You’ve heard it EVERYWHERE: content is king and, therefore, essential for any business’ marketing goals. And yes, it is true.
Content marketing makes for better advertising, that’s for sure. Classic ads with “buy this now” tropes don’t cut it anymore. People won’t fall for these tricks anymore. Instead, they want to get to know your brand and want to learn something from you in the process.
So you need great content for your website or blog, and for that, you’re probably considering to hire someone to do it for you. Whether it’s an agency offering online content writing services, a freelancer, or a person you’re looking to hire full time, you want someone that can take this issue off your hands and provide great articles for your campaigns.
Not so fast. Look at these five red flags before you sign any deals.
1. They Don’t Have Experience Writing in Your Industry
You need to collaborate with someone who already has at least some experience writing in your industry if you want to get great content.
The purpose of these articles is to position yourself as an expert in your niche and allow your audience to get valuable information from you. When the writer doesn’t have have any experience talking about that industry, it shows. And it doesn’t reflect well on you.
So ask them about their experience up front. If they’ve never written an article related to your niche, then it’s best to move on and look for someone else.
2. They Promise You the Stars and the Moon
So, before you shake hands on a deal, you’ll be going to a few meetings with the agency to talk about what you need, and how they can help you achieve your goals. If at any point you’re getting suspicious that what they’re offering seems too good be true, it might be because it is.
In truth, it’s tough to accurately estimate how your audience will receive an article after you’ve hit publish. Even if they’re impeccably written, it’s still possible they’ll underperform. A good agency will be honest about this possibility.
3. They’re Not Very Open about How They Work
Now, each firm has its secrets, so don’t expect anyone to take you on tour in the backstage. But, pay attention to those agencies that don’t offer any detail about their procedures.
For instance, how many people will they assign to your account? How will they choose the topics? Do they base the decision on a whim or do they back it up with data? What’s the turnaround and revision policy? These are just a few of the things you are entitled to know, and if the agency isn’t giving you any details on them, then it’ll be tough to communicate with them.
4. They Don’t Offer a Trial Period
Ideally, you’ll want articles that match the overall tone and feel of your brand, so they seem perfectly integrated within your overall content strategy. However, it’s almost impossible to know if the agency can provide that unless a trial period is on the table.
If you sign a 1-year contract right off the bat but then are utterly disappointed with the articles they deliver, you’ll have to fight to get it annulled, then start again. It will be frustrating.
5. They Don’t Have a Good Reputation
Take advantage of the internet and do some research on the agency or person you want to contract for your article writing. What are other clients saying about them? Look for those former clients that are also from your industry. Were they happy with them?
If all you see are negative reviews, obviously you should keep looking. No reviews aren’t a good sign either. If they have experience, how come nobody’s talking about them?
Back to You
Avoid these red flags, and you could end up with an excellent agency for your content needs. Then, it’s all about working together to take your business to the next level!