If you want your content marketing to be more effective, your bosses to be happier, and your work life to be a lot easier, a solid content strategy is the secret. It helps you set measurable goals, streamline your workflow, budget your resources, and create content that makes a big impact. But creating that content strategy, documenting it, and refining it can be overwhelming for many marketers. That’s why a content agency can be a helpful option.
Crafting a strategy isn’t a cakewalk, and for marketers who don’t know where to start, have too much on their plate, or a team that can’t even decide on lunch (much less a full-on strategy), bringing in someone to guide you is a lifesaver.
A skilled content agency can you help you craft a cohesive strategy, tailor-made for your goals—and be a true partner in helping you and your team put that strategy into practice. Plus, they have plenty of extra skills to offer that can benefit every part of your content operation.
Why an Agency Should Handle Your Content Strategy
Whether you need to build a new content operation from scratch, rehaul your strategy, or wrangle your team, here’s why a content agency might be the right choice.
If you’ve never crafted a content strategy before, it can be easy to make a misstep. If it’s too rigid, too grandiose, or too vague, it will be a pretty useless document. But because content agencies have worked with a ton of brands and marketed to many different people in different industries, they’ve seen many of the pitfalls and mistakes that can be made when crafting a strategy. (Here are a few of the content strategy lessons we’ve learned along the way.)
With their expertise, they know how the process works, what to include, and how to break it down into actionable items. Their ultimate job is to help you hone a strategy that works for your goals and keeps you grounded.
A content strategy is the bedrock of your entire content operation, so making sure it’s done well is crucial. But it does take time, energy, and expertise to build. Depending on your needs, there may be a discovery phase, conversations with different stakeholders, a full audit of your existing operation, etc. Unfortunately, if your marketing team is already overloaded, you won’t be able to do this effectively.
Luckily, a content agency can guide you, pick up the slack, coordinate your team, and fill in the gaps where you can’t.
3) Fresh Perspective
When you’re tasked with managing a brand, you can easily find yourself so immersed in it that you’re really just working in a bubble. Marketers get tunnel vision, and content creators are so focused on getting content out the door they don’t stop to consider whether it’s the right content at all. This happens often, and it’s understandable. But it can be detrimental when you’re trying to make major moves.
We find that marketers are often resistant to change simply because they can’t “see” the bigger picture. This can make the content strategy process longer and more painful than it has to be. But a content agency can open your eyes. They can offer fresh ideas, spot potential pitfalls (again, they’ve been around the block), and push you toward more innovative ways of thinking.
4) Content Infrastructure
A content strategy is important, but if you aren’t equipped to follow through, you’re in trouble. A content agency can help you plan—and produce—your content more efficiently. They can set realistic timelines and budgets, offer specialized skills, and spot ways to get more value out of the content you create. Even better, as they already have an intimate understanding of your brand goals, they are ready to hit the ground running.
Whether you need them to assume all content creation or support you with specific projects, such as an interactive infographic, they can be a great resource.
5) Insider Info
Content agencies are full of creative people who eat, breathe, and sleep content marketing. And they are eager to share their knowledge with you. They’ll pitch bold ideas, experiment with different formats, suggest new distribution channels, tools, resources, and more. All of these tips can upgrade every part of your marketing operation.
6) Great Connections
In addition to their expertise, content agencies also have established relationships with vendors, media contacts, influencers, PPC experts, and other resources that can help you implement your strategy effectively. Whether you want to get your infographic featured in a major publication or need a great video production company to produce a web series, they can help you out.
Deciding on your content strategy is one thing, but documenting it is another. It’s time-consuming, which explains why only 37% of B2B marketers have one documented, according to the Content Marketing Institute’s 2018 B2B Benchmarks report. But it’s important to have a concise content strategy on paper to keep everyone on the same page—and it’s especially useful if you’re working with agencies or anyone who needs to be brought on board. At the end of your engagement, you’ll have a perfectly packaged strategy on hand for easy reference.
How to Find the Right Content Agency
A good content agency works as a true creative partner, but you have to find the right one. To help you on your search, here are the 12 things you should look for in a content agency, including some helpful questions to ask. When you find the right one, you should also follow these tips to form a super productive relationship with them.
Of course, if you feel stuck now, we’re happy to help you get untangled. Just holler at us.