To accomplish this, many choose to partner with a content marketing agency.
In addition to consistency, an outside agency adds expertise, resources (ie. Manpower), and accountability. Often all these benefits come at a lower cost than hiring new staff internally.
The importance of quality content adds weight to the selection of a content marketing agency. Quality writing belongs as part of the equation, but it’s not all of it. So what should you look for? We’ve identified five elements to evaluate every content marketing partner so you can find the right fit.
Strategy, or Where Content Begins
Quality content doesn’t begin with a writer. It begins with a sound strategy focused on delivering what your audience wants aligned with your business objectives. Some agencies may specialize in particular niches and can offer specific insight to aid in content planning. Some agencies may offer expertise derived from a blend of digital and content marketing services with work in a wide range of industries.
Regardless of the agency type, look for one that includes strategy as part of the conversation. Even if you do not need help devising a strategy, the agency should seek to understand how their production fits into your wider goals.
A great content partner wants to do right by you, but most importantly will put your audience first. Content succeeds at its goal only when an audience responds. Sharing, clicking, downloading, making a purchase and “signing-up” represent only a few possible responses. Audience members only act when the content promises to improve or enhance their lives in some way.
This means a content producer must know the audience intimately before putting the first word to the page. It’s all about what grabs attention, holds it, and then makes inaction unthinkable. This can only be achieved with an audience-first approach.
Content Takes a Team
Content marketers, like publishers, know great content comes from a team effort. Few writers will write, edit and proof all on their own. For the best content, look for an agency that employs a content team. The team includes roles involving research, writing, editing, proofing and managing.
The more eyes that review a piece of content before it gets published the better. This limits the chance of glaring mis-spellings or punctuation. (Understandable mistakes, but bad for a brand’s image.) It also reduces the chance a message will miss the mark or potentially embarrass the brand.
A strong content team also increases content efficiency. A writer can’t edit a just completed piece, but an editor (who hasn’t spent time on it) can. This helps to meet deadlines and speed production.
Digital marketing agencies with content teams may have an advantage in this area as many include international branches to ensure accuracy in all languages and foreign cultures. Some content marketing agencies may also include an analyst, or even a team of analysts (if part of a digital marketing agency). These team members help to measure results and add an objective, fact-based view to content analysis.
No piece of content should ever be created without an end in mind. Analysts and analytics guarantee each piece gets analyzed. Some marketing automation tools like Constant Contact and MailChimp deliver analytics as part of their platform. For blogs, articles, and landing page content, analytics tools like Google Analytics or Analytics360 offer insight.
When choosing a content marketing agency, make sure to ask about how results get measured, or programs they might offer. Data tells it like it is, and that’s vital if your content will deliver the best possible results.
Content Management Process
Just as content takes a team, it also takes a process. From strategy and planning to writing and distribution, a lot of steps are required to consistently produce high-quality content. When talking with a potential content marketing agency partner, ask about their process and how they work with clients. Also ask if they will document a process should you choose to partner with them to ensure you create one that works best for you.
Choosing to hire a content marketing agency partner can elevate content production and quality. To enjoy the best possible outcomes, look for these five elements when you interview a potential agency partner.