Content marketing works.
Yes, it does.
Think about it.
Up to 90 percent of marketers agree that content marketing is an excellent strategy for improving brand engagement and acquisition.
So effective is content marketing that over 75 percent of companies already using the tactic admit to allocating more money to content sourcing and production.
On the flip side, content marketing isn't one of the easiest things to do.
It requires lots of planning and smart implementation.
With over 2,500 posts going live every minute, it makes perfect sense to hire a content marketing agency.
Think of it as a way of making sure your content gets discovered by your target audience with minimal involvement on your part.
Still, not every content marketing firm is worth your attention.
So before you spend your money on any agency, be sure to look for these traits and qualities.
#1 Testimonials And Reviews
The last thing you want to do is deal with a content marketing company that doesn't know what it's doing.
Sure, an agency may have an enticing promise, but it is good to ask for samples of their work. Even better, let the company give you testimonials from satisfied clients.
Why are testimonials critical when hiring a content marketing firm?
Well, because endorsements show the company can deliver what they promise. By extension, it allows you to spend your money with confidence.
You can also check online reviews to see what other people are saying about the agency you want to work with.
Of course, positive feedback indicates that the service is worth your consideration.
Other places to look for reviews include social media platforms such as LinkedIn.
It is essential to mention that testimonials must have the client's full name to allow you to know if they're authentic.
Also, ensure that the project involves content development. You're paying the agency to market your content. You want relevant samples.
The long and short of it is that you should do some background check before hiring company A over company B.
#2 A Team Of Professional Content Creators
How do you expect a content marketing service to do an excellent job if they don't have a team of professional content creators?
When we talk about professional content creators here, we mean experts to generate engaging content.
We're talking about people who can churn out sharable content that will improve your brand's authority.
When making the first contact with the agency, ask about their writer's experience.
Ideally, you're better off working with people who have created copy for the web for over three years.
Any credible content marketing agency shouldn't have a problem showcasing their writers and qualifications on their website.
Why should you care if an agency has a stable of professional content creators?
For starters, your content's quality is crucial these days.
We're living in an era where Google insists on Expertise, Authoritativeness, and Trustworthiness (EAT).
Shallow content created by amateurs will hurt your content marketing efforts, and any serious agency should know so.
You should know about a company's ability to produce high-quality content by looking at the samples.
Further, a service with a team of content creators can handle bulk orders.
That way, you can be sure that there won't be delays when your project kicks off.
#3 Ability To Measure Data
Here's the thing...
- 60 percent of marketers struggle with producing engaging content
- 57 percent don't know how to measure the effectiveness of their content
- 52 percent cannot measure the return of their content marketing efforts
What does this tell you?
That the best content marketing company should know how to measure data.
You want to deal with a firm that can tell how effective their content marketing strategy is.
Put differently, the agency must determine from the get-go which tactics will work for your type of business and keep tabs with the numbers.
Why is this important?
Because it's impossible to know what is working and what is not when you do not measure your content's effectiveness.
The ripple effect is that there are no insights on what to do next.
#4 Highly Organized
Up to 73 percent of B2C marketers say they want to generate more content each year than the previous one, according to MarketingProfts and CMI.
The creation of more content translates to an increased chance for mistakes.
Further, it implies that the content marketing agency you want to hire should be highly organized.
An organized company will:
- Advice you on new opportunities to create content
- Know who will produce which type of content
- Keep up with engagements and tweak your strategy accordingly
- Maintain a strict editorial calendar
- Closely monitor content production
On top of that, successful content marketing firms know how to use content in a way that helps your target audience move down the sales funnel.
Plus, they can measure the effectiveness of each piece, and it's ROI.
The agency should know how to distribute content across multiple channels where your target audience hangs out.
If you hire an unorganized content marketing company, you're wasting your money. Pay an agency that offers a clear-cut goal and a realistic content distribution plan.
#5 Imagination And Originality
Do you remember the days when content mills were a thing?
When you'd hire unprofessional writers to generate chunks of rehashed content that offered little to no value?
Well, those days are long gone.
Nowadays, content is about quality, not quantity.
A good content marketing agency will offer to create better content fueled by creativity and imagination. They will use the power of storytelling to leave a lasting impression on your target audience.
That way, you will become an industry authority and a resource where people can come to look for reliable and accurate information.
And, a company that knows what it's doing doesn't have to create tons of content to achieve the results.
