When it comes to your brand, the right marketing for your content and brand is very important. When picking a marketing agency, knowing their brand of marketing helps. Are they strict to inbound marketing? Inbound marketing is a methodology that is designed to draw visitors and potential customers in, rather than outwardly pushing a brand, product or service onto prospects in the hope of generating leads or customers.
Do they solely specialize in paid advertising? This is any kind of advertising that you have to pay for, versus owned or earned advertising. With paid advertising, marketers pay the owner of ad space in exchange for use of that space. The price paid for the ad space is often settled through a bidding process between marketers and the ad space owner. This is typically used for billboards, but now there are Google AdWords that are more typical for paid advertising.
If you have any chance of matching your marketing needs to their capabilities, these questions should give you the answers you need to delve deeper.
Do They Onboard Their Content Creators to New Industries?
If you are producing the content for the sake of it or because you read somewhere that content is how you can jump on the fast-track to attracting visitors like moths to a light, you’re not exactly wrong but you’re not entirely correct either. The core element of superior content rest in its ability to inform, entertain and entice. So, what’s the takeaway here?
Writing content that achieves this lofty trifecta requires you to understand your industry and the people who reside there, in very real ways. Otherwise, you run the risk of providing shallow, lackluster, and obvious content that’s going to do a better job at exposing your gaps in knowledge and understanding than it will in building your brand’s tribe.
That’s why it’s imperative to discover how your prospective marketing agency on-boards their content creators to industries that may be as familiar as an alien planet light-years away.
Will They Be Deferring Any of The Content Creation to You?
This is not an uncommon move so don’t be surprised if and when this topic arises. Some industries are just too convoluted, or too specialized for outsiders to write about. As you know from the last question we covered, excellent content should inform, entertain, and entice simultaneously. That being said, if an audience catches the scent of a neophyte when engaging with content of any kind, they’ll immediately search elsewhere. There’s too much good content out there, and too little time in the day, to expect visitors to settle for anything less than the absolute best.
You’re not going to take advice on how to change your bike’s tires from somebody who never graduated past training wheels. The same logic applies to the topic at hand. So, if a prospective marketing agency taps you to help shoulder the weight of content creation, refrain from raising the red flag just yet. As the experts in your field and industry, it may just make perfect sense for you to write the bulk of the content and hand it over to a marketing agency who can work their magic to get it in front of the right eyes. While other agencies have content writers that are skilled in all the industries and can create all the content for you, while you take care of the business side; just like here at KDR Media Group.
How Do They Infuse Content With Your Brand Strategy?
It’s not enough to create helpful, engaging, actionable content (as much as we all wish it was). Oftentimes, there’s a missing layer beyond the aforementioned attributes of stellar content and that layer is the degree to which your brand is shining through. Your content has to be 112% unique to your brand, it must be laden with your voice and your voice alone. Your diction, cadence, choice of imagery, and tone must give your readers the sense that they can’t find your content anywhere else.
Think of your favorite coffee shop that you trudge to every morning. Think about its ambiance, staff, layout, location, and the special way they prepare your order. Do they know your order before you reach the counter? Do they play a certain radio station on Wednesday mornings? Do the other customers who congregate there feel like your tribe? Why do you go to that specific coffee shop instead of one two blocks away?
Do They Have Experience Building Brands?
Riddle me this: How could a marketing agency hope to infuse your marketing with your one-of-a-kind brand voice if they don’t have experience with branding in the first place?
You’ve got it, they’d have a more difficult time than their brand-savvy counterparts. Marketing agencies with in-house branding expertise are better equipped to connect with your company’s tribe. Period.
What are the Top 3 Factors That Make a Piece of Content Successful?
A successful piece of content (one that ranks well, is shared widely, and converts lots) is the sum of its well-considered parts. The content must be original, thought-provoking, helpful, and with strong headlines as the cherries on top. The list goes on and on, but for the purposes of screening marketing partners, understanding their favorite factors for supercharging content will speak volumes about their strengths and weaknesses without directly asking about them.
Does the Digital Marketing Agency Advocate for Short or Long-form Posts?
One of the greatest inbound marketing debates stretching back to time immemorial (all the way back to 2007 to be exact) is whether to produce short-form (300-1,000 words) or long-form (1,000- 3,000) content.
While short-form content enables you to increase your posting frequency and keeps you top of mind, long-form content has been proven to increase your chances of showing up on the coveted first-page of Google.
Remember, one post that ranks well for a high trafficked keyword has more stopping power than five posts that have never seen the light of day. Beware of short posts with little substance, they’re a sure sign your agency is more concerned with checking boxes than creating content that will blow your audience away.
How Do They Generate New Ideas?
This question may feel obvious of self-explanatory at first blush, but the idea-well does eventually run dry, especially for longer-term engagements. Any marketing agency worth their weight in salt should have a go-to process or exercise they can include you in when it comes time to fill up the idea silo.
At KRD Media Group, we plan our ideas and content based on two key factors:
- Ability to Execute– Do we need to get the designer involved? Will it take longer than average to research/write for particular topic? Does the content offer need an entirely new workflow behind it?
- Impact Probability Ratio– A short-form blog post would score lower (1-2) versus a 12-page e-book featuring a topic that hasn’t been covered before (4-5).
Using these two criteria as guardrails, we can brainstorm freely and capture ideas constructively.
Do They Have Designers On Staff?
Marketing of any kind has solid design to back it up. Whether you need an infographic created or a landing page tweaked, it’s imperative your marketing agency have designers ready and waiting for whatever bubbles up. Marketing without strong design behind it is like having all the separate components of Lamborghini in your garage unassembled.
How Much Content Will They Produce Per Month?
There are a variety of options depending on package that you pick for services. KDR Media Group offers a range of content services from 2 posts a month to 10 posts a month. These posts are long-form content posts,, that have better chances at becoming robust resources that’ll have people coming back to reference or review parts of it. If you want to delve deeper into the merits of long-form content, you can read more about it here.
What Metrics Will They Monitor and Report Back On?
You can’t manage what you don’t measure. There are no two ways about it. Pushing this point a little further, not everything you can measure is equal in its weight and importance.
A prime example of this is the open-rate of your email. Although was initially thought to be indispensable in the early days of digital marketing, it’s since been ousted as a vanity metric with no real implications towards the health of your strategy.
Keep your eyes peeled for other sneaky vanity metrics infiltrating your reporting.
It’s important to do regular reporting — I recommend monthly — on each of these metrics so you know where your growth levers lie. Regular reporting also helps you identify negative trends or plateaus early-on so you can address them before they become bigger issues. Most importantly, however, tracking the success of your initiatives makes it easy for you to repeat what works, eliminate what doesn’t, and promote the success of your content marketing program so you can justify its expansion, and its seat at the modern marketing table.