Marketing is a rather complicated field that requires industry-specific knowledge that is coupled with an ability to effectively analyze the market while making adequate decisions to get the desired results. In the majority of cases, companies have their own dedicated marketing departments that take care of the business. However, this is not always the case.
Sometimes, there is a need for a professional content marketing agency to make a difference for your business in the long term. This statement is especially true if you aim to cooperate with a B2B content marketing agency. Industry-specific knowledge, experience and creativity are the key factors that can dramatically change the performance of any company. Think outside the box and build credibility for your business by providing powerful and original content!
What does a content marketing agency do?
Content marketing — the basics
First things first — content marketing refers to the activities that aim to reach potential customers, engage them, lead them to action, and build strong brand awareness. Overall, this is not new or innovative at its core, but modern marketing is strikingly different from the traditional one-way marketing tactics such as advertising, brochures and emails. Marketing content must be engaging and high-quality to establish a steady relationship with the audience that will make them trust and eventually buy from you.
Present-day content marketing is a complex approach to potential customers that utilizes various instruments like social media, blogs, videos, and infographics to achieve specific business objectives. Keywords and SEO play an especially important role in modern marketing. Such a target-oriented direction is also evident through inbound marketing, which is a methodology grounded on reacting to the tastes of the audience and adjusting the content accordingly.
More about what marketing agency does
Marketing agencies are businesses that specialize in providing their clients with full-cycle marketing products and services. So, from a workload perspective, delegating your marketing strategy to such an agency is an effective way to get some weight off your shoulders and focus on other important things.
Usually, a content marketing agency has a wide array of specialists at its disposal. The list includes but is not limited to consultants, project managers, strategists, content writers, SEO specialists, public relations professionals, and graphic designers among others. As can be seen, such an agency can take care of the whole marketing campaign from start to finish.
Why you might need a content marketing agency
Customer base expansion
There are several reasons why a business might need to employ an agency. First of all, enterprises want to create a solid customer base that can be accomplished through the agencies’ ability to generate leads, capturing interest and creating demand. An agency is also helpful if a company wants to increase its brand awareness but doesn’t know how to do so. SEO and proper target marketing are only some of the areas that digital content marketing agencies specialize in. If your business is fresh, consider looking for a content marketing agency for startups — these agencies are specialized in getting the necessary exposure for new businesses by aligning content with brand personality.
Being a full-cycle entity, a content creation marketing agency is a great option if your business is in its early stages, and there is a lack of human resources and capabilities to take care of a content strategy. That is why a marketing outsourcing company can be quite useful as it will collaborate with you to assist with business development identification, resources allocation, strategy creation and implementation.
Strategy creation is imperative for any enterprise because it creates ground for stable growth that is coupled with an effective use of resources. An unorganized marketing campaign will drain the available funds and potentially damage the company’s image. That is why strategy creation is crucial — a holistic approach is what distinguishes some random attempts at marketing from a logically built and adaptive approach to engaging the target audience.
Nowadays, digital presence is crucial for a business survival and prosperity. Hence, content marketing agency SEO capabilities are of high importance to companies that want to reach their target audience through the Internet. Effective modern businesses are keenly interested in professional content as it brings about more clicks and greater exposure. Engaging content will attract backlinks to your business website to build a reputable brand and rank higher in search. From this perspective, an effective content marketing agency with SEO expertise is a great solution when it comes to generating traffic.
Things to look for in a great content marketing agency
A great digital marketing content company is showing its authority through the published articles of its employees and founders. That is why it is better to carry out a little research to find out about the company’s publications. This way, it will be possible to get a better understanding of how the company views industry in general and separate aspects of work.
#2: Previous projects
If you are choosing a potential business partner, it is important to get to know their portfolio. The same statement applies to any B2B content marketing agency. That is why you should continue your research by looking through the company’s previous projects and cases that they present as successful ones.
If you like the website and its content but cannot find any mentions of successful projects, it may be too early to think negatively about the agency. Try contacting them for more information regarding previous work. You may find out that a particular custom content marketing agency already has relevant experience in your industry!
If the agency does not provide information on its previous projects, this is a solid red flag. A professional company always takes pride in its accomplishments. You are looking for results, and you are willing to pay for them. That is why transparency and confidence play such a crucial role when it comes to choosing an agency to work with.
From the perspective of business effectiveness, communication is one of the imperative factors that can determine the outcome of any project. You will want to cooperate with a B2B content marketing agency that has established communication channels and responds swiftly. After all, turbulent market environments mean uncertainty that can lead to some changes in an overall strategy. If you notice that an agency is dodgy when it comes to questions, this is a warning signal for sure.
#5: Proper reporting
A great content marketing agency is easily spotted through its reporting policy. You should expect regular updates on any sort of strategic decisions and indicators that the agency is applying to your brand. If no consistent reporting system is practiced, you might not be able to properly track the accountability of an agency.
#6: Long-term clients
After getting a hand on the agency’s previous projects, it is advisable to go through them thoroughly. This way, you will be able to find out more about the practices and approaches that your content marketing agency was applying to each particular customer.
You want to look for long-term customers who have been working with the agency for quite a while. The reason is quite simple — a long-term client means a client who is satisfied with the services provided. Even more, if an agency has lasting partnerships, this is a clear indicator of its ability to develop effective long-term marketing strategies and solutions!
When choosing a content creation marketing agency, try to find out more about its reputation. This is not a universal tip as lots of fresh agencies are also great at what they do, but if you are able to access positive feedback about your pick, that’s a really good sign. Nonetheless, if you see an established company and their previous clients have nothing good to say about them, this is definitely a bad sign.
