Any growing business with a great product or service needs to get its name out there. Through a series of blog articles, videos, or email newsletters, a content marketing campaign can attract and maintain a loyal base of customers and increase sales and brand reputation for years to come.
91 percent of B2B businesses use content marketing, with nearly 70 percent of those organizations reporting they achieved their desired results. The right content marketing agency will ensure those odds will be in your favor.
But before you shop around for the best content marketing services, here are some of the questions you should ask while choosing the right agency for your brand:
1. What experience do they have with your industry?
Content marketing involves a variety of skills, including technical skills like SEO and web development, as well as creative skills like design and of course writing—lots and lots of writing. Ask if the writers at your potential content marketing agency have an in-depth understanding of your brand’s industry or market. Do they proven results and case studies from other companies in your industry or related industries? Do they have access to important thought leaders or industry publications in your field?
Keep in mind that a “no” to these questions doesn’t necessarily mean that an agency is the wrong fit, but it can mean that additional onboarding time to research and understand your industry and market might be necessary.
2. What tools do they use?
You’re going to want a data-driven content marketing service provider that can measure the success of campaigns via various analytics tools. Find out what they use for keyword research, SEO campaigns, keyword tracking, competitor tracking, CMS, and web analytics. You’ll want to get a thorough understanding of what they use so you can be sure they’re organized, and that they’ll be able to continuously monitor progress, and be able to provide insight into what’s working and what’s not.
3. What kind of talent do they have access to?
Many content marketing services use freelancers as well as in-house talent to round out a robust content marketing team that can professionally produce ebooks, white papers, blog articles, and videos to a client’s specifications. Creatives are naturally open and eager to share their portfolios, so ask for samples. Look at editors’ reels and read through writers’ selections to give you an idea of the type of work they’re capable of making. And don’t be shy – make sure to connect with content creators during the onboarding process because they’re the ones who are going to do most of the work.
4. What’s their reputation?
A quick trip to Google can answer this. Does the content marketing agency do any content marketing for itself? If they do, and it’s driving results, then that’s a good sign. Ask if they have case studies that demonstrate expertise and success on the behalf of previous clients. Find out if they have long-term clients and ask current clients if they’re happy with their work. You can also use vetted agency review sites, like Clutch, to get unbiased client reviews (read ours here). Look for an agency with a proven track record since their work will reflect back on you.
5. How are their communication skills?
Every successful relationship, whether it’s between romantic partners, an athlete and coach, or employee and boss, hinges on open communication. The right content marketing service will check in regularly and make you part of the process. They’ll be transparent with their process at all levels and update you on deadlines, timelines, and anything else you need to know. On that note, they’ll be open to constructive criticism and feedback. And you will be too because communication is a two-way street, and that’s why you’re hiring content marketing professionals in the first place. In other words, your ideal content marketing services provider will be a partner that understands your goals and values of your brand and dedicate themselves to a long-term commitment to help you reach them.
6. What’s the return on investment?
Here’s a big question. Naturally, you’ve got to make sure they’re going to increase your page views, your video views, inbound links, and social media shares—not to mention the impact on sales and conversions. This goes together with learning a service’s reputation and the kinds of tools they use to measure success. If they can prove their content will improve your bottom line, they’re the service you’ll want to go with.
7. Do they give you a good gut feeling?
We have neurons in our stomach (and, uh, intestine). It’s weird, but science seems to suggest that’s the case. That’s why when you have a “gut feeling” you should probably trust it. In the first phone call, do they seem attentive? Genuinely interested in working with you? Combine that with all the above evidence you gathered—the positive case studies, the satisfied reviews, the open and honest communication, the experienced talent—and you just may have a match.
Want to find out if you match with us? Because, honestly, we’re kind of curious now. For better visibility and increased brand reputation, or for honest answers about our content marketing services, shoot us a line.