Read about how to choose the best possible content marketing agency to suit your needs. Content marketing has become an integral part of running a successful tech business, so it is wise to be informed.
Content marketing is a strategy of creating and publishing content, whose purpose is to build trust and authority among preferred consumer groups. With smart use of content marketing tactics, companies can build a large community around their brand, which will later serve as their prime brand advocate. If you are using content marketing in the right way, you won’t need to use ’hard sell’ tactics or any other overly-promotional activities that may drive away potential customers.
Creating and implementing an advanced content strategy is not an easy task. This work can be a huge burden for small marketing departments, which is why companies often decide to outsource content creation
and publishing tasks. In this article, we listed some tips that will help you to find an ideal content agency that will turn your website into a niche-specific encyclopaedia and gather a vibrant community around it.
Agency’s Strategic Capabilities
Companies can hire content agencies for creating several critical content pieces, or for creating and implementing the whole of their content strategy. For the second task, you should look for agencies with strong strategic capabilities. These agencies usually have a consistent approach and a strong methodology. They should also have a spotless track record and several highly influential clients.
The best way to check content agency’s strategic capabilities is to analyse its case studies
. Respectful content agencies often upload them to their websites. Check how they’ve helped their previous clients to develop their content strategies, and try to measure the effectiveness of their previous campaigns. Also, try to determine whether their approach can be applied in your business model.
Which Tools do They use?
When you establish an initial contact with agency personnel you should ask them what tools they will use to develop and implement your content strategy. Content agencies use a wide variety of tools these days, from content creation software like MS Office, Adobe Photoshop, Sony Vegas and Piktochart, to specialised marketing tools that allow them to create content campaigns and measure their results. These are some of the recommended tools content marketing agencies should use:
- Website analytics: Google Analytics, Webtrends and Kissmetrics;
- Social media analytics and management: Hootsuite, Sprout Social, IBM Social Analytics, Socialbakers, CrowdBooster and Curalate (if your campaign includes Pinterest and Instagram);
- Web analytics: Alexa, Quantcast and Compete;
- Funnel analytics: Full Circle Insights and Bright Funnel;
- SEO Analytics: Moz and Yoast SEO;
- Marketing automation: Genius and HubSpot;
- E-mail marketing: MailChimp and Campaign Monitor;
- Webinar tools: ReadyTalk and iMeet;
- Content audit: Content Insight;
- Content curation: Curata CCS and Magnify;
- Content optimisation: Scribe and Atomic Reach;
Contact their previous clients
Marketing agencies usually list most influential clients on their website. Contact some companies from this list and inquire about agency’s strategic approach, communication, customer service and support. You should also play the devil’s advocate and try to find agency’s clients that are not listed on their website. Pay special attention to negative references and try to find reasons why some of their case studies weren’t successful (maybe it’s not their fault). At the end of this process, you will have a deep insight in agency’s previous work.
Meet their team
Many entrepreneurs only meet with agency’s CEO before signing the deal. Although agencies often post resumes and short biographies of their key employees on their website, you should meet at least some team members who will be in charge of creating your company’s content strategy. Experts from KingContent
say that this kind of meet up is also beneficial for content agency personnel because they can get all necessary insights about your company’s values, mission and goals.
If content agency’s employees are the sort of people you’d hire yourself, and you think you’ll be able to effectively communicate with them throughout the content creation and publishing process, you are one step closer to finding an ideal content agency.
One of the main purposes of content marketing is to show your expertise to consumers. If you hire a less competent content agency, your expertise will be at stake. This can have disastrous effects on your future promotional activities and customer retention. That’s why you need to be very careful and choose the content agency that matches your business needs.