Have you ever considered hiring a content writer for your business but ended up snapping ties as he or she was unable to manage the massive workload or adhere to the deadlines? Well, if the answer is in the affirmative, you aren’t alone.
Most standalone content writers, despite being extremely efficient, aren’t good enough when it comes to handling the gargantuan work volume. Starting from blogs and articles to PRs and newsletters, an organization requires a steady yet sizable flow of content, periodically. This is the reason why it is advisable to invest in a content writing agency, as a credible firm has several writers working under the same hood.
Therefore, if your business is reliant on content, only an agency can live up to the hype of offering excellent, creative, and actionable copies. But then, which content writing agency should you zero in on is the most pressing question.
Several content writing agencies are already proliferating in this keenly contested digital marketing arena. However, the focus should be on certain factors if you want to decide which service provider makes the most sense to your business structure.
If you are not sure as to which content writing firm is the better one, here are the 10 determining factors to take note of:
But then, experience isn’t about the number of years that most content startups boast. Instead, you should be looking for a relevant business experience that showcases the adaptability of the firm and its ability to manage vertical-specific content.
For instance, if you are into SaaS or other cloud-based applications, you would want to persist with a content writing firm that has at least 5 to 10 years of aligned experience, concerning IT applications, APIs, cloud development, app migration, cloud app integration, and more.
While some agencies can market their versatility as a part of the deal, it is necessary to see the ongoing and recently concluded projects of relevance before taking a call. Also, the concept of experience can be wildly speculative, and therefore, you should take a final, long-term call, only after getting a few initial paid samples done.
If you are a company that deals in products and services, you are most likely to be benefitted from a team of copywriters as opposed to conventional content writers. This is where the concept of specialization comes into the mix as it distinguishes copywriters from the herd.
If you are planning to get a product, application, platform, or resource out in the open, it is necessary that the content writing agency has the required specialization to handle sales-related content. Every second person on your friend list can rewrite a blog or two but it is a copywriter that gets in revenue visitors, and traction for your brand.
But then, we would recommend that you go with a content writing agency that is versatile enough to handle whitepapers and sales pages with comparable ease. This way, you need not migrate to other service providers for managing un-orchestrated pieces of content.
Proactivity and Inventiveness
This might seem like a cliché to some but as a business, you would want to hire an agency that can read between the lines, discover the flaws in your existing content writing strategy, chalk out a new content marketing plan, and drive better ROIs.
The dated ‘publish & pray’ content writing approach has lived out its expectancy. Instead, a content writing firm should be good enough to find the reasons why you are planning to make the shift in the first place.
For instance, despite the exceptional content quality, if the page isn’t getting the required traction, the lack of a proper SEO plan might be the reason. Also, if the web page is already ranked as high as your expectation but the bounce rates are pretty significant and the overall sales are hitting rock bottom, the quality of the landing page content might be a serious issue.
If you are planning to hire a new content writing agency, it is necessary that the best one finds and fixes the issues, at the earliest.
It is obvious that you would persist with a firm that has some sort of online presence. However, in this regard, it is necessary to check the reviews, user testimonials, and other factors, before taking a call. But then, the concept of reviewing the quality shouldn’t be restricted to the aspects that can be easily maneuvered via inorganic strategies.
As a rule of thumb, you should always ask for the live links where the content pieces have been published. Then, it is necessary to gauge the number of social interactions on the post or how frequently the same has been shared over the social media handles.
But then, how to review content that isn’t even meant to be shared! The best approach, in this case, is to read the static drafts and take decisions, accordingly.
While dirt cheap agencies are better to avoid, you should also be mindful of the pricey firms. As close to 60 percent of small and medium-sized businesses are already investing a lot in ideating and envisioning an iron-clad content creation and marketing plan, it is necessary that the firm you hire strikes the perfect balance between price and productivity.
Also, you might want to see if the agency offers a short-term trial period before signing a retainer-like model. This flexibility allows you to look, discontinue, and search for another firm if the drafted content isn’t in line with your expectations.
If you are looking to connect with a credible content writing firm, it is important to ask for a detailed proposal that states the timeframe of submission. If the timeframe mentioned in the proposal exceeds the deadlines, the collaboration isn’t expected to bear fruits.
Also, it is advisable to check for time-specific reviews in addition to keeping a close eye on the content quality. This way, you would able to gauge the turnaround timings of the firm and assess their adherence to the deadlines.
Although content quality and relevance are important metrics, nothing works if the deadlines aren’t respected and followed.
It is unlikely that the content writing firm would produce the perfect copy in the first attempt. In case you end up suggesting zero changes, you should definitely sign a long-term contract with the firm. However, if revisions, edits, pruning, and changes come along, it is important to see how the content writing firm actually accommodates the same.
In most cases, the turnaround time takes revisions into account and even leaves scope for corrections. Also, some firms only entertain minor edits and levy additional charges in case something substantial needs to be tweaked.
As a business, you should focus on hiring an agency that is flexible with the revisions and is capable of delivering the tweaks well within the publishing timeline.
Going deep into the schematics of the content writing firm is necessary for a business. If you are handing the reigns of your website to an agency, you should be privy to the team quality and the qualification of the members handling the content marketing plan.
A good content firm projects itself by forwarding the credentials of its best writers. Needless to say, an agency is only as good as its worst writer. Therefore, it is good to know about the individuals creating the content plan and drafts as you can then connect with them directly and make them aware of the expectations and changes.
Here is one of the more understated aspects that most content firms fail to gauge. Even after the final draft i.e. once the revisions are complete, your company might require assistance from the content firm, especially when aligning it with the publishing design and formatting are concerned.
The best customer experience, therefore, is offered by firms that stay with the company even after the final payments are released, especially to see the content through to the website or the concerned domain.
Content Marketing repertoire
It often defeats the purpose of holistic hiring if you need one agency for creating the content and another for marketing the same. Therefore, if you are planning to get on board with a firm, you should ask for an all-inclusive content marketing plan that concerns posts, write-ups, and even the quality of the social shares.
This doesn’t mean that you would expect the agency to handle your social media and digital marketing responsibilities. Instead, it is a confirmation that the content firm will put considerable effort into making the content more shareable and engaging by responding to the queries or managing the subsequent pages better.
If a content writing firm lives up to most or all of the mentioned expectations, you can consider it for a long-term association. However, we would still want to stress the importance of published and live samples before you take the plunge.