Maybe you’re a new business owner looking to launch your brand, or maybe you’re an experienced professional looking to expand your company’s reach through social media marketing. Either way, outsourcing content marketing can help you achieve your goals and grow your customer base. But first you need to know how to choose a content marketing agency.
Content marketing falls under the umbrella of digital marketing, which is comprised of marketing methods conducted through electronic devices. According to the Content Marketing Institute, “content marketing is a strategic marketing approach focused on creating and distributing valuable, relevant, and consistent content to attract and retain a clearly defined audience.”
The content that is produced via content marketing is not intended to advertise your products and services. Rather, its goal is to provide value to your prospects. For example, it might answer their questions or solve their issues. This in turn piques their interest in doing business with you.
If content marketing sounds like an effective digital marketing strategy but you don’t have the time or experience to dedicate to content creation, there is a solution: hiring a content marketing agency. Below, we’ll explore the benefits of choosing a content marketing agency and the questions you should ask in the hiring process to ensure you are setting your brand up for success.
Benefits of hiring a content marketing agency
A content marketing agency takes the guesswork out of content creation. By outsourcing content, you can count on an expert marketing team to learn about your brand and target audience. Armed with this information, the team can then create valuable content that will help establish your brand as a voice of authority in your industry. And along the way, it will make your life easier!
Expanding from copy to content
Content writing extends beyond simply writing website copy. A business owner uses website copy to tell potential buyers why they need a product and how to get it. On the other hand, a business owner uses content marketing to stimulate a target audience’s interest by providing insightful information or entertainment. This can be accomplished on a variety of digital marketing platforms, such as on blogs, web pages, and social media accounts, as well as through podcasts and video.
As you can imagine, high-quality content creation is time consuming. The need for fresh content never ends, so you must constantly generate new ideas for blog articles, social media posts, infographics, white papers, videos, and more. Plus, once you’ve created content, you must share, monitor, analyze, and optimize your efforts to see results.
Saving time by choosing expert content creators
But what if you don’t have an in-house team capable of handling content creation and optimization? Or what if you can’t dedicate time to content marketing efforts? What if you don’t have the expertise to make your content as engaging and effective as you’d like it to be?
That’s where a content marketing company comes in. Outsourcing these tasks to professional content creators will save you the time you would otherwise spend bringing the content to life yourself.
A content marketing agency will dedicate the time necessary to analyze your brand, culture, target audience, and industry so that you don’t have to. In doing so, it can help you create an effective content strategy and implement a content marketing campaign. This gives you and your employees time to focus on other areas of the business, knowing that your content creation needs are being taken care of.
Increasing your customer base by creating more engaging content
You can see how a content marketing agency saves you time. But how can it grow your audience and turn prospects into customers?
In this age of digital marketing, it can be hard for your brand to break through the noise. To stand out as a thought leader in your industry, your brand needs to be sharing high-quality content on a consistent basis. And a content marketing agency can help you map out, produce, and market such content.
Think of it this way: if you post visually appealing infographics or videos, your current audience will likely share it with new audiences. If those audiences find it compelling, they may share it with their audiences. Additionally, they may be inclined to learn more about your company, products, and services. And they may decide to follow you to see more useful content in the future.
Whether audiences end up on your website, blog, or social media pages, you are increasing brand awareness and growing your audience. And potentially, you’re converting prospects into customers.
Reducing costs by investing in a professional content marketing agency
At this point, you may be wondering how much it costs to work with a content agency. Can your business afford to hire an agency to assist with its marketing strategy? If so, will you really see a return on investment?
It’s important to first consider that the cost of working with a digital agency is likely less expensive than the cost of hiring an in-house marketing team. You will also save money because the right content marketing agency will have access to resources that your company would have to otherwise identify and pay for on its own.
The budget you allocate for a content marketing agency will, of course, depend on factors such as your company size, how much content you need created, and which content marketing agency you choose to work with. But by choosing an agency, you’re gaining the benefit both of efficiency and expertise.
Your content marketing agency has the potential not only to save you money but also to make you money through the creation of valuable, high-quality content that brings in new leads. Assessing these leads and how your organic web traffic has changed since hiring your agency will help you determine whether your content marketing efforts are lucrative. So don’t forget to evaluate the results!
