenditure in the passing year, future projections and expectations, upcoming industry trends and the agency’s potential reaction to those trends. This tells clients that the agency is growing and adjusting to the demands of the market and is, therefore, poised to create media that will continue to benefit their brands in the current and upcoming marketing climate. It sets up reasonable expectations for their current and future clients. Regular whitepapers can also be a brand builder for an agency. In Razorfish’s case, the familiar logo is present in the footer throughout the annual white paper.
Case studies are often thought of some the more boring advertising ideas. Case studies, like white papers, give clients an idea of the relationship they should expect from your agency. Case studies delves into the specifics. What did your agency do when a tough situation arose for past clients? How does the agency adapt in an ever-changing world of internet, fleeting trends, and social media. You are, in effect, promoting your skills.
In this beautifully designed case study from digital agency, Viget, details how they assisted the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) increase revenue and site visit duration through an improved content management system. The study outlines the challenge, how they solved it, and how it benefited the WWF. The case study highlights the project and the organization it was done for by incorporating photos that showcases the features they improved for the WWF website.
The agency, BASIC, also created a case study of its work for the apparel brand, Chrome Industries. Like the aforementioned agency, BASIC elevates its case study beyond facts and numbers. The study is highly visual and focuses on the brand’s story and how BASIC has benefited the brand.
Case studies are an example of advertising ideas that don’t focus on the agency itself. Instead, it lets the brand shine in all its visual glory while the agency provides the supporting facts and data. Case studies are not for your agency’s primary benefit. At least, not directly. When prospects see the amazing work that has been done for another brand (especially if your agency has expertise in a particular niche), it wets their appetites and expands the horizon of possibilities that they are looking for in their own campaigns.
The client is looking for amazing ways to promote their brand and their product. With a case study, your agency and the talent within it have become the bridge that closes the gap between where they currently are in their marketing efforts and where they want to be.
Strengthen Your Social Media Presence
As a marketer, you are not only using social media to get the word out about your agency. Instead, forums, posts, and tweets become demonstrations of expertise and knowledge.
Marketing on social media is one of those oft-referenced advertising ideas. Given that Facebook has over a billion users alone, it is no wonder that social media can be a great marketing tool for anyone. Yet, ad agencies can use social media a little differently than others. Agencies often already possess the skills generated from marketing other brands on social media. The key is transferring those skills for self promotion purposes.
Ad agencies like McGarryBowen and R/GA have twitter accounts that serve as an extension of their brand’s personality. Clients can stay updated on the agency with digestible tweets. With only 140 characters, you can prove to clients that you have expertise in social media marketing. Just direct them to your Twitter account!
Partner With Influencers
Among the other advertising ideas mentioned in the list, this one might be one of the most useful advertising ideas for engaging the modern audience. In 2014, Adweek published a report on the increased ROI that are generated when brands partner with influencers. Hiring influencers certainly isn’t a new idea. Ad agencies have increasingly used influencer marketing for their brands.
Likewise, numerous platforms such as Grin have sprouted up to help agencies and influencers connect. Influencers work becomes the very nature of social media. Celebrity and word of mouth have gone hand-in-hand since the pre-social media days. With millions of people sharing, tweeting, and liking, influencers combine celeb status with their recommendation and incorporation of brands to their audience.
Influencers add an element of credibility that leads the audience to trust them more. After all, a faceless brand isn’t the one promoting a product.
Agencies can use these advertising ideas to showcase their body of work to clients. In some aspects, self-promotion can be harder than promoting the work of others. Partnering with influencers, writing case studies and white papers and building a social media presence will get your agency noticed and pull in clients seeking to have your expertise work for them.