Unless your company lives under a rock, your marketing team is likely utilizing content in some way. The real question, then, is this: does your content deliver the results you want? If not, you might want to consider hiring a content strategy agency.
According to the Content Marketing Institute, more than 70% of businesses today outsource content — but only a small fraction of them are outsourcing content strategy. Most are focused on the process of content creation.
But content — even the best content — cannot meet its performance potential without a great strategy behind it.
Hiring a content strategy agency can be a gamechanger for your marketing ROI — read on to learn how.
- Content strategy agencies align your content efforts with your larger business objectives.
- Implementing content marketing without a strategy can lead to disjointed efforts and disappointing results.
- A content strategy agency will help you build customer-focused content that’s designed with research to back it.
- Brands with a documented content strategy are more successful overall than those without one.
- A content strategy agency can optimize your technical SEO so search engines can easily crawl your site.
- Content strategy agencies focus on the performance metrics of your overall strategy — not a single campaign or piece of content.
- Working with a content agency gives you access to always-current content marketing expertise.
- Hiring an agency saves you money and time — time you can spend on other growth-driving activities.
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Content strategy vs. content marketing
Your content strategy is the underlying guide to everything you do related to content. It ensures that your content aligns with your larger business objectives and helps your company achieve its goals. It defines:
- The purpose behind your content efforts
- Which types of content you create
- The channels where you distribute it
- Your content calendar
- What metrics you’ll use to measure performance
Content marketing, on the other hand, is the actual creation and distribution of your content. It has been shown to earn 6x the conversions of traditional marketing methods and be 62% more cost effective.
But without a content strategy behind it, content marketing can lose direction and become fragmented. Creating a strategy ensures your content efforts always work toward your goals and deliver the highest possible ROI.
What is a content strategy agency and why should you hire one?
A content strategy agency goes beyond simple content creation to help you build a true strategy behind your efforts. When you work with a content strategy agency, you’ll get support on things like:
- Defining target audiences
- Performing keyword research
- Building a content calendar
- Measuring performance results
- Troubleshooting issues
Interestingly, research by the Content Marketing Institute found that of the companies who outsource content in some way, only 10% actually outsource strategy.
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As you can see, digital content creation is by far the most outsourced content-related activity. It makes sense. Content creation is time consuming and requires certain skill and experience.
But consider this: SEMRush found that only 19% of companies who use content marketing actually rate their efforts as “very successful.” In fact, the largest chunk of respondents say their results are only moderately successful and 9% even say they’re unsuccessful (yikes!).
Image Source: SEMRush
I’d venture to guess that this lack of content marketing success stems from too much focus on content creation and not enough on creating a solid strategy first.
The takeaway for you: having a true content strategy can give you a competitive edge. Hiring a quality content strategy agency is the best way to get one — quickly — and be confident in the ROI it will deliver for your brand.
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7 ways a content strategy agency helps grow your business
A content strategy agency can help you create content specifically designed for your target audiences.
What does this mean?
First, it means they’ll help you define your buyer personas and build strong value propositions so that you truly understand why customers seek out your brand.
When you create content that specifically addresses pain points your customers experience, you build their trust and make them feel like you can provide the right solutions. Tools like the Value Proposition Canvas can help you do it.
Second, it means your audience will actually find your content because it’s written about the things they want to know. A content strategy agency will work with you to conduct strong keyword research and develop the right topics and titles for your blog. You can check out how keyword research works (and even give it a try yourself) with the Keyword Magic Tool by SEMRush.
When it comes to keyword research from a content strategy agency, think big. They won’t be focused on a single campaign or piece of content. They’ll do comprehensive keyword research and build your entire content strategy around what it tells them.
Then, as you move into content creation, you can be confident the pieces you publish will attract the right customers and generate leads for your business.
The Content Marketing Institute found in their research that companies with documented content strategies were more successful overall than those without them.
Here’s the thing, though: creating a documented plan can feel just as time consuming as executing the plan itself! It’s one of the reasons many brands just let it fall to the wayside, choosing to operate without one.
This is an area where a content strategy agency can be a huge support. They have the processes and practices in place to build documented plans that are defined, detailed, and shareable. This enables your team to actively collaborate and use the plan as a guide for successful execution of your strategy.
Equally important to your documented plan is your content calendar. Your calendar keeps your publishing schedule on track and defines the who, where, what, and when of content distribution. Many content strategy agencies incorporate the content calendar right into their documented plan. That’s what we do at Marketing Insider Group.
There’s no doubt about it: publishing more frequently earns you more better content ROI. In fact, HubSpot research found that brands that publish 11-16x per month earn 3.5x the organic traffic than those who publish less frequently.
Image Source: HubSpot
While publishing frequently may seem executional, it’s hard to do without a strategy to drive it. You need enough topics to cover and a solid plan for churning out enough content. A content strategy agency will help you put the framework in place to easily keep your publishing volume high and your schedule consistent.
Technical SEO is the process of keeping your website’s structure, content, and metadata aligned with technical search engine requirements. Strong technical SEO allows search engines to easily find, crawl, and index the pages on your site — a key part of earning SERP rankings.
As its name suggests, technical SEO requires some technical knowledge around how websites and search engines operate. A content strategy agency will have people on their team who can optimize the technical SEO on your website and blog posts for better Google rankings.
A content strategy agency gives your brand access to content marketing expertise from people who do it all day, every day. Why is this important? Because content marketing best practices change all the time — Google updates their algorithm and ranking factors, consumer demands change, new tools and technologies emerge, and new approaches are required to keep up with an increasingly competitive content landscape.
It’s an agencies job to stay on top of all of it so you don’t have to — as a result, you can execute your content strategy with confidence knowing it’s going to hit the mark.
Time and Cost Savings
For any business to grow, it needs strategic attention from its founder and/or leaders — attention you can’t give if you’re spending all your time creating content. When you hire an agency to execute your content strategy, you can refocus on other mission-critical priorities that drive company growth.
At the same time, you’ll be saving heavy overhead costs that come along with hiring and managing a full-time content team.
A good content strategy agency cares about performance — and not just of one campaign or piece of content. They focus on the overall success of your content marketing efforts because, well, it’s their job — it’s the number one indicator of their effectiveness.
That means content strategy agencies proactively track and deliver you performance metrics reporting on a regular basis. You’ll never be in the dark about what is working and what isn’t. You’ll be able to work with your agency to continually improve and find new opportunities for using content to grow your business.
Are you considering a content strategy agency?
At Marketing Insider Group, we have a team of content strategists, writers, and SEO experts who can help you build and execute a plan that delivers results. To learn more about what we do, check out our SEO Blog Writing and Content Strategy services or schedule a quick 15-minute consultation to talk with me directly!