What to look for in a content marketing agency
Once you’ve decided to hire a content marketing agency, the next step is to find the right one. You need to look for the best content creator for your brand, so it’s crucial that you know how to choose a content marketing agency. With the many marketing agencies that exist, you need to know how to distinguish the best from the rest.
Finding the best fit for your business
The best content creators should offer a variety of services, but they should also be flexible to your needs. You should not have to sign a contract that lists services you won’t use.
Additionally, you should look for an experienced digital marketing company whose portfolio aligns with your industry and goals. Here are a few other things to consider when determining if an agency is the right fit for you:
- Do they tell their own story in a clear and compelling way? If not, this could be a red flag as to their ability to do so for you.
- Do they have long-term clients? Repeat clients can validate the credibility of the agency.
Answering these questions will enable you to get a feel for a content agency and whether or not you will work successfully together.
Defining your goals for your brand
Before choosing a content marketing agency, you need to define your goals. What specific marketing achievements are you hoping to accomplish?
Aim to set strategic goals—measurable goals that produce outcomes meaningful for your business. For example, you might want to do some of the following:
- Establish your brand as a thought leader
- Improve customer loyalty
- Generate new demand
- Increase sales
- Develop your audience
- Grow brand awareness
Once you determine your goals, you will be able to communicate them to your agency and come up with the best content marketing strategy to achieve them.
How to determine what you need from a content marketing agency
Your content needs will be unique to your business. To determine the content creation you want your agency to handle, think about your goals and in-house resources. Think especially about the content creation that would save you significant time if it were outsourced.
Another tool for assessing your needs is your content marketing strategy.
Developing a content marketing strategy
According to the Content Marketing Institute, you can think of your content marketing strategy as your “why.” Why are you creating content? This will naturally lead to other important questions: Who is it for? How will you help them in a way that stands out from your competitors?
Setting strategic goals and defining your target audience are essential parts of your content strategy. And by providing this information to your content marketing agency, you will assist it in generating content that fits your brand.
Measuring the reach of your content marketing campaign
Analytics will inform you about how your content is performing and can be a great indicator of the content types that are most effective and valuable for your brand. Many social media platforms, such as Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, and Twitter, have built-in analytics tools that provide insights on traffic, user demographics, and more.
Additionally, remember to compare these analytics before and after you hire a content marketing agency. The results can cue you in on the success of your content marketing efforts.
Questions to ask when comparing content marketing agencies
Before investing in a content marketing agency, be sure to research different agencies and vet the candidates. You want to ensure you move forward with the best agency for your needs.
Doing your research
How can you determine whether to choose Agency A over Agency B? Start by learning all that you can about the agencies you are considering. For example, you might search online to find out the following:
- How long an agency has been in business
- Whether an agency has experience in your industry
- Whether an agency can provide case studies from similar projects
Such information will give you insight into how a partnership might turn out before you even talk to an agency.
Asking the right questions
But while an online search is good, you still need to talk to your final candidates before you hire one. And there are many questions you can—and should—ask a content marketing agency before signing a contract.
You’ll need to customize many questions for your particular brand and needs, of course. But when you’re interviewing a content creator, you might consider these questions as well.
- What do you enjoy about writing?
- Are you open to feedback throughout the content creation process?
- How do you decide what content to create?
- What makes content successful?
The answers to these questions may show a content creator’s passion for writing and digital marketing, their ability to align content to your industry, and their understanding of what successful content looks like.
You might also ask specific logistical questions, such as “Do you have an online submission service that can be accessed 24/7?”
Don’t shy away from asking questions. Doing so enables you to make an informed decision when you choose a content marketing agency to partner with. And you may have heard it said before, but it’s worth repeating: There is no such thing as a bad question.
After all, by hiring a marketing agency to assist with content creation, you are entering into a partnership where communication is essential. By getting your questions answered, you are setting yourself and your brand up for success. And you’re assisting your content marketing agency in understanding your exact wants and needs.
With a content marketing agency, high-quality content is within reach.
Content marketing provides value to your prospects and customers. When executed properly, with the help of a content marketing agency, your content marketing strategy will stimulate your target audience’s engagement with your brand—leading to increased interest in your products and services as well.
A content marketing agency can save you time and money while growing your customer base. So as you’re determining how to choose a content marketing agency, do your research and ask questions so that you can make an informed decision. The end goal is to find an agency with content creators who can take your ideas and turn them into valuable, high-quality content for your target audience.