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Do you or don’t you? That is often the question small to medium sized businesses ask themselves. Can we do this in house or do we engage the services of an external content agency to take our content, create a digital marketing strategy and make our business come alive?

Firstly, let’s talk about what “content” actually is. It can be defined as imagery, written material, graphics, videos, and any other type of readable or consumable asset. The goals of content marketing are to drive traffic to your business website, build trust with your audience, convert audiences, earn new customers, and entertain and excite existing customers. Each piece of content should be designed to compel your audience to act and keep them coming back for more.

Sure, you can manage things yourself in house or add some responsibilities to your existing team such as handling social media accounts, writing blog posts, or creating digital ads. However, dumping those tasks onto employees all but ensures burnout and things never really being done properly. Exhibit A; hands up if you have boosted a post and wondered what happens next?

When you’re working with an agency, you’re benefiting from the collective experience of not only the team working with you, but the entire agency. This means you have more brains to problem-solve and more people working for your greater good. It’s likely they’ve worked with many brands in many industries, possibly even a few in yours too, so they’ve seen just about everything that can go wrong and just as many that work so well. They can guide you in the right direction while offering their unique insight—not just from their experience but the experience of everyone they’ve ever worked with.

When you work with an agency you get better (and more) ideas. Often businesses get so immersed in their initial vision, or so caught up in “trying something new” that they pick an idea everyone’s excited about without really considering how it will actually work. On the flip side, some brands are so done with thinking of new ideas and creatively burnt out, so their default is doing the same thing and getting the same so-so results. Not only can an agency take your ideas and massage them into something that will work, but they can point out flaws, suggest creative tweaks, and help you work towards your end goal. When you’re so stuck in your brand you have tunnel vision, a good agency should immerse themselves in your business and be part of your team but still maintain their ‘outside looking in’ perspective.

Really great content is the result of many hands. An agency is a smorgasbord of talent. There are copywriters, SEO wizards, designers, stylists, strategists and more who are master craftsmen in their field and can create something that is designed to help you achieve your goals and be proud of. They have the expertise to suggest how a fresh approach can make your content more effective.

When you work with an agency, you have a significant number of people working on your account versus one person in your team. The only way to increase the output of your current in house marketing team is by hiring more employees. However, with an outsourced agency, you have an entire team that is working on your campaign, which allows you to scale up your marketing efforts quite quickly. We are yet to find that one person who can do everything and be great at it!

An agency should have the experience to help you scale fast. If you want to try running a Google Ads campaign for the first time, you don’t need to pay one of your employees to do an online course or hire someone new. Your agency should be able to adapt to your needs and help you with all of your marketing needs as you grow. They should come to you with suggestions and ideas that you may not have even thought about or even know about. That’s what you are coming to them for, after all!

A content agency lives and breathes how to tell your brand story. They don’t look at your brand like you do, they see it from the outside in and are constantly looking at every angle of your business.

Like any business, there are the "good" and there are "not so good". There are people that work on your business and people that work for your business. Creating great engaging, entertaining, informative content for you is their purpose and telling your story is their mission. The right agency will offer your business the energy, expertise, and the insight you need to achieve your goals.

Our top 5 tips on working with an agency

  1. Communication - it’s a 2 way street. You should hear from them a few times a week, but you need to share information with them too. A great result relies on a good partnership, and there are a lot of proactive things you can both do to make the relationship strong.

  2. Never assume! Speak up and ask questions, if you are not sure about something don’t keep quiet.

  3. Take advice, listen and learn - you know your business better than anyone but they know their business too and the right fit you will be on the same page most of the time.

  4. They will want the best outcome for you too - ask them what they want for you!

  5. Trust!

So, no matter where you are at in your business - just starting out, taking things to the next level, or going from strength to strength - there is always a time when there are things that need to be done and you just don’t have the expertise, time or ability to manage it. Let’s face it, not everyone is an expert in everything, so engaging in the services of an agency has so many benefits, but finding the right one is key!


WORDS | Fiona Keogh, TLSE



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