How to Choose the Right Content Marketing Agencies
We know it’s tough, but you’ve got to face the facts.
When it comes to your business, you can’t do it all.
Running a business is enough work as it is — consistently creating high-quality content is a whole other challenge.
Digital marketing is an in-depth process that you simply don’t have the time to execute effectively.
You’ve made the right decision in hiring a content marketing agency.
But how do you know you’re choosing a good one?
Identify Your Needs
Before you can decide which type of agency is right for you, you’ll need to nail down your content marketing strategy.
Your strategy should, at its most basic level, answer three questions:
- Why are you creating this content?
- Who are you creating it for?
- How are you helping them as no one else can?
With these answers, you can more easily identify the type of agency that will provide marketing services to help you achieve your goals.
What Are Examples of Content Marketing?
Content marketing is marketing in the form of helpful, educational content that answers specific questions your audience has — providing them with something they aren’t able to get elsewhere.
This comes in many forms, including:
- Blog posts
- Social media posts
Once you’ve got your content marketing strategy figured out and you know the type of content you’d like to produce, you can begin scouting your ideal agency.
Find the Right Type of Digital Marketing Agency for You
It’s tough to sift through the vast amount of digital marketing agencies and content marketing services out there.
To help, We’ve compiled a list of a few types of digital marketing agencies and their focus.
|Type of Digital Marketing Agency||Full-Service||Public Relations/Branding||Social Media||Web Design and Development||Search Engine Optimization (SEO)|
|Focus||A wide variety of digital marketing services, including content creation (SEO, video production), developing content marketing campaigns, email marketing, social media marketing. “One-stop shop.”||Establishing the client’s brand and increasing brand awareness within the target audience through social media promotions, email marketing, and conducting market research using information technology.||Social media content creation and management. Using tactics such as influencer marketing and other social media marketing campaigns to increase brand awareness and engage with the client’s target audience.|
Website design and hosting.
Improving website functionality and design; creating and storing images.
|Creating content including keywords that help the client’s posts rank high on search engines. Stimulating organic traffic to the client’s website.|
As you can see, you’ve got options.
Does the Agency Fit Your Content Marketing Strategy?
Take the time to examine the marketing services offered by each type of agency and determine how well they’re able to fit your needs.
For example, a full-service agency will be able to adapt as your blog or business grows. Video production may not be part of your content strategy at first. But as your blog or business grows, you may want to expand what type of creative content you’re producing to further engage with your target audience.
However, you may find that a full-service agency offering a wide range of marketing services may not be able to give certain areas the focus and expertise they need.
Social media is excellent for marketing and engaging with your target audience, but you may find that a social media agency offers too specific of a focus. This will limit you from pursuing more varied content marketing campaigns in the future.
There’s no doubt that web design is a key component of your business. But perhaps your website is already solid and it’s your content that needs improvement. A web design agency won’t be of much help in this scenario.
Or it could be that you don’t have enough high-quality content to back up the claims that a PR agency would make on your behalf. So you’d reach your target audience, but your weak content would actually have a negative effect on your brand awareness.
Again, it’s important to keep your content marketing strategy in mind.
In Content Marketing, SEO Is Key
No matter what, your digital strategy should involve releasing consistent, creative content with a focus on SEO to increase lead generation and traffic to your blog or website.
As you can see, major search engines account for 70.6% of website traffic. This makes SEO a key component of any online marketing strategy.
Your ideal digital marketing agency should therefore have a firm grasp of the mechanics of SEO marketing.
SEO-focused agencies like CopySmiths will produce high-quality content, optimized to increase visibility on search engines.
Once you’ve established a marketing strategy and identified your needs, you can then begin your search for marketing agencies.
Like any important decision, this involves plenty of…
Research, Research, Research
The best place to start is the agency’s website. There are plenty of telltale signs before you even get into the content this agency produces.
Does the Content Marketing Agency Practice What They Preach?
Looking for a web design agency? How does their website look?
If they specialize in SEO, does their website’s content reflect this?
Social media? How many followers do they have?
Look at these signs and you can save yourself valuable time looking through a sub-par agency’s website.
Look at a Variety of Sources
While you do your cursory sweep of the agency’s website, be sure to look them up on LinkedIn, Twitter, or Google+ as well. An agency’s presence and reputation on these sites can tell you a lot about them — mainly because they aren’t completely in control of what’s being presented.
Check out the number of followers in addition to the agency’s reviews on various platforms — this will give you insight into the quality of service they provide.
Additionally, articles profiling the agency can give you a different perspective.
It’s also a good sign when well-known marketing publications are talking about one of your prospective agencies. They must be doing something right to get that kind of attention.
Next, you’re going to want to dig a little deeper into the agency’s website. Especially because you’re going to want to see examples of their work and case studies of previous marketing campaigns.
The good news is…
Good Content Marketing Agencies Aren’t Shy About How Good They Are
All good digital marketing agencies will have examples of their work readily available.
It may seem obvious, but when looking for a content marketing agency, you want to make sure they create high-quality content.
Read the agency’s blog posts and content marketing examples. Make sure they are well-written, engaging, and interesting.
Most importantly, look for depth.
Do They Hire Expert Writers?
Subject expertise is an extremely important part of great content.
Readers don’t want blog posts with a surface-level knowledge of the topic at hand. They’re looking for depth and expertise. SEO can only take you so far if your content is lacking in these areas.
Head back to LinkedIn and find writers employed by the agency to get an idea of what the agency is working with.
Look for examples of content created for clients in your industry, and you can see if the agency demonstrates an understanding of the topic.
There should also be statistics, case studies, or testimonials from clients available. Check these out to get an idea of how their marketing services have benefited businesses or blogs in the past.
Case studies are especially important because you will usually get a breakdown of the content strategy employed by the agency. That way, you get to see how and why it was successful.
However, always remember that an agency is primarily marketing itself.
That’s why, when possible, you should verify their claims by talking to former or current clients.
What was their experience like? First-hand accounts from clients will often shed more truth on matters than an agency would.
Don’t be afraid to ask the agency directly for a list of clients they have worked with.
The agency will likely give you a list of clients for whom they have produced successful content marketing campaigns.
Talk to them, but be sure to ask around and find clients who have seen less successful results as well. It’s important to anticipate the potential shortcomings of your chosen agency.
Make a List
After doing all this research, you’re going to have a LOT of information. Keep it all straight by using the tried and true method of making a list.
Whether your style is a spreadsheet, sticky notes, or good old-fashioned pen and paper — a list may seem simple and almost juvenile, but it will prove extremely helpful in your decision-making process.
Having all the information together in an organized manner will make the process of comparing agencies much easier.
You can weigh the pros and cons of each agency, compare the effectiveness of previous marketing campaigns, and compare prices to find how the agencies stack up against each other.
Make the Right Choice for You
You’ve nailed down your content marketing strategy, identified your needs, and decided to hire a content marketing agency.
You understand the importance of quality SEO content and subject expertise in content creation for digital marketing.
Now take the logical next step and contact CopySmiths. We’ll work with you to develop high-quality content to fit your digital marketing needs.