A simple answer to this question would be that a content marketing agency creates and distributes different kinds of content, including blog posts, articles, videos, infographics, and other written materials and multimedia on behalf of other businesses.
By doing so, content marketing agencies help businesses generate leads and new sales opportunities, as well as close deals.
But, before we discuss this topic in more detail, it’s necessary to start from the beginning and mention the benefits of content marketing and why it’s such an indispensable segment of every successful digital marketing strategy.
First of all, it’s worth mentioning that content marketing costs 62% less than traditional marketing and generates 3 times more leads.
Now we can get to the point and explore why every small business should use the services of a content marketing agency.
Benefits of Content Marketing
If we still haven’t convinced you that your small business or startup can greatly benefit from deploying a content marketing strategy, here are some of the most remarkable advantages of this approach.
1. You’ll have more content on your website
“So what?” you’re probably thinking to yourself.
The thing is that the more content you have, the longer your visitors will stick around and explore your website. This, in turn, means that they will have a chance to get more familiar with your products or services and learn more about how you can help them solve their pain points.
Of course, this works only if your content is educational, entertaining, helpful, and relevant to your audience.
Finally, the longer your visitors stay on your website, the better rankings Google will reward it with – dwell time is an important metric and indicates whether the content provides the answers searchers are looking for.
And that’s very important to Google.
2. Your website will have a higher domain authority
By posting high-quality, relevant content that resonates with your target audience, you’ll be able to gradually boost your website’s credibility, authority, and perceived expertise.
In other words, your content will earn more inbound links from authority sources, and that way, your rankings will improve.
As a result, your content will be shown among the top search results in Google searches.
Given that 75% of people never scroll past the first page of Google, it’s obvious why this matters.
3. You’ll get more referral traffic
More referral traffic means more visitors, and that means more potential customers.
If you offer your guest posts to some relevant, reputable publications or websites, they will link back to your site.
And, that will send a lot of high-quality traffic to your website, which means that a single post can significantly expand your reach and bring you numerous prospects.
4. You’ll be able to boost your conversions
High-quality content should be engaging, informative, helpful, and it should add value to your audience.
When you cover this aspect, then you can promote and pitch your products or services.
If the first requirement has been met, it will be much easier to present your offer in a non-salesy manner and get your website visitors to think about making a purchase. The key is in aligning your products and services with a solution to your prospects’ problems and pain points.
And content is an excellent vehicle for that purpose.
5. You’ll improve your company’s reputation
As you know, reputation is everything, and if you persistently share superb content that your prospects can use to learn something new or solve their issues, you’ll keep your business top of mind.
Besides that, if your content is published on external sources and appears on podcasts or run webinars, your audience will perceive you as a trustworthy expert and thought leader in the industry. And that can do wonders for the promotion of your business.
Now that we’ve mentioned some of the benefits of content marketing, we can move on to discussing what a content marketing agency does and why you should outsource your content creation and promotion to such an agency.
What Services Does a Content Marketing Agency Offer?
OK, it’s clear that a content marketing agency creates all kinds of content, but this definition is still too vague.
Firstly, apart from traditional written materials such as blog posts, e-books, white papers, or industry reports, and multimedia content such as videos, podcasts, or webinars, every versatile content marketing agency also offers the services of creating the copy for emails, web pages, landing pages, and social media.
If you don’t want your content to be just a thinly disguised self-absorbed sales pitch, it’s always a good idea to hire specialists to create a tailored content marketing strategy suitable for your business and niche. For example, B2B businesses should focus on long-form content shared via the platforms such as LinkedIn or Medium.
On the other hand, B2C businesses see better results when they utilize Facebook or Instagram, as that’s where their customers hang out.
Blogging has been around for a couple of decades and it still stands strong in terms of performance.
But, if you want your blogging efforts to really have an impact on your bottom line, it’s important to create exquisite blog posts regularly. We’re talking about at least 2-4 detailed, well-researched, 1,000-word blog posts a week.
According to research, companies that publish 16+ blog posts a month get 3.5 times more traffic than the ones that publish fewer than 4.
As for the length of your blog posts, there’s no precise, one-size-fits-all answer. Namely, although the average blog post in 2019 featured 1236 words, you don’t have to limit yourself to this word count. There are topics that need to be covered in more than 2,000 words as well as those that require no fewer than 5,000 words.
As a business owner, you should leave the task of content creation to a content writing service as, no matter how much you know about the subject matter, spreading yourself too thin can take a toll on your productivity.
