Growing B2B companies look for the best agencies who can land their ideas, products, and services in front of the right people. Since content marketing has grown by leaps and bounds, it pays great dividends to have someone in your corner who considers content marketing to be one of their core capabilities.
An effective B2B marketing strategy service provider is vital to achieving business goals in the current digital age. With so many companies to choose from, it is imperative that you do your homework before settling on a company. Choosing the wrong company can suck up time, money, and resources that you never expected to spend.
To avoid that, here are 5 tips on choosing the right B2B marketing strategy service provider for your needs:
Consider your company’s style.
If you want your company to be down-to-earth and informative, make sure the B2B marketing agency you choose can make that happen. If you prefer a more glitzy appearance to emerge from your marketing, check out the agency’s work before you commit. Your company’s style must be able to come naturally to the agency and fit with your existing branding and reputation.
Be careful if the agency has a particular style that is so broad it is part of all their clients’s strategies. If your marketing strategy is not unique and specific to your company, it is likely your company could become just one in a long list of clients for this particular agency. The goal of content marketing, and marketing in general, is that it must be shaped to each audience, not the other way around.
If you know already the type of style, tone, and voice you’re looking for, keep an eye out if they can shape the marketing strategy in that way.
Ask to see a content and/or marketing strategy that worked for someone else.
It is likely that the exact same strategy used for one client may not work for you. However, it isn’t rocket science. Success in all of marketing and especially in digital marketing considers personalities, target audiences, potential message outcomes, and the buyer’s journey. The agency won’t have a set formula, but a guide for how they create their strategies, what will work, what has worked in the past, and what paths the process is supposed to take.
Every company is different and every company’s marketing goals are different. However, if you know what you are shooting for, your chances of missing the target are likely to decrease. Some companies may feed you the “our clients are confidential and don’t want us to share their strategies” line. In such a case, ask the agency to anonymize a strategy for you that has been successful for one or more of their clients in the past.
Consider the agency’s experience.
Track record does play a critical role when it comes to company branding and marketing. Questions such as, “How long have you been doing this type of work?” “How many projects have you worked on and/or been successful with?” “Have you worked on a project that is just like mine?” and “What were the results of your efforts?” are important questions to ask before choosing an agency.
Look past overall designs, color, and attractiveness and consider measurable results. Any number of companies can “create a more appealing logo.” Look at how the company solved creative problems, issues of message authenticity, and selling ideas just as well as products. Consider also the experience and track record of the people who could potentially work on your project. Are they traditional, contemporary, just working for a paycheck, or aiming to align well with your brand?
Request samples of a wide range of campaigns.
Agencies with just a single client might not be a company to which you would like to entrust your work. Ask to see a broad sample of content and marketing campaigns that have been done for several clients. Three clients or more is a good number to start with. Anyone can put forth one excellent marketing piece as a sample. But there is a big difference between a project that was heavily dictated by the client and a project that was agency AND client directed.
In the samples, look for authenticity of content and consistency of message. Ensure that the content works the space in which the client is the expert. For example, a computer technology company should not really be writing about retail. The design of the content and strategy should sell the content to readers just as much as the words. Beware of factories in which everything sounds the same, looks the same, and feels the same.
Look for opposition from the agency.
An agency that just goes with the flow and nods a “yes” behind everything you say is not a company you are likely to succeed with or gain long-term results from. They should be able to tell you when your content, design, or overall story feels and looks inauthentic or weak. Your argument should be convincing to readers and users. If it isn’t, the agency should tell you so.
One primary thing you should be able to identify in an agency before you sign on the dotted line is that they bring a sense of vision and freshness to your project. If the company likes to always be right, you immediately lose results that your company could gain and the value of the entire project decreases.
There are many good B2B agencies in the world. Ensuring they do great work for you begins and ends with you putting in the work to ask the right questions, wait for the right answers, and go deeper than everyone else. Keep these points in mind when looking for a B2B marketing agency for your company.