So content marketing is all the rage. Brands have realized that in order to engage with prospects and customer online they need to have it… and it needs to be good.  So what sets the top content marketing agencies apart from the rest? Read on, to learn more.

Social Objects: Agencies that have learned to look at content as what I like to call “social objects” can very much help you accelerate your engagement online.  What is a social object?  Well, think of the pen sitting on your desk. Its a physical object in the real world. You can interact with it, you can use it, and it does something. In the digital world, the goal for the top tier agencies (the ones that really understand how this all works) is to create digital social objects. In the same way that people engage with physical objects, a digital social object is something that visitors can interact with, use and actually do something with. In other words, the days of flat file white papers and long-form content are less exciting. Brands should be looking for ways to develop social objects that prospects and consumers can actually, for lack of a better term, play around with.

They’re Actually Publishers: Advanced brands that are at the top of their game in the content marketing realm have really transitioned into publishers. They may not call themselves that, but anybody who’s routinely pumping out high-quality content weekly knows what it feels like to hit deadlines with a focus on what’s going to grab the most attention. Creating a proper publishing house requires the right partner.  There are agencies that create content like brochures and sales slicks. Then there are the top content marketing agencies that create buzz. I prefer the latter.  Look for the ones that understand the need for volume and deadlines with a focus on grabbing the audience by the horns.

In-house design:  I seem to write this into most of my blogs. Maybe I’ve been burned one too many times by agencies that don’t have a proper in-house creative marketing team.  But the gist of it is that I am a strong believer in having routine access to the team you’re working with and that the creatives (copywriters, graphic designers, etc) don’t have distractions with dozens of other part-time clients. The top content marketing agencies have in-house teams. You’ll find this out with a few quick questions in your RFP.

Of course, there are lots of other criteria to look at. You can read up on that in this article: How To Choose a Marketing Agency.