Originally published November 18, 2021 , updated on November 18, 2021Reading Time: 5 minutes
Content marketing – it’s no longer a question of if you should do it, but rather when and how you are going to do it. Content marketing is important to all businesses that exist in the 21st century. Whether you do it on a large or small scale, it’s important to create content pieces to help market your company.
The next question is – do you keep this process internal or outsource it to a content marketing agency? We think it’s best to use an agency.
Some of the benefits of outsourcing to an agency include being able to do more frequent pieces in larger quantities, having subject matter experts write your pieces, using fresh eyes for fresh ideas, freeing up time for you and your existing employees to focus on other projects, and so much more. But how do you choose the right B2C or B2B content marketing agency for your company? What do you need to look for and what are the red flags that should make you walk away?
Below are a couple of things that you should look out for when it comes to choosing your next digital content marketing agency.
Find Their Testimonials
This is a key step in choosing which agency to work with. Look them up on Google, social media, and check testimonials on their website. Look for reviews from past and present clients and do your research. If you can’t find any testimonials online, that’s a bit of a red flag.
Alternatively, you can ask the agency in question for case studies or references from people and companies they have worked with previously. Reach out to these companies to find out more about their experiences while working with the agency. Try to chat to someone who worked with them directly so that you can get a first-hand account of their experience. It’s important to do a bit of a background check before signing on for any long-term work with another company.
Ask Your Potential Content Marketing Agency to Pitch a Campaign or Project Idea
Agencies are sometimes apprehensive to create project or campaign ideas before locking in a contract. But it’s a great way to see how they think, so you may benefit from requesting they do this.
You could ask them to create a content marketing campaign that focuses on a particular objective. For example, you might want to profile your management team a bit more. You might be keen to position your team as thought-leaders in the industry. You could ask a potential agency to suggest ideas on how they would go about doing this.
They could then suggest blogs, podcasts, a content series, or even video content. Pay careful attention to their ideas and how they ideate. What they pitch will give you a clear idea of how they think and approach content marketing.
Check Their Website and Social Media Pages
Never trust a skinny chef, right? That phrase might not be true for all chefs, but it’s certainly true when it comes to choosing a content marketing agency. They need to be doing great work for themselves as well as their clients.
To see how they treat their own content, check their website and social media pages. Are they doing creative pieces for themselves? Do they write blogs and articles? And if yes, check the quality of these pieces. Look for typos, mistakes, and layout errors. Look them up on social media and check their posts.
Seeing what they do to market themselves will give you a good idea of what they will do for you.
You don’t want to sign a contract with a company that doesn’t take pride in its own work.
Investigate Their Level of Experience in Your Industry
Look into who their clients are and see if they have clients in your industry. If they do, it means that they have experience in writing about and creating content around your sector. But don’t write them off if you see that they don’t have clients in your industry. Many content marketing agencies have diverse team members that they can call on for work in different fields.
For example, at Goodman Lantern, we have writers and team members based all across the world. This means we have people experienced in a wide range of subject matter. We have team members who have worked in sectors such as technology, telecoms, insurance, motoring, tourism, marketing, and so much more. If our client list doesn’t show our experience, our varied team certainly does.
Ask the Content Marketing Agency About Their SEO Knowledge
A content marketing agency in 2021 should know all about SEO. In fact, they should ideally have someone on their team dedicated to SEO research and knowledge. Be sure to ask about this when you are deciding on an agency.
You want to work with a team that knows what the changes are in SEO and what the important factors are. This team will, after all, create most – if not all – of your digital content. They need to know what keywords to use and how to use them. They need to be able to create pieces that are optimised for search engines, while also being careful to ensure they are catered for the reader.
A good agency will know how to maintain the delicate balance between the two.
Try to Figure Out What Their Company Culture and Values Are
Ideally, anyone that you partner with for your content needs will share your values and have a similar culture to your business. You don’t want to work with people who have opposing values to you. Do they value the mental health of their team as you do yours? Do they encourage work and play? Or do they overwork their team to the point of breaking? Ask them about their values, their Corporate Social Responsibility, and their tenacious goals.
If you work with a company whose values don’t align with yours, you might find yourself disagreeing on topic ideas later on. It’s important to know about company and workplace culture when going into a business partnership of any kind.
There’s a lot to consider when choosing a digital marketing agency. Above all else, we encourage you to be discerning when it comes to making your final decision. When you find the right company to work with, you’ll know, and your business will boom because of it.