When to Hire a Content Marketing Agency
Content marketing uses a strategic approach in creating valuable content that aligns with the needs of your target audience and inspires long-term customer relationships. If your annual goals involve growing and scaling your business through inbound methods, then it’s time to get serious about content marketing.
Inbound content marketing creation can take on many different forms. The most effective forms give an audience exactly what they’re looking for and are used in conjunction with outbound marketing techniques. Creating an effective content marketing plan may involve spending significant amounts of resources upfront. This includes developing a strategy, scheduling the plan, preparing content, and unleashing that content in a formal distribution plan. For some marketers, that means creating at least one piece of content every day.
Doesn’t sound so bad? Keep in mind that a single blog post can take up to 6 hours to create (research, writing, refining, publishing, promoting, analyzing results). Some marketing experts recommend publishing blogs 2 times per day! Of course, what works best will vary from organization to organization. This is why thoughtful strategy and diligent planning are essential to the success of content marketing.
The Need for Content Marketing Experts
The need for a dedicated team of content marketing experts is why many brands and small businesses are turning to an external agency to offer their services and expertise.
50% of companies outsource content needs to a content marketing agency; for large companies, that statistic jumps to 75%.
Additionally, the least successful companies (defined by Content Marketing Institute, based on performance) are doing more work in-house. Why? Many from that group are in the early phases of content marketing maturity and may be attempting to lay the foundations internally before seeking outside help. When it comes to choosing a content marketing agency, there are many factors to consider.
What is the agency’s expertise?
Who are the people behind the Zoom screens?
What are the agency’s processes?
Here’s a hint: all the best content marketing agencies should easily be able to demonstrate the value they will bring to your brand’s inbound strategies.
Content Marketing Stats to Know
- 47% of buyers view three to five pieces of content before engaging with a sales rep. This means that you need an arsenal of content to convert one prospect.
- Marketers’ primary goals for running marketing campaigns are brand awareness, increasing sales, and increasing engagement. This represents every stage of the marketing funnel.
- Video is the most commonly used form of content marketing, overtaking blogs and infographics. Invest in video creation, in tandem with written pieces.
Evaluating a Content Marketing Agency
Knowledge of content marketing basics is not enough to demonstrate expertise. To effectively evaluate an agency’s expertise, ask to see which clients they’ve worked with before. Does their client portfolio align with your industry? Do the case studies or content examples show results that you desire as well?
Determine the Agency’s Abilities
Depending on what your goals are as a company, writing a couple of blog articles a week may be all you want. For more aggressive goals, a well-rounded content strategy requires an agency with strong experience in search engine optimization (SEO). SEO is a vital partner to content marketing, and a solid SEO strategy helps your content be found in search results, and quicker. An agency that is well-versed in content marketing and SEO can include keyword research, competitor analysis, and an audit of your existing website and content as part of its services.
This, along with a general evaluation of whether or not you could enjoy working with the people on the agency’s team, can help you evaluate an agency’s abilities to meet your goals.
Evaluating the Agency’s Processes
The agency you choose to partner with for content marketing consulting should be able to both talk the talk and walk the walk. Their processes should help improve and expedite content marketing creation, allowing your business to scale its content efforts with little impact on your day-to-day duties.
Effective strategies with a content agency should include:
- Identifying specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and timely goals
- Clearly defining Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) that are appropriate for your particular business
- Creating and using a customer persona
A persona is a fictional representation of your business’s ideal customer. This outline should include their demographics, job/economic details, lifestyle trends, challenges, and buying preferences. Customer personas help to envision who you’re speaking to when creating content, directly tying relevance and intent into your content pieces. An agency partner should know and understand this first-hand.
Ready to jump headfirst into content marketing for your brand? Request a consultation here.