The long and short of it is that a content marketing firm worth your money should know how to produce content that surpasses "normal" in a bid to help grow your brand.
The best content marketing agency should focus more on placing your brand in front of customers.
You see, thousands of content roll out every minute. The last thing a serious company wants to do is get distracted.
The service needs to create a well-thought-out strategy to help you succeed.
The firm has to create and market content for your business with a clearly defined direction. Remember, content with no sense of direction is why 58 percent of B2B marketers fail in their marketing efforts.
Hire a service that promises to showcase you as a thought leader. Work with people who understand your target audience and the type of content that will give you results.
If you're dealing with a generalist, then there's a chance they'll create content for everybody. And, that akin to generating content for nobody.
A good firm will listen to your market. The company isn't in just for the money. It will seek to start conversations with your audience and give them a reason to visit your website.
Once the agency listens to your audience, they can then use the insights to help them figure out your content strategy.
A content marketing agency driven by the desire to see you succeed will focus on giving your audience the best content consistently.
And, the company knows how to get it right every time.
An ambitious content marketer should have an eye for quality. They should do more than just listening to your target audience's pain points.
The best firm is empathetic and puts itself in the shoes of your prospects.
Repeated research has shown that your audience's perspective is an integral part of your content marketing efforts' success or failure.
A Dragon Search study found that custom content influences a staggering 61 percent of customer purchase decisions.
Similar research by The Time magazine showed that 90 percent of consumers prefer custom content from their favorite brands.
In this study, 92 percent of participants say that brands add more value to an expert in a particular field.
When a content marketing agency helps you create value, potential customers will keep coming back to your website, allowing you to win your audience's trust.
After all, data shows that two out of three consumers trust valuable, custom content more than brand advertising.
That begs the question. How do you know that the company you want to hire for your content marketing cares about value?
Well, all you have to do is to look that the sample to see if they:
- Teach something
- Entertain the audience
- Enlighten the reader
- Inspire change
- Provide actionable advice
- Encourage the reader to share
The point we're making here is that valuable content isn't an advertisement.
Good content connects with your audience, delights them, and, most importantly, helps solve pain points.
And the best content marketing firm should provide all of these.
Sure, content marketing is all about providing a positive ROI causing many agencies to adopt the "campaign" approach.
This type of approach creates start-and-stop stages of content creation that shouldn't exist in the first place.
A content marketing company that knows what it is doing studies the metrics and is quick to nothing that's not working in good time. The way they don't waste a lot of time on a tactic that's not going to yield results.
One of the primary reasons content marketing doesn't give expected returns is because most marketers abandon their efforts too early.
Many fail to realize that content marketing is a long term venture that takes a while to yield the expected results.
So, instead of investing their time, they abandon the campaign too soon, leading to frustrations.
Choose a firm that promises to stick to the strategy long enough.
Take a look at the Content Marketing Institute, for instance.
By being consistent and sticking to a plan, the company has over 200,000 subscribers and nearly 25,000 visitors every day.
Now that's quite something, no matter how you look at it.
It doesn't matter whether you choose a large or small marketing firm. You want to deal with one that is accessible whenever you want to ask a question of an issue.
Accessibility means that the agency values its customers and is ready to hear them as soon as possible. We're talking about a company that gives attention to their clients at all times.
How do you know if a content marketing firm that you choose is accessible?
The first thing that you look at is the contact information on their website.
Do they have a form that allows you to send your question quickly? Are there phone numbers provided on the site? Do they offer live chat?
The more accessible an agency is, their more effortless it is to air your grievances, and by extension, the shorter the time it takes to get a response.
You can also visit the company's Facebook page to see past customers' reviews regarding response speed.
Ideally, the best content marketing company should respond in a few hours if they don't offer live chat on its website.
You don't want to wait for a week or more to reply to an urgent question. Do you? You sure don't want to wait that long.
The Bottom Line
Content marketing should be part of your growth strategy.
Data has shown that it is an effective way to create awareness about your brand. It is also an excellent way to reach out to your target market.
When hiring a content marketing firm, make sure that you choose one that offers value in every sense of the word.
Keep in mind that some agencies are out to fleece you without giving tangible results in return.
At GrowthGenerators, we care about helping you succeed with your content marketing efforts.
We have assembled a team of professional content creators and marketers to help propel your brand to the next level.
And we're available to give answers to your quick questions.
Get in touch, and let's discuss how we can help you with your content marketing needs.
Tuesday, September 15, 2020