The 11 Best Content Marketing Agencies in 2022

I hate to break it to you, but there’s no such thing as “the best content marketing agency.”

I could make a list of the biggest content marketing agencies, but that doesn’t mean they’re the best.

Or I could make a list with the most reviews on G2 Crowd or something, but we all know those can be gamed.

So what value is my list going to provide? It will outline content agencies that I think are doing good work (including my own), and I’ll give you criteria on which you should choose them.

After all, even though I run my own content marketing agency, I know we’re not a fit for everyone. And when we talk to someone and realize we’re not a fit, we try to avoid working together.

Whether you’re a startup, scale up or enterprise; whether you’re in ecommerce, lead generation, or B2B SaaS – there’s an agency out there for you, and hopefully this list will narrow the search for you and help you decide.

Let’s start at a high level, though. What does a content marketing agency actually do? And what dimensions make a content agency “good”?

What is a Content Marketing Agency and How Should You Choose One?

Some people view content as all encompassing, reaching social media marketing, blogging, SEO, video product and video marketing, and sometimes even paid advertising (if it includes the content and media creation).

Some, however, view content marketing as simply blogging and writing.

The true definition, unfortunately, is sort of in the eye of the beholder.

Basically, my definition of a content marketing agency is: a consulting firm that helps a business grow through content. At heart, this means creating content on owned platforms (i.e. for your website). Social media, YouTube, and paid ads are ways you can distribute this content, so they aren’t necessary to define yourself as a content marketing agency (though often, they can be included).

The clause “grow through content” is important. This means the content created needs to have a strategy behind it. Those who just write content are content writers, freelancers, or content writing agencies, but I don’t view them as “content marketing agencies,” because the exclude the “marketing” aspect of it all.

So what criteria are we going to judge agencies on?

Industry and focus

The first thing many people want to know when they work with an agency is, “do you work with other companies like ours?”

This is a good question, and it matters, but it’s not the most important question.

The two benefits to working with someone who specializes in your niche are economies of scale and accumulation of knowledge.

Economies of scale benefit content agencies that specialize for a few reasons.

First, if they work with many writers in the same space, they can typically hire more in-house writers or long term contractors, which means they can lower their costs (and sometimes pass those cost savings onto you). If an agency is diluted in 10 different industries, they have to hire specialists for each of these spaces.

Second, they can do the same thing with link building, which is a product of one’s network. Our agency, for example, specializes in B2B SaaS, and we know essentially every editor who publishes in this space. If we were to, for example, take a client that sells flowers online, it would be very difficult (but not impossible) for us to make connections to build links for them.

Accumulation of knowledge is even more important. As an agency works on several strategies in a given space, they start to learn things that dilettantes can’t. For example, especially in B2B SaaS, the most profitable keywords tend not to show much search volume in standard SEO tools (Ahrefs, Semrush, they all suffer from this).

Because of this underestimation, if you tackle these keywords, you can often print money because the keywords are product led and have very little competition.

So if you can, it does help to find someone focused on ecommerce. Or early stage startups. Or large enterprises. Or B2B SaaS. Whatever your niche and scale is.

Experience and reputation

Obviously, experience and reputation count for something. It’s not easy to maintain a good reputation in this space if you’re not putting out good work. And having many years of experience leads agencies to make fewer mistakes and have more frameworks, tactics, and tools of the trade that you might not have heard about.

We all know now about topic clusters, but not everyone truly understands how to create them and why to create them. I’ve seen so many prospective clients misunderstand this that it’s not even funny.

Experience breeds this hard fought wisdom and teaches agencies to focus on the things that matter and move the needle.

However, that’s not always the case – I still see a lot of mishaps with agencies that have been in business for decades. Wasting tons of time on compiling huge keyword lists of irrelevant topics, spending months creating buyer personas that they don’t end up using, etc.

Reputation, however, is a good bet. If you can get a recommendation from a trusted colleague, I’d take that recommendation seriously.

The converse (someone having had a bad experience), though, you have to take with a grain of salt. Like I said, not all agencies are good fits for all clients. So it could have been the case that goals were misaligned, but that agency could do wonderful work for you. If that’s the case, you should still jump on a call and come with great questions.

Scope

Is your content agency a full service digital marketing agency? Or do they focus only on content marketing?

In content marketing, do they do it all (content strategy, production, promotion, optimization, analytics, operations), or do they specialize in one or a few of these? What’s their secret ingredient among these? Ours is content strategy and analytics, but we offer all of the above.