Your blogging efforts can’t be effective unless you implement search engine optimization, and that’s another service offered by a content marketing agency.
This digital marketing practice makes sure that your content is shown to those who will find it useful. We’ve already mentioned Google rankings as an important factor that determines whether your target audience will actually see your content when they’re looking for a solution to their problems on the internet.
Well-optimized blog posts, that address your target audience’s major pain points will rank better, which means that they will reach a wider audience and attract more traffic.
First of all, this tactic requires a studious approach to determining the right keywords. It’s important to pick the ones that your potential customers type into the search box when they’re looking for the products or services you offer.
The same goes for choosing your blog post topics – it’s essential to understand what your customers want to read about and focus on that.
Again, even if you’re acquainted with some of the basic principles of SEO, hiring a content marketing agency to take care of it will yield much better results.
Premium content is what will bring you qualified leads and boost your conversions.
Apart from your regular blog posts, videos, infographics, and similar free content that’s available on your website, you should create exclusive content offers and share them only with the visitors willing to fill out a web form and provide you with their contact information.
This way, you’ll obtain your potential customers’ names, email addresses, and other details necessary to target them with your marketing messages.
The point of gated content is to offer something valuable to your prospects and get them to convert or subscribe in exchange for that.
Some of the most popular types of content offers include checklists, how-tos, white papers, industry reports, and e-books, but you can also give other, shorter ones a try.
Since creating premium content that has the power to attract leads most likely to convert takes time, it’s something that you should trust a content marketing agency with. Check out our post on startup content marketing as well.
Social Media Posts
Although social media marketing is a different strategy, creating the copy for Facebook, Instagram, or LinkedIn posts is a copywriter’s task.
Many people think that social media copy doesn’t require too much time and that it’s not rocket science, but in reality, if you want to engage your followers, get them to like, share, and comment on your posts, you need to know how to compose these posts.
Besides your own posts, you shouldn’t hesitate to share other people’s content if it’s relevant to your audience. It’s even better if you strike up a partnership with a business in the adjacent niche or industry so that you can cross-promote each other’s content on social media channels.
This a particularly good idea if you don’t have enough of your own content.
Quora and similar Q&A platforms are also great social marketing channels as they allow you to showcase your expertise and catch the eye of your target audience by answering their questions. Composing these answers is also a job for a content marketing agency because you need to post consistently and be very active on these platforms if you want to see some results.
This format has become increasingly popular both with marketers and their audiences.
People find it much easier to consume and digest than written content, and that’s the reason why it’s so engaging.
There are different types of videos that you can use throughout your sales funnel, such as educational, how-to, experience, product demonstrations, testimonials, or ads. For example, educational videos work great for the top of the funnel, while product demos are better for the bottom.
The power of this medium is best illustrated by the fact that having a video on your landing page can lead to an 80% boost in conversions.
However, you can reap all these benefits if your videos are professional and well-produced. Otherwise, all your efforts might fall flat.
That’s why a DIY approach isn’t the best solution for video marketing, and just like in all other cases, you should invest and hire a content marketing agency if you want to have videos that your audience will watch and share.
How to Pick a Content Marketing Agency?
Now that we’ve established why you need a digital marketing agency and what it can do for you, there’s another issue – what to look for in a content marketing agency.
Bear in mind that you’re looking for a reliable business partner, and not just a one-time thing, so make sure to determine whether the one you opt for is the right fit for your company.
Here are some things to pay attention to.
1. Do they have defined processes?
Every successful content marketing agency has well-defined and structured processes.
This allows you to understand their workflows and who’s responsible for every phase of the project.
Also, having a defined process means that you’ll know all the deadlines and how frequently you can expect deliverables.
2. Can they recommend some best practices?
Since you don’t have to know the first thing about creating content, the content marketing agency you opt for should be able to give you recommendations about the types of content you need, based on the industry, size, target audience, and funnel stage.
In other words, by providing you with the best insights and educating you on the best practices, a good content marketing agency will help you make competent and informed decisions about your content strategy.
3. Do they offer personalized service?
You don’t want to work with an agency that takes a generic approach to things.
Check whether you’ll be assigned an account manager and content creator (or a content team) that will be responsible for creating and executing your strategy. In this case, you can expect them to be focused on you entirely, which means that they can align the content with your brand and tone.
If you want to stay ahead of your competitors, expand your customer base, and increase your bottom line, then having a content marketing strategy in place is the way to go. However, as this is a complex endeavor, you should think about hiring a content marketing agency that will help you plan, create, and promote your content effectively.