If you’re looking for a content creation agency, you’re not alone. According to 83 percent of B2B companies in Content Marketing Institute’s 2021 report, content continues to drive success for organizations. Content marketing was ranked higher than website changes and a focus on search rankings for the keys to success over the past year.
While content is seen as a useful tool, there are only a few people typically managing it. On the B2B side, 35 percent of CMI respondents said they don’t have a full-time employee dedicated to content and 23 percent said they only had one person. On the B2C side, 51 percent of respondents had one or fewer people dedicated to content marketing.
To keep content in flux—and do it well—you need a team. This is why it’s often necessary to outsource that work. In doing so, you allow internal marketing teams to focus on strategy while the content creation agency handles production and in some cases, SEO and content marketing planning.
If you’re struggling to choose a content creation agency for your organization, consider these key factors. When you invest in the right support, you’ll get the high-quality content you’re looking for.
Keep Reading: 5 Signs Your Content Development Process Needs an Update
1. Look for Industry-Expertise
Many digital agencies claim they can do it all. Yet most end up providing sub-par content that requires more work on your end than needed. Think: extensive editing, more hand-holding, and a lot of back-and-forth to get it right.
If your business operates in a highly-specific or specialized niche, look for a content creation agency with the same speciality or experience. Not only does this mean the content is better, but it also means the onboarding is easier. If they understand the audience and industry, all they have to do is learn about your goals and strategy to get started.
While this type of experience isn’t necessary, it is worth asking about in the interview process. If you like an agency that doesn’t specialize in your industry, ask for examples of similar work. They may in fact be able to deliver on the content you need and an example can put your mind at ease.
This step may seem obvious, but it’s easy to overlook if you’re in a hurry to get started, so don’t forget about it.
2. Ask About Their Content Development Process
Your content agency isn’t just responsible for fact-checking articles and creating engaging pieces. They also need to develop pieces that reflect your brand. A low-quality agency that simply churns out content won’t be able to match your voice, tone, and goals. Tina Fleming, a brand strategist for DesignZillas explains why this matters:
“Your brand’s voice reflects your unique value proposition—whether that’s your technology, price or customer service—without selling too hard. It also reflects your core values to shape a persona that stands in for your brand across your digital presence.”
Content that doesn’t match your brand voice will confuse and blend in with competitor content. Evaluate how different content creation agencies get to know your brand and voice and strive to help you stand apart. Do they ask for certain pieces of collateral? Do they conduct an audit or competitive research?
Don’t forget to give them direction too. If needed, conduct an internal brand analysis and develop a presentation or document that helps an agency understand your tone and expectations.
Keep Reading: A Complete Guide to Outsourcing Content Marketing
3. Consider Overall Services Offered
A great content creation agency is more than a freelance writer. The best ones can provide support with writing, strategy, SEO, competitive research and more. Even if you don’t need all the added support, an agency with this experience can create content with a broader lens. They’re not just looking at a word count and title, they’re considering how to optimize the content, appeal to your audience and more.
Before choosing an agency, evaluate the roles of your current internal team. How can delegating more tasks save them time and what do you need to keep in-house? Now, consider which agency can take on all the areas in which you need support.
The goal is to find one agency that can support all your content needs, rather than spreading out between, say: multiple writers and content marketer and and a strategist.
4. Get Clear on Success Markers
Knowing how the content agency evaluates success will help you to understand what they believe their role is and whether that’s what you need. It will also shed light on how you can attribute their work to the overall ROI of your content marketing and whether they’re driving results. Do they feel their job is to simply deliver content or will they track blog traffic and rankings as well?
It’s important that you’re aware of your internal tracking metrics as well. This gives you a benchmark for what matters to your organization so you can measure internally as well. For example, five important non-sales marketing performance metrics for your blog include:
- Organic traffic
- SERP rankings
- Subscriber growth
- Inbound blog metrics
Ask the agencies you interview which metrics they track or if you can see a sample content report. Compare their analysis to key metrics that are important to you.
5. Familize Yourself With Their Team
Depending on the size of your account and the agency itself, the size of the team you work with will be different. To understand the team and get to know who’s doing what, ask about the writing process. For example, you might ask:
- Who will be managing the content overall?
- Who will be writing it?
- Will there be a single editor so there’s consistency among voice and tone?
With a small agency, like Jessica Thiefels Consulting, you’ll have one point of contact managing the entire process for you, backed by a team of experienced writers. Knowing this can help you better understand what you can expect to get from your work together.
Choose the Right Content Creation Agency
Creating great content is no longer optional. Fresh, high-quality content boosts SEO, drives more leads to your site, and allows you to share an authentic brand voice. However, it can be hard to consistently create all your content in-house. Use these strategies to choose a content creation agency that can help you get the job done. The right agency will be able to speak your voice and share your vision to create content that resonates with your audience and drives ROI.