Many B2B industrial businesses depend on content marketing for qualified lead generation and customer acquisition. But there’s a problem: Content agencies are like stars in the cosmos; there is an infinite amount of them. And just because a company calls itself a B2B content marketing agency doesn’t necessarily mean they are the best fit for you. So you need to make an informed decision.
This article will guide you on the green (and red flags) you should look out for when choosing a content marketing agency.
What is a B2B Content Marketing Agency?
The first step to finding the right agency is actually understanding what content marketing is.
While it’s easy to pull out quotes from marketing geniuses on what content marketing is or isn’t, we wouldn’t do that. So, here’s a simple definition: Content marketing is a form of inbound marketing that focuses on attracting customers through content.
B2B content marketing is about creating high-quality content in different formats, including podcasts and infographics, to establish your brand as the single source of truth for your target audience. It’s a lot of hard work, but when you partner with expert B2B marketers, your business enjoys stellar benefits like:
- Increased organic traffic to your website
- Increased brand awareness
- Greater authority
Content marketing might be a slow burn, but it becomes the radiant gift that keeps giving once you get it right. When you have the proper long-term strategy, you will discover that all your efforts continue to compound. Every piece of content adds value to your B2B brand.
Five Questions to Ask Yourself When Choosing a B2B Content Marketing Agency
Do They Have Case Studies?
In content marketing, processes are everything. A good B2B agency is excited to share in-depth case studies that show their expertise and the results they’ve achieved for clients. Extra points if these case studies showcase work for clients with similar goals as yours or within your vertical.
Pay attention to critical results in the case study, like how a content campaign moved a brand from point A to B— it’s easy to get swamped by vanity data that has no real impact on the business. More importantly, look at the agency’s processes for delivering quality work—if they’ve nailed this part, then you can be rest assured that they will produce excellent content for you.
Do They Specialize or Generalize?
If you had a heart problem, you’d consult a cardiologist and not an obstetrician; these exact rules apply to content marketing.
The more niche an agency is, the more specific knowledge they have for your campaign. So, it’s best to start your search with marketers specializing in your space before exploring other options.
Do They Understand the Aspects of a Productive Campaign?
The right content marketing agency knows how to craft productive campaigns that set you light years ahead of your competitors. For context, here’s a snapshot of what you can expect from a results-driven content marketing strategy for B2B companies:
- Perform keyword research
- Identify audience
- Selecting the best marketing channels
- Writing and Editing
- Distribution and syndication
- Link building
- Measuring and Reporting
It’s easy for marketers to hide mediocre campaign performance behind jargon and high-sounding terminologies, especially when the client isn’t a marketing expert.
Are They Transparent with Their Reporting?
A content marketing agency that can explain everything to the “T” is a partner you’d love to have. It’s easy for marketers to hide mediocre campaign performance behind jargon and high-sounding terminologies, especially when the client isn’t a marketing expert.
As a B2B industrial business, you will enjoy collaborating with a content team that spells out every metric—from content syndication to content distribution channels and shows you how these tie to your business goals.
Do They Provide the Services Specific to My Business Needs?
Search engine optimization (SEO), PPC, content refreshing, content strategy, copywriting, content creation, and social media marketing—these are some services you’d find in a comprehensive B2B content marketing package.
But why do I need so many things at the same time?
The truth is, you don’t, at least not all at once. During the discovery call and subsequent brainstorming sessions, the content agency should highlight the most important areas you need to focus on as a business. For example, if your business has a pile of outdated articles, the agency might offer a great content refreshing package.
Four Tips for Selecting the Best B2B Content Marketing Agency
Ask for Referrals
Word gets around fast in the marketing space. Chances are if an agency is that good, then their clients will proudly vouch for them. It would be best if you leveraged word-of-mouth recommendations and asked within your network for agencies that offer the best full-service marketing services.
Ask for Samples of Their Past Work
Seriously, this is a no-brainer. The agency’s portfolio gives you an overview of the kinds of marketing campaigns they have executed and the clients they’ve worked with. If any of their past works catches your attention, you can request the case study to see the process behind it.
Request Evidence of Success via Current Reporting
As you look through portfolios and case studies, focus on one thing: Evidence of success. In other words, which of the agency’s achievements has a close resemblance to the content marketing success you want for your company? You always want to pay attention to the conversion rates for their campaigns.
Remember Boutique Agencies Can Deliver Big Results
Many businesses fall into the trap of “big agency, big results.” After all, if you’re investing a huge marketing budget, then you should get quality content. In reality, the content marketing partner you need might be a boutique agency. Boutique agencies have fewer clients, which means they can dedicate more time to your project.
If an agency has sound evidence of executing successful content campaigns, don’t shove them to the side because they have a small social media following or fewer media appearances.
While it appears safer and smarter to blast off with the big content marketing companies, smaller marketing firms are ready to explore unique messaging and travel new paths, which set your business up for stellar success.
Does it seem impossible to find a content marketing agency that checks all these boxes? We might have the solution for you. If you need help with B2B content marketing, book a call with the pros at HyFyve, and we’ll guide you to the next level.
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