Big or small, B2B or B2C, businesses across the board are learning to appreciate that a content marketing agency can be the solution to their own lack of in-house resources. If you’ve decided it’s time to partner with a content marketing agency, this guide will show you what to look for in order to have a successful, long-term partnership. Because every business is different, choosing the right content marketing agency is much more an art than a science. Here are the top 10 things to look for before you hire a content marketing agency.
How long has the agency been doing content marketing? These days, it seems like everyone is jumping on the inbound train, including traditional creative, media, and digital agencies. Creating great content that engages your audience, enhances your marketing strategy, and helps achieve your business goals takes experience.
At least 10 years of experience in content marketing. The length of time it has in the content business has a direct impact on whether an agency can successfully meet your needs. There must be a thorough understanding of every aspect of inbound marketing and a system in place that keeps its staff on top of the ever-changing content landscape.
Does the agency have a trustworthy reputation in the industry? Those long-term clients we mentioned above are a valuable source of information.
Referrals, testimonials, and online comments from credible sources listed on the agency’s website, and sites like Quora and LinkedIn. Do the comments show the agency is respected by its peers and clients alike? Case studies give insight into the agency’s process. Finally, has the agency won any special inbound recognitions or awards? For example, Hubspot hands out quarterly and yearly Impact Awards to its certified agency partners.
An agency should have knowledgeable, experienced content strategists on their team. Find one whose people are the right fit for your business – ones who understand your company’s business goals and who can bring the proper skill sets to make those goals a reality.
Content writing skills, not just ad and copywriting experience. Creating great inbound content is much more than writing compelling copy. It must be original, authentic, and actionable. It also involves specialized knowledge of SEO and quality linking.
Is there a comprehensive content planning and production system in place? Does the agency have proprietary content technology? Proprietary tech helps a company operate more effectively and helps them deliver the highest level of service.
Marketing technology is essential for identifying audience segments, measuring engagement, and attributing action. Make sure the technology the agency is using is simple for your staff to learn and use itself.
Does the agency’s system allow you to view, participate, and provide feedback on the work they’re doing for you? Clear and open communication means you’ll always be on the same page. The ideal agency will regularly check in with you and quickly respond to any questions you have.
Decide what level of involvement you want to have with the agency, and then find one that lets you be as hands-on as you want. The best agency in the world won’t be the right one for you if your working styles don’t mesh.
Choosing the right content marketing agency is a bit like learning to tango – your partner means everything to your performance. Use these 10 tips before hiring your content marketing agency and you’ll be taking all the right steps towards success.
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