Fact: Advertising has changed significantly in the past decade, with the departure from traditional methods in favor of online marketing. These days, content is king: You need high quality, engaging material to generate leads and attract customers. When faced with the notion of handling it yourself, you’ll realize why hiring a reputable content marketing agency makes sense.
However, finding the right fit is a tough decision. If you’ve never gone through the hiring process, you might feel overwhelmed and unsure where to start. Here are ten factors to help you get the ball rolling.
1. Does the content marketing agency practice what it preaches?
These agencies are professionals in the online advertising industry, so see how well they market their own company. Conduct searches to see where they rank in the results page, check out their website and review their profiles on social media to determine how well they serve their own business through marketing.
2. Can they show measurable results?
Be wary of content marketing agencies that talk about lofty goals, such as increasing traffic and boosting sales. The firm should offer measurable results in the form of periodic reporting that shows the results of their marketing strategy. They should be providing metrics that separate out various sources of website traffic to determine performance.
3. Does the firm offer case studies to prove success?
You’ll want to see results from any content marketing agency you hire, and they should be able to demonstrate success beyond simple website metrics. You want to hear about specific case studies where they were faced with a challenge and solved a problem for a client.
4. Do they know your industry?
Creating informative, high-quality content isn’t possible without a comprehensive understanding of your company’s industry, so knowing the subject matter is essential. Avoid those that don’t demonstrate this knowledge.
5. Are they focused on your goals?
Successful content marketing agencies will listen to your goals and offer a detailed plan to accomplish them. It’s important that they provide you with a road map, identify opportunities and highlight the tasks they’ll execute to achieve your objectives.
6. Are they honest about what services are in-house and what they outsource?
It’s not unusual for a content marketing agency to outsource certain tasks to a third party, especially the specialty areas where a certain level of expertise is needed. Any firm you talk to should be willing to tell you what services they keep in-house and where they outsource projects.
7. Do they stay current on industry developments?
It’s obvious that any agency you hire needs to stay up-to-date on trends and developments that impact the marketing world; however, the team also should be current on the developments that affect your specific industry. Find out how they keep themselves informed, such as reading industry publications or being affiliated with professional trade groups.
8. Does the firm offer guaranteed results?
A truly professional firm will never guarantee success because of the near-impossibility of doing so. If they do, be prepared to suffer disappointment when your campaign fails. The agency that’s dedicated to accomplishing attainable goals based on KPIs is the better choice.
9. Are they willing to connect you with their current clients?
Beware of any content marketing agencies that aren’t willing to supply contact information of satisfied customers. In fact, they should encourage you to reach out because they’re confident their clients will speak highly of the firm.
10. Is the content marketing agency team vibrant and creative?
If you want to stand apart from your competition, you need your marketing program to incorporate outside-the-box thinking and innovative ideas. You need your marketing team to be enthusiastic about what they do and bring that passion to your campaign. Creative marketing means stepping away from your comfort level to deliver unique content that generates leads and draws visitors to your website.
There are additional criteria you might want to consider, as your business needs are unique. Are there any factors you would add to this list? Is there one question that’s more important than the others? Tell us your thoughts on finding the right fit when looking for the perfect content marketing agency.