There have been many content marketing agencies pop up on the market recently, but it’s been happening for years. You know that your audience wants to see the best content possible on your website, and content marketing is at the heart of that.
You reach your potential customers by creating content to engage with them and make them want to do something. Those are often your content marketing goals and that for any company. However, content gold means that many content marketing services have been changing as more brands try to move forward to create owned media and establish their dominance on the scene.
The issue is that most of these companies don’t have a digital strategy that meets the client’s needs. You probably don’t know it, but the right strategy is crucial for everything you do. There are different ways to doing things, so now might be the time to learn about the fight and the issues regarding these agencies.
Then, you can find out how to choose the right company to build your brand.
The Fight for Appropriate Content
The battle to boost budgets for content development is fought by everyone in the industry, including:
- Content marketing agencies and custom publishers
- Advertising agencies with an appreciation for storytelling and branding
- Traditional media companies with editorial teams and content divisions
- PR organizations that focus more on owned channels
- Direct marketing agencies focused on engagement and branded content
- SEO companies that focus more on Penguin and Google Panda updates
- Social media marketing agencies that understand it’s what’s on the channel that matters
- Web content and user experience companies moving away from technical website production, analysis, and audits to focus on multichannel content
- Digital agencies pairing interactive services and consistent production of content
- Research organizations with thought leaders and industry experts to build strategic content for the right audience
These companies are battling for the content marketing money that brands spend all the time. Sometimes, they’re only trying to figure out what to do.
Reality Might Bite
Brands have always had a hard time. Many people contact content marketing companies all the time to ask about blog posts, strategy, visual content, integration, content distribution, research, hiring, and so much more.
There are good content marketing options out there, but it’s hard to find those services.
Before you can target the right audience and know where to go with your content marketing, you need to find out the truth about these agencies. That way, you know which content marketing requirements to outsource and to where.
Truths to Understand
Most Content Marketing Services Don’t Market with Their Content
Many times, the issue is that the content marketing agency doesn’t do well at marketing itself. It creates excellent content marketing programs for its clients but neglects its own needs. This is often true with content marketing.
Marketing services and organizations focus more on sales-led programs with sales relationships and cold calls. They often have fewer resources and patience, so they don’t produce great content that retains their customer base and attracts new clients.
Before you hire someone to handle your content marketing needs, make sure you see what other work they’ve performed. Check the website and read the blog. Is it great? Does it keep advertising in mind? If not, go elsewhere for the services you need.
Most SEO Agencies Don’t Have the Right Content Marketing Strategy
Search engine optimization is crucial as a top-of-the-funnel tactic. Google gets smarter each day, so you can’t beat the system. Getting found on search engines has a lot to do with the storytelling aspect than anything else.
If you talked to an SEO agency, you might find that it is contemplating content marketing instead of SEO. The reasoning here is that it isn’t offering value to the customers anymore.
Thousands of SEO companies are in the same boat and must now adjust their digital content marketing strategy. Many agencies have already made the transition and did it well. Others just add “content marketing” to the long list of services they offer and called it good.
Ultimately, they add things like video production, content creation, infographics, and blog content. However, production is just one part of the content marketing strategy. Strategic planning usually ignores mission statements, target audience persona information, and measurement.
Therefore, if you want the right company to help with your content marketing efforts, you need a holistic strategy that includes multiple goals and upfront planning. With that, non-digital channels might be required, such as in-person vehicles and print. Search engine optimization is just one aspect that doesn’t cover as many objectives as you might think. Make sure your content strategy doesn’t just focus on the top-funnel requirements.
The Content Marketing Agency Is Less Concerned with Strategies than Execution
Most content agencies ignore the content marketing strategy to be allowed to execute it. You ultimately win the project but give away the strategy needed to do that.
Planning doesn’t take long, but the execution could be forever. In a sense, these companies don’t want to build a content marketing strategy for one client because they crave a long-term project, such as a video series or serial blog.
Ultimately, planning and strategy aren’t viewed as useful services to customers. Instead, they are the closing option to get the business. Therefore, most of the talent focused on execution instead of content marketing or content creation.
That’s why it’s so hard to find partners for content marketing because execution is the commodity everyone wants to see.
Most Agencies See Content Marketing as the Campaign and Don’t Focus on Social Media Marketing
Content marketing shouldn’t be a campaign. Instead, it’s a business strategy, philosophy, and approach.
For example, the success or failure of a viral video isn’t content marketing; it’s a campaign. That could be the result of the content marketing approach, but it can’t be that on its own. Releasing tons of advertising content isn’t a marketing approach.
Most agencies don’t focus on long-form, consistent content creation or distribution. They’re designed for speed. It’s all about the idea of building something and making an impact. However, when you create content, you should be focused on the target audience.
From there, you also have to incorporate social media marketing. While you create content for a blog or a website, you must find ways to get it on social media platforms without too much fuss.
Ways to Find a Good Content Marketing Agency
The world of information technology has jumped immensely. Everyone wants to know things immediately, and the only way to do that is to go online. Therefore, if you don’t have a website, you’re not marketing your consumer products effectively, and the company could flounder.
How do you choose which services to consider? Content marketing is a mixture of many things, such as email marketing, building content, and creating relationships with a small agency. Therefore, it’s often best to take content marketing and build upon it so that it does include everything you want.
