Ignite your content marketing strategy with the right agency partner

31 July 2015

Failure to grasp an opportunity to create inspiring content is often simply due to an uncertainty over how best to get started. And yet, with help from the right agency, no company should ever have to miss out.

Perhaps your current content does not do you justice, lacks a compelling story or is too infrequent to create a real impact. Or perhaps you have spotted an opportunity to steal a march on your rivals. No matter what the catalyst, having a clear outline of what you want your content to achieve, your target audience and the key messages you want delivered will be vital to success. But even if your content plan is not fully formed, don’t despair: an agency that understands your business will be able to help enhance your ideas and refine your vision, bringing with them insight and experience from working with similar clients.

Hassle-free publishing

Your selected agency will no doubt offer a range of options to suit your timings and budget, putting a package in place to deliver a robust pain-free publishing process. However, having a sensible allocation of resource that takes into consideration the project management, editorial and design costs, and all the other myriad demands of professional publishing will prove invaluable in the long-term. Beware of those offering cut-price services; they will be cutting corners too.

And, while good content should speak for itself, buy-in from senior decision makers will help get the project off the ground. Now is the time to draw on the expertise of your agency. They will be able to craft a clear and eloquent business case to present to the board, explaining how and why content marketing will work for your organisation.

Professional production

Once you have secured the green light, you are ready for production. Before this phase can begin, your agency will draw up a plan for the project, including detailed briefs for each segment of content. Once you have approved the proposal on the basis that it will deliver on the necessary objectives, the agency will begin to liaise with the relevant people at the practice end of the business.

Your agency will be handling the end-to-end production of content, so maintaining a clear path of communication with you, the client, is vital at all stages of the process. They will keep you informed about commissions; handle the writing process and any demands for professional photography. Your next input will be feedback on the initial draft, which will be tweaked until you are happy before it is sent to the contributors, either by you or the agency.

Creative excellence

A good agency will be able to shape the design of the project based on your input and vision, but ultimately should deliver a creative layout that exceeds your expectations. Always give your agency as much freedom as you feel comfortable with and encourage them to push creative boundaries if you want your content to stand out in the market.

The final stage is fulfilment, either in terms of printing and delivering print publications, or getting digital content to the right readers on the right platform – all of which you can expect your agency to manage. Access to your client and prospect lists is usually enough for a good agency to get your content where it needs to go, leaving you to reap the rewards of a successful campaign.

All you need to do is find your perfect publishing partner.

Author: Mark Wellings

Mark Wellings is responsible for developing and implementing content marketing strategies that deliver measurable results for our clients. Prior to co-founding Grist he was director of custom publishing for the Economist Intelligence Unit in New York, publisher for Financial Times Newsletters and Management Reports in Hong Kong and senior commissioning editor for Thomson Learning in London.

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