A business wanting to engage in content marketing sometimes looks with disdain at the activity of the content agency. The contempt is not unearned – content mills have infested the content agency space, and many times, businesses can’t be bothered with low-quality content that they need to redo themselves. For small companies and startups, paying a content mill to generate or spin content for them isn’t economically feasible. It’s far easier for them to look into hiring an individual writer that they can communicate with directly. The problem with this bad rap is that content mills are different entities to content agencies.

Content Mills vs. Content Agencies

The Balance SMB notes that a content mill usually churns out content and underpay their writers – production hours are significant, but actual in-depth content isn’t what they produce. Their writing is weak, usually not supported by much evidence, and doesn’t call upon expert writers to create their pieces. The result is content that is lacking in style, substance, and impact – the exact opposite of what a company needs in its content marketing materials.

Conversely, a content agency does more than just churn out written content for their clients. Content Marketing Institute mentions that a content agency is designed to help a business market themselves by developing a content strategy in tandem with the company’s leaders. Content agencies in 2019 take on the task of aiding their clients to make themselves more visible and provide high-quality, useful content that is both informative and actionable. In essence, a content mill differs from a content agency in the quality, transparency, and individual attention they offer to their clients.

Why Choose a Content Marketing Agency?

Content production is still the number one way for businesses to interact with their clientele online. Most small companies think they can do the whole content marketing department on their own with a small in-house team, but a content agency offers more than just content creation. Marketing Insider Group mentions that content marketing is as much as three times more effective at growing a business than other outbound strategies, but this growth hinges on the quality and consistency of the content the company produces. Content agencies offer several benefits over an in-house team, such as:

  • Better Accountability – Businesses usually sign contracts with agencies requiring them to perform, which means that content agency has a vested interest in the success of the campaign
  • Expertly Produced Content – Content agencies produce content by investing in writers and marketers that have an understanding of the field they are creating content for
  • Higher Quality Work – Generally, content agencies have a team working on a particular job, meaning that the final product is far more polished than if an individual did it
  • Budget-Friendly – Agencies tend to be more cost effective for small and medium businesses than hiring their own in-house content personnel
  • On-Demand Troubleshooting – Content marketing is an inexact science, and while companies may have an idea of what they want to happen, sometimes they hit snags that require expert input to resolve.

Accountability, Transparency, and Quality

A professional content agency is one that is upfront with its clients. All jobs that the agency does should have the input and verification of the customer. Change in the direction of the content is usually up to the customer, and the agency’s personnel try to combine the customer’s vision with the efficient delivery of engaging content. Instead of merely producing filler, content agencies try to involve the customer and offer material that is not just entertaining but informative.

For a small or medium business, trying to develop and maintain a content development strategy is sometimes too much, especially if the department in charge of content is tiny. As the business scales, these smaller departments are likely to become swamped with trying to keep up several content marketing channels.

Companies faced with these looming challenges shouldn’t be afraid to call for help, and outsourcing to a content agency is not something that a business should discount. In fact, according to the Digital Marketing Institute, thanks to improved search algorithms, content marketing has never before been as important as it is now. Getting content right takes a lot of people, time, and effort. A content agency offers all of this under a single banner, and a business that wants to see its content succeed is well advised to deal with a professional content agency.