No two companies have the same content marketing needs—and, as luck would have it, no two content marketing firms offer quite the same areas of specialization. That means there is likely a company out there that can meet your content needs—but it also means you’re going to have to do some research to find it.

But how can you tell? When interviewing a new content marketing firm, how do you ensure that it has the resources and the skillsets you require? How can you be certain that your content marketing goals will be met?

You probably can’t, quite honestly—but there are a few indicators to watch out for, a few hints that you’re not barking up the wrong tree.

People and Technology

One thing to do, when interviewing a new content marketing firm, is to ask for a list of all the people who will be working on your account—not just their names but also their job titles. This can tell you a great deal about whether the company has the specific resources you require. For instance, if you know that what you need is stronger online copywriting, make sure one of the team members is listed as a Copywriter, Staff Writer, etc.

You can also ask about technology—with the caveat that most firms will have some proprietary technologies they won’t want to share with you. Still, you should be able to get at least a partial list of some technologies employed, and those technologies should reveal much about the scope of the company and the breadth of its resources.

Reviews and Recommendations

When interviewing a new content marketing firm, always ask for testimonials—and then actually read them! Study them in search for specifics—not just generic praise. See if the testimonials have any trends or noteworthy inclinations—for instance, if a lot of them seem to talk about strategy, or to mention Facebook, or to highlight copywriting or design work.

LinkedIn recommendations can also be revealing. Make sure to scour them for signs of where the content marketing firm seems to shine!

Examples of Leadership

A final observation: You can tell much about a content marketer’s acumen by the company blog. If the firm doesn’t have a blog, that’s a huge red flag. If the company has a blog but just repeats the same tired tips, that’s not much better. A firm that actually provides good, versatile tips day after day and week after week… that kind of thought leadership speaks volumes.