Preliminary activities – what does the beginning of cooperation with the marketing agency look like?
Content marketing allows reaching a specified target group with the help of content and tools. According to data found on HubSpot, 70% of marketers actively invest in content marketing, while 24% plan on increasing the funds devoted to it. In times when the Internet user becomes insensitive to omnipresent advertising, content marketing grows stronger. So how do you implement content activities into a marketing strategy for your own brand, and what should you expect at the beginning of your cooperation with the marketing agency?
In this article, we describe the preliminary activities that we conduct before introducing regular ones on the website. We also answer questions that our clients may have at this stage.
When is it worth deciding on cooperation with a marketing agency?
Even though outsourcing content marketing equals additional costs for the company, in fact, it may bring some savings, especially when it comes to time and team engagement. The argument in favor of beginning cooperation with an agency is also the quality of received service. What’s worth noting is that external experts not only have rich experience in that field but also access to professional (often expensive) tools.
Companies that run online stores or other brands that want to acquire new clients through their websites are the ones that should think about cooperating with a content marketing agency. If you plan on introducing more than sporadic posts on your company blog, delegating an employee or hiring a freelance writer may prove insufficient for achieving the desired effects.
Brief – a foundation of successful content marketing cooperation
When you decide to begin cooperation with an agency, you have to prepare yourself for the briefing stage. Brief is one of the most important elements of the communication process between the outsourcing company and the agency. It’s a signpost, thanks to which a content marketing agency can know the real needs of the client and together establish goals for future activities. With its help, an agency will be able to understand your business better and plan a tailored marketing strategy.
At this stage, there can be many questions from the person who is responsible for the project (agency side). What do we most commonly ask about?
- Who are your clients?
- Who is your competition?
- What differentiates you from your competition?
- What marketing activities are you currently running?
- What marketing activities did you do in the past?
- What is the tone of voice (unique way of communicating) of your brand?
- What subpages of your website are the most important to you?
- What do you want to achieve and in what period of time?
The more detailed your answers are, the better. Don’t be afraid to ask your own questions, for example, about the ways and frequency of reported activities or the required engagement from you. Remember, at each stage of cooperation, communication, and collaboration, it is significant, so inform us of what you need. Despite the content marketing agency being responsible for fulfilling the tasks, quick answers and delivering the required materials on time will let them work even more effectively.
Content marketing activities at the beginning of the cooperation
Not all clients are on board with introducing specific solutions right from the start. Sometimes, they lack the knowledge or are simply not convinced of their necessity. For both, at the beginning of the cooperation, we suggest conducting similar activities that will allow for the identification of issues and potential and for the planning of an effective strategy.
What content marketing activities do we conduct in the first place?
Content audit on the website
A precise analysis of the content featured on the client’s website not only allows us to get familiar with the situation but also to find areas with which it will be easy to fight for better rankings and higher traffic. Both the offer content (like category descriptions and other text located on sales subpages) and blog articles (if such a section is already present on the website) are part of the content marketing audit. During the analysis itself, we pinpoint the mistakes, recommend changes, and prepare solutions that will help you better optimize engaging content on your website.
Except for analyzing what we can on the client’s website, we also take a close look at external factors that influence the visibility of the website and general recognition of the brand. Backlinks, sponsored or guest posts, conducted campaigns, mentions of the brand, and other activities outside the website are equally important as those conducted on-page.
Another activity conducted by us is competition analysis. Thanks to it, we are able to not only better understand the industry in which the client operates, but also specify its place in it (whether it’s the leader or maybe in the process of establishing its position in the market.)
During the analysis, we look at business competitors provided by the client and competitors found in the organic search results. In evaluating the domains, we focus on factors like the domain’s visibility, rankings of important keywords, backlinks, the way of communicating the offers, and how the blog is run.
The foundation for creating optimized and effective content is well-conducted keyword research. It allows for identifying popular phrases related to your industry and understanding the needs of your recipients and potential clients. Thanks to the keyword analysis, we find out what products (or services) your customers are looking for online, what questions they have, and more.
A keyword analysis is an entry point for creating descriptions for sales subpages and for blog articles. On the basis of the conducted research, we can also create an SEO-optimized structure of subpages and recommend URL addresses.
Establishing a target audience
If your company has been on the market for some time, you most likely have customers. You know that you can’t communicate one offer to all of them, and you can specify the traits of a targeted group. Is it enough to keep your current customers and attract new ones?
During preliminary activities, we also try to get to know your customers and help you reach them better. Based on the received information and collected data, we create the so-called persona, i.e., the archetypical user, who is a personification of the most important traits. Thanks to them, we can adjust the post topics and style of communication to the target group more easily.
Content marketing strategy
According to Marketing Profs and CMI, 63% of companies don’t have a documented content marketing strategy. It’s crucial to have such a document because it allows for measuring the effects and evaluating the planned activities.
A content marketing strategy is a result of preceding preliminary activities and an essential entry point for further work. In there, we include the most important conclusions from the analyses, and based on them, we form recommendations for further activities and goals that we plan on accomplishing with them. It’s a detailed plan that can make the development of content marketing easier for your company.
Frequently asked questions at the beginning of the cooperation with an agency
It’s only natural that at the beginning of the cooperation with an agency, there’s a lot of uncertainty. Except for standard questions about tools or terminology, clients also ask about more complex things.
Which of the elements of the strategy do I have to introduce to see the effects?
It’s worth being aware of the fact that the key to success in content marketing lies in a holistic approach. To reach the highest positions for important keywords, creating a company blog and building a few links won’t suffice.
The synergy of content marketing activities allows for better results than completing only a few steps. So if you care about visible effects, place your bet on the complexity of tasks. A valuable text will be great material for creating an expert image in the industry, and a content marketing agency will certainly help you with that.
For how long do I have to wait before I see the results?
Content marketing requires patience. To achieve the predetermined goals (for example, larger user engagement, better visibility, and more traffic), we need more than just persistence and being frequent. Most importantly, we require time. Despite it being a long-term investment, it’s worth placing a bet on it!
Waiting time doesn’t only depend on our engagement, but also on the type of industry and competition. Senuto conducted research that checked how much time it takes to climb from the TOP 50 to the TOP 10 in search results. For brands in the fashion industry, it took approximately 158 days, while for brands in the finance industry, it took 81 days. A commonly accepted minimal waiting time for visible results is 3 months.
How will my internal team be engaged in working with an agency?
Some company representatives want to be informed about each step the agency makes during certain projects, but there are also those who only require short reports from the conducted activities. We also try to answer the needs of the clients individually and adjust to the policies of each organization. It applies not only to the frequency and level of detail of consultations, but also to the ways of communicating. Do you use Trello, Asana, or Slack in your daily work? Do you prefer phone calls, video calls, or maybe email contact? We will surely find a comfortable way to communicate.
We can tell from experience that the most effective way to communicate is by selecting one person from the client’s company to communicate with the agency. By doing so, all communication flows more smoothly, and sensitive issues may be discussed internally and passed on by the selected person.
Using the help of a content marketing agency becomes more and more popular among online businessmen. You should keep in mind that every content marketing agency may have a slightly different approach to the way they work and offer services. But before establishing cooperation, make sure to conduct preliminary activities with an agency. Conducted analyses and a detailed briefing with a client are the best ways to embark on a