Identifying the Best Content Marketing Agencies
Finding someone you can trust to write in your voice is hard. The best writing—the type you’re proud to publish on your website and use in your marketing—is a collaboration between your internal team and your writer, eventually enabling that writer to take on all content writing responsibilities on her own. The time investment to train your writer is well worth it, as having excellent content published on a consistent basis is worth millions of dollars to your business. Even though you and your team have the most knowledge of your product and industry, quality writing is time-consuming and difficult. A good outside writer can free your time up, allowing you to oversee, track, and measure your marketing from a higher level. And the best writer is probably a team within an outside content marketing agency.
This article was created to help you understand how to find a content marketing agency who can, with a little collaboration, take over your content writing and be worth their weight in gold. The right content partner will have SEO expertise, a genuine understanding of the concept of thought leadership, and a strategic plan for how the content will be used across your marketing channels.
The Best Content Marketing Agencies Demonstrate SEO Expertise
Only an agency with SEO expertise will stand a chance at creating content that ranks highly in the search results. And the phrase “SEO expertise” is thrown around a lot, while in reality being pretty rare. True SEO expertise goes basic technical knowledge such as understanding how to optimize site speed or use a mobile-friendly website theme. The best agencies will also have a firm grasp of the following concepts:
- Advanced keyword selection techniques that focus on long-tail keywords that readers naturally search, including (if applicable) geotargeted keywords that speak specifically to your local audience.
- Tightly-focused article titles and meta tags that perfectly combine transactional keywords with creative, human-friendly phrasing to draw the attention of both your readers and Google. Optimized titles can be the difference between your content having only branding value versus generating millions in revenue.
If you’re satisfied that your prospective content writing service has the requisite SEO expertise, you can consider writing quality.
Quality Content Means More Than Good Writing
More than four million blog posts are published online every day. With so much content to sift through, audiences are increasingly picky about what they’ll dedicate their time to—meaning only the posts with the most perceived value will get read. It’s not just people, either; Google itself can tell, to some extent, how original your content is, and will sort it accordingly. It’s not enough for your content to simply be well-written. The highest-quality content is:
- Narrative. Truly engaging content requires a bit of storytelling, whether that means weaving a personal narrative throughout a piece or simply telling readers a story about how a given product or service can improve their lives in some meaningful way.
- Insightful. Only content that introduces a novel idea or sheds new light on a familiar topic will be worth your audience’s time and effort to read all the way through.
- Unique to your brand. The content you publish should reflect your desired brand image, not just in subject matter but in tone and voice. Truly capable writers can capture your brand’s personality and create content with a personal, human feel to it.
- Visually stimulating. A wall of text is intimidating to readers, as you yourself can probably attest. Breaking up text with unique, meaningful imagery keep readers interested in content even when it’s long-form or covers a deeply complex subject. And there’s no reason to use boring graphics like stock images, either; try custom charts with bright colors, unique maps, cartoons, or data visualizations for extra engagement from your audience.
- Authoritative. Your content should inspire confidence in readers through consistent sharing of valuable information. This establishes your blog—and, by extension, your company—as a reliable resource in the minds of your readers.
Content Marketing Agencies Are Just One Piece of the Marketing Puzzle
Although publishing content on your website is highly valuable for SEO and conversion purposes, it should be just one important part of your overall marketing strategy. When used in conjunction with other channels such as email marketing, social media (particularly LinkedIn), and webinars, it adds up to a comprehensive thought leadership strategy that boosts traffic, generates leads, and drives conversions more effectively than any single tactic alone.
When outsourcing content creation, be sure to look for a company that has the expertise and resources to think through all of the above with you. Some content marketing agencies can manage and coordinate how your content is used across all your channels, though, in most cases, you will manage the overall content strategy internally. An agency that specializes in thought leadership marketing is likely the right partner if you are managing the strategy.
We hope this article has given you some food for thought. Our company, First Page Sage, is a content marketing agency specializing in cutting-edge SEO and thought leadership. Contact us to learn how we can create best-in-class content for you and integrate it into your overall marketing strategy.
Evan Bailyn is a bestselling author and award-winning speaker on the subjects of SEO and thought leadership. Contact Evan here.