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Inbound Marketing

What to Look for in Content Marketing Services (And What to Avoid Like the Plague)

The most successful enterprises, small businesses, and startups have unlocked the power of content marketing to drive engagement and increase conversions. The best content marketing plans are purpose-built to maximize business's reach and turn prospective buyers into lifelong customers. Finding the right content marketing services to build, implement, and manage that content marketing strategy is mission-critical for any growth-oriented business.

If you're one of the thousands of businesses searching for best-in-class content marketing services, there are a few qualifications that you must absolutely prioritize. In this article, we'll give you the top things to look for in content marketing services (and a few things to avoid like the plague).

Top 5 Things to Look for in Content Marketing Services (And What to Avoid)


Searching for the right content marketing services is a process that you should take lightly. Without a cutting-edge and value-driven content marketing strategy in place, businesses struggle to gain significant traction. To make the decision process easier, businesses should prioritize these indicators of a top-notch content marketing service provider:

  1. They have happy clients and plenty of great references
  2. They have a portfolio of high-value content
  3. They understand your service, industry, and unique value
  4. They don’t run a content farm
  5. They have excellent content on their website

1. They Have Happy Clients and Plenty of Great References

The most successful content marketing service providers have a ton of happy clients. Moreover, these clients are more than willing to vouch for the provider’s work. If you think you’ve found the right content marketing supplier, ask for a list of clients that they’ve worked with. If they can provide you with a list of businesses that serve a similar industry — better yet! Don’t be afraid to reach out to these businesses. Ask for a behind-the-scenes look into their relationship with the content marketing provider. What do they like about the service provider? What don’t they like about the service provider? To find an ideal fit, be sure to benchmark these findings against your business’s goals, objectives, and internal infrastructure.

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2. They Have a Portfolio of High-Value Content

Secondly, the content marketing service provider should have a massive portfolio of high-impact content spanning across multiple industries and subject matters. Ask for all the nitty-gritty details. What kind of engagement did that blog post generate? How many new leads did that content offer create? The best content marketing service providers are driven by data. As such, they should have a ton of documentation outlining content performance and success metrics.

3. They Understand Your Service, Industry, and Unique Value

Thirdly, the content marketing team should have a masterful understanding of your service, industry, and unique value. It is their responsibility to keep tabs on the ins-and-outs of the marketplace. Moreover, they should have an expert understanding of your ideal customers. What do your customers appreciate? What are their pain points? What do they need help with? The best service providers have a hand on all of these questions and use those insights to guide your business’s content marketing approach. The content marketing agency should be making the best decisions for your business based on the current direction of your service, industry, and target audience. Likewise, they should be nimble enough to change course as unexpected developments or breakthroughs arise.

4. They Don’t Run a Content Farm

An industry-leading content marketing agency doesn’t run a content farm. What is a content farm? In general terms, a content farm is a website or network of sites and service providers that publish large amounts of inexpensive and low-quality content. These types of organizations receive massive amounts of criticism, largely due to the quality of the content. Moreover, the pay being offered to freelance writers, for the most part, is extremely low. In this scenario, writers are motivated to churn out large quantities of ill-informed and often plagiarized content. Instead, the best content marketing agencies invest in their team and commit to developing well-researched, value-driven, and engaging content that customers love.

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5. They Have Excellent Content on Their Website

Finally, the content marketing service provider should have well-written and thought-provoking on their own website. This is a bit of a no-brainer. Content authored and housed on the agency’s website should speak to larger industry trends and marketing as a whole. If the agency’s blog hasn’t been updated in months, steer clear!

Start Your Content Marketing Services Journey

Are you ready to start your content marketing services journey? We might not be an ideal fit for every enterprise, small business or startup, but Lean Labs has a proven track record of delivering amazing results for industry-leading clients. These success metrics were generated almost exclusively through content marketing with little-to-no paid or social promotions behind them. Secondly, Lean Labs has a value-over-profit mindset. If we don’t deliver immediate results, we’ll overdeliver in order to meet or exceed our customer’s expectations.

Kickstart your content marketing program with the Conquering the Inbound Marketing Mountain. We’ll give you all the tips, tools, and secrets needed to unlock rapid content marketing success. Access key insights around inbound marketing goal setting, defining and detailing persons, tips for building an inbound marketing team, components of an editorial calendar, and more! Free Ebook: Climbing the Inbound Marketing Mountain

Written by Tyler Naples / January 3, 2019

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
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