According to a content marketing research in 2017, on an average as close to 40% of the marketing budget is allocated to content marketing. Now, these are not small figures we are talking about here!
Over 60% of companies use this budget to outsource content writing services by hiring a content writing agency or working with freelance content writers.
But, before jumping into that boat there are few things to understand. How do you decide which content writing and development firm you should hire, or how do you even begin to find freelance writers who have decent understanding of your industry and can be trusted with quality?
These questions are critical for you to be able to make an informed decision. So, before you sign on the dotted lines and hire a content writing agency, ask yourself these five questions!
1. What does their client list look like?
One of the major concerns businesses have while outsourcing content is whether the content agency understands their industry and can deliver content that would help them achieve their goals. Because if they don’t then you will be stuck with surface-level content which is not going to do you any good.
One way to figure this out is by looking at their current and past clients. The variety of clientele will give you the cognizance to gauge their experience in your desired industry.
Since content writing agencies work with a large pool of writers, you can also express your interest in working only with writers who are specialized in your field. Any good agency will oblige!
2. Do they have expertise in your content type?
Assuming every content writing agency offers the same type of services is the biggest mistake companies make while taking hiring decisions. Different agencies specialize in different types of content, ranging from single to multiple formats at a time.
Look for a writing agency which specializes in multiple formats for a long term association and to save you the trouble of doing this all over again. How would working with two separate agencies for two different types of content, such as - blog and market report going to help you in anyway?
Do a thorough background research, go through their website or even ask them for a proposal clearly highlighting their offerings. Think long term and make a decision based on how it is going to help you not just now, but also for your future needs.
3. Do their deadlines match with yours?
While working with an external team to create content for your website, understanding their work pattern and turnaround time is extremely important. If their turnaround time does not match with your requirements, you will get frustrated very quickly. Unless you are comfortable with flexible deadlines and don’t have set timelines for your content, take their turnaround time into consideration and make a wise decision!
4. Do they provide content writing samples?
Nothing’s worse than entering a contract only to find out later it’s not what you expected! Don’t make a hasty judgement and always ask for samples before making a decision. Any reliable content writing agency will comply with your asks before getting into a long-term contract.
Content samples will not only help you understand their style of writing and asses their industry knowledge, but also test their abilities on SEO. Different content firms have different models for sampling. Some may give you the samples free of cost, while others may charge you a minimum cost.
5. Do they also provide a content strategy?
Bonus tip - If a company is willing to provide you a content writing strategy for your website, take it!
Most of the time businesses approach an agency knowing exactly what they want. But it’s not unusual to ask for a strategy whether you want to kick-start your website or revamp an existing one. Quality content agencies are known to do an in-depth analysis of your website and devise a strategy that resonates with your goals.
Just like samples, many agencies can ask for additional payments.
Choosing a content writing agency is not that difficult as it seems. Yes, there is no lack of options. But, if you go at it strategically you will not have to spend so much time thinking as you are doing now.
Show certainty about what you need from the start and be honest about your doubts. Get all the things out of your way before you finally sit down and sign a contract!
Are you looking for a content writing agency? Get in touch here!