Whether Berlin, Munich, Cologne, Hamburg or Frankfurt – content marketing agencies are springing up like mushrooms in Germany. But how do you find the right agency? contentmanager.de has examined and compared 16 agencies with content marketing expertise based on more than 120 criteria. The comparison is also available for download.
Today, content marketing is an essential discipline in online marketing. It is attractive for companies to have their own content marketing implemented by an agency. The reason: the professional continuous planning, production and distribution of content quickly costs a lot of resources. That’s why content marketing is often outsourced to service providers. But how do you find the right agency? What skills does it need to bring to the table? This article explains the criteria we applied to the comparison and you can download the summary using the form below.
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Extensive list of criteria for content marketing agencies leads to more transparency
The editorial team of contentmanager.de has held discussions with many content marketing experts. The result of these conversations is a very extensive list of criteria. With the help of this list we interviewed many agencies. One thing in advance: Only a few agencies saw themselves in a position to answer all our questions in detail. There were various reasons for this, ranging from too little time to unwillingness to answer our questions in the desired transparency. This brings us to the topic of transparency. There is still very little transparency in the content marketing agency market. As a result, marketing decision-makers have too little information on their own side to make an agency selection. In the end, it is often gut feeling or existing rope relationships with agencies that decide. In many cases, these agencies offer “content marketing” because the market demands it and not necessarily because they have mastered it. Nevertheless, we were able to find 16 agencies that willingly provided us with information and that are represented across the country and from small (10 employees) to large (400 employees).
Size does matter – or not?
At the beginning of the questionnaire we asked the agency as a company. Most agencies provided information about the number of employees and customers as well as the age of the company. We also asked which clients the agency works for. In this way, the agency comparison should also help to connect the right agencies and agency clients. In addition to size, we also looked at industry expertise. Depending on the size of the agency, some found it difficult to name just a few industries.
National versus international requirements in content marketing
If the company is international, the simplest case is to deliver all content in multiple languages. In addition to language, knowledge of the target country’s culture is also important. We asked which languages the agencies can serve. It quickly became clear that some agencies only offer one or two languages, while others bring a variety of languages to the table.
Core services and additional agency services
While some agencies put a clear focus on content strategy development, other agencies chose operational content production as their specialty. When it came to content production, we asked deeper questions about expertise in formats ranging from text to image to video, and from social content to SEO content.
Other criteria for choosing the right content marketing agency
Nowadays, agencies not only need skills in the form of suitable and trained employees. In addition, being equipped with the right software solutions is helpful. We also queried various infrastructures in this regard and were able to determine whether or not the agencies already have their own software for mapping editorial plans, for example. We also shed some light on the legal criteria. This allows us to quickly see whether the agencies offer standard contracts and whether the companies are certified.
The agencies’ pricing approaches
When asked about prices, the agencies’ willingness to provide information was heterogeneous. Of course, in the end, the price is only one component; before that, the competencies have to fit. Moreover, prices can be negotiated especially when it comes to larger projects or longer-term cooperation. In addition to the different daily rates, the minimum volume per year that an agency needs in order to work for the company is also an interesting factor.
These agencies are represented in the market overview
The following 16 content marketing agencies participated in the comparison (from A to Z):
The add2 agency, headquartered in Düsseldorf, has approximately 92 employees. The company has been around since 1997.
Their USP is:
“Media, technology, content marketing and analysis from a single agency | Data-based creation and real-time campaigns.”
Based in Bremen, the artundweise agency had 40 employees at the time of the survey. According to its own information, it thus achieved a turnover of 2.4 million euros in 2018. The company, which has been in existence since 1991, sees its USP in the following approach:
“We accompany medium-sized companies in the transformation of their communication into the digital age.”
C3 Creative Code and Content GmbH
The content marketing agency C3 is headquartered in Berlin. In addition, it has other headquarters in Munich, Stuttgart, Hamburg and Frankfurt. Even if you leave out companies in which C3 has a stake, the agency has about 400 employees. The agency was founded in 2001.
“Creating what matters – C3 is the leading provider of content marketing solutions for German and international companies. The agency successfully combines creativity, technological understanding and content excellence.”
