A year ago Doug did a post for Econsultancy advising B2B marketers how to pick a content marketing agency. The market’s likely doubled or tripled since then.
All it takes for any shop dealing with words or images to become a content marketing supplier is a brushstroke on their web site.
Services >> Add “Content Marketing” >> ENTER.
Done. It’s the modern equivalent of hanging up a shingle.
Quantity’s a good thing. It creates a more perfect market (even if switching costs are a little higher than they are for, say, laundry detergent).
But before you even get to the point of selecting a partner, you’ll need to pick out what kind of supplier. Yes, there are kinds.
If you ask 487 content marketing experts what they mean by content marketing, you’re liable to get 487 different answers.
It’s called confirmation bias. I like to call it “me goggles”. Here’s how it works:
Videographer: “Content marketing’s the best way to get leads. Once prospects have seen a few videos (people love videos), they’re much more likely to buy!”
Blogger: “In order to achieve those big content marketing results you’ll need to post at least once a day. But it’s better to post twice a day (just to be sure!).”
SEO Agency: “Well-keyworded articles (hundreds of them!) on well-structured and –tagged websites will outperform any other digital marketing tactic. That’s the power of content marketing!”
And so on.
Secondly, the kind of content marketing partner you choose will eventually have a significant impact on how you’re perceived in the market. Like the effect of ad agencies, a partner will put a specific and predictable spin on your content, and your content brand.
As a marketer, you’ll need to select from the kinds, then choose the specific supplier from there. Generally, the kind you choose will spring out of your content strategy. But if you’re relying on your partner to run your strategy, then you’ll want to validate their recommendation for partners.
In order to aid marketers in this process, we’ve made an infographic that categorizes content marketing partners into 20 groups, then provided each with an “archetype” for the group and an online directory to find specific suppliers.
Further, we mapped all 20 against a basic price range. See this as a guide, not a rule.
Go ahead. Have a look. If you have structured feedback to it, use our Google Form. For unstructured feedback, drop a comment.
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