5 top questions to ask when hiring a content marketing agency

Jul 2, 2021 by
5 top questions to ask when hiring a content marketing agency

Every business with even a semblance of an online component needs a good content marketing agency. There is always the argument that it’s something that can be handled in-house by a team of interns but the results are rarely going to be desirable.

Any online marketing strategy is going to benefit from an outside voice with less skin in the game, so to speak. It’s also a complicated skill that it’s unlikely anyone in your small business will be adequately versed in.

But when shopping around for your ideal content marketing agency, you’ll probably be struck by one thing first and foremost – just how many of them there are. As such, it can be quite a tall order to wade through them all and pick the wheat from the chaff.

That’s why we’ve put together the five questions you should be asking all potential agencies before offering them the gig.

How long have you been around?

There are two ways of looking at this. On one hand, an agency that’s been around the block and been able to adapt to the constantly changing rules of SEO will have learned a lot of lessons during their time in business. This is all knowledge they could pass on to your campaign. On the other, the newer agencies are trying to make a name for themselves so might offer you more effort for your money. Which is right for you will depend on the kind of content you’re looking for and your niche but there is certainly room in the industry for newcomers and old hands alike.

Have you worked with our industry before?

Many content marketing agencies choose to specialise in a handful of industries as it’s sometimes better to know everything about a few things than a little about everything. Ask for a list of the clients they’ve worked with before and see if any of the names ring any bells. If anyone on that list falls within your sector then see if you can find any testimonials from that client. If they have created successful campaigns for them, logic dictates they should do likewise for you.

How will my project be staffed?

A reliable content marketing agency is made up of many moving parts and wheels within wheels. There are the copywriters creating the content, the editors bashing that content into shape, and the social media managers getting the content out into the world. Chances are, it is the copywriters who you want to know the most about, as they are the ones who will effectively be putting words into your mouth. You should also ask them whether they are using in-house staff or utilising their own freelancers.

What services do you offer and how much do they cost?

Of course, the question of cost is always going to be one of the last questions you ask because you don’t want to skip the agency that makes the most sense for you just because they charge a little bit more. What you want to sort out before moving on to pricing, however, is exactly what services the agency offers. Because it’s never going to be a standard marketing package.

When can you start?

If they can start tomorrow then they are probably not very good. That’s not always true but it usually is. Not only does that mean they have no other work but it means they have given themselves no lead time to do their research and get the right team in place. Conversely, you should also be wary of any agency that refuses to give you a definitive answer on when they can start. Best case scenario – they tell you they need to put a plan together and they’ll get back to you.

Do you think there are any obvious questions we’ve missed? Feel free to pipe up in the comments below.