How to get the most out of your content marketing agency

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7 steps to better work and a better working relationship with your agency partners.

Scott Elmslie

Think of the strongest relationships in your life. What makes it a success? Normally it boils down to only a few key things:
  • Communication
  • Trust 
  • Mutual respect
Working with your agency partners really shouldn’t be any different. 

People sit around a boardroom table discussing content marketing.

We believe the best relationships are developed over time and both the client and agency are on a shared journey. As our strategy director Kate said in a recent article, content marketing is all about the long game and it takes time and a considered strategic approach to grow, engage and influence the audience from the dream state through to becoming brand advocates. 

Given this journey can be long and complex, you need to make sure you share the above values but also that you are getting all you had hoped from your partner when you start. 

Here are some simple steps to ensure you are getting the most from your agency. 

1. Have shared goals and objectives

If there is visibility and transparency on the desired outcomes, it keeps everyone moving in the same direction. 

Have a clear objective for the content that is being produced and ensure that everything aligns to the wider business purpose.

2. Make them an extension of your team

From the outset, it’s important to take your agency partners on the journey. This includes a robust onboarding process and ensuring they have a solid, ongoing understanding of your broader activity. If your internal marketing team needs to know something, there’s a really good chance that your agency partners would benefit from that information as well. 

This can help us understand new campaigns and their goals, and produce more tailored content for your audience.

3. Set up regular reporting on results

Make sure there is a process in place to share and analyse results and monitor how everything is tracking towards your objectives. 

As an agency we always want to be on the hook for something while also having clear marketing metrics to help guide what’s working and what’s not. 

This makes for a much more considered approach plus better planning and return on investment.

4. Have confidence in them

As a business you’ll have gone through a rigorous process before selecting the best agency partner. You’ve brought them into your business for a reason so you shouldn’t need to micromanage them. 

They are there to do all the heavy lifting, so welcome the fresh thinking and external perspective to leverage their expertise.

5. Be open to change

With an industry that is constantly evolving, the mantra of ‘that’s the way we’ve always done it’ needs to be left in the drawer. Your agency should be experts in their field and will come to you with years of experience, market insights and a clear, considered approach to new thinking.
This doesn’t need to be a baby out with the bathwater situation but an opportunity to test and learn something new.  

6. Outline clear roles and responsibilities

While your account manager should always be your principal point of contact, it’s essential to get to know the team who are working on your brief and the role they play. 

On the client side, it’s important to establish primary contacts for approvals and escalations if required. 

We also like to include a simple RACI model for each project. This helps to avoid any confusion on who should be involved and when. 

A poster with a colourful background reading "I really like the colour but can you change it."

7. Provide ongoing feedback

As an agency we love clear, concise feedback. This is a topic we explored recently in our blog.  

There’s a fine line between feedback that’s not specific enough (“I don’t like it”) and feedback that’s so detailed that it leaves no room for the agency’s expertise – just ask these graphic designers.

If something isn’t working, it’s always best to find out as early as possible in the process. Being upfront and decisive saves everyone time and gets to a better outcome quicker. 

At Hardie Grant Media, we excel at making sure our clients are happy. If you’d like to know more about how we work, email me today.

By Scott Elmslie, account director

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