The Ultimate Guide to Choosing a Content Marketing Agency in 2024


The Ultimate Guide to Choosing a Content Marketing Agency in 2024

The business landscape is in a state of flux, and 2024 is bringing senior leaders new challenges to overcome. With venture capital low and inflation rates high, there’s a considerable squeeze on growth opportunities - and that’s to say nothing of other common pressures that business leaders face; time management, people management, compliance, AI, sales and so on…

Luckily, the right agency partner can help. Offering timely support, flexible resources and reliable delivery timelines, it’s no wonder then how they can supercharge your growth. The only problem? How to find the right one.

In this comprehensive guide, we’re outlining how you can identify the right content marketing agency and more. We’ll briefly examine what exactly content marketing is as well as the dual opportunities/hurdles it presents and how you can adapt to each with a trusty content marketing agency. Read on to learn more and discover your next potential agency partner. 

In Brief: What is Content Marketing?

Content marketing is the process of creating and distributing interesting, relevant and thoughtful content. As an inbound marketing strategy, the aim is to attract, engage, and retain your target audience rather than pester them with cold calls, emails or poorly targeted flyers that often lack the level of insight, accuracy or support people are looking for. 

Content marketing strategies tend to focus on digital channels like websites, social media and email marketing. As a result, content marketing assets are usually things like articles and blogs, ebooks or whitepapers, newsletters, videos, podcasts and other pieces of digital content. 

That being said, content marketing can also encompass offline channels like print media and (to a lesser extent) live seminars or events. Put together, this means content marketing is a rich and diverse strategic area that needs care and attention to work successfully. 

Why is Content Marketing Important?

There are a number of reasons why content marketing is important. One of the easiest to point to is that it’s widely popular with up to 70% of marketers using the strategy in some form or another.

However, such widespread popularity is down to what content marketing can actually do for brands. To this end, here’s an overview of its potential:

  • Brand awareness: Content marketing is great at raising the profile of your brand. Whether it’s improving your search engine rankings via consistent blog content or amassing a large social media following, great content marketing is about giving people a reason to interact with your brand in the first place.

  • Conversion: By providing thoughtful and detailed answers to burning customer questions, you can showcase your value as a solutions provider and generate leads. So much so that firms with active blogs generate 67% more leads than companies without them.
  • Thought leadership: Content marketing can also help you establish industry credibility and position your brand as a reliable and authoritative voice on contemporary issues. This means customers take your brand’s opinion more seriously and actively look to you for solutions.
  • Customer loyalty: Long-term, content marketing strategies can ensure you build a robust marketing and sales funnel that not only attracts and engages customers with thoughtful advice but retains customers long-term by anticipating their needs and answering new questions as they emerge, too.

  • Supports Other Digital Marketing Strategies: Finally, content marketing serves as the cornerstone for other digital marketing strategies and channels. For example, content marketing provides much of the necessary material for SEO strategies, social media campaigns and email marketing via timely and even personalised content that resonates with audiences

What Drives Businesses Towards Agencies?

Problems With Content Marketing Specifically

Business leaders turn to external agency support for a number of reasons. One primary driver is that content marketing strategies are often large and unwieldy, with many moving parts and contingencies. With so much content to plan, create and distribute across many different channels, it’s no wonder why businesses seek external support from a content marketing agency.

For example, we’ve previously helped Meta (the parent company of Facebook and  Instagram among others) to define ‘Brand Suitability’ as part of a flagship corporate whitepaper on brand safety and suitability. The tight two-week deadline proved less than feasible for Meta’s in-house team would have liked, and as such, they reached out to CopyHouse for project-specific support. 

Although the scope and scale of the project grew from a punchy 3,000-word piece to a heftier (though much more comprehensive) 5,000-word one, we delivered the whitepaper on time, in full and to much delight from the client. 

We’ve also worked with other major tech brands like Klara on a more ad-hoc basis, with notable briefs including client case studies and an ultimate guide to open banking. Similarly, we worked with VizLib, a business intelligence (BI) solutions provider, on an annual retainer agreement that totalled nearly 150,000 words across almost 90 separate deliverables. So, content marketing agencies can help you no matter your marketing needs by offering access to flexible resources and reliable creative professionals.

Where Else Agencies Can Help

Content marketing agencies can provide more than simple operational support during creative projects. As marketing specialists, they can also offer expert strategic advice on how to improve your brand’s marketing performance more generally.

