Content marketing is an essential part of your digital marketing strategy in this day and age, and if you're not a professional content marketer, it can be more of a hassle than it's worth to try to manage yourself. This is why content marketing agencies exist: to help you, as a business owner, improve your SEO, become a thought leader in your industry, and bring in more customers.
Content marketing consists of SEO optimized copy writing, blog writing, and determining a content strategy that is going to work for your business, whether that's social media, email, blogs, or eBook/white paper content. A content marketing agency will determine which of those are beneficial to your business and then will do the research required to help create these for your business. This helps you to focus on what you're good at (running your business) while your content agency focuses on what they're good at (growing your business through content marketing).
But you want to make sure that you're hiring the right content creation agency. Not every agency is going to understand your business, get your voice right, and implement the necessary strategy properly. Here are a few questions to ask when hiring a content creation agency to ensure that you find the right one.
1. Do you have any experience in my industry?
Although it's not always completely necessary, it can help to give you peace of mind if the content creation agency you're working with already has experience creating content for and working with a business like yours. This means that they have to do less research (which may cost less for you) and that there will be less of an adjustment period when you start working together. But remember that a good content agency will still be able to capture your voice and vision for your business without prior experience.
2. Can we see examples of your work?
You want to see examples of what a marketing company has done in the past before you begin working with them. There will be different ways of seeing this. Perhaps the agency has put together case studies of past success stories that you can look through. They may provide you with the names of clients they've worked with for you to do some research into their progress. They may simply send over a portfolio of content they've created. Whatever they show you, make sure that you are impressed with the caliber of work they are presenting.
3. What is your research process?
Again, at the beginning of every new client-agency relationship, there will be a lot of research that is done. The agency needs to understand your industry's lingo, voice, and processes to begin creating content for your readers. A good agency prides itself on its level of knowledge in your specific industry after it begins working with you. Make sure that you ask the content creation agency how they conduct their research as well as how they charge you for the time used.
4. What do your services cost?
Every agency structures their fees differently and prices their packages or services differently. Make sure that you completely understand how the agency you choose to work with puts together their pricing. Is it hourly? Is it by the word? Is it package-based? Look at what you're getting for what you're paying, and make sure that you can afford to hire the content creation agency.
5. Why are you the best fit for my business?
Last but not least, you want to hear straight from the agency why they think they're the best fit for you. This is their last chance to give you their sales pitch and share how they can help your business. You are the one making the hire, so it's important to make the right decision. Hiring a content agency can be stressful, and you don't want to go through the process all over again if you make the wrong decision.
If you're looking into hiring a content creation agency, make sure you ask these five questions of each salesperson you speak with. Your content marketing is an important investment for your business to make, but it is so worth it when you're working with the right agency. To learn more, check out our white paper, "Content Marketing Agency: Look for These 10 Things When Hiring One."