Your content marketing agency was hired in good faith.
It was your hope that they would produce amazing content soon for you or your client’s brands.
This content will help to build brand awareness, generate more traffic and get more leads.
Your hope began to fade as you saw little or no change in traffic, awareness, search engine rankings, conversions, and other factors.
So what are you waiting for? What gives?
Do not panic. It’s not so quick.
Perhaps it is time to go. You might need to stop and take a look before jumping. Although content is more time-consuming than paid or traditional marketing strategies, it can also be more durable.
These are the things you need to consider and weigh.
What is the best time to hire a content marketing agency?
1. Results are not being seen in the timeframe expected
Content marketing is not and won’t work within a week, unless there are exceptional circumstances or rare cases. You won’t see results in a month, or even a few months.
It will take several months or even a whole year to see full ROI on content.
However, you should see the needle start moving before that. In a matter of months, you should begin to see gains – not just incremental but nonetheless significant gains. You might want to ask questions if you don’t see any movement in any of the metrics after six months.
Your content marketing agency must have established clear expectations from the start.
It is important to have established goals and set KPIs ( ), then strategized for tracking them. These should have provided you with an overview of when and how to achieve it.
If any of these things didn’t happen, it’s an indication that you should question your content agency.
Marketing for the sake is not marketing. It is possible and desirable to expect a return on investment. Your agency should be responsible for that.
2. Your content is a constant source of error for the agency
Everyone makes mistakes. It doesn’t matter if you make mistakes again.
Let’s say, for example, that your content marketing agency produces content to promote your brand but makes a few mistakes (like linking to pages with low authority or worse, rivals).
This could happen in the early months of your relationship. This is something you can quickly correct so that it doesn’t happen again.
Your agency is making errors in your content even after correcting them, it’s time to get rid of them.
It is their job to remove all the responsibility from you. Their job is to:
- Your brand voice is important.
- Make sure you link correctly to your blogs
- Correct grammar and spelling are important.
- Use keywords appropriately.
- Produce content that you are proud to share.
They may not be right for you if they don’t pay attention to the details.
3. The content quality is not satisfactory.
Organic search rankings are influenced by content quality. This means that you should pay attention to the content you get from the agency responsible for writing it.
Bad content can cause a negative impact on brand visibility and reputation. Bad content will not rank high in search results, or at all, so Google won’t send you any traffic. Click-through rates fall off the cliff above page 2 of a Google Search.
A visitor who reads bad content will most likely:
- You will be put in the mental “do NOT trust” file.
It is possible that the content doesn’t cut it. Poor content can be:
- Badly organized with few headings or long paragraphs.
- Unfocused, unrelated, or rambling
- It is full of spelling and grammar errors.
- Loaded with inconsistencies and factual errors.
- Instead of being user-centered, brand-centered
- Inadvertent .
- Poorly optimized, with little or no keyword placement .
- They are not set up in a way that directs them to the next action (using CTAs).
- External links missing to authoritative sites or internal links not to the relevant pages of-site
You should fire your content marketing agency if you notice any of these frequently. You should be able to tell them what they are doing wrong and how you can improve.
4. Content marketing agencies are not communicating effectively
A content marketing agency which doesn’t communicate effectively will not produce great results.
Communication on your end is key to achieving your goals. It will also help you set expectations and clarify your goals.
Communication is not a solid tool.
- It is possible to feel unsure of where your content will take you.
- It is possible that you are unsure of what is happening or when it will happen.
- It is easy to feel isolated when you are actually part of a group.
Communication red flags include:
- No response or delay in responding to messages or emails.
- Asking for questions and getting no or insufficient answers.
- You don’t know when the next time you will connect with an agency to discuss your strategy, progress or results.
- Their lack of transparency leads to confusion.
5. This agency consistently misses deadlines
Respecting deadlines doesn’t mean publishing your content in a timely manner.
These are all important elements in consistent content. This is crucial to the overall success of a . But let’s not forget one aspect.
Respecting and taking responsibility is part of meeting deadlines. It shows respect and responsibility if you or your agency set deadlines ahead (e.g. when and how frequently content will be published on your blog).
- Your time is respected by the agency.
- They will respect your brand.
- They are respectful of the strategy, and they follow through.
- From conception to publication, they put thought and care into each word.
An agency that keeps missing deadlines or offers excuses for not doing so is a reason to end your relationship.
This leads to the next point.
6. You are not treated like a friend by the agency
You need to be able to collaborate with your content agency in order for you see the highest ROI. The entire operation can jam if the gears don’t work together.
Communication is one part of it, but acting as collaborators and partners at every stage is another.
Take, for example:
- Do you feel that the agency with which you are working takes your concerns seriously
- Are they listening well?
- Are they able to keep you informed at all times?
They don’t allow you to control the show. You are the content expert, they’re not. Your content marketing agency must still involve you in decision-making and should help you to understand the strategy.
You are accountable to them, and they to you. Trust is essential. You might consider changing your working relationship if you don’t feel the teamwork.
7. They may be using misleading or spammy techniques to quickly get results.
Cheating is the best way to achieve super-fast content results.
Spammy tactics in content marketing are still quite common today. But, they can be a trap. These are not stable gains.
Because Google can both through automated systems and manual actions, they will also disappear quickly.
This could lead to a on your website. It can range from a rank demotion up to complete removal from Google Search.
You should be concerned that your content agency might use spammy methods to rank your website in search. This may be effective for a brief time but it will eventually lead to the demise of your website’s visibility.
You should dump anyone who is playing with fire and hire an ethical agency to help you rank your website for sustainability and longevity.
What you should remember Before You fire your content marketing agency
The job of a content marketing agency is to manage your content marketing for you. The agency will manage all aspects of content marketing, from creation and distribution to planning.
You most likely won’t be able to manage it all yourself if you hire an agency. You also expect intelligent strategy and excellent results from the agency you hire.
You can do it! But don’t give up too soon.
Content marketing should be viewed as a long-term endeavor. Content marketing is not about instant wins. It’s all about slow, steady gains over time.
Although it can seem frustrating at first, perseverance will bring you success in the long-term.
Your agency should be diligent in content marketing. This means publishing frequently, communicating effectively, analysing metrics, treating your like a friend, nailing quality content, meeting deadlines and keeping you informed.
You will get the results that you want.
These opinions are not necessarily those of Search Engine Land, but they do reflect the views of the guest author. Here are the names of staff authors.
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