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Winning Strategies

How to Choose a Content Marketing Agency Without Too Much Risk

Finding the right content marketing agency for your enterprise, small business, or startup may seem like a daunting task. Will the agency deliver on its promises? Will the agency stay on time and under budget?

“There’s risk in everything,” says Ryan Scott, head of inbound marketing at Lean Labs. “You’re paying for content. The agency could produce bad content or do a number of unethical things and call it ‘content marketing.’ You need to choose the right content marketing agency and feel confident that you’re not going to regret the decision weeks or months later.”

The best content marketing agencies are transparent; commit to quality; understand your industry; invest in high-value internal processes, and possess the leadership qualities needed to take your organization to the next level. Having a keen eye for these qualities will make your search for the right content marketing agency that much easier.

How to Choose a Content Marketing Agency

Consider these fives steps towards choosing a content marketing agency for your business:

Define Your Goals and Objectives

The first step towards finding the right content marketing agency is to define your goal and objectives. What do you want the content marketing agency to do for you? Are you having trouble acquiring new customers? Are you struggling to unlock substantial organic traffic?

“To make sure that your content marketing is having the impact that you want it to have, you must have the right content marketing strategy,” says Sarah Goliger, contributor at the Content Marketing Institute. “Unfortunately, there is no magic formula to identify key performance indicators (KPI) you need to measure. Content marketing goals are highly individualized. Your marketing priorities are strongly influenced by the size of your business, budget, available resources, previous tests, and outcomes, plus many other factors that vary from business to business.”

When you come to the agency with a clear agenda, your agency partner will be able to better identify your company’s pain points and craft a uniquely tailored content marketing growth plan.

Check the Agency’s References

Ask the content marketing agency for references. Are there any other businesses that can vouch for the content marketing agency? What specific KPIs did the agency deliver? How did the agency influence the organization’s marketing success?

"Even a company with a variety of wins in digital marketing and a staff with plenty of experience can still practice poor customer service every now and then. That’s why you should talk to past and present clients,” recommends John Lincoln, Inc. contributor and co-founder at Ignite Visibility.

Exercising some precaution and checking in with previous or current clients will give you a behind-the-scenes look into the inner-workings of the agency, metrics, results, and more.

Learn the Agency’s Content Delivery Process

Next, ask about the agency’s content delivery process, timelines, and deliverables. Does the content marketing agency work within a specific software? Does the agency have an internal quality control process?

When you have a greater understanding of the content marketing agency’s infrastructure, you’ll be more adaptable to their processes and, in turn, become a more valuable partner. Remember — a content marketing agency is only as good as its staff, procedures, and expertise!

Know What is Expected of You

In the content development and delivery process, it’s important to understand what’s expected of you. Will you be required to be in each meeting or will the agency take the reigns? Having a better understanding of your role within the content marketing framework will help you better align with the content marketing team’s expectations. Additionally, if you’re required to review all content, mastering your role will help keep projects moving forward on time and on budget.

Know Your Budget

Lastly, define your content marketing budget. With so many additional business expenditures, it’s easy to let content marketing fall through the cracks. However, ask any industry-leading business and you’ll likely hear that content marketing was a critical contributor to its success.

As such, be sure to allocate appropriate funds towards a robust content marketing program initiated by a top content marketing agency. And remember, when you’re searching for a content marketing agency, this timeless adage is true — you get what you pay for!

Find the Right Content Marketing Agency for Your Business

Before investing in a content marketing agency, it’s important to take these preparatory steps. With a clear outline and understanding of roles, responsibilities, deliverables, and costs, your business will have everything it needs to find a high-impact and growth-oriented content marketing agency. Hiring the right content agency can help your business unlock substantial growth and sustained marketing success!

Are you ready to take your content marketing program to the next level? Consider investing in a HubSpot partner! Lean Labs’ inbound marketing team has the skills and expertise needed to help you uncover major growth blockers. We’ll even prepare a roadmap towards accelerated growth and results. Are you ready to begin?

If you’re thinking about HubSpot marketing, did you know you can save 60% on your first-year subscription? To learn how, download our savings guide hereHubspot-savings-guide

Written by Tyler Naples / November 8, 2018

As an Inbound Marketer at Lean Labs, Tyler concepts, implements, and manages strategic and growth-oriented marketing initiatives for industry-leading businesses and organizations. Tyler received a B.A. in English / Professional Writing from Kutztown University of Pennsylvania. Outside of Lean Labs, Tyler is an avid Philadelphia sports fan. Go Eagles!

Articles by Tyler Naples