How to measure the effectiveness of a content marketing agency?
Digital content marketing agencies should be able to effectively utilize the latest technologies for the benefit of their customers. A professional marketing agency knows that lead generation is based on marketing activities that are focused on three objectives:
- Generation of traffic;
- Conversion of visitors into leads;
- Conversion of leads into customers.
There are numerous ways to achieve the desired result but a great digital content marketing agency will adapt to the customer’s capabilities and goals. This kind of flexibility is one of the factors that separate good marketing agencies from mediocre ones.
Return on marketing investment (RoMI)
This indicator is quite important as it allows a company to analyze how much revenue its marketing campaign is generating in comparison to the campaign expenditures.
While KPIs of marketing campaigns can differ, there are some metrics that can be used as core indicators. RoMI can be measured through industry and campaign spendings, compared to clients’ expectations in the chronological order. Retrospective analysis is a great way to determine whether a campaign is effective or not.
Subscriber growth rate
This metric is imperative for a marketing campaign although it does not equal the increase of users. Subscriber growth rate provides a company with an ability to trace the reach of its marketing campaign, which should be as extensive as possible. The number of subscribers should be substantial as the larger audience will be involved in marketing messages distribution thus potentially enhancing the ability of the company to generate new subscribers.
Customer retention rate
Customer retention rate provides an agency with information about the company’s or product’s existing consumers who are loyal during a specific time period. The aim of customer retention is to retain as many customers as possible. This can be achieved by various means like launching customer loyalty programs, or granting special awards for current customers.
Marketing strategy performance
Use solid metrics
Identifying the effectiveness of a marketing strategy that an agency has employed is quite tricky. However, some solid metrics can be used to track the performance of the agency’s marketing campaign:
- SEO performance;
Simple as that, traffic is one of the most important metrics to follow. Your website may be filled with excellent content but it won’t matter if there are no visitors to view it. That’s why traffic is the first factor that you should address when evaluating the effectiveness of a custom content marketing agency. However, it is important to understand that rough numbers are good but the traffic has to be relevant and segmented. After all, a well-created website should attract potential clients rather than random scrollers.
At present, there are plenty of ways to get this information and instruments such as Google Analytics that work really well. The bottom line — traffic is the lifeblood of a website and a social media platform, which are the main metrics to track if you want to find out more about your performance.
You might be focused on social media networks as your core platform for a marketing campaign but there’s more to this. Likes and shares are good but you also want your content to be visible to people who use search engines. That is why it is advisable to track your SEO performance to know where you rank on different search engines. With its strategic content approach, your marketing agency must know how SEO practices build your domain authority and increase the chances of customers finding your company online.
While traffic is the main raw metric, engagement is its more sophisticated offspring. You need to know about how much time your visitors spend on a website and even how many pages they are scrolling through. This way, you will be able to understand whether your audience is engaged by the content provided by your main platform or not.
In the case of social media platforms, it’s relatively easy to track engagement through likes, shares, comments, etc. When it comes to websites, it’s better to use other different tools such as Google Analytics to find out whether content is good enough for them to stay.
This metric is not universally applicable for every business entity. One organization might be focused on raising product brand awareness, and its conversion rate is measured in terms of engagement and social media popularity. Another company may measure conversion through the connection between users who make purchase decisions after entering a website.
As it can be seen, conversion rate is an eluding metric, which is unique for every case. That is why you need to identify the indicators that can clearly show you the relation between your content and the benefits that it generates.
Questions to ask when choosing a content marketing agency
How will you handle my case?
Lots of agencies are selling the services they do best. Although this sounds pretty much natural and logical, you should delve deeper to make the right choice of your marketing partner. The thing is — if you want an effective solution for your business, you need to look for an agency that will address your specific business objectives. So, simple answers like “more content” or “more social media presence” are usually the signs of an agency that is using a generic marketing script to approach all the clients. A company that provides intelligent marketing solutions will offer you a strategy that is fit for your particular project. Simply publishing articles on the blog is not a magical solution that will turn into leads and revenue. It is both an effective strategy and its consistent execution that you need.
Are you willing to cooperate with my team?
Yet another important question to address. While communication is crucial, there are other things that have to be asked for. You want an agency to create a strategy, execute it, and provide results, which is obvious. However, consider if this agency is willing to provide your employees with at least some information about how to track the company’s performance in terms of marketing. This is especially important if you are considering a content marketing agency for startups. After all, you will want to handle things yourself in the long run.
When will I be able to see results?
This is a tricky question to distinguish between good and bad agencies. If a potential marketing agency partner reassures you that you will get quick, overnight results, you should question their credibility. Modern realities of inbound marketing approach are different — it takes time to create a positive outcome. An agency needs to probe and react to the consumer behavior that is relatively time-consuming.
We have covered what does a content marketing agency do and why you may need its services. The list of potential benefits is impressive and the right choice of a content creation marketing agency can be a lifesaver for your business.
For example, small things matter as they build up a larger foundation. You need to consider such minor factors as website design and more important stuff like the agency’s reputation, previous projects among other aspects that are of importance. Although this may sound overwhelming, the given points can save you much time and resources.
It is also essential to remember how to measure the effectiveness of your chosen agency. For that purpose, there are some specific metrics that could be used. Do not be afraid to ask questions from your outsource team — it is your right as a client. With all this information, you are armed with the required instruments to find a partner that fits your needs, whether it is a general B2B content marketing agency or the one that specializes in startups. Content marketing is not just publishing articles and keeping a blog, it’s about doing the legwork to generate value from the content putting the latter to work.