Content marketing is a strategy that uses digital content to attract sales and engagement from your target audience. The strategy produces three times as many leads as traditional marketing while costing about 62% less. But although content marketing is cheap, it can be very time-consuming.
Most entrepreneurs don’t have the time required to create engaging content. This is why thousands of content marketing service providers exist. They help small business owners achieve their digital marketing goals.
For small businesses, getting a good return on any investment is a must. So, a lot of care must go into the selection process of the right content marketing service. Choosing the wrong content marketing partner can destroy your online reputation and cost you sales and profits. Keep reading for 7 great tips on how to choose the right content marketing service for your business.
1. Clarify Your Business and Marketing Goals
There are several types of marketing companies you can choose when looking for a content marketing service. The best option for your company depends on your business and marketing goals. For instance, if your main goal is to increase direct sales, hiring email copywriting services or paying for social media ads may be your best bet. If your goal is to increase website traffic, then the best option may be to hire website content writing services or ghost blogging services.
So, the first tip you should follow when picking a content marketing service is to clarify your business and marketing goals. Why exactly do you want to start content marketing? Once this is clear, it becomes easier to identify companies that understand your business and target market. You will then be able to choose a content marketing company that is knowledgeable about your line of business and the results you are after.
2. Verify Their Content Marketing Experience
The digital marketing field is quite dynamic. There are new trends and techniques constantly popping up. Many small business owners can’t keep up with the changes. So they seek expert help to create relevant marketing strategies. But they must be wary of companies that claim to understand digital marketing yet have little to no experience in the field.
You don’t want to be the guinea pig for someone’s introduction to content marketing. Look for a company that knows what they are doing. You can do this by checking the service provider’s portfolios and reading online reviews from their previous clients.
Do a broad search for companies and freelancers that provide the content marketing services you are looking for. Shortlist three companies that you would want to work with and ask them for sample content and price quotations.
You must also ask for references from at least three companies that they have worked with. Do your due diligence and speak with the references to ensure that they have good things to say about the company you want to work with.
3. Get the Best Value for Money
Something else you must consider when choosing a content marketing service is your budget. The price range of the best content marketing services may be beyond the budget of some small businesses. But that doesn’t mean that they should go for the cheapest option available. Cheap providers may waste your time and money due to their ineffectiveness.
Do your research to get the best quality of service for the money you have. You may get top-notch services at bargain prices from a freelancer. Or, you may be pleasantly surprised at the value for money you would get from the service packages offered by some content marketing agencies. Check the pricing vs quality you will get from different providers.
4. Check Service Level Agreements
Another tip you can use to choose a great content marketing service is to check their service level agreements. An effective digital marketing strategy calls for frequent, consistent, relevant, and useful content for your target audience.
As such, your content creators must respect your productivity goals and deadlines. They must also be flexible enough to make requested changes to the content to ensure that each post aligns with your brand vision. Ensure that potential service providers incorporate realistic deadlines and flexibility in their terms and agreements.
5. Hire Great Communicators
Many projects fail due to poor communication within the team. Avoid this trap by looking for signs that an agency or freelancer is easy to communicate with. Their contact details should be easy to find when you look them up online.
They should also answer your calls or respond to emails or online queries within 24 hours. If you have a hard time reaching them at the early stages of engagement, they will probably be hard to find when you are chasing them for content further down the line.
During your initial meetings, check whether the company is listening to you and respecting your vision. Listening is a surprisingly rare skill among consultants. Many may try to impose their ideas on you without paying attention to what you want.
Also, pay attention to their professionalism. Do they show up on time, cut out distractions, and deliver on their promises? Are they courteous? Professional behavior is a good sign of the kind of service you can expect to receive.
6. Look for Creativity
Search engines value original and useful content, so websites that provide this rank higher on search results. Many companies repackage and churn out content that already exists. This strategy will not help you stand out in the market. Look for a content marketing service that values creativity and originality. They will help you come up with new and interesting content to attract your target audience.
7. Measure Their Effectiveness
The best content marketing companies use objective analytical tools to measure the effectiveness of their content. Ask potential service providers what content marketing analytics tools they use to track their results. This will prove their commitment to achieving their clients’ desired marketing results.
How to Choose the Best Content Marketing Service for Your Business
Content marketing is one of the most effective strategies small businesses can use to generate leads and sales. But you may not have the time to produce great content consistently. This is where a content marketing partner like The Local Marketer may come to the rescue.
Use the above 7 tips to identify and choose the best content marketing service for your business. Contact us today if you’re ready to start leveraging the power of content marketing for your business.