A content marketing agency creates blog posts, social media content, videos, eBooks, memes, and other output that tells the world about your company and its products. Ideally, this content is polished, true to your brand, and optimized to reach your target audience.
Content marketing services can add a lot of value to your business, but you have to choose the right one. There’s no shortage of companies in this space, which can make the decision-making process even more complex. Fortunately, these guidelines will help you make an informed decision.
Why Work with an Agency?
You know your products, brand, and customers better than anybody. Isn’t it better if you create your own content? Why should you work with a content marketing agency?
First, remember that you can use content marketing services according to your own needs. You can adopt a turnkey solution, where you turn over all content creation and other related tasks to an agency. If you prefer, you can simply use an agency on an as-needed basis.
Also, a content marketing agency offers more than writing services. They should be able to help you with strategy, SEO, performance analysis, and auditing. There’s a reason why the most successful brands invest in content marketing. It pays off significantly, and the best results come when you invest in expertise.
Many companies hire top content marketing agencies because it gives them more time and resources to focus on the core aspects of their companies. The agency takes charge of this, and that leaves them time for sales, product development, hiring, customer retention, and other tasks.
Qualities Found in a Top Content Marketing Agency
You’re considering a content marketing agency. Now what? You’ll get the best results if you know how to discern top content marketing agencies from those that may not deliver what you need. Here are some factors to consider.
Reputation and Expertise
Of course, reputation and expertise are important. What many people don’t realize is that you have to dig deep to learn about an agency’s standing. Yes, it helps to know that a content agency has a great reputation overall. But it’s even more valuable to learn how well they do when it comes to businesses in your niche. Likewise, expertise is most valuable when it aligns with your needs.
Solid Body of Work with Portfolio or Examples
A reputable content marketing agency will be happy to share work samples with prospective clients. Many will have a portfolio available for review. Be wary of any agency that is hesitant to provide this.
Adequate Resources to Meet Your Needs
Infrastructure is something people overlook when they are searching for content marketing agencies. Think about it. Is the company you are considering capable of handling the needs of your business? This is important to consider, especially if your company is in a very specialized niche, working towards major growth, and heading into some large projects.
There should be people available to you to answer questions and address your concerns in a reasonable amount of time.
Transparency and Reliability
Content marketing is more than just blog posts and web content. You are effectively handing your microphone to somebody else and then allowing them to speak on your behalf. Trust is absolutely necessary. You should feel absolutely confident that you can count on the content marketing agency you hire.
Adaptability and Flexibility
Your company is going to grow. Your strategy will change accordingly. Can the company scale its content marketing services to match?
Produce Organic, Original, High-Quality Content
The unfortunate truth is that there are agencies out there that emphasize quantity over quality. They produce an extraordinary amount of content. The problem is that being prolific isn’t helpful if the quality just isn’t there. Good content is original, fits your branding, is engaging, and is optimized for search.
Any money you spend on content marketing services is wasted if you don’t achieve your goals and KPIs. How does the agency ensure that it’s getting results? What have they done to deliver for other clients?
How to Measure the Effectiveness of Agencies
Now you know what to look for. Here are some actionable steps you can take while you consider content marketing services.
Key Questions to Ask When Interviewing Agencies
Any agency you contact is going to have a sales pitch for you. That’s understandable, but don’t be drawn in too easily. Ask these questions to keep things focused on your needs:
- What can you do for my business?
- Describe your SEO expertise
- Which tools do you use for analytics and reporting?
- What is the timeline for getting results?
- Do you work with companies in our niche?
Finally, ask what will be expected of your team if you partner with that content marketing service.
How to Decide Which Agency Is Best for You
Take these steps to help choose the best content marketing company.
Determine Your Company’s Needs and Goals
There’s no way to measure how well a company can meet your needs before you understand what you want to achieve. Don’t move towards hiring anybody until you know what you need from a content marketing team and the objectives you want to achieve.
Make Sure Their Work Examples Match Your Style
A good content creator can adopt different voices to align with the branding of their clients. What you need to determine is whether they can do that with authenticity or not. If they have work examples, ask to see some that match your brand voice as much as possible.
Make Sure Resources/Talent/Expertise Match Your Requirements
Can they provide you with the people, resources, and time to meet your needs? The last thing you need is to experience frustrating delays because the agency you’ve hired is spread too thin.
Prioritize Value over Price
How much does content marketing cost? This is difficult to answer because there is such a big disparity across different agencies. Because of this, it’s better to make these comparisons on value rather than price. For example, a blog post that earns backlinks and traffic to your website is more valuable than one that costs half as much but doesn’t perform.
Check Reviews, Testimonials, and References
Reviews, testimonials, and references matter. But they are only as worthwhile as your willingness to go over them carefully. For reviews, move past stars or other ranking systems. Read the details. Look for reviews from companies like yours. Also, positive reviews should be spread out over time. Be wary of blocks of stellar reviews that all seem to land at once.
Testimonials are also important. They indicate that a customer was happy enough to take the time to provide a detailed endorsement. The same is true with references. Follow up on these. Previous customers can give you great insights about what you can expect.
How Does AOU Creative Do Things Differently?
AOU stands out because the company combines the appeal and engagement of storytelling with the undeniable reliability of data science. We leverage a team of experts in the areas of content creation, data, and web design to create a strategy to help you get the exact results you want.
Time to Take the Next Step
Let’s talk about what we can do for you! Book a consultation with AOU Creative today.