7 min read
Transparency matterz: Why content marketing agencies should display pricing on their websites
By: Nicole Proctor on Mar 28, 2023 10:16:05 AM
As a content marketing agency, we’re acutely aware of what our clients need to get their jobs done — strategic content that drives revenue — and help to accomplish it all. Historically, hiring marketing vendors is an unnecessarily complicated process, largely in part because pricing isn’t revealed until many meetings later after you’ve spent time vetting, covering what you want, when you need it by, and those other pesky (but necessary) little details.
Why wait until the end to discuss how much services cost? No one has time for that.
When you’re responsible for a company’s marketing, you’re well aware of your budget (and how long you have to accomplish your next goal). At Content Matterz, we understand how valuable time is. That’s why our CEO and Founder Cara McDonald decided to take a page from the SaaS playbook and put pricing on our website for the world to see.
Every conversation I have with Cara feels like a masterclass in some aspect of agency life, so I was genuinely excited to hear her thoughts on transparency in pricing. Below are a few of my favorite takeaways from our conversation about how openly sharing the cost of content marketing services is not rocket science, it’s simply good business.
Why did you decide to display pricing on the Content Matterz website?
Honestly, I know a lot of people that need marketing help first ask themselves, “Can I afford a content marketing agency?” And the answer to that is yes, yes you can. What you can’t afford, is to waste time.
I think that the era of being super secretive about pricing is over, and in our work with the tech industry it's definitely a trend that we're seeing — it’s now an expectation to be a lot more upfront about your pricing. It used to be that you had to get your prospect to go through a selling process with you, which could involve five, six, 10, 12 meetings or something like that before you even revealed the pricing in some way; you had to build the value before you could tell them what your pricing was. It was a big, mysterious time-consuming process that irritated the heck out of just about everyone who had to go through it.
It’s not like that anymore. Tech products and services are a lot more transparent upfront, and our customers aren't that different from software companies: marketers need help, they know how much they have to spend, and they want a process that makes getting what they need easier.
How can transparent pricing help marketing managers budget better?
The less friction we can create, the better. For someone doing the math, knowing how much it costs to hire a specific content marketing agency can make the whole process smoother. If you know your budget, and you know how much an agency is charging per project, or per month, you can use any early conversations for more important things, like vetting to ensure it’s a good fit for collaboration.
A lot of agencies are on similar pricing scales. But when you can see that Content Matterz has the experience or specific industry expertise and exactly how much it will cost, you know you’ll get quality work and exactly how far you can stretch your marketing dollars. And if you can confidently take those numbers back to whoever needs to sign off, well, isn’t that a whole lot simpler?
And again, it’s about time. Let's save a busy marketer some time and if we’re being honest, save our team some time too. We don’t need a meeting to cover what could have been explained on a web page. If putting our pricing out there allows a content marketing manager to plan their budgets and be more prepared for a conversation with us, it's a win-win for everyone.
Why is asynchronous selling important for a content agency?
We talk a lot about asynchronous selling in SaaS — meeting the prospect where they are with the right info for the conversation or step in their journey. Buyers these days self-educate long before they engage to talk to somebody in sales. Why not give someone looking for marketing support the information they need to work with us?
As an agency in a universe where not a lot of agencies are transparent about their pricing, I want it to be easier for our potential customers by giving them what they need to make their decisions and not forcing them to have a meeting (or two or three) with us before we even get to it. Instead of using conversations to dance around pricing, we can talk about working together knowing how much it all costs, one of the biggest determining factors of doing business, which has already been laid on the table.
What is the greatest benefit for our clients with transparent pricing?
It’s easier! Our mission is to make the lives of our clients easier, so why not start by giving them exactly what they need to know before we even start talking about working together? Additionally, transparency pricing reflects our confidence in what we can provide and our capabilities. We believe in the services we offer, we understand the market and the going rate.
Content Matterz is a highly-experienced team with decades of experience working with software sales and marketing. We’re not a luxury provider, but we are the most effective in this niche because we have dedicated years to understanding and creating content for SaaS buying environments. If you need content marketing support for your product or service, you want an option that gets “it” from industry-specific strategy down to knowing how much it will cost to do x,y, or z.
What’s the best way to try out a service/option?
One thing I’m hyper-aware of is that trusting your marketing content to a partner can be not only intimidating, but also an uncertain process for your organization. For clients who are new to us, I recommend that we do a starter project.
Our ready-to-launch (RTL) packages are a great place to test the waters. These typically include a keystone piece of content that you can use to fill a gap in your particular buyer's journey or marketing strategy and contain everything that you need to create a launched campaign. For example, if you start with a whitepaper or an infographic, we don’t just create a singular piece. You also get the strategy and supporting materials — such as blog posts, emails and social media — that go with it to help get your product or solution out into the market.
RTL campaigns help you get a glimpse into how we work and the strategy we put into creating materials that will support lead generation and growth for your company. They also help us learn about your organization. We dedicate a lot to learning about you, your company, your market, your buyers, and your particular buyer's journey so that we can create great content that is really effective for you. And if the project is successful, we can explore working together in a greater capacity.
How does a Content Matterz subscription work?
We offer subscription programs for those with ongoing content needs. The key benefit of subscriptions — for both clients and our team — is gaining stability and predictability. You know you can expect a certain volume (and not to mention, caliber) of work, and we can ensure we have the best dedicated resources available to complete the projects.
A Content Matterz subscription is just how it sounds, basically an agreement where we determine how we can best support your content needs on a per-as-determined basis. We dedicate a lot of effort to knowing everything we can about our clients and their goals, objectives, buyers, etc. Subscriptions are our favorite way to develop and nurture the long-term relationships that enable our team to create stellar content that drives to meet the revenue needs of your company.
It always comes back to making things easier. You know what you get, we know what you need, and together we make content magic happen in a predictable way for all parties involved.
My conversation with Cara ended as they usually do: we got a little off-topic in the few minutes we had together and started talking about fitness and Lizzo. But as I went about the rest of my day, a few points from our discussion about transparency in pricing remained with me:
Anything you can do to speed up your sales process or alleviate bottlenecks in your flow is beneficial to you — and your customer.
Hours after my conversation with Cara about transparent pricing, I was leaving a spin class. As everyone filed out the one door, a bottleneck happened, and I found myself getting agitated. I had a great session and considered signing up for my next one. But this inefficient process of walking near the door to grab cleaning supplies and back to our bike, navigating the room layout and other sweaty humans, and then trying to leave (literally) dampened the whole experience and created unnecessary friction. I rethought my plan to pay for more classes.
We don’t want to cause friction and make our buyers agitated. We want to make it easy.
New buyers (aka Gen Z) have bought stuff online their whole life. They are not accustomed to talking on the phone at all.
As an elder millennial, I also hate talking on the phone. That spin class I mentioned happened because I could see how much it cost and sign up for it online without having to speak to anyone. Our big group of cross-generational buyers wants to know how much money it is upfront to minimize the number of interactions we have to have to get to the point, and then we need it to be easy to make the purchase.
Show them (how much of) the money (they will need)!
Time is money has never been more true.
If you’re a busy marketer, when you start looking for a marketing agency, you probably needed help yesterday. The longer it takes to get the content support you need, the more time your company will spend waiting to reach those revenue goals. So why not speed up the process for everyone and put pricing on the website?
Now that’s a bike I can ride.
Finding the right content marketing agency partner can feel harder than it needs to be. At Content Matterz, we get that so to save you some time, check out our packages and our subscriptions. Like what you see? As Ms. Lizzo would say, “About damn time!”
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