Choosing the right technical content creation service can be overwhelming. You may be searching for a writing service to get a reliable cadence of content, discover new ways to connect with your audience, solve content creation issues, or help you work through strategy challenges. Whatever the reason may be, it’s a decision that will free up your time to focus on your business instead of being bogged down by tasks and deadlines.
To get the most out of your technical content marketing, you should find a partner that can provide the quality of work you need and has a team you get along with. This way you can build and maintain a long-term relationship, which will help your brand and content in the long run.
If that wasn’t hard enough to find, if you work in a very technical space, you need to consider the niche specialization required of your content partner. In this case, they need to create value-driven content that combines dynamic storytelling with technical knowledge.
So, what exactly should you look for when hiring a technical content creation service? Here’s a list of nine qualities we recommend:
They are a partner instead of a vendor
What exactly is the difference between a vendor and a partner?
A vendor is a short-term solution that simply provides goods or services. They typically use a cookie-cutter approach for all their clients. This means the content they provide you won’t be specifically tailored to your brand.
On the other hand, a partner aims to team up with you for the long haul and will work to nurture and grow your business over time. A partner will work strategically to understand your goals and vision, and bring a full range of expertise to the table. Additionally, a partner puts your brand first and ensures your voice and messaging shine through.
They have the technical know-how in addition to killer copywriting
While every market has its own challenges, technical content creation requires an extra level of know-how. It’s not enough to just be a great writer. Technical content creators need the knowledge to produce anything of value to a smart audience that is easily turned off by shallow and inaccurate tech content. You want an agency that can authentically speak the language of your audience.
Who are their writers? What experience do they have? How are they vetted? A partner that demonstrates the ability to understand the nuances of your niche at a deep level will gain better results.
Another factor to consider is editing. Tech writers are primarily tech experts first and writers second. To create a piece of content that is technically sound and compelling while also being SEO-friendly, there should be a solid editorial process to ensure the final product is polished. Look for a provider that offers a collaborative approach to content creation.
They can see the bigger picture & talk strategy
A one-and-done approach to content marketing isn’t going to boost your brand. Piecemealing content or pumping out pieces just to hit a publishing quota is a major disservice to your marketing efforts, but we know how it is when there are only so many hours in a day. To avoid falling into these traps, look for a partner that takes a strategy-driven approach to content creation and sees the bigger picture.
You may be seeking a hands-off approach to your content creation, or you may wish to be more involved and collaborative in the process. Either way, there are some key qualities you should look for in your content partner.
You want an experienced technical content strategist that can understand the intricacies of your product. Do they go the extra mile? Do they proactively offer ideas and suggestions? At the end of the day, having a good tech strategist on your team will help power you through your roadblocks.
They have demonstrated results and expertise in your space
Do they have a relevant portfolio? Who is on their client roster? Have they worked with someone like you before?
While having a portfolio is a must, it’s also wise to see how the work has driven results for brands. Look at testimonials, read reviews, and ask for references.
Also, take a look at how long the provider has been around. Long-standing agencies tend to already have fine-tuned processes in place. You can be sure they are pros at keeping their workflow well-managed and efficient.
They have industry experience
Working with a content marketing agency that focuses on your niche is strongly beneficial.
They typically have worked with other clients in your space, or even with your competitors. This gives them a unique perspective of seeing what worked in the past and they can use what they learned to help you.
They have an eye on industry trends, predictions, and tactics. And this can give you a competitive edge. Because they work so deeply in your space, they will also know where your audience lives and can use this knowledge to plan content that will reach your target demographic.
They have a transparent and fine-tuned process
It’s not just about what work they do or who does the work — it’s also about how they get the work done. What processes do they have in place? How is communication managed? How is content collaborated on and delivered?
For example, we here at ContentLab found much success with creating a custom dashboard for each client. Using this dashboard, our clients can view the status of each project in real-time, receive content deliveries, and communicate easily and quickly between teams. This method means no one is left in the dark about where their project is at.
The best agencies have fine-tuned processes that they developed over years in the field. They constantly work to review their methodology, and refine their workflows to stay above the market’s needs while providing the most enjoyable client experience.
They have efficient project management
Content creation has a lot of moving pieces beyond the actual writing. The truth is working with writers can be difficult. There are many deadlines and unexpected bumps along the way. This is where hiring a content creation partner can come in handy.
Working with a partner means you gain the expertise of an experienced team who already know how to handle all the moving pieces. A great agency will have a dedicated project manager to streamline the whole process for you. This person oversees the entire content creation workflow, and keeps writers and editors on track to complete the work and meet deadlines.
The project manager will be your main point of contact, and are available for any questions or trouble-shooting.
They are capable of scaling and producing reliably
A common struggle of content marketing is not being able to scale up and down as needed, or to produce content at a reliable cadence to keep your audience engaged.
A dedicated technical content creation service will help you do just that.
When seeking the right content partner for you, take note of how many writers they have in your space. If the agency doesn’t have enough talent in your niche, there will be inevitable project delays waiting for authors to become available. Or worse, an author lacking the proper experience may be assigned to you. To avoid this, look for an agency with an expansive vetted pool of trusted authors.
They invest in your relationship
Marketing takes time and requires trust to be built. The minimum retainer is eight months to a year for any content marketing to yield concrete results. The right partner will be interested in working with you for the long haul, and you should seek partners that are as excited about your tech as you are.
A technical content partner doesn’t take a transactional approach to delivering content. They take the time to ask questions and learn the nuances of your brand. Ideally, it’s a long-term working relationship that only gets better with time. Second projects tend to go better than first ones, and upwards from there as both teams develop a deeper understanding and rhythm.
Improve your technical content creation workflow with the right partner
When you work with the right agency, your success is their success. A technical content service that aims to work with you long-term is more invested in your brand. Developing a meaningful relationship with your technical content team is a smart decision if you are serious about your content marketing.
If you want to maintain a competitive advantage in your industry and scale your business, you should take content marketing seriously. Though the obstacles can be frustrating, we hope these nine suggestions will help you find the right technical content creation partner for you.
Above all else, look for a partner who is invested in your business and shares in your success by viewing your content as if it were their own.