For example, email marketing is rarely thought of, but the emails you craft are made of the content. Therefore, it should be part of your efforts and campaigns.
The first thing you have to consider is the company’s process and digital strategy. If it claims that it does content marketing, you need to know what other industries it helps with because your business could be a niche one.
You should also work with the same representative each time. It’s harder to create a content strategy when you’re handed off to someone else. Though each person’s services should be similar, you want a specific person to handle the account, creation, production, and promotion.
The next step of the content marketing process is to come up with content ideas. This should focus primarily on your target audience. What information do they want to see? How can you present it in unique ways?
Once you have that part of the strategy down, search engine optimization is the next step. While search engine optimization isn’t the top requirement for these agencies, they should still focus on it and understand how keyword placement and on-page SEO benefits the content and the website itself.
The next step in the process is to find out if the agency offers real results and for what areas. For example, if you’re worried about email marketing, you need a company that provides that.
Traditionally, email marketing is the one aspect that can get more leads to your website and help you establish an online presence. Don’t neglect this part!
The ultimate goal for search engine optimization is to produce more organic traffic to your site. However, the only way to do that is to focus on keyword placement and research. From there, people do an organic search and find your site. They visit it, which means they click on a non-ad link, producing organic traffic.
With that said, you get more traffic to your landing pages without having to spend so much on advertisements.
Content marketing rarely focuses on web design or web development. If you need assistance with this, it might be best to contact a designer. They understand what you need for web development and web design and can help you take your website to the next level.
Regardless of whether you own a software company or offer financial services, visual content is something you can’t ignore. Video production is a top option, and almost anyone can create engaging videos that pack a punch and produce more traffic.
However, video production isn’t something that everyone can do. Therefore, it’s important to know what the strategy is for your company. That way, you know your clients are sure to appreciate the content and what it does for them.
Still, you’re not finished! Market research is also crucial for public relations, and the services offered by the agency must start with this. You need to know what your customers want.
While that focuses on public relations, it also means finding out what packaging design they like better. On the website, graphic design is crucial, as well.
When choosing a company to handle your content marketing needs, it needs to have many skills. That means the writers focus on search engine optimization and brand awareness. You may want to introduce white papers and other digital marketing campaigns to help people notice your business and want to use it.
Event marketing is also crucial here. Whenever you have any type of event, you want to market it effectively so that everyone knows about it and you can promote it.
However, some content marketers also focus on web design. Ultimately, web design is anything related to your website, such as the colors, fonts, themes, and even how the content is formatted. Along with that, media planning is a big deal, as well. You want the agency to be able to plan and schedule content across different platforms.
The right company is always learning and growing. However, it’s not worried about teaching you a few things, too. This is a sign of maturity and wisdom. Therefore, make sure that the agency has a blog on its website or regularly contributes elsewhere.
This shows you that it is willing to create high-quality content for itself and its own marketing campaigns. With such a strategy in place, you know what the company does and how it thinks.
When you contact the agency, review a recent article it produced. Use that as an icebreaker!
The content marketing company you choose should create white papers and other industry resources to help others produce better content. While a decent agency does its job, a great one elevates its platform and the industry as a whole. It is willing to share e-books and presentations to achieve better heights.
Ask the representative about the trends they see and their passions. This can inspire you both!
The best agencies have long-term clients. You shouldn’t trust someone who can’t maintain a relationship. If a team member says someone else is the problem, it’s often the company as a whole. While some engagements might have issues, it’s a red flag when all or more of the clients don’t stay.
You want a true partner for your content marketing efforts.
Choose a digital marketing agency with client recommendations and testimonials. You need to know that you’re getting your money’s worth, and word-of-mouth is quite powerful. With that, you get a sense of the marketing tactics the agency uses.
Don’t forget to check review sites. They have many resources and showcase all the testimonials and not just the good ones.
Marketing isn’t easy, and you might have a different idea or direction than the company you work with. This is normal, but if your representative isn’t talking to you, it hurts everyone’s efforts. The right agency should check in with you and discuss your problems so that you don’t waste your budget and ruin your timeline. Remember, your business is important, so the company should be checking deadlines and all the rest.
Sometimes, digital marketing isn’t cut and dry. You might want the marketer to do something they can’t do. If they can’t say no to their clients, this becomes a problem.
Ultimately, they promise some marketing tactics that they can’t deliver on or do well. This means low-quality work. You need counsel that’s strong and creative instead of just wanting a paycheck.
Transparency All the Way
The right digital marketing agency tells you what you get for the price you pay.
If it dodges questions about its digital strategy or doesn’t respond to emails, it’s likely to get worse. Instead, the marketer must be specific about their content marketing strategy to all clients. From brainstorming to creation and promotion to strategy, you need to feel confident and informed with the marketing efforts.
Open to Feedback
Business consulting is part of the marketing agency’s job. If you don’t feel that they’re producing compelling content, you should be allowed to speak up. When clients feel that their voices aren’t heard, they ultimately go to another marketing agency.
The right content marketing agency should be a one-stop-shop for all of your needs. It focuses on producing high-quality content and offers a content strategy that you can’t ignore.
Digital marketing requires more than a bit of personal data about your audience. It means focusing on your website and business as a whole. If you’re not sure what to do or the right marketing tactics to use, it’s best to hire someone to create a digital strategy and help you stick with it. Just make sure that the agency offers social media marketing, as that’s a big part of today’s world.