It’s just my opinion, but you probably shouldn’t get a full service agency to do your content. They often treat it like an afterthought, handing your account off to junior employees, so you end up spending extra money with little to show for it. Of course, if your prerogative is to get one firm in to take your mind off all these channels, that can be a benefit. But in most cases, hiring agencies that solely focus on their “thing” is the way to go.

Cost

This all depends on your budget, there’s no right or wrong answer here.

Some agencies are cheap – a couple thousand bucks a month. Some are more expensive, like mine – our average deal is going to be about $15k a month, but our minimum is around $7k per month.

Typically, cost correlates with quality, but not always. That’s why the other criteria (reputation, scope, experience) need to factor heavily into your equation.

Cost is really just a limiting factor – you have a set budget, and obviously, if an agency is more expensive than that, it’s going to be difficult to hire them. These agencies are typically hiring more senior managing editors, writers, and strategists, so you can’t expect a big discount.

Cost is an easy one to sort out in that way. Most of the agencies on this list are going to be on the more expensive side. Unfortunately, there’s no such thing as free lunch. If you want to save money, you’re going to have to do a lot more work on your side with management, editing, and strategy. For instance, you could hire an agency like mine to come up with your content strategy, and then hire cheaper freelancers or a cheap content mill to write your content. Your mileage may vary.

The 11 Best Content Marketing Agencies in 2022

  1. Omniscient Digital
  2. Siege Media
  3. Grow and Convert
  4. Foundation
  5. Codeless
  6. Optimist
  7. Brafton
  8. Seer Interactive
  9. Seven Atoms
  10. Animalz
  11. Marketing Insider Group

1. Omniscient Digital

Omniscient Digital is my own agency, so obviously take my personal bias into account when I describe this (and everything else) in the article.

Omniscient Digital is a full service content marketing agency that offers content marketing strategy, content production, content promotion and distribution, and content optimization. We also build content growth models and make sure your analytics are set up so you’re able to attribute the value of our content marketing.

The founders – myself, David Khim, and Allie Decker – met while working at HubSpot. To a degree, we all built our careers on writing and content marketing, and of course, we got to see how content works at HubSpot.

David and I came from the growth side of the organization, and Allie came from freelance writing and worked on thought leadership at HubSpot. This combination of product management, growth-focused performance marketing, and content writing has helped us drive both results and content quality for our clients.

Every engagement starts with a robust discussion of goals and formation of a cogent strategy. Only from there do we produce best in the world content. Promotion depends on strategy, too – sometimes we help clients repurpose thought leadership posts into email marketing, LinkedIn, Twitter, and sales enablement. Much of the time, we help clients build high power links to their new posts.

We primarily focus on B2B SaaS, having helped companies like Wunderkind, HotJar, Madison Logic, and AppSumo grow through content.

2. Siege Media

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Siege Media is a content marketing & SEO agency focused on the B2C space, including ecommerce, but with many large consumer logos like Zillow, Airbnb, and Casper.

The agency has 100+ employees with tons of experience particularly writing SEO-driven content and attaining backlinks, both actively and passively.

I did an interview with Ross Hudgens, the founder and CEO of Siege, on my podcast. In it, he spoke about why they chose to become a design-focused content marketing agency.

How they do SEO content is different. They’ve got a whole team of designers and heavily index on design as a competitive advantage. This is true of their own content and website, and they also use this to invoke trust and authority for the content they produce for clients.

3. Grow and Convert

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Grow and Convert is one of my favorite content marketing agencies because of the thought leadership they’ve put out into the world.

They’ve created frameworks like “pain point SEO” that helped me think about how I approach topic ideation. They’ve also written advanced guides to content marketing attribution that I think elevate the industry.

At heart, they also sell business results and performance marketing, which differs from many content marketing agencies who just sell deliverables and word counts.

Grow and Convert works with both B2B and B2C businesses, with logos like Leadfeeder, Patreon, and Helpspot on their site.

4. Foundation

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Foundation Inc is a top tier content marketing agency that is famous for content promotion and content distribution. In other words, they take your content and get it *seen* so it performs well and actually reaches your target audience (perhaps more than half the battle – the “marketing” side of content that is often forgotten).

Ross Simmonds leads Foundation and he’s one of the most interesting and inspirational thought leaders in the space. A very good follow on LinkedIn and Twitter.

