Companies that invest in content get both more visitors and more leads. Prioritizing content marketing leads – without a doubt – to higher returns. In other words: content marketing works! But what should you do to choose the right content agency for your needs? Join us and we will guide you!
Few companies have the resources to be able to produce new, interesting and relevant content with the regularity required for marketing to make a difference. Therefore, many companies take the help of a digital marketing agency that is also into content marketing.
But finding the right content agency that provides maximum benefit to your business can be a challenge. Here we share some good advice along the way in order to choose the right content agency.
What skills are needed?
The market for agencies is large and most agencies offer a number of different types of services – where content can be one in the crowd. Among other things, you will find so-called full-service agencies that offer a very wide range of services. But there are also more specialized agencies. You need to have an open mind when you take a closer look at which agency to choose – it is not enough to look at those agencies that call themselves content agencies, then you can miss some gold nuggets!
Think about what skills you need. Is it a physical customer magazine to be produced, or perhaps digital content in blogs and social media? Film? Podcasts? Many agencies work with a combination of permanent employees and hired, freelance consultants. In order to make a good assessment, you need to know exactly what competencies the agency can offer. And before that, you need to know what it is you are asking for.
The content agency you hire needs to keep track of your industry and the goods or services your company produces. For the content to be interesting and relevant, good knowledge of the company’s work and target groups is required. This is especially important if you produce complex products. Ensure that the content agency has access to experts who use the right terminology and can produce content at the right level based on relevant angles.
Set concrete goals
What goals do you have for hiring a content agency? Is it about increasing awareness of the brand or generating additional sales? Or both? It is important to be clear about the objectives so that the agency can decide if they have the opportunity to offer what you demand. Feel free to ask the agency to present some reference assignments that are similar to what you want to do. Then you can get a good idea of what the agency can actually deliver.
It is important to create good conditions for the agency to be able to deliver. If you have data or information about the target group, share it with the agency.
Also, make sure that you have good measurement values to follow up on the result. The agency can certainly help you with this – especially if it is an agency with good strategic competence. There are a number of common measures that are usually used in these contexts:
- Commitment (clicks, downloads, subscriptions, etc.)
- Traffic to your website (unique visitors, page views, etc.)
- Statistics in your social media (how many followers? How many like and share?)
- Conversions (have you actually sold more?)
- Ranking in search engines
There are plenty of metrics when it comes to content marketing. Your strategic content agency can help you develop relevant metrics for the goals you want to achieve. Make sure you evaluate, analyze, draw conclusions and adjust your actions at regular intervals to maximize results.
It is based on the goals you set that you choose which measurement values you should look at more closely. The measured values should show whether you are about to approach your goal or not.
What constitutes a good content agency?
What is a good content agency? It may not be possible to answer so generally. It depends so much on the needs and conditions of the customer. But one thing is for sure: you need to know what you are looking for in an agency. Below we list some aspects that may be relevant to take a closer look at.
A good content agency should be able to quickly deliver interesting content. It is about being able to produce high-quality content at a fast pace – often for customers with varying conditions and needs.
At the same time, the deliveries must be of really high quality – otherwise, they are largely meaningless. Text, image, and film need to arouse interest in the target group and create commitment. The best is when the content gets “its own life” and begins to be shared and liked by those who are interested in the area, product, or service.
Ability to lead projects
Content creation is often time-critical. The ability to deliver on time can be crucial to whether or not you reach your goals. Ask the content agency to tell you about their project model – so you know if your projects will be taken care of by safe hands.
Complex projects require established methods and models in order for them to be possible to implement in a smooth way, with a successful result. The more people involved, the more dependencies there are and the more money it is about – the more complex a project becomes. Then it is important to have clarity regarding the project’s different deliveries, phases, and parts.
A good reputation
A content agency that has received good reviews and that can provide good references can certainly deliver. The question is whether the content agency suits your needs. That customers recommend a content agency is a good start – but it is not enough for you to be able to choose that particular agency.
Of course, a content agency can suit one customer – but not another. In some cases, it is simply about something as basic as personal chemistry. Therefore, it is important to get to know the agency a little before you choose to hire it. Feel free to have one or more unconditional meetings where you can “feel” each other and get a sense of whether the collaboration could work or not.
A stable team
How many permanent employees does the content agency have? Will they be able to deliver as agreed? Freelancers are good and necessary in many cases but can also involve vulnerability and insecurity. Freelancers are usually free to decline assignments – sometimes at short notice.
What does the content agency’s network look like? Is it large and wide enough for the assignments in question? Make sure in advance that the skills you require are really available in practice.
Matching with tone and style
Can the content agency write texts and create content in a tone and style that matches your company’s profile? A good content agency should be responsive and listen to the customer’s wishes when it comes to tonality.
Do you have a strict and professional tone? Or is it a more easy-going and customer-friendly language that applies? You want to be consistent in your content to strengthen your brand and create security with your customers. In this case, the content agency is included in the notes.
How do you create the conditions for your content agency to deliver?
The content agency needs content and material to be able to produce and deliver. It can be about marketing materials, guides, photos, texts, and other types of media. Also, make sure that you give feedback to your content agency on the material they produce. This is especially important at the beginning of the collaboration as there may be things that need to be adjusted for the future.
Make sure your content agency has a simple and relevant contact path for your business. At the beginning of the collaboration, content creators at the agency may need to ask a lot of questions. Then it is important that there is someone available who can give good answers.
Tell us your expectations in advance so that the agency knows what they need to deliver in order for you to be satisfied. Is it about getting help with the practical? Are these mainly strategic issues you need to address? What specific projects are these? The more concrete you can be, the greater the chance that the collaboration will be successful.
Take the step – hire a content agency
Producing relevant and interesting content on your own at the pace required today is almost impossible for most companies. Taking the step to choose the right content agency is something few regret. Especially when it is seen that it gives results!
Think through your needs and scan the market. If you find an agency that seems to suit your needs, get in touch and try to find out if it is time to start collaboration. It does not have to be so strange and grand – you do not have to commit to any long-term collaboration.
Try a concrete project that is important and see how the collaboration works. If it runs well and gives results, you have probably found the right one! Then just continue the collaboration. Is it sluggish or is it rubbing in some way? Try to give feedback to the agency and see if it is possible to move on. If there are no improvements, it may be time to look around for another agency.
Hiring a content agency is a strategic decision that can elevate your business in a way you may not even anticipate!
Raunak Pandey is a Mechanical Engineer by qualification & a Marketer by passion. He is the founder of Maiden Stride, a leading digital marketing company that provides world-class search engine marketing services and website & application development.