The rationales for deciding to hire a digital marketing or content marketing agency are fairly self-evident these days.
Some of these rationales include the knowledge and expertise that a digital marketing professional can provide you with – which might often be far beyond what you can develop in-house – as well as the efficiency savings you make by outsourcing this business process. This will also have a direct impact on your revenue as you will have more time to spend on product or service delivery.
Although the decision behind choosing to engage a content marketing agency is an easy one to make, this does not necessarily mean that deciding who to choose will also be easy!
In fact, quite the opposite seems to be true these days given the sheer number of digital marketing agencies and content creation experts out there.
Although content marketing agencies will all be engaged in work that is functionally quite similar, there is a considerable amount of variation in the type of service you will get, how expensive it will be, and perhaps most importantly, the quality of service that will be delivered.
If recent reports are anything to go by, the need to choose the right content marketing agency is made all the more important given that the pandemic has fundamentally altered consumer behaviour. It is not only because e-commerce is at an all-time high – which according to a UN report saw a $26.7tn jump during the pandemic – that consumer behaviour has altered, however. It is primarily because this shift has made us much savvier as consumers.
The fact that consumers are becoming more proficient at navigating a digital commerce space means that your digital marketing strategies will also need to adapt. For this reason, the need to hire a digital and content marketing strategist who can help you to navigate this new and uncertain environment is all the more important. In an age when digital consumers are savvier than ever, you will need well–crafted, compelling content that will capture your target audience’s attention.
With that said, in the remainder of this blog post, we will give you a brief overview of some of the main things to look out for when hiring a content marketing agency.
Know what you want from the agency
An important preliminary step that you need to take before choosing a content marketing agency is to know your goals.
Having a clear idea in mind of your long-term and short–term goals will give you a better sense of what level of service you require, which will help you to figure out what kind of service you need.
Digital and content marketing agencies are generally split along specialist and full–service lines. Full–service agencies, as you might have guessed, provide a ‘full service’ when it comes to your digital marketing needs. This could include everything from producing content to running your various marketing channels for you.
Specialist content marketing firms, in contrast, might perform a more limited range of services. Additionally, you might also find specialist content marketing agencies that focus on one sector or a specific type of content, such as news items or editorials.
For this reason, having an idea of what level of service you will require and how it will help you to achieve your long-term goals is an important part of choosing the right agency.
To help you get a sense of this, try to work out these goals in terms of deliverables. Do you need a single, high-quality editorial piece each week, or are you looking for a team that can deliver hundreds of bespoke pieces a month? How you answer this question will greatly impact what kind of content marketing strategist you need.
Four things to look out for in a content marketing agency
Now that you have a general idea of what exactly you want to get out of your relationship with your prospective content marketing agency, we can start to think about what separates the good from the bad. When looking online for a digital marketing agency, keep these points in mind to help choose the right one for you:
1. Industry experience: does it matter?
Generally speaking, it is a good idea to choose an agency that has developed an expertise in the field, sector or industry in which you operate.
This will not only speed up the process in the long run, but will also make the content it produces more engaging, more compelling, and better able to convert clicks into sales.
Creating compelling marketing content is all about speaking your customer’s language. As such, it is always better to find someone who is fluent, rather than going with someone who has to learn the language from scratch!
It shouldn’t be too difficult to find out what areas and industries an agency specialises in. Most often, this will usually be listed on the site. Failing this, you can also simply make your way through its client list to see if it matches your own profile.
2. What is the agency promising you?
A trustworthy content marketing agency will never undersell or oversell what you can achieve through its services. If the promises that it is making about the results it can deliver to you seem too good to be true, there is a chance that they actually might be.
An agency that promises that it can boost you to the number one spot on the Google rankings with a single article is more than likely overselling. There are so many variables when it comes to navigating your way to a well–ranked spot in the Google search engine rankings, which makes the promise of specific results hard to deliver – unless, of course, it is done by nefarious means!
So, stay away from any agency that makes outlandish claims that seem too good to be true. But at the same time, be wary of agencies that don’t make it clear what level of results you might be able to achieve.
3. Company culture and values: are they a match?
Personality fit is a big part of what makes a partnership between a company and a content marketing agency fruitful and productive in the long run. You are more than likely going to be spending a lot of time communicating in the future, so make sure that you choose a group of people you can actually talk with. Communication is the foundation of any good relationship, so don’t underestimate how this might impact what you get out of it in the long run!
Do you want a loud, boisterous and creative agency that will help get your new art gallery off the ground? Or are you an accountant looking for an agency that has a refined corporate profile? It is very unlikely that the same agency will suit both profiles!
You will usually be able to get a good sense of what kind of personality an agency has by browsing its website, but a quick consultation or email exchange is often enough to give you a good idea.
4. Value comes in many forms
While we completely understand that businesses – particularly small online businesses – are always conscious of keeping costs at a minimum, marketing content is not something that you should ever skimp on.
Remember that your target audience’s first interaction with your brand or company might be through this piece of content. This means that it is all the more important to ensure that you are making a good first impression with high–quality, well-crafted content. A good mantra to keep in mind is that the best value may not always be the best price.
Taking the next steps
If you have read all of the above and now feel more confident in your knowledge of what to look out for the next time you need to engage a content marketing strategist, why not reach out to a member of the Purecontent team today? Purecontent has a team of content creation specialists who will help you to amplify your impact online. If you are ready to increase your online presence, feel free to get in touch today!