Some agencies focus on specific areas, like search engine optimisation or branding, while others provide a full suite of services and solutions, including holistic user experience audits, strategic consultancy, design workshops, and more. Equally, these can be on an ad hoc basis or part of a more stable arrangement with regular check-ins. 

For instance, we helped cybersecurity and managed cloud services provider Atech revamp its website with a full SEO-led redesign. The relationship has since blossomed and we’ve been with Atech providing ongoing content marketing support ever since, via blogs, case studies, landing pages and more. So much so that they’re one of our longest-standing and cherished relationships as they’ve gone from strength to strength in recent months.

How to Choose a Content Marketing Agency in 2024

Although agency partnerships may look like casual business arrangements, in reality, they’re critical relationships that require time and investment regardless of their tenure. To ensure your future content marketing agency partnership goes well, we’ve compiled a list of top tips on what to look out for in any service provider:

The Basics:

1. A High Quality and Diverse Mix of Content

The best content marketing agencies practise what they preach. As such, one of the most obvious elements to consider when choosing a potential agency partner is the quality of content the agency has produced itself. 

Agency portfolios should demonstrate their expertise in content marketing; whether in its writing excellence or skill in other media formats, like videos, infographics, ebooks, podcasts, and more. Vitally, a healthy mix of content formats indicates that the agency in question is capable of delivering highly effective and efficient marketing assets you’re looking for.

2. Content Strategy Expertise

In a similar vein, content marketing agencies should also know how to strategically distribute assets across channels. This not only means simply managing multi-platform campaigns but optimising assets for specific channels, too.

So, before reaching out to a particular content marketing agency, spend some time as an email newsletter subscriber or follower across their social media accounts to see their expertise in action. And, don’t be afraid to ask them why they take the steps they do. After all, agencies should be offering a healthy return on your investment, so having data to validate their methodologies is essential.

3. Flexibility and Scalability

Whether it’s a new technology coming to market or a sudden change in business priorities, your content marketing agency should be able to roll with the punches. At low levels, this means being able to action feedback (while still being willing to hold the line on professional disagreements!) and stay up to date on the latest social media algorithm changes.

However, it should also mean that, on occasion and within reason, being able to re-make campaign assets on short notice and sometimes from scratch if they can’t be salvaged after a round of feedback. Equally, content marketing agencies should be able to complement your existing marketing capacity, rather than replace it outright, so make sure to identify a reliable and expert team of marketing professionals. This may also involve multi-party collaboration if you’re looking to use certain service providers for their expertise in one area but not another.

Added Value Drivers

Industry Understanding

The value of a robust industry understanding cannot be overstated. CopyHouse, for example, is a technology-focused content marketing agency. For example, we’re familiar with the pressures faced by CTOs and CIOs in developing and launching products, to the headaches that legal and compliance leaders bump against in the world of financial services. As such, we’re able to offer unique insights and expertise for technology and finance brands that they wouldn’t get from a more generalised agency partner.

Though agencies may claim to be industry-agnostic, certain sectors have unique limits and artificial limits that are simply not a factor for marketing campaigns elsewhere. As a result, this insider knowledge both enables and enhances the quality of content that your brand needs to thrive in your industry. Namely, by identifying crucial pain points your target customers face, the lingering questions they hold and the best way to engage them with answers to both.

Robust Communication and Transparency

Finally, effective communication and a commitment towards transparency are the backbones of any successful partnership. 

Your chosen agency should be open about its pricing structures, performance metrics and delivery timelines and when you’re in danger of going out of scope. Similarly, agency partners should also provide regular project updates or strategic wins to help you measure the ROI of your content marketing investment and their effectiveness as a service provider.

Discover Expert Content Marketing Support from CopyHouse

CopyHouse is a leading content marketing agency for fast-growing technology brands. We have a team of highly experienced writers, strategists and creatives with a strong sense of how to create and disseminate top-notch content that realises client goals.

We base all of our work on a rigorous understanding of your needs and your customers’ buying habits; enabling you to share authoritative content provides timely and thoughtful support. Best of all, we skip the jargon, hype and hyperbole every time.

To learn about our services and solutions, why not get in touch?

We seek to break down boundaries and create a world where deep tech isn’t scary or confusing.