The firm, while focusing on content promotion, also offers strategy and content audits, content writing and editing, and audience intelligence. They serve B2B companies.

5. Codeless

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Codeless is a high scale content marketing strategy and production agency. Their sister agency, Userp.io, also focuses on digital PR and link building, which is of course a highly complementary offering.

Codeless impresses me for a number of reasons, namely their scale. In a case study, they wrote about how they ramped up content production for Monday.com, writing and optimizing over 750 articles in 9 months.

I asked Brad Smith, their founder, about their process for being able to handle such a high production volume, and he was incredibly generous and smart in describing how they hire writers and build processes:

6. Optimist

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Optimist is a collective of sorts – an “anti-agency.”

We interviewed their founder, Tyler Hakes, on the podcast, where explained this novel business model:

I do miss that mustache, by the way.

Anyway, from my conversation with Tyler, I learned that Optimist is eminently focused on good content strategy, which is a good sign. Without a good strategy, your content production efforts are likely going to be wasted.

They focus primarily on serving product-led companies in the software space, and they offer all the standard content services from writing and blogging, strategy, optimization, and promotion.

7. Brafton

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Brafton is one of the largest content marketing firms out there right now.

They call themselves a “creative content marketing agency,” and you can see by their services menu that they mainly focus on content production of all various types:

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The two services that stand out to me are “video services” and “graphic design,” which are often not offered or are subcontracted by other agencies.

They do, however, offer a whole slew of other services from social media to email marketing and paid as well:

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So in this respect, they’re a full service digital marketing agency, though they do seem to focus primarily on content.

8. Seer Interactive

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Seer Interactive is definitely not just a content marketing agency – that, in fact, may be a small part of what they do. But I had to include them because their founder, Wil Reynolds, looms large over the content marketing thought leadership space.

They’re a data-driven firm, with analytics at the heart of all their services. And their service range widely, from conversion rate optimization to search engine optimization, creative, analytics, audience intelligence, and more.

Wil and Seer are some of the biggest names in the SEO industry as a whole. They’re likely more at the enterprise tier when it comes to their pricing and companies they work with.

Even if you don’t work with them, their blog and conference talks are great places to learn both introductory and advanced SEO lessons.

9. Seven Atoms

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Seven Atoms is an ecommerce content marketing agency that does both inbound marketing and PPC management.

To be honest, it’s hard to find an ecommerce content agency that focuses only on content. Perhaps due to the nature of growth priorities for ecommerce, most of the agencies I’ve heard of or researched tend to be full service. Or at least they also offer paid advertising to complement their SEO and content.

The SEO firms in this space tend to take a technical outlook, focusing on site structure and getting product pages to rank.

However, Seven Atoms does it all – foundational SEO strategy, blogging and content marketing, social media marketing, demand generation and lead nurturing, and even setting up your marketing technology stack (they’re a HubSpot partner).

They’re full service as well, helping you with PPC, paid social, display, and more.

10. Animalz

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Animalz is one of the leadest content agencies focused on a wide variety of clients from enterprise companies to startups and VC firms.

The agency is well known for their remarkable thought leadership, led by VP of Marketing Ryan Law.

They’ve introduced concepts to the industry like “is your blog a library or a publication” and “movement first content,” which speaks to companies who are trying to create their own new product category.

According to their website, their services range from product marketing to SEO, brand awareness, lead generation, and content promotion and content distribution (which includes link building, social media copy, and email copy).

Animalz is one of the best known brand names in the content space.

11. Marketing Insider Group

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Marketing Insider Group is a content marketing agency working with 30+ company blogs to drive traffic, rankings, and sales.

Run by Michael Brenner, who built many of the content initiatives at SAP, the company focuses on business consulting, teaching clients strategic lessons like how many blog posts would be optimal to publish, how to define proper goals with content marketing, and ultimately, how to establish ROI with the channel.

In fact, Michael Brenner even wrote a book on the subject of content marketing ROI, called The Content Formula.

A quick look at their case studies page shows they don’t necessarily focus themselves on a particular niche, which stories from non-profits, SaaS companies, enterprises, and ecommerce blogs.

Conclusion

While there’s no such thing as the “best” content marketing agency, there are better and worse ones, and there’s definitely a best agency for you.

In this list, I compiled 11 of my top content marketing agencies and gave you some criteria by which you can evaluate them. Hopefully, this at least narrows down your selection and makes it easier to choose who you eventually work with.

Alex Birkett

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