A healthy and productive agency relationship is priceless. Approaching collaboration with the right mindset can be challenging, but the value of the combined expertise of several individuals is unmatched. Here is a comprehensive checklist of things to define, ask and share with your agency to ensure that a communication meltdown does not derail your marketing efforts.
Discuss and Share
If the brand has a content team or a social media team, they may be able to provide insight to the producing agency. Getting the conversation going between both teams can give the content direction and purpose.Consider the following key areas for topics of discussion:
- Company goals and campaign objectives
- Proprietary data available for use
- Peak season trends
- Most successful published content
- Content available for repurposing
- Marketing guidelines and legal considerations
- Competitor initiatives
- Industry conversations
- The brand’s social presence and target audience
- Where the content being produced fits in the conversion funnel
“Gettin’ good players is easy. Gettin’ ‘em to play together is the hard part.” ~Casey Stengela
This collaboration reduces risk, since both the brand and the agency drive content production, making it easier to make the necessary approvals along the way. Collaborative check-ins ensure that everyone is on the same page, and can help a brand save time and money by preventing production waste. An added bonus of teamwork is an opportunity for a promotion powerhouse. Both social teams working together supercharges a promotion campaign, increasing catalyzing discovery and boosting popularity of the post.
Over time, relationships between agencies and brands improve and grow, as they work together towards an identified goal, pulling from pooled resources and learning from performance trends.
There’s No “I” in Team
Here are some helpful tips to combat those “me” thoughts when in a collaborative situation:
1. Define project criteria clearly before beginning production to ensure that there’s no miscommunication that may add tension to the relationship between teams.
- What’s the goal of the content?
- Who is the target audience?
- Why will this piece of content be of value to the target audience?
- Is the topic related to a season or trend?
- What are the overall campaign objectives?
- What is the media type to be produced?
- Where and from whom is the data to be included in the content coming?
- Is there a placement and promotion plan?
- What’s the estimated release date?
- Who makes up the production team and what are their individual responsibilities?
- How are we measuring success? What are the KPIs?
2. Let the project itself lead the collaboration experience. When faced with a fork in the road, consider how the suggested idea will affect the project plan.
3. Accept that you can’t win them all and know when to respectfully agree to disagree and move on.
4. When stuck in a rut or faced with indecision, whiteboard it out! Sometimes visuals help make things clearer.
5. Email communication can be tedious and inefficient. All contributors should meet up for periodic check-ins.
6. Bring ideas and working examples to the table to support your suggestions. Help the team see what you are trying to achieve. Remember that they cannot see what you are thinking
7. Be open to other people’s ideas!
Follow these guidelines to ensure that your agency relationship runs smoothly. Feel free to comment with any other tips that have worked for you!
You can download CLASS: An insider’s guide to the Slingshot SEO methodology to get a sense of how our agency interacts with clients.