Top 5 Tips to Manage a Small Content Agency

If you’re serious about content marketing or producing content in general, there are going to be more than one person involved. After all, effective content marketing isn’t solely the domain of marketing for they don’t know everything that matters in a company. It’s something that the whole company should undertake.

The thing is, when you multiply the people involved, you also multiply the problems, the number of balls you’ve got to juggle and the assignments you’ve got to keep track of.  That means that the more people you’ve got, the less you can simply play it by ear and hope for the best. You’ve got to have a strategy in place and you’ve got to make sure that you understand the most important factors that are involved. 

To help you towards that end, here follow some of the most distinctive features of small content writing agency management.

Long-term planning

Another vital part of a small content writing agency management is having a long-term plan. You really can’t just swing back and forth as the wind shifts. You’ve got to have a strategy and a direction that you’re heading in.

Why?

Because, otherwise, you’re not going to give the customer a cohesive picture nor are you going to be building towards a coherent brand identity. And as that is to a large extent the point of content marketing, that means you’re going to not actually be doing what you’re supposed to.

The most effective route I’ve found towards starting any long-term planning activity was to start off by creating a purpose for the brand. With several other people, we would sit down and decide what we were trying to say. We’d take all the ideas we came up with and would then edit them down into a sort of mission statement for the content marketing team.

This would then allow us to work out if a piece of content we were trying to create fit with what we’d put down on paper or not. If it did, we’d create the content, if it didn’t it wouldn’t see the light of day.

The great thing about this strategy is that it allows you to create quite diverse content without what you’re doing feeling like a scatter-shot as it always still obeyed this central concept that we’d worked out.

People management

If you think writers are difficult to manage try people that don’t write for a living but suddenly have to. They have all the vulnerabilities and sensitivities of writers, without any of the calluses that come along with writing professionally.

As I discovered when I started out trying to create a cohesive content writing team, people that aren’t experienced in this regard are often hyper-sensitive to criticism. And guess what? You’ve got to somehow explain to them why what they wrote had to be turned into what you put up. That’s not easy.

What I’ve found was often a good idea was to take a person’s text, edit it into something better and then send it back to them for comments and corrections. In this way, they got a chance to once again make the text their own and the fact that you came back to them for more ideas makes them feel like their opinion is still being respected (even if their writing skills aren’t).

Editing

When people at my company first started producing content I thought it was going to be a breeze. They’d send me the content, I’d give it the once over and then that would be that. I’d be able to put it up and move on to the next one.

Boy, I couldn’t have been more wrong. You often forget when you work with writers that a lot that most people can’t write. They don’t understand the structure of a piece. They don’t grasp pacing. They don’t know how to put text up succinctly and clearly.

All that is your job. And that is quite a bit of responsibility.

What’s more, it requires a real balancing act. You’ve got to turn the text into something high-quality, even while you make sure that you also keep the soul of the person who wrote the piece in there, so that they still recognize is as their own.

Edit too little and the text won’t be appreciated. Edit too much and the writer will get discouraged and disenchanted with the idea of being a part of the content production team.

Social trends

Content creation isn’t just about the words. In order to get your small content agency into the list of the best writing services and to be the most effective with your content, you’ve got to make sure that you’re aware where your audience is at, what technology they are using and how you can most effectively reach them there.

And that means knowing what’s going on out there, what people are talking about and – to some extent most importantly – how they are talking about it.

Nothing is a bigger turn-off for many people than having the feeling that a bunch of suits is trying to move into their territory and try to appear hip. The only way to avoid that is to be aware of the "does" and "don’ts".

That means doing a lot of research (or having other people do it for you) so that you know what’s going on and you can react accordingly. If you can manage that, you’ll multiply the effectiveness of what you’re doing. If you can’t, well then your words will be so much wasted ink (or should that be bits?).

Number Knowledge

Another aspect that small content agency owners have to understand is the numbers, as without a grasp of the numbers and what they mean there really is no way for anybody to know what content is working well and what isn’t.

And that means you’re basically flying blind, as it means you can’t hone your message to better suit your audience and give them what they’re looking for.

What’s more, you can be sure that your competition is using the numbers. That means that they’ll react to changes to changes and developments while you’re not aware of them until people online start talking about them.

Now, that doesn’t mean you immediately need a degree in statistics to manage content creators. Most analytical programs out there give you a decent idea of what’s going on if you just practice some common sense.

But you do have to practice it. That means looking at the numbers frequently and matching them up with the activities you’re carrying out. Even better, it means things like A/B testing and other strategies to really get to grips with what is and isn’t working. 

Last Words

Managing a small content writing agency means managing a lot of responsibilities. Not only do you need to know where the team is going in the long term, manage the people that are in your team and make sure all the texts that you produce are up to a given standard, but you’ve also got to respond to trends and understand the numbers.

That’s means juggling a lot of balls. And you’ve got to make sure you can keep them all up in the air. If you can’t, there’s a good chance that your content does not live up to the expectations of those higher up – and that’s not good for you or for the people writing for you.

So make sure you’ve got all these areas shipshape, so as to show everybody how effective your small content agency can be if it is done well. 

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