Outsourcing your content marketing to an agency can be a great decision, and it will take off some of that burden from your plate. But don’t forget – there are still things for you to do when working with an agency.
In this article, we’re going to detail some of the ins and outs of working with a content marketing agency. We’ll explore some tips and expectations you need to know before committing and some tips for transitioning from one business partner to another.
Choosing The Right Project Champion To Work With Your Internal Stakeholders And The Content Marketing Agency
Sometimes, a company needs to outsource some of its content marketing efforts. This is because handling it all by yourself may be too much, and you need help from experts in the field who know what works for today’s modern consumers.
However, you want to make sure that your team has defined roles so things won’t confuse everyone that’s involved.
Someone like a project champion.
The Characteristics Of The Best Project Champion
- They should have previous experience with creating or implementing a content marketing strategy
- They should be familiar with essential content marketing tools like Google Analytics and Search Console, and SEO tools like SEMRush, Moz, Ahrefs, etc.
- They should have a good industry understanding and be able to check and support the agency with relevant input and quality control
- They should have a very good understanding of the persona your product is targeting
- They should have a proven track record of their capacity to meet and exceed expectations
- They need to have several qualifications for them to be able to take on this project. They should understand the entire scope and process behind it, including specialties like content marketing, engineering, or design work, among whatever is relevant to the business’s solution
- Good negotiation skills are necessary to make sure the project runs smoothly. It’s essential for a person in this position to work with all parties involved and understand their needs so that they can come up with solutions that will satisfy everyone
- They are great at taking the lead, and they know how to organize and use the team’s talents
- They’re a strategic communicator. They know how to keep all the project stakeholders informed and engaged in the process, ensuring nothing falls through the cracks along the way.
A project champion is the protector of a project. They are on the frontlines of any given endeavor and in direct communication with every member at all times to ensure success.
Expectations While Working With A Content Marketing Agency
You need to know what you want from people and what value you should expect to receive from working with a content marketing agency.
The following steps will help things become more apparent.
Providing Initial Value
Before considering investing in a content marketing agency, make sure that they provide something of value upfront.
Here are three examples of what that value may look like.
Proposals – Professional content marketing agencies understand the strategies and execution needed for this type of work. At the very least, they should give you a presentation showing the strategy and performance in relation to your business and audience.
Audit – Some content marketing agencies will provide you with a free audit which is helpful to both parties. This way, everyone understands where you are now as a business and then project where you could be.
Run a trial – It may be worthwhile to initially hire a content marketing agency for a test project. This tends to work better in some cases, such as with content creation but it’s not always advisable when working on SEO campaigns, for example, which take much longer to see results.
At Digital Tailors, we go on a 3-month discovery where we test various types of content, distribution, and link-building tactics or any other methods that will generate results to help our clients understand what is working and what is not.
After these 3 months, we settle on a final content marketing strategy and some KPIs to keep track of.
Defining Your Project Scope
There’s a tendency for many business owners to work with content marketing agencies without understanding their project’s scope.
This shouldn’t be ignored, as it may lead to frustration and confusion on both sides. Before any tangible or formal steps are taken, make sure that you speak openly about what your vision for this campaign is.
Three areas should be of concern when discussing the project scope with your content marketing agency:
Budget – Starting a project without knowing how much you can afford to invest in it is risky. You’ll need to have a sensible grasp on how much you can spend so that longer and more complex projects are not too costly.
Timeline – This is a great question to think about when hiring an agency. You’ll want to ask yourself: “Do I need this project completed quickly?” Or, do you foresee the relationship lasting for years? Knowing your short-term needs and long-term needs will help both you and the content marketing agency find if you’re a good fit.
Evolving needs – Hiring an agency only to handle your SEO is an excellent option in theory, but you might find that your content needs some work. You should think about how the project’s scope will be impacted if you need help with producing and managing high-quality posts or other types of information.
Expect Content Marketing Agencies To Have Their Own Process
During the integration with a content marketing agency, you’ll find that your business is “merging” with another.
Three things to consider during this merger are:
Culture – It’s important to note the cultural similarities and differences between your organization and your agency partner before making any decisions together. You may prioritize a slower approach, but they might focus on results by any means.
Processes – You may find an agency partner that is always on standby and ready for anything. Still, they might organize their work around extended periods of deep concentration. They might have a more methodical approach than you do, with emphasis on execution rather than fundamentals. You will need to make sure your processes match up so everything runs smoothly from start to finish.
Team – Different personality types often clash, leading to problems when determining who will be assigned as partners and colleagues. Before making any final decision, ask yourself if both teams can collaborate without personal tension.
The 4 Types Of Metrics Content Marketing Agencies Use
Consumption metrics should be a vital part of any content strategy you’re planning because they tell you how many people view and consume your content and the time one spends looking at it.
- Page Views: To make sure you’re posting the right kind of content, use this to see which pieces get the most attention
- Unique Visitors: This is a metric you can use to figure out how big your audience is and how often people visit and come back to your website
- Average Time on Page: Are your readers engaged? If they are, then you’re doing everything right. But if they’re not reading or spending any time on your website, it may be time to change things up a little and give them more of what they want
- Behavior Flow: Google Analytics lets you see where your visitors are coming from and how they navigate your website. This can help you determine the best way to retain those visitors.
Website Engagement Metrics
- Inbound Links: The number of links referring to your website will increase your Domain Authority. Once you know which pages are linked to the most, you should focus on creating more similar pieces
- Session Duration: How long people stay on your website. The time spent on your site is measured independently of the number of pages viewed by a user during their stay (for example, for a 10-minute session, they could view one page only or multiple ones).
- Page Depth: Pages per session, also known as pages visited per visit, is the average number of pages seen when visitors browse your website.
- CTR: Each clickable element on your site has a CTR – the clicks’ ratio to views. The higher this is, the more engagement you get from visitors.
- Follower count: Stay on top of your social media game and keep track of the number of people following you. This will help you understand the reach and popularity of your social media presence.
- Social media shares and likes: Are you getting your content shared on social media? Make sure you track the number of shares, retweets, repins, etc. to know for sure.
- Comments: Keep an eye on your social media engagement. You’ll know how people react to what you post and can use this insight as inspiration for new content that might receive more engagement.
Note: Set benchmarks using your best performing content to understand your audience’s expectations. They will help you provide a great user experience.
Content Production Metrics
- Time spent on content creation: If you want to measure your content marketing strategy’s effectiveness, you need to track how much time is spent creating content. Hiring a content marketing agency can usually give you a predicted rate on each content piece.
- Performance over time: What are your thoughts on the month-long results of your post? How is it doing in terms of shares and engagement so far, compared to immediately after publishing this article online? Additionally, what was the purpose behind posting these articles? What have been some challenges faced with content distribution since then?
To succeed with any content marketing agency you work with, it’s crucial that you understand what they can and cannot do for your business. Because of their experience in the field, agencies have a good grasp on how things are done but sometimes lack knowledge about specific details related to your company’s needs or goals.
If you want to scale your content marketing strategy, ensure that your own house is in order before partnering with an agency, so they can help promote what’s already working for you.