When you’re taking on an agency to curate your social media feeds, produce editorial features and thinkpieces, or create something as seemingly straightforward as product descriptions, it’s about far more than simply outsourcing some work. It’s about finding the people you can trust to speak with your voice and embody your brand.
It’s definitely not a relationship to enter into lightly. So here are some key questions to consider when preparing to grant an agency the privilege of representing you.
1. Do they specialise in what you specialise in?
Are you after some quick, fairly generic copywriting for your website? All that requires is someone who knows how to write coherent sentences and doesn’t do shocking things with apostrophes. But if you’re after insightful, well-researched features on a specific subject such as travel, finance or fashion, you have to ask: does the agency specialise in this field? Will they instinctively recognise what kinds of content will bring the most value to your potential customers?
2. Is content marketing REALLY their thing?
Content marketing has become such a “thing” that seemingly everyone wants to get in on the action. This includes agencies whose main focus has always been SEO, design or advertising, and who don’t have dedicated, in-house editors and writers who live and breathe great, original content which your customers will care about.
3. Are they experienced?
As well as having the knowledge and in-house resources, does the agency have the experience? Do they have a proven track record of producing large amounts of content – whether that’s articles, quizzes, social media posts or anything else – to tight deadlines while maintaining their creative flair, accuracy and ingenuity?
4. How big are they?
You may be looking for an industry giant which has the immense resources their status entails. Or you may prefer a smaller, more specialised agency which can provide a more focused and personalised approach.
5. How do they work?
Different agencies have different commercial terms. Some may insist on a monthly retainer, for example, while others can be more flexible and charge in terms of individual projects or even by the day. And even if they say they’re willing to work to your preferred terms, will an agency more used to big-ticket retainers treat a smaller, per-project arrangement with the same passion and dedication?