Fink & Fuchs AG
Fink & Fuchs AG operates from Wiesbaden with 80 employees. In addition to Wiesbaden, it has offices in Munich and Berlin. The agency was founded back in 1988.
“As a specialist in the communication of change and technological transformation, Fink & Fuchs has been the strategic partner for companies, associations and public clients for 30 years.”
The agency greatcontent is based in Berlin with 30 employees and has been active since 2011.
House of YAS
The 30-strong team at content marketing agency House of YAS is based in Cologne and was founded in 2013.
“We are the specialists for strategy, conception and implementation of data-based and creative content hubs.”
Kresse & Discher GmbH
Founded back in 1990, the agency based in Offenburg and Eschborn offers content marketing services with about 50 employees.
“Special expertise in cross-media brand communication B2C – made to measure”.
morefire GmbH has 73 employees. When asked about its USP, the company replied, “We are a HubSpot Diamond Partner.”
Performics Germany GmbH
The international agency Performics is headquartered in Chicago in the USA. In Germany, it is active in Berlin, Düsseldorf and Hamburg. In total, it has locations in 56 other countries. It has more than 200 employees and realized a turnover of 31.6 million euros in 2018. The agency was founded in 1998.
“Performics connects brands and people in the field of paid, organic or content – with networked precision marketing and individual, tool-based solutions.”
pilot Hamburg GmbH & Co KG
As the company’s name suggests, it has its headquarters in Hamburg. Additionally, it is represented in Berlin, Munich, Stuttgart, Nuremberg and Mainz. With 420 employees and an annual turnover of 37.6 million euros in 2018, it is one of the largest agencies surveyed in this market overview. Its USP: “Integrated communications solutions across a wide range of disciplines, such as content, campaign, social media, market research and media.”
Profilwerkstatt GmbH is based in Darmstadt, Munich and Düsseldorf and has around 80 employees. Founded in 2009, the agency’s USP: “Profilwerkstatt is the house of content experts. We focus on B2B content and communication strategies – business, finance, management, technology, chemistry. We are the communicative companion of the digital transformation. In this context, we are engaged for internal & change communication and for executive communication.”
The agency, which belongs to Publicis Groupe Paris, is headquartered in Hamburg. It also has offices in Cologne, Berlin, Erlangen and Munich in Germany. It has over 700 employees. When asked about its USP, the agency replied, “We offer digitization expertise and cover all services from strategy development to content production and distribution.”
startklar! Digital Marketing & Coaching
The content marketing agency is located in Bayrischzell, a community of about 1600 inhabitants, and employs about 10 people. The company has been active since 2002.
Their USP: “We develop the digital heartbeat for unique people and companies. Coupled with an exceptional sense of trends and opportunities, we connect their business to the world.”
Studio1 (R) Kommunikation GmbH
In addition to its headquarters in Heilbad Heiligenstadt, the agency has another headquarters in Berlin. Approximately 40 employees generated a turnover of 3 million euros in 2018. The company has been on the market since 1991. The agency’s USP is as follows: “Communication is everything, everything is communication: we are a full-service agency with a constant eye on the future.”
THE DIGITALE GmbH
Munich-based agency The Digitale GmbH employs 15 people and has been in existence since 2014. Its USP: “We offer full service in the field of digital content marketing and map the entire value chain of digital marketing. We always work in an agile and data-driven way.”
xeomed GmbH & Co. KG
The Nuremberg site is home to 35 employees of xeomed GmbH & Co. KG. In 2018, it realized sales of 4.7 million euros. In 2009, the agency was founded. Their USP: “xeomed has positioned itself as an agency for online marketing and is the specialist for digital campaigns in the pharmaceutical and healthcare sector. Above all, the healthcare content area is a focal point. The company can draw on an in-house editorial team with medical expertise. The basis for the digital marketing model is data-based and performance-oriented work.”
Finding the right content marketing agency is no piece of cake. With our market overview, we would like to bring more transparency to this confusing market and help companies find the right agency for their own needs. At this point, thank you once again to the content marketing agencies that are not afraid of transparency and have proactively participated in our agency comparison.