Choosing and working with a content marketing agency for your company can be a critical step in generating new sales and future growth. Content marketing is a hot topic and you need to ensure that you are partnered with the best. But creating a short list of agencies to interview can be a difficult process.
So, how can you ensure you are working with a content marketing agency that will get results?
Use the following criteria to narrow down your list…
Analytics, ROI, and SEO Statistics
Does the marketing agency keep clear records and easy-to-understand analytics reports and Return on Investment (ROI) statistics? If your company has an online presence does the agency have Search Engine Optimization (SEO) capabilities? Ask specific questions to discover what SEO work the agency is willing to do for your business.
In the current economic business climate, an agency that has survived and grown for at least five years is offering services above the ordinary. Check with the Better Business Bureau (BBB) and review the agencies complaints and resolution history. If the agency is not rated by the BBB do not add it to the short list.
Choose agencies to review based on specialization in a particular industry; web content, online retail, tourism, B2B, etc. Agencies that specialize in marketing for your type of business have more focused resources to apply to your promotional needs.
Does the agency understand and share your company’s vision? Are the objectives of your company’s needs a good fit with the content marketing agency? Does the agency representative work well with your company managers? A quality agency will have an empathic and creative response to your marketing needs.
Use a score sheet to rate agencies on things like technology integration, tactical expertise, user experiences. Jacobs and Clevenger have created a downloadable score sheet for agency performance called the Agency Performance Evaluation. There are online resources that offer scoring templates for different industries. Use a score sheet that is as specific as possible for your business or industry. Alternatively, make a score sheet to use during presentations that includes your specific marketing needs.
The agency should provide a written report describing the individualized services they will provide for your company. This list should include the business plan, the marketing plan, and the reporting plan as well as market trends. The report should be written specifically toward your business; an information sheet or a list of facts about available services is an indicator the agency may not work hard for your company.
After you have made choices for a short list of marketing agencies that fit your company’s needs, arrange presentation meetings with representatives from each agency. Set each meeting for the same amount of time, staggered throughout one day. Have a selection committee score each presentation and a final choice can be made at the end of the presentations. Report back to each agency that provided a presentation to offer feedback for agencies not selected.
Brendan Mitchell is a blogger with a background in advertising and works for an Australian business directory.