9 Factors to Consider When Choosing a Content Marketing Partner

Once your content material advertising and marketing wants outgrow your inside capability, it’s time to begin searching for exterior assist. Before you kick off your seek for the right content material advertising and marketing associate, although, your enterprise should first look inside itself to perceive its advertising and marketing objectives and desires.No two content material advertising and marketing companions are alike. Each provides a distinctive set of product and repair packages, business specialties, and observe information. As you weigh potential companions towards each other, it’s additionally value wanting from a macro degree: how every possibility suits together with your group’s overarching advertising and marketing objectives, most urgent areas of want, and content material advertising and marketing price range.Collaboration with content material advertising and marketing companions works greatest when it’s versatile sufficient to alter to brand-specific advertising and marketing wants. However, practically each profitable brand-content associate relationship can profit from a journey again to the basics. In no explicit order, listed here are a number of the most key elements to contemplate as you consider companions.1. What know-how does the associate use to facilitate its content material advertising and marketing providers?While some content material advertising and marketing companions leverage cloud-based software program corresponding to Google Drive to handle content material creation and content material planning, others could make the most of propriety platforms the place content material is created, edited, reviewed, and managed all by the identical interface.In circumstances the place potential content material advertising and marketing companions supply their very own platform, you’ll want to decide whether or not that know-how can combine together with your present advertising and marketing know-how stack. For organizations with complicated content material creation wants, a platform method could supply simplicity and group to streamline content material workflows.If your content material wants are extra modest, a bootstrapped method could also be adequate (in addition to a higher match for tight budgets). As your content material wants evolve over time, although, the advantages of a platform-based method could turn out to be extra beneficial to your advertising and marketing operations.Research instruments corresponding to Gartner’s Magic Quadrant might help you consider the options and performance of a number of the business’s main content material advertising and marketing platforms.2. Does the associate supply technique and session, content material creation, or each?If your group already has a CMO or different decision-makers able to shaping a content material advertising and marketing technique, you could solely hunt down content material creation providers. In distinction, startups and different lean organizations with restricted in-house advertising and marketing personnel—in addition to organizations whose advertising and marketing management lacks expertise guiding branded content material technique—could have an pressing want for strategy-level session.Determine what your rapid content material wants are when it comes to strategy-level session vs. content material creation providers. (*9*) the stability of providers that might deliver out probably the most advantages, notably when wanting to complement in-house content material creation with outsourced content material providers. The extra customization you require in your content material partnership, the extra essential it is going to be to discover a service bundle with built-in flexibility.3. Does the associate’s inventive staff supply the subject material experience your content material requires?If your enterprise wants advertising and marketing content material that discusses extremely specialised or complicated material, your content material advertising and marketing associate will provide your group with inventive professionals which have a background in these topics. Without this material experience, content material could wrestle to join with the appropriate audiences, which might sink your advertising and marketing efficiency and potential ROI.Across writers and editors and managers and past, it’s all the time sensible to ask for credentials and samples of labor that show the potential associate’s expertise working in your vertical or specialised topic space.4. Are the companions’ inventive professionals in-house or outsourced?The make-up of a associate’s inventive staff can have a huge affect in your total content material high quality. While in-house creatives usually ultimately turn out to be dependable members of your content material advertising and marketing staff, this in-house method additionally limits the kind of folks you’ll find to work in your content material. An outsourced method to discovering inventive professionals helps guarantee your advertising and marketing has entry to high-quality expertise and real-world views in your specialised space of service.Content companions could leverage freelance creatives to elevate the standard of the expertise pool, demonstrating a capability to analysis and recruit contemporary creatives. Ask potential companions for examples of freelance expertise they’ve recruited for previous purchasers catering to area of interest audiences. Resources corresponding to Gartner’s Magic Quadrant supply one other degree of analysis of main content material advertising and marketing platforms’ expertise recruitment methods.5. Are service contracts structured to supply flexibility and flexibility, or are you locked into a fastened service bundle?Content advertising and marketing should all the time align with enterprise outcomes. As enterprise objectives evolve and the content material advertising and marketing technique shifts to obtain them, your content material wants can also change over time. It’s unimaginable to predict the longer term, so your model could discover worth in working with a content material advertising and marketing associate that provides versatile scopes and contracts to guarantee content material all the time meets your enterprise wants.With a extra versatile method, your enterprise can spend money on content material advertising and marketing to meet its enterprise wants as we speak whereas nonetheless permitting the enterprise a likelihood to pivot rapidly—with the potential for actual affect on content material advertising and marketing ROI over time.6. Can the associate ship all the content material sorts your model needs to create?Some companies want a associate that may deal with all content material creation for his or her advertising and marketing campaigns. Other companies need to plug in associate providers to particular content material sorts and campaigns on an as-needed foundation.At a minimal, your model ought to hunt down a associate with a confirmed observe file of making all the content material sorts you anticipate needing. It can also be helpful to join with a associate skilled in particular content material codecs that you may want to pursue sooner or later, too, so long as the long-term objective isn’t achieved on the expense of short-term efficiency. Ask for examples of previous providers to confirm every associate’s expertise working with the varieties of content material you’re wanting to outsource.7. Does the associate have a robust observe file within the business?Some content material advertising and marketing platforms are giant sufficient to supply specialised expertise and providers for a variety of totally different industries and niches. However, it’s value doing all of your homework beforehand to ensure the associate you’re contemplating has expertise in yours.In addition to requesting testimonials and references particular to your business or area of interest, it’s also possible to seek the advice of on-line views on web sites corresponding to G2 and Gartner Peer Insights. These vetted opinions from enterprise purchasers present a useful behind-the-scenes have a look at the expertise provided by every content material advertising and marketing platform.You can even reference the “Gartner Peer Insights ‘Vendor Spectrum’: Consideration of Content Marketing Platforms” useful resource, which provides insights into how main content material advertising and marketing companions goal area of interest audiences with scalable and specialised content material providers.8. Are the associate’s model objective and values a good match together with your model?Brand security is a crucial consideration when selecting any vendor. A very good content material associate is greater than the sum of their content material advertising and marketing providers—if a potential associate doesn’t align together with your model’s values, it may restrict prospects down the highway.9. Do the price range and scope of labor suit your content material wants?If you’re a giant group with deep advertising and marketing pockets, price range could also be secondary to getting best-in-class advertising and marketing providers. For most organizations, although, price range underlines any vendor resolution.As you consider the price of companions’ content material providers, ensure to contextualize this line expense in accordance to the scope of labor proposed by every associate. Budgets could supply onerous cutoffs for spending with out contemplating total worth. The extra you get out of your content material advertising and marketing relationship, the better it is going to be to flip content material advertising and marketing into an ROI-positive initiative. But watch out for content material advertising and marketing packages that go approach past your enterprise wants: when you’re paying for best-in-class content material creation when all you want is sensible manufacturing to hit your advertising and marketing objectives, you in all probability aren’t getting nice worth out of your relationship.As you intend your model’s subsequent step in creating its content material advertising and marketing technique, the appropriate associate can set you on the quickest path to income technology and different enterprise outcomes.You can uncover extra beneficial insights to assist you consider high content material advertising and marketing companions in Gartner’s “Magic Quadrant for Content Marketing Platforms.”For extra contemporary views on as we speak’s advertising and marketing developments, subscribe to our month-to-month publication, Content & Context.Featured picture attribution: Carl Jorgensen on Unsplash

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