Content marketing is now the primary approach of digital marketing in various industries.
Customer behaviors have dramatically changed especially since the advent of social media: they actively resist advertisements and traditional marketing, but are now more eager to consume content in various forms.
However, implementing content marketing by yourself can be a tedious subject. Developing high-quality content is not the task for everyone, and on top of that you will need to plan a strategy while actively promoting your content.
This is why outsourcing to a content marketing agency is the popular choice nowadays. However, with so many to choose from, it can be very difficult to find the right agency for your business.
Here, we will share our top 5 picks of the best content marketing agency available, along with key factors you’d need to consider.
Top 5 Content Marketing Agency in 2020
Based in Charleston, ClickGiant took pride on their 3C mantra: Clicks, Conversions, and Customers. Focusing especially on content-centric approach on digital marketing which includes content development, SEO optimization, and optimizing traffic through the use of off-site promotion tactics (PPC, social media, influencer marketing).
By working with ClickGiant, they will custom-tailor a content marketing strategy based on your niche, needs, and especially your ideal audience. ClickGiant are not afraid in using creative, out-of-the-box approaches to achieve content marketing success.
2. Nine Peaks Media
Nine Peaks Media is a full-service digital marketing agency based in Toronto but with a global portfolio of clients. Focusing on content marketing and SEO, Nine Peaks Media especially emphasized inbound marketing as a lead generation approach.
Meaning, each piece of content is developed and promoted with the aim to generate more prospects.
Nine Peaks Media combines content clustering—creating a lot of interlinked content to cover one topic and various related keywords— with integrated content promotion, where every effort of promotion is aimed to get more backlinks to the content, which in turn will improve the said content’s SEO performance.
AudienceWise was founded by Matthew Brown and Tom Resnik, two important thought leaders in the digital marketing world, and have worked with a lot of global clients despite their relatively young age (founded in 2011).
Based in Portland, AudienceWise focuses on content marketing and technical SEO optimizations, and they took pride in only taking small number of clients to focus on working intimately with their clients.
AudienceWise only works with mid to enterprise-sized clients, so might be a relatively expensive option.
Vertical Measures is a full-service digital agency based in Phoenix, and as an award-winning agency, have worked with several Fortune-500 clients in the past.
Vertical Measures specializes on SEO, content marketing, and link acquisition, while they will also incorporate off-site promotions like paid advertising to promote your content.
Focusing on especially enterprise-sized B2B clients, Vertical Measures is probably the most expensive option on this list, but is certainly worth the money for the reputation.
If you do have the budget, it’s certainly one of the best possible options available.
Incredo is a content marketing agency based in Yerevan, Armenia. Took pride in their expertise in inbound marketing, and with their content-centered approach, Incredo have helped numerous clients achieving growth in lead generation, increase in organic traffic, and especially, more conversions.
As a bonus, Incredo also offers various design-related services from growth-centered website design to ecommerce-system development, so Incredo might be a good option for those looking for design solutions.
Will mainly focus on content marketing and SEO optimizations, and will also plan various promotions to achieve your content marketing goals.
Why You Need a Content Marketing Agency?
You can probably get a good copywriter of work with freelance content creators to execute your content marketing. So, why do you need to outsource to a content marketing agency in the first place?
There are, however, a few viable reasons.
First, content marketing is not only about developing relevant and valuable content. No matter how good your blog post or video is, it won’t bring you any value unless your audience (and preferably, a lot of them) are consuming it. Promoting your content is just as, if not more important than the development process.
Second, content marketing is not about posting high-quality content here and there, but to succeed, you will need an integrated strategy where every piece of content matters. A content marketing agency will help you in planning an proper content marketing strategy from defining your content marketing goals to evaluating current performance and making adjustments.
Last but not least, content marketing favors consistency. Developing a lot of high-quality content as fast as you can might cost you more money in the long run with in–house copywriters and freelance writers. In the long run, hiring a content marketing agency that already have a performing team of content producer can be the more cost-efficient approach.
While working with a content marketing agency might be more expensive at first, it can be more affordable in a long-term basis.
Factors to Look For When Choosing Your Content Marketing Agency
1. Content Quality
A good content marketing agency will show you their portfolio of published content. Here, you can check whether their content is relevant, optimized, and whether their style and tone will fit your business.
The content marketing agency might have different existing clients in different niches, so you can check whether their quality is consistent when covering different topics and different niche.
Also, content nowadays can (and should) come it at least three different forms: textual, video, and audio. Check their portfolio with all of these mediums. They might also have used several different forms in one content (which is a good thing).
Here, content is truly king, so pay extra attention on their content quality.
2. Content Promotion Strategy
Different content marketing agencies might have significantly different ideas on how to promote their content. Some might focus on SEO, while some others might want to spend on advertising to promote your content. Social media marketing and utilizing influencers are also effective ways to promote your content.
In short, there are many viable ways to promote the content, but again, focus on their previous results. There are two main questions you should ask here: how many inbound links are generated on average? And, how many visitors are generated?
Let them show you numbers, and let them know you know the deal.
3. Time Management
By nature, content marketing is a long-term strategy where you will need to spend at least 6 to 12 months before you can see significant results. So, time is the essence.
There are two things to consider here. First, ask about their expectation on timeline. If they are offering a relatively short time frame (for example, when they promised to see a huge traffic boost within just a month), it’s actually a red flag and most likely they won’t be able to meet the unrealistic expectation.
Second, as best as you can, check for their previous track record regarding timeline. You can, for example, check how often they publish content pieces for their previous clients. How long, on average, they can get a content on the first page of Google’s SERP according to the target keyword.
4. SEO Knowledge and Experience
We can’t separate SEO from content marketing as a whole.
While we have briefly discussed SEO in the content marketing section above, we must have a more in-depth discussion here due to its importance.
First, ask for their link-building approach. Keep in mind that link-building tactics focusing on quantity (directory submission, link exchanging, social bookmarking, etc.) no longer works today. Google will prioritize the quality of your backlinks (i.e. links coming from authority, relevant sites according to your niche). If they offer a tactic that is too good to be true, it almost certainly is in this case.
Second, check for their track record. You can quite easily check for this aspect by checking their previous client’s blog. See if the blog is optimized properly according to SEO best practices. The most obvious things are to check for the mobile-responsiveness, and whether the site has a fast enough loading speed. Also, check for the keyword density (if it’s too high, it can be a sign of black hat practices).
Check their overall attitude towards SEO. You should generally look for an agency that says that they will focus on providing value for your audience rather than cheating the search engines.
Content marketing (and inbound marketing) is arguably the most important aspect of digital marketing today, due to the increased resistance to traditional advertising. People might resist banner ads or YouTube ads, but with a relevant content,they are less resistant— and they are usually the ones looking for information in the first place.
Thus, if you are planning to work with a content marketing agency, choosing the right once is definitely crucial, as your content can literally make or break your business. The 5 agencies we have discussed above are certainly the best of the best options you can get today, and by using the criteria we have provided, you can make a better informed choice.