Setting Up for Success: How to Work with Your Content Marketing Agency

31
May 2016

Setting Up for Success: How to Work with Your Content Marketing Agency

All this month, we’ve been talking about how to avoid B.A.S. (Bad Agency Syndrome), and we’ve established that choosing the right agency to begin with is by far the most effective tactic for steering clear of this harrowing experience.

But once you’ve signed on the dotted line, then what?

As tempting as it is to kick back in your chair and book a few extra rounds on the golf course, you’re not totally off the hook. The client-agency relationship is a two-way street, and while your agency team will take on the heavy lifting, they still need your input and guidance.

To set up your agency — and yourself — for success, you need to build and maintain an effective working relationship. And while each relationship is slightly different, here are a few essentials to get you started on the road to success:

Pack Their Parachute

When Resonance begins working with a new client, we spend a tremendous amount of time and effort getting to know the details of their business, including

  • The story of their company
  • Their brand character
  • Their culture
  • Their target market
  • Their audience persona(s)
  • Their competitive environment

The onboarding process may seem tedious — sometimes our kickoff meetings go on for two hours or longer — but it’s a vital first step in building a foundation for success.

If your agency team is worth its salt, they’ll have an intensive onboarding process of their own, and your thorough, honest responses can mean the difference between success and failure. Give them what they need and you’ll equip them to serve you well.

Stay in the Flow

While the word “workflow” causes many folks’ eyes to glaze over, it’s nothing more than a week-by-week timeline for creating, reviewing, editing, and publishing your content.

Here’s what a sample workflow might look like for social media posts:

  • Thursday: Agency submits draft of the following week’s posts for client review.
  • Friday noon: Deadline for client feedback.
  • Friday afternoon: Agency schedules following week’s posts.

Let’s be clear: If your content marketing is going to succeed, your participation is not optional. Review everything your agency submits, ask questions, and suggest changes as needed.

Pay Attention to Your Analytics

Let’s face it: Reviewing analytics isn’t what most of us would call a good time.

But hey, if we’re going to get where we want to be, we have to know where we are, to see what’s working and what’s not in getting us closer to our goals. That’s exactly what your agency will highlight in that monthly report — plus they’ll add in some suggestions for improvement.

So when your agency sends that monthly analytics report, take the time to review it carefully, ask questions, and offer some input on their recommendations.

Check In

Even when things are humming along, a regular 10-minute check-in call can be an effective forum for asking questions, discussing initiatives, and exploring opportunities.

Sure, you could do all this via email, but there’s something about a real-time, person-to-person conversation that gets ideas flowing and elevates your working relationship. (And hey, you’ll save dozens of back-and-forth emails in the process.)

So if your agency recommends a weekly, biweekly, or monthly check-in call, get one on the schedule … and please show up. Those few minutes on the phone add up to a valuable investment in the success of your relationship and your content marketing strategy.

You’ve already put the time and effort into selecting the right agency. By sharing, collaborating, and communicating with that team on a continuous basis, you’ll build a solid working relationship that can turbo-charge your progress towards your content marketing goals.


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About the Author

Rachel Parker, Founder & CEO of Resonance Content MarketingA self-described geek who can recite entire episodes of South Park by heart, Rachel Parker has had a passion for content ever since she was old enough to hold a crayon (purple, please).

As Founder and CEO of Resonance, Rachel helps businesses publish content that connects with their audience … and converts those followers into customers. She’s also the host of the Content Marketing Podcast and a sought-after speaker, having presented to many major business and marketing organizations. To learn more, download our complimentary audio 5 Things You Must Know About Content Marketing.

content_marketing_50 BizSugar KredFeatured Author on Business 2 Community

Our Clients Are Saying

  • Added 5 figures to my business in less than 4 weeks

    Rachel took the overwhelm and stress out of writing content for my marketing campaign! When I approached Rachel, I was really concerned that I wouldn’t have the time to focus on writing copy for a lengthy marketing campaign that included sales pages, solo emails, newsletters and social media updates. Well, let’s just say I’m glad I hired Rachel because I couldn’t have done it without her support and expertise. I loved how she used my voice and words to craft content that helped me reach and attract my ideal client. As a result of working with Rachel, I added 5 figures to my business in less than 4 weeks, hundreds of new social media followers and exceeded my sales and list building goals! You know your marketing copy is working when you hear someone say, “I see you everywhere”. Thank you Rachel for helping me not only get seen by my ideal clients but get paid!

