Content marketing is a lot more than running a blog for your business. It encompasses other areas of marketing like email newsletters, press releases, video marketing and even writing ad copies. The sheer impact of content on your business makes hiring an external agency a critical component of your marketing success. In this article, we will list down five tips to help businesses hire the perfect content marketing agency for your business.
How do they define content?
Different agencies define content differently based on their own skills. A number of content marketers focus solely on blogs and that is perfectly alright if that is what you need from your content marketer as well. However, if you are also looking at using your agency to help you with preparing sales copies, distributing press releases and drafting email newsletters, you must identify an agency that defines their services to include these other areas of content marketing. How text-focused is their service? This is an extension of the previous question. As a client, you must be aware of your agency’s areas of expertise before hiring them. It’s perfectly alright to hire an agency that does not offer video marketing or infographics services. However, you should be well aware of these limitations before hiring them. This way, you can choose to outsource the execution of your text-based content marketing efforts to the agency without relying on them for strategy as well. An agency with a well-rounded expertise, on the other hand, may be trusted with strategy since their recommendations would be limited to the content areas that they are experts in.
What industries have they worked in?
A great content marketer is not essentially the one with the best writing skills. Instead, they are experts in using content to generate business in specific industries. What works in the financial sector may not necessary work in healthcare. Your agency’s portfolio will determine their ability to make content marketing a success in your specific industry. That brings us to the next question which is their definition of success.
How they measure their performance?
Different agencies measure their success and performance differently. Not only does this affect your content marketing ROI , it also gives you a glimpse of what is to come. Some agencies stay away from results and only promise an effort. These are agencies that focus on the execution part of the job and not on strategy. That’s perfectly fine as long as you do not entrust them with strategy as well. Other agencies charge you for strategy as well and evaluate success based on vanity metrics like the number of visitors or social media shares. This is a good metric to evaluate performance if you are an ad-supported business. However, if you are looking at content marketing as a means to generate qualified leads for your business, you should look at hiring an agency that is focused on lead generation.
Who works on your content?
This is a question that needs to be asked anytime you hire an external agency to handle a component of your business. Many times, the person you talk to during the evaluation process may not be the one executing your project. For instance, an account manager in charge of healthcare clients may be well-versed in the industry. However, the content manager executing the campaigns may not be a specialist. This could mean low quality of work which is not commensurate to the initial promise demonstrated by your agency. For best results, hire a content marketing agency that specializes in an industry or one where the content manager executing your campaigns is a specialist in your niche.
This is a guest post by Andrew Morris. He is the founder and CEO of Flicmedia, a UK based small business marketing automation service. He is a regular blogger and a speaker on entrepreneurship councils in Surrey, UK.