Once you’ve made the decision to outsource your content marketing efforts, it’s helpful to know how to begin your relationship with your marketing agency and secure the best contract for your business.
Your relationship with your content marketing agency requires dual input: you both need to work together in the beginning stages of your journey so that you get the results you want, and so your agency knows how to advise you and what to do to get those results. Even though the initial stages take some work, the good news is that 82% of marketers see a positive return on investment from content marketing.
And why do you need content marketing? Content marketing is a great idea to increase your business’s visibility. In fact, 61% of buyers feel better about companies that have custom content – and they’re more likely to buy.
So in order to get the content marketing contract and strategy you want there are 4 rules to set when outsourcing your content marketing:
- Outline Your Metrics and Goals
- Provide Clear Instructions
- Share Your Style Guide
- Work Together on a Content Marketing Plan
Before you begin your relationship with a marketing agency, your business should have clear and specific goals in mind for your marketing efforts.
Undoubtedly you’ll want to increase revenue, but do you want to push a specific product or service during a given time, generate more website traffic and online visibility, increase your social media following, or generate more email sign-ups? Or do you have other KPIs in mind? Once you set your goals, your agency will offer suggestions on how to meet those goals and what they will do to get you the results you want.
These goals begin building that initial relationship and will provide metrics for which you can measure the success of your agency’s marketing efforts. Here’s our template to help you set realistic goals for your business.
In order to kickstart your business’s content marketing strategy, you’ll need to provide your marketing agency with clear instructions of what you want. Clear instructions (these are best written) ensure that your agency fully understands your desires and expectations, so that they can deliver.
Outline the channels and platforms that your business wants to concentrate on and prioritise, and an agency will be able to factor this into your overall strategy. Your agency will come up with several ideas and variations for content titles and campaigns. It is important to have an input here; your business will need to sign off these ideas, which also gives you the chance to provide any additional requests or suggestions of your own.
It’s likely that your business will already have its own house-style of writing, even if there is no written rulebook on it. Sharing your style guide with your marketing agency will help ensure that all content is written to reflect the desired tone of your business.
If you don’t already have a style guide in place, there are a number of things to consider. For example, you could outline that you want your content to be lighthearted in tone and humorous in places, or you want your content to be more formal and analytical. It may be difficult to articulate what you want your style to be; if this is the case, you can show your agency samples of work you like and they can help you determine a style guide or write one for your business.
Other more nitty-gritty elements that your style guide could include are the following...
- Write in short, direct sentences
- Use the serial or Oxford comma
- Write directly to the reader in second person (you/your)
- Include multiple images per blog post
- Provide relevant statistics
When outsourcing, you want to lay the foundations for a great partnership by outlining your expectations from the get-go. The more detailed and specific you are, the more the agency can meet (and exceed) those expectations.
Your content marketing plan will outline your budget, how much content you wish to create, what other services you’d like in conjunction (for example email marketing, social media scheduling, website on-page content, landing page content, and eBook creation), and what keywords you’d like to rank for.
If you’re unsure what you can get for your budget, your agency will be able to advise you. They can also advise on suggested keywords based on competitor research, as well as the types of content to create and what that content should say, based on your buyer persona research.
Your content marketing agency will encourage the need for content across each stage of the buyer’s journey, so you can attract new leads and delight existing customers.
Once you have the types and amount of content decided upon, your marketing agency will be able to create a content calendar, planning in tasks and setting deadlines that work around the overall strategy.
When you hire a marketing agency, your a hiring a partner and the best partnerships are based on a solid footing. In order to get the most out of your partnership, it’s essential that you share your goals and communicate clearly about what you expect. A good agency will take the time to find out what your needs are and meet them and deliver a contract to match.
Are You Considering Outsourcing Your Content Marketing?
Get in touch to find out why you should outsource your content marketing to an agency, where we can discuss just how much you can save in money, time, efficiency, resources, and more. Alternately, you can book a free Marketing Assessment below.