  • Produced ROI Result

    Form.io needed someone who could grasp the complexities of our product, capture the subtlety of our differentiating value propositions, and convey them in the right voice for an exacting customer audience…. Resonance delivered, by crafting a multi-faceted online content marketing strategy that drove traffic and conversion, producing the ROI result we were looking for….

  • Increased website traffic, New Lead Generation

    We were experiencing a lack of internal resources to consistently maintain the Ustream blog. So we turned to Resonance Content Marketing to write blog posts on current industry topics while maintaining a consistent tone with the brand. The result is increased website traffic, new lead generation from gated assets on blog, and better educated/qualified leads. And I now have more time to spend on marketing strategy with the confidence that the content we push out is extremely well written and engaging.

    Rachel is an amazing writer and has really managed to create engaging and relevant blog material on topics that aren’t always super interesting. On many occasions, she has been able to quickly turn around one-off requests and the results are always top-notch. She has also helped guide our content strategy based on her expertise in content marketing, which has been a huge asset to our team.

  • Increased our likes and interaction rates

    Working with Rachel was a delight. Not only does she communicate very well, but she provided valuable insight about our social media platforms and followers. We have much better engagement with our fans and followers, which increased our likes and interaction rates.

     

  • Event Sold Out Two Years In A Row!

    Rachel worked with me on creating a content marketing calendar and content for the Big Social Media Summit (Big SMS) three years in a row. She is very organized and knows just the right amount of posts on social, email newsletters and content to send.  Her content marketing efforts helping us sell out our event three years in a row!  I am expecting the same for October 2014.

    Rachel was hired to write content for our email newsletter and content for our social platforms. In addition, she had a budget to do advertising on social media. She participated in the event live and after the fact to assure buzz was created before, during and after the event. As a result, our event sold out.

    When I work with Rachel, I have total peace of mind.  I know that she is on target, on time, reliable and delivers over and above the results I expect.

    I trust Rachel totally with her ideas on strategy, marketing and the content used to not only promote our events, but also post on my behalf on social networks. I have been doing social media for 8 years, and I hire Resonance to post on some of my social sites as it saves me time, and keeps my social sites relevant and current. They always post great, engaging content that gets my social properties likes, comments and shares.

     

  • One of the best “vendor” relationships I’ve ever had.

    My company had little or no time to spend on social media. Our needs were to ensure a steady stream of posts across three platforms (Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter) by harvesting and re-purposing content from our own site and news streams. So I contacted Rachel Parker of Resonance Content Marketing.

    The result was two-fold. Not only did our ranks of followers grew steadily, the steady drip, drip, drip of content helped us train our personnel and direct their own individual social media efforts.

    Rachel and her team are extremely organized and open to discussion and new ideas. They deliver a rapid response to new opportunities — and an overall feeling of being on the same team. One of the best “vendor” relationships I’ve ever had.

  • Social Media Ranking Better Than Ever!

    We are so happy to have hired Resonance for our social media needs. We spend most of our time serving our clients and studying our field so we can provide the highest quality possible. We no longer worry about our social media, as we have total confidence in the wonderful work Rachel and her team have accomplished.

    Our social media is active, promoted, and is ranking better than ever! People often comment about what they see on our Facebook page. Resonance has added a creative, and artistic twist to our social media that is appealing and captivating to our audience. This has allowed me more time to work with my team and clients, so I can focus on service towards the people that help our business grow.

    I know there will be wonderful content on Facebook, and that Rachel will answer to posts, comments and questions as soon as a comment arrives. I am often impressed at how quickly she responds! Thank you Resonance! I highly endorse Resonance and encourage companies who need social media strategies to work with Resonance! You won’t regret it! 

  • Professionalism and Sincere Desire to Help

    I just didn’t seem to be able to find the time or the right words to explain what I offer and how my company helps people accomplish their goals. Rachel was able to ask me some questions, do some research and capture my voice while writing my website copy exactly as I needed it to be written.  Now, the copy on my website is much more professional than what I would have created and having this task handled by Rachel and Resonance freed up my time to complete other tasks I am better suited to do.

    It was a joy to work with Rachel. Her professionalism and sincere desire to help was apparent from the first communication until the final delivery. I will definitely use Resonance again and highly recommend their services.

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