9 Mistakes to Avoid While Hiring a Content Marketing Agency

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Quality content needs continuous effort and time. This is the reason why many companies choose to hire a content marketing agency for it. It’s not enough to publish just any content on the saturated internet anymore. Content marketing needs compelling content to work successfully.

Bad content can actually leave you in a worse place than you started in. It is difficult to re-build your reputation and authority once it is spoilt on social media. Adidas had to face the public heat after their tweet on Boston marathon which unintentionally reminded everyone of the 2013 Boston Marathon Bombing. Adidas recovered with a heartfelt apology. However, smaller brands may not have a chance to recover from a social media post gone wrong with the same ease.

addidas boston marathon screenshot

Delay in promised content, website ownership issues, followers database privacy, breached timelines are all real issues that companies face while dealing with content marketing agencies.

We have put together a list of 9 mistakes that companies usually make while hiring a content marketing agency. Read on to avoid them and hire the right agency for you.

1. Not Knowing the Service Team

Sales personnel are usually the first ones to meet you from the content marketing agencies. They tell you about the success they have had with other clients and show you a vision for your content too.

That is great! But who is actually going to put this plan in action?  Do you know the team who you will work with?  Are they passionate about your growth and will they understand your brand? These are a few questions you must ask before you seal the deal. Many companies sign up impressed with the sales person only to be disappointed with the results of delivery team.

Request the salesperson to put you in touch with the content team and know your content strategist, content writer and SEO consultant by name.

2. Having Unclear Goals

 Being fuzzy about your marketing goals is also a mistake that people make. It is better to take your time and think about this before you start hunting for a content marketing agency. Some of the questions to ask are:

  • What do you hope to achieve with a content marketing plan?
  • What does your brand stand for and stand against?
  • How will content marketing fit in your overall marketing strategy?

The final pieces of strategy will of course be put together by your agency. However, these are some of the answers that a content marketing agency cannot just make up. These must come from you. Being unclear on these would be starting on a wobbly foundation.

3. Not Checking for Relevant Experience

It is important to separate experience from relevant experience when it comes to choosing the right agency. It would be a mistake to go for an agency based on its size and popularity alone. Many a times, niche agencies specialize in start up, small & mid-sized brands or certain industries.

Look at the past record of the agency to know the industry and size of clients they have worked with. Also look at the success rate they have had with those clients. An agency who has worked with companies similar to yours will be better able to understand your challenges in content marketing.

Also look at the agency’s own website, blogs and content they produce for themselves. How can you trust a content marketing company that doesn’t market itself successfully through good content?

4. Not Budgeting Time and Resources Required

 Many companies think that they can ignore content marketing totally because they have outsourced the work to a content marketing agency. This is far from the truth. Even though your agency will take the task of creating and strategizing content, you still need to account for time that will be required for communications, approval of plans, share references and resources.

Nobody wants a content that does not sound like the voice of your brand and lacks authenticity. Be sure to ask for weekly meetings (virtual if face to face is not possible).

5. Not Having a Clear Written Agreement

Having a written agreement on terms of service and deliverables is important to avoid running into problems later. Make sure everything is written down to the last detail with timeline for delivery.

6. Falling for Impossible Promises

 Never fall for agencies that promise to achieve unbelievable goals in a short time. There is no short-cut in content marketing. It requires time for your rankings to go up no matter how good your content is. There is no fixed recipe for viral content, so beware of anyone who promises it to you.

Working with agencies that employ unethical practices (such as buying followers, black hat SEO, keyword stuffing) without creating valuable content can get you red-listed from search engines and other web platforms.

7. Choosing Cheaper Option over Quality

Choosing an agency without checking the quality of content is actually expensive. Cheap content that lacks value doesn’t get you anywhere. You will just end up paying up for content that nobody wants to read.

If you lack the budget for a good agency currently it is advisable to wait until you have one.  You can also request for financing options or part consultancy until then.

Paying for content that lacks quality is actually counterproductive and leads to extra work of re-building your reputation later.

8. Thinking of Content Marketing as a Project

Content marketing is an ongoing strategy rather than a short term project.  It is not a campaign that you do but a philosophy that you follow. Changing agencies frequently can be damaging for your content marketing plan.  Hence, it is important to look for a partner who will be with you for the long-term.  This brings us to the last mistake that people make.

9. Not Looking for the Fit

It is important to look for an agency with a cultural fit. We do not mean same regionality or nationality here, but a partner who understands your purpose of business and shares your working values.  This synergy helps in producing content that has a strong voice and builds long term trust. Ask yourself if you can trust them as a long term partner before signing up.

Final Thoughts

When done right content marketing will be a continuous source of leads and revenue for you. Remember that results can take six months to a year to show. So choose your partner wisely and choose them for the long term.

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