As a Brand Marketer you’re already working with a bunch of agencies: an Advertising Agency for creative material, a Media Agency for placing those brand dollars, a PR/Communications Agency for the earned media attention, a Search (SEO/SEM) Agency to achieve the best Google ranking, and recently maybe a Social Agency to help you find brand followers in social media.
Now that Content Marketing and Native Advertising is creating such noise, which of those agencies should you talk to? Well, even though content is created by most of them, we would still argue that you find yourself a content agency. So why is that?
First of all: Content is not campaigns; it’s pull rather than push, so you need someone who can tell stories about you from an outside-in perspective. Second, there are no silver bullets; Content Marketing is long-term and dedicated work, and you’ll need external help to keep inspiration and creativity on top. Finally, and this is most important: it calls for competencies that are not necessarily to be found at the other agencies:
1. Content Strategy
Content Strategy has been defined as the “planning for creation, delivery, and governance of useful, usable content”. Developing such a Strategy calls for a different skill set: understanding of various target audiences and their content preferences, understanding of what kind of content that should be produced for different stages in the buying process, and of course, how to plan and organize the editorial workflow. More about Content Strategy in a previous post.
2. Content Creation and Curation
Implementation of the strategy and the actual creation of content, with internal and external resources. Making it part of the everyday work and thinking like a publisher.
3. Data and Audience
This is not only about measurement, it’s also about applying a strategy to get sufficient reach. You can acquire traffic through a multitude of channels: direct media buy, social traffic, Strossle and other content recommendation platforms. Also search can be used to some extent. But remember that it’s always better to have the users come to your own channel, than to place your content on someone else’s platform (we’ll be back with a separate post about that). The reason is that it leaves you with better control and more opportunities, such as: collecting richer data for analysis, optimizing content for better engagement, feeding Marketing Automation tools with info, for sales funneling.
So who should you work with? Here are some of our favourite Content Agencies: