“Content marketing increases the online traffic to my website,” say 74 per cent of UK marketers, according to a recent survey by Axonn.
Having good content on your website is one of the most important criteria for the success of your business. Of course, it is very time-consuming and difficult to develop a well-functioning website and you may not have the necessary resources, facilities or expertise in-house. Fortunately, you don’t need to worry about that, because there are many agencies claiming to be able to offer you the latest content marketing techniques and present your website from the best angle.
But finding a competent content marketing agency is another challenge you have to face. Be careful to whom you entrust your website content, especially when you provide your website in many different languages.
Here are a few points you should definitely consider:
1. Cost vs. ROI
“If you think it’s expensive to hire a professional, wait until you hire an amateur.”
Of course it is normal to look for an agency which does not overrun your budget, but do not forget that there are certain reasons why some agencies are more expensive than others. It is a fact that the price of good content for your website can be costly, but investing in great content is worth it. Consider the value your agency are offering you and if they accommodate your wishes.
Make sure to ask the agency for examples and pay attention how long it takes them to respond to you - that’s a very good way to see how proactive they will be with you as a client.
2. A sound strategy
The agency you want to work with needs to have a clear, defined strategy to prepare and present your content in order to capture your target audience.
It is a waste of time and money if the agency prepares media content for your website without even tracking what your target audience is interested in and which articles are mostly clicked on your website.
So be sure to find an agency which is not just producing the content arbitrarily and emailing it to you, but actually looking at your business, your target audience and their interests.
3. Branding - are they eating their own dog food?
Agencies have to practice what they preach! Have a look on their website and get to know how they present themselves. Try to find out which social platforms they use (they should be using at least the basics - Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Google Plus) and read their blogs or eBooks. It is very important that they do content marketing for themselves, so look if they post at least twice a week and pay attention to their tone and writing style.
4. Simple processes and agility
Agencies are always a helping hand, but you are the one who knows your audience best - so you will want to contribute to the content presented on your website.
Keep in mind that you should not end up doing all the work alone! Ask the agency if it is possible to see a few content calendars they have executed in the past. That will show you how much content they can produce in a certain time period.
5. Are they not afraid to give you honest feedback?
The function of an agency is to help you, right? So it is also their responsibility to tell you their honest opinion of your ideas and proposed amends. Sometimes an idea seems great and as a client you think a certain story will absolutely reach your audience, but it is not always the case and an agency should keep you from time-wasting productions. You do not need an agency which agrees with everything you say.
Consider if the agency has experience in working with companies within your industry. It is also interesting to know if they have worked with more bigger clients or smaller companies. Ask how they promoted their content and if they achieved their goals with previous clients. Your agency should be able to use data you provide to understand your audience and create content relevant to their interests and expectations.
7. Industry knowledge
The agency you work with should be able to immerse themselves within a new market quickly and adapt their offer to the content you need on your website. It is not beneficial if the agency always works with the same content format - they need to know what fits best for your branch.
Look for case studies or testimonials of the agency’s clients to estimate whether they have been successful in their business or not. You have to know if they can deliver what they promise, so do not hesitate to investigate their previous clients (ratings, experience reports or reviews).