Your team is struggling to keep up with the amount of content that’s needed to keep your B2B brand visible, relevant and top-of-mind, so you’re thinking about working with a B2B content marketing agency. But you’re not sure what the benefits are, plus there are so many out there. Where do you even start?
First, content marketing is powerful for businesses and can be especially effective for B2B companies. In the right hands, it can help your business attract new customers, build relationships with existing customers, boost brand awareness and support the sales process.
If creating and distributing high-quality content that resonates with your target audience is too time-consuming or your team doesn’t have the capacity or the specialized skills, a B2B content marketing agency (like us!) can help. A good agency will have the experience, expertise, and resources to create content that will help you achieve your marketing goals.
What is a B2B content marketing agency?
Simply put it’s a company that helps businesses create, publish and promote content to attract and engage their target audience. An agency can cover all aspects of content creation and distribution, or they may specialize in specific areas, for example, content creation, distribution, strategy, research, analytics, etc.
At Content 10x we specialize in content repurposing – in fact, we were the first and are therefore the longest-running content repurposing agency. Sometimes called the GOAT of content repurposing – we’ll take that!
However, as with everything in life, not all B2B content marketing agencies are created equal. There are great ones, there are bad ones and there are great ones that might not be right for you… the key is keeping an eye out for potential red flags and making a decision that is right for you and your business.
7 B2B content marketing agency red flags
So what are the red flags and how can we spot them?
1. Lack of actual B2B experience
This is so important because although it seems obvious – B2B content creation and marketing is fundamentally different from B2C.
B2B buyers are typically more research-driven and make decisions based on ROI. They also tend to be more involved in the buying process, often involving multiple stakeholders. This means that B2B content marketing needs to be more strategic and targeted.
For example, you want your B2B LinkedIn content to provide valuable information that helps potential customers make informed decisions. It also needs to be tailored to the specific needs of each buyer persona.
An agency with B2B experience will have the expertise and resources to create content that resonates with B2B buyers. They will also have a deep understanding of the B2B buying process and how to create content that helps buyers move through each stage of the funnel.
2. Lack of industry experience
You want to know that the B2B content marketing agency you’re working with has an understanding of your industry and your target audience.
That said, if they have broad experience across multiple industries it could be a good sign that they are research-driven and show initiative when it comes to taking on a new client. Either way, you need to decide how important this is for you – if you find an agency that is incredibly specialized it could be a red flag and maybe a sign you should find one that has a broader knowledge of your industry and/or other related industries.
3. Lack of transparency
This could mean several things. First and most importantly you might be asking, how much does a B2B marketing agency cost? Maybe you asked them about costings for a project and they weren’t upfront about their pricing, or how they arrived at their rates. Red flag!
Other signs that they aren’t being transparent could include pressuring you to sign a contract too quickly, without fully answering all your questions or giving you time to make a decision. Or perhaps they don’t want to share other work that they’ve done with you. A good B2B content marketing agency should be proud of work they’ve done and who they’ve worked with and be willing to share the results with potential clients.
4. Unrealistic promises
You know what they say – if it looks too good to be true, it probably is. If you are guaranteed immediate results then you should question it. Content marketing is a slow process, unlike paid social or PPC for example, so the promise of quick results is a red flag.
Other warning signs include the promise of results on platforms that are out of their control, for example viral posts, top ranking on Google, massive increase in sales or revenue… you get the picture.
To avoid getting stars in your eyes when faced with these too-good-to-be-true outcomes ask questions, do your research and get everything in writing. If your agency is required to sign a contract that outlines results, chances are they will be a lot more realistic about what can be achieved.
5. Lack of a clear strategy
A clear strategy is so important in B2B content marketing and you want to know that your chosen agency has one in mind when it comes to you and your long-term objectives. One that you are 100% onboard with.
A strategy will set goals, identify a target audience, choose the right content formats, have a repurposing plan in place and measure your results, among other things. All these steps are vitally important and you need your B2B content marketing agency to present you with a clear strategy, laying out the steps that will be taken to help you reach your end goal.
No strategy? No thank you… you might as well head straight out that revolving door without even taking your coat off…
6. Poor communication
No one wants to be ghosted by an agency that they are relying on. Regular, clear, prompt communication is extremely important to ensure that you’re on the same page when it comes to setting goals, developing content, and measuring results.
Ask about their communication process upfront and get a clear understanding of how often they are planning to communicate with you, how they will communicate, and who will be your go-to person. A good B2B content marketing agency will be in regular contact to ensure you are happy with the service and that your campaigns are on track.
If you find communication to be poor during the sales process, when they are trying to win your business, imagine how poor the communication could be when you are one of their many customers. Red flag!
7. Poor quality content
This might seem obvious but it is important to mention. There are a few ways to tell that the content is poor quality and some might not be noticeable at first glance. For example, here are 5 warning signs:
Read, watch, or listen to the final content. Duh! Spend some time with it. What do you think? Is it relevant to your target audience and is it original?
If you’re happy with the content, it could still be a good idea to ask your audience what they think. Do they find it helpful and what would they like to see more of from you…
Finding the right B2B content marketing agency for your brand probably won’t necessarily be a quick process. There are so many out there that claim to be the best, the most influential, get the best results – but if you are aware of the red flags mentioned in this article you can avoid hiring one that will not be a good fit for your brand.
Educate yourself through online reviews, word-of-mouth recommendations from other businesses in your industry and shop around – request proposals from several agencies and make comparisons.
The right agency will have a deep understanding of your industry, a proven track record with a list of happy clients, they’ll fit in with your budget and they’ll be willing to work closely with you to create a content marketing strategy that helps you achieve your objectives.
If you want help with your content repurposing and distribution then look no further than us. We promise to show none of the red flags as mentioned above! Check out our services and our case studies, and get in touch.