Now that you’ve identified a need for content marketing in your business, finding a content marketing agency is the next logical step. Especially when you discover that hiring an agency has much more benefits than building your own content marketing team (a two-person team could run you $100,000 per year).

Still, hiring a content marketing agency isn’t as easy as signing a contract with the first person that you engage. What should you look for in a content marketing agency? How can you know that you’re getting the best value for money? You’re in the right place! Let’s take a look at seven tips for hiring a successful content marketing agency.

Tip #1: Listen To What They Promise You

Unlike more aggressive forms of marketing, content marketing isn’t a game that can be played “quickly.” The whole premise of content marketing is educating your audience without coaxing them into making a decision. So if a content marketing agency promises you results that make you seem skeptical about how they can achieve it, that is your first red flag.

The best content marketing agencies understand that it is a long term game. They will show you results from clients, but they will also be honest about that fact that results come with commitment. Content marketing results compound.

Tip #2: Their Pricing Model Should Work For Your Business

At the outset, we mentioned that hiring a two-person marketing team could cost your business as much as $100,000 per year. With that in mind, you shouldn’t hire an agency if it’s more expensive than hiring all the roles in-house. One of the best parts of a content marketing agency is value.  So if you feel guilt-tripped into shelling out way more than if you hired individual people and put your own marketing team together, that probably isn’t the right agency for your business.

Come with an idea of how much you’d like to spend each month on your content marketing, and stick to it.

Tip #3: Ask Them About Their Methods

This tip is one that you should pay close attention to. When you ask about the content marketing agency’s methods to help you get the results they promise you, they should have a clear explanation. If they don’t, their methods are probably shady.

Even though search engines try so hard to clamp down on it, Black Hat SEO still exists and can damage your business’ reputation irreparably. A few content marketing agencies use these underhanded techniques to boost the search engine rankings of their clients. Do your research on how they plan to get you the results they promise. It’s always better to be safe than sorry.

Tip #4: They Should Give You Marketing Advice

One of the best indicators of a great content marketing agency, is if they strive to educate you in the process. Content marketing shouldn’t be a guarded secret, especially if you’ve hired them to help your business. They should try to keep you in the loop, and at least help you to gain working knowledge of the strategies they’re implementing for your every day. One of the best ways that they can do this is through reports, which ties into our fifth tip.

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Tip #5: They Should Be Data-Driven and Provide Detailed Reports

What’s the point of hiring someone if you don’t have any evidence of what they’re doing? While more engagement and customers are always good ways to gauge a content marketing agency’s influence on your business, they should also provide you with data-filled reports which prove on a granular level the kind of impact they have on your business.

Great content marketing agencies have either weekly or monthly reporting schedules, and these reports should be easy for you to understand, while still teaching you a thing or two about marketing. During the interview process, be sure to ask about their reporting process.

Tip #6: They Should Have Experience Working In Your Industry

Don’t hire an agency without content marketing experience in your industry, unless you’re prepared for lack-luster results or hiccups in the beginning. Even if the agency you’re considering hasn’t worked with a client in your industry, they should at least have one or two members of their team who have worked in a content marketing capacity within a business that is similar to yours.

They should also be prepared to demonstrate their expertise in your industry, so don’t shy away from asking questions that will allow you to evaluate their knowledge. This will ensure that you get the best results, as soon as you can.

Tip #7: They Should Have A Reputation That Precedes Them (With References)

Hiring a content marketing agency is just like filling any other role in your business — references matter. A great content marketing agency should have a list of clients that you’re able to talk to about work they’ve done, and these clients should be able to vouch for the quality of work that they do. Additionally, you should reach out to business owners in your circle who use content marketing agencies. They will be able to give you solid advice on what to look for, give you some tips based on their own experiences, and even recommend a few agencies to you. It’s always good to connect with business owners since they are able to give you information and advice that would be hard to get elsewhere.

With these seven tips in mind, you’ll able to hire a content marketing agency that actually helps your business grow! These tips will help you find a content marketing agency that does good work, offers you a great value for your money and gives you results that will stand the test of time. Have you already found some of these tips helpful? Here at Business Wilderness, we check all these boxes.