More Help Less Hype: Choosing the Right Content Marketing Partner for Your Business | Isoline Communications

October 19, 2018

Content Strategy

By Anu Ramani

Anu Ramani is a specialist in international B2B communications.

More articles from Anu Ramani

If you are searching for an agency for tech B2B content marketing, you’ve seen the wisdom of outsourcing. Great! Now what? With all the hype surrounding content marketing, how do you identify the agency that will work with you to meet your needs now and help you grow? How do you avoid the hype around an agency or a pitch and look for a partner that has a genuine desire to provide more help?

Over the years we’ve attended a fair few pitches, sitting on both sides of the table: we’ve been involved in helping clients pick agencies around the world. Some went right, and some – admittedly – didn’t. While nobody can predict how a relationship will pan out, here are a few tips that can help clients separate the hype surrounding a pitch from the value that the right content agency will provide.

When choosing your content marketing partner try and look for a team who will do the following:

Understand Your Business

You need an agency that specializes in your business. A lot of the agencies pump out a ton of content – for a ton of clients – in a ton of industries. An agency should work with you to understand the particular ways in which your contributions to the tech sector intersect with the consumers of your products. It’s a common complaint that an agency will take a brief on the phone, then ask for written material that they adapt in the end. Predictably, clients wonder why they just spent so much time briefing the agency when they could have just handed over the written materials.  You’ll want to make sure you ask the agency what their briefing process is, find out if they are able to take briefs on the phone, learn if they have worked with engineers and product marketing professionals in your industry.  Make sure your team has a broad base of knowledge in your business sector, which will make the learning curve for your products much quicker.

Prioritize Resourcefulness

While you are primarily looking for content creation, sometimes projects have a way of expanding. Think about whether your agency, when approached with a request outside of the general scope of work, are happy to find an answer to any question. Whether you need a logo created, a video written and produced or a voiceover done, you’ll want a team who is ready to tackle any aspect of your project.  Make sure the agency you choose has a network of colleagues that they can team up with to bring your project to life. Ask questions to ascertain if the agency is ready, willing and able to expand and grow with you.

Value Honesty and Boldness

There is so much value in hiring honest, well-intentioned experts who are not afraid to say that they don’t understand something about your business or your request. Your agency should be confident enough to share when they don’t agree with the focus of a piece of content or how your customers will receive your message.

How do you find out if you are dealing with this type of agency? Ask questions about their views through conversations during the pitch. Is the agency generous with ideas, counsel and insight? Chances are, they will be the same during their engagement with you moving forward. Part of a good working relationship is providing honest feedback. Look for a team that values this as much as you do.

Employ Creative Thinking

Whoever said tech B2B content marketing cannot be creative? We aren’t talking about wild stunts like Richard Branson jumping into a swimming pool in Hong Kong during the press launch of Virgin Atlantic, but there is certainly room for and a need for creativity in the tech space.

Make sure to look at the case studies your potential new agency is presenting, and the ideas they talk about. Are they formulaic, do they seem like they are straight renditions of client briefs or do they push the ‘hot buttons’ of their audiences? In the past B2B marketing tended to feel a bit uptight. Moving forward, into a time where so much information is being presented to an audience that demands creative personalization, a lack of creativity just isn’t going to cut it.

Want to discuss these ideas further? Why not contact us and we can chat over coffee. Email us at [email protected].

Photo by David Lezcano on Unsplash


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