In a world where online sales channels have become increasingly important, digital content is a necessary part of your marketing strategy that you cannot ignore. But creating quality content takes time, creative energy and a strong understanding of search engines.
Manufacturers: How to Hire A Content Agency
Achieve Your Business Objectives With a Content Agency
In a world where online sales channels have become increasingly important, digital content is a necessary part of your marketing strategy that you cannot ignore. But creating quality content takes time, creative energy and a strong understanding of digital platforms.
Chances are, you don’t have the necessary resources to do this in house. Between basic website maintenance and supporting your sales team, producing thought-leadership content doesn’t seem to fit in your schedule.
If your manufacturing firm wants to gain more market share or cultivate better brand awareness, an increased content marketing effort may be exactly what you need. The right agency can be an invaluable partnership, ensuring the right customers find your business. However, hiring a content agency isn’t as cut and dried as you might think.
Here are several steps and considerations to discuss before you hire an agency.
Consider This Before Partnering with a Content Agency
The objectives of your business can be achieved through a focused content strategy, but only if you are clear on your goals and how you are measuring success.
Before hiring a content agency, discuss items such as sales goals, creating awareness for your brand, and positioning your organization as a leader in the industry. Content plays a role in all of these.
You also need to ask yourself a few tough questions about your existing content.
For instance, when was the last time you updated your website content? When was the last time you published or shared something new that provided real value to your target market?
Chances are good that you’ll need an agency partner if you are still relying on print materials that haven’t been updated in several years.
As I’ve mentioned, your internal bandwidth will also play a major factor in outsourcing your content. It can take 50+ hours per month to produce and promote high quality content, and most brands don’t have the capacity to do this in-house.
Pro Tip: Developing meaningful content is built on a strong understanding of your target market so make sure you have detailed buyer personas to reference.
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Understand the Content Landscape
There are dozens of different kinds of content that you can use for your manufacturing brand – blogs, videos, podcasts, eBooks, infographics or webinars are all viable types of content you might consider incorporating into your strategy.
The sheer number of content opportunities means you’ll need to evaluate each potential partner carefully to understand what’s in their wheelhouse. Large, full-service agencies can provide a full suite of services, but they understandably come with more overhead and higher rates. Smaller agencies, on the other hand, often have several niche areas. Most of these specialize in one or several types of content production and are generally friendlier to your budget.
What to Look for in a Content Agency
The content agency you hire should do more than just churn out content for you. Think of this as a long-term relationship and an extension of your in-house team. Here are a few items you can use to evaluate potential partners.
Areas of Expertise
- Does the agency have experience creating content for manufacturers? And are they comfortable writing slightly technical content as your strategy evolves?
- What types of content do they excel at?
- What is the agency’s breadth of expertise? Are they strictly copywriters? Or are they familiar with related concepts such as keyword research and search engine optimization?
Who is Doing the Work?
- What specific services are handled in-house, and what services (if any) are outsourced?
- If any services are outsourced, how is quality controlled?
- Will you have an account manager supporting you?
Measuring and Reporting
- Does the agency have a solid track record of success? And will they actively measure and report on their content marketing efforts in relation to your business goals?
- Does the agency make an effort to understand your business and its goals?
- What tech tools or other reporting tools are used? How often do you receive reports?
Remember that mistakes with outsourcing can be costly. While content creators can quickly familiarize themselves with your brand, you’ll want to make sure it’s a long-term creative fit for both of you. Starting from scratch is a massive drain on company resources and you will lose momentum that you have built, which can be frustrating.
Next Steps for Your Marketing Team
Creating content for your brand, making sure that it is optimized and sharing it across multiple channels takes a considerable amount of effort. If you’re ready to commit to a content strategy to achieve your business goals, hiring an agency is a smart move. Content comes in many different forms, styles and voices, so do your research on each potential partner to ensure that they are the right fit for your brand.
Hopefully the tips above will help improve your digital marketing. Have more questions about hiring a content agency? Reach out to us directly.
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