I'd love to say no... but you probably really do.
The reason I'd like to say you don't need to search for content marketing services for your business, is because I don't like a lot of agencies out there.
Okay, I like the people- I've worked with a lot of them- but there are a lot of agencies with practices I really don't believe in. In fact, I think there are a lot of agencies scamming businesses out of their money.
Every business owner, marketing director, etc. believes that they HAVE TO blog.
It's true, there are a lot of benefits of blogging:
Greater domain authority
Continually updating your site keeps it relevant in the eyes of Google
It can be used as an engagement tool
It's a great way to showcase your work
It can attract leads
As a matter of fact, businesses that blog earn 67% more leads than those that don't. But that's not to say there aren't successful businesses out there that AREN'T blogging.
Having a blog is great for your business, and I'd say that no matter how you're blogging or what you're blogging about, you're getting some benefit out of it.
As mentioned, simply updating your site regularly with new content keeps it relevant.
So, when do you need a content creation agency?
Determining this is pretty simple, really.
Here's what you should be asking to determine whether or not a content marketing agency is right for you:
Do I have the budget to hire a content marketing agency?
Can/should I hire a freelance content writer instead?
What kind of services do I need from a content marketing firm?
How much of the work can I do myself (or can an existing member of staff reasonably do some of the work)?
What are my goals of using a content creation company?
I'm going to go ahead and help you answer some of these questions.
you can and should hire a freelance content writer IF several conditions are met:
You have budget too small for a large content marketing agency, but can still afford to pay a freelancer a decent rate. Don't short change your writers. If you don't have money, but need content, then I get using services like Upwork.
However, don't expect much for your money.
For instance, my clients pay me more because they get more than an article written in 20 minutes. I spend hours researching, outlining, and writing each article. If you order my whole content planning package then I conduct user research, interviews, create a content plan and strategy, write, AND promote the articles I write.
I don't charge as much as an agency, but yeah, I'm not earning pennies on the word either.
The BIG difference between a freelancer and an agency, is the bigger budget and manpower.
Content marketing companies have the most expensive tools. They have staff skilled in specific niches like SEO, or content strategy, or writing.
Those tools make a HUGE difference.
Ahrefs, one of the most popular tools for finding keywords (and one of the best tools with multiple uses) is $1,000 A YEAR!
A lot of freelancers aren't willing or able to pay that kind of money for a tool. I use Ahrefs so frequently, I believe it's worth it.
There are some tools that cost several hundred dollars a month. No freelancer is going to pay $300 a month to look at analytics reports. This is the advantage of an agency.
Luckily, there are a lot of free tools, and freelancers are often skilled in multiple areas of content marketing.
This makes them great if you're just dipping your toes into content marketing, or if you have a marketing team (in-house or otherwise), but need someone that can focus on your content so you can focus on other marketing efforts.
What do marketing firms do? What kind of services do you need?
Content creation companies offer a variety of services, though there are plenty that focus solely on the creation of content, and that's it.
I'd say avoid these types of agencies.
Why? Because they take on a lot of content...
Yeah, that's what they're there for. Only they don't have enough writers on staff, so they contract out through Upwork and pay $30 for 1,000 words.
Sure, if that works for you... go for it.
However, if you want content that actually attracts an audience and encourages them to work with you, then you should steer clear of content mill-like agencies.
Instead, if you're going to work with a marketing agency, you need to know what they do.
Most offer these services:
Content promotion (click here if you'd like to see my content promotion strategies)
Analytics analysis and reporting
(If you're interested in what I offer, you can take a look at my services page)
Goals of working with a content marketing agency- you should have some.
Please have a reason for reaching out to a content marketing agency. Do your research. Know what you need, your budget, your goals...
What should those goals look like?
There are a lot of reasons for working with a content marketing team. Your goals simply depend on your business and how well you understand the role of content marketing.
The first thing you should know is that content marketing is a LONG game. You're not going to see results immediately.
The second thing you need to know is that, no matter what anyone says, you absolutely CAN bring in leads from your content.
Content is almost always thought of as an engagement tool. A way of nurturing leads, rather than the tool that drives them to convert immediately.
This is true, in many regards. However, the more you focus on delivering real value, and creating bottom of the funnel content, the more likely they are to convert faster.
You don't need to spend years convincing a reader that you're worth their business. You can do it in 1-3 articles.
That being said, here are some of the goals you should have when looking to hire a good content marketing agency:
Increase traffic to your site and services/ product pages
Establish credibility for your brand
Things to look for in a company or freelancer that can take over your blog.
Finding the best content marketing agencies isn't a science, but finding the right agency for your business kinda is.
Don't focus on finding the goldilocks agency. Instead, focus on finding an effective agency or freelancer that can deliver results.
Here's what you should look for in a content marketing agency:
The first thing you should do when looking for an agency for your content needs, is to answer the questions I'd outlined earlier in this article.
After that, you should have a list of questions/ determining factors that help you narrow down contending agencies.
That should look a little like this:
They offer case studies or can prove results from previous clients
They have live links to their work
They tell you who you'll be working with and how to contact them directly
They have testimonials
They're great at communication
You know exactly what you're getting, when, and how
Do they have experience in your industry, or a process for writing subjects they don't have expertise in such as interviewing subject matter experts?
Do they conduct market research to find the best content for your target audience?
Are they asking YOU questions that would be pertinent to their success with your content?
What about your budget? Does it align with their services?
Do they contract out work or will they be handling it in-house?
Finding the right content marketing agency doesn't have to be hard, but in most cases, you do need one.
Well, because content marketing is really hard. Getting your pages to rank on the first page of a Google search is challenging. Coming up with content ideas and writing pieces that hit your target audience is hard. It can take a long time to see results.
Because of this, a lot of companies write blogging off as a meaningful method of marketing. That's a mistake.
Blogging is great for your company, and it can bring in leads if you do it right.
You need a content creation agency because content creation takes a lot of time and skill, and most companies don't actually know how to do it right. Even if you have an in-house marketer or marketing team, there is often a lot of other marketing tasks to focus on.
A marketing agencies is a great solution. You just have to find the right one for your business.
If you're interested in hiring The Write Destination (aka me), you can get results as great as Rocky Mountain Forest Products- the company that increased their leads by 30% in 2 months by working with me.