Content Marketing Execution: How to Interface with Your Writing Team
So, originally our discussion of content strategy was going to end on the post about CMSs and the editorial role, but I realized there was one seriously important element being left out of all this: the actual creation of your content. It's all well and good to have these high-minded strategic ideals and visions for the direction of your site, but at the end of the day, someone still has to create content that matches these goals. If they don't, then all that planning is ultimately for naught.
We're going to primarily talk about writers in this post, since that's the sort of content you're probably going to be ordering most often, but much of this can apply to virtually any created content.
Give Your Content Creators Information
Generally speaking, anyone who's in the business of creating content thrives on information. They want to know things like: Who is this content for? What are the market demographics? What's the tone supposed to be? What is this all building towards?
Don't make this privileged information. Talk with your writers and other content creators, and discuss your content strategy with them. Tell them what aspects of the content are most important to you, and which don't matter as much. If you only give generic instructions like “Write an article on SEO for building B2B leads,” you're going to get a generic article in return.
Don't Ask For Too Much At Once
Muddled strategy can lead to muddled requests, which is another reason that developing a content strategy is helpful. If your business is simultaneously targeting an older demographic as well as a younger one, don't expect your writer to be able to hit both targets in the same article. Sometimes it can be done, but more often that, again, just leads to very generic content.
This is a good place to implement your overall strategy. Perhaps your social media entries can target the younger demos, while your wordier blog is aimed at your older market. Clear instructions to your content creators facilitate this and contribute to an overall targeted strategy that is aligned with your overall goals.
Basically, a single piece of content ideally only targets one group, and targets them with a specific single message.
Keywords are, of course, one of the mainstays of online publishing. You need them, both for your SEO as well as for overall organization of your content. Any content writer is going to be quite familiar with working them into articles.
However, be reasonable about it. Don't ask your writer to use keywords which are inherently ungrammatical. Yes, people do search Google for “rent car” when they want a car rental agency, but trying to write an article that incorporates “rent car” several times in a grammatically correct fashion is effectively impossible. Remember: you want people reading your stuff, and that means making it well-written.
Save keywords like that for use in metatags and other “hidden” elements your visitors don't look at.
Be Specific With Revision Requests
Finally, if your content creator comes up with something that isn't quite right, be specific about what's wrong with it. This is another area where understanding your strategy can help you explain your plans to your creators. If you've got a specific vision in your head of what the content should look like, consider providing an outline or summary of what you want in it.
In short, the more specific information you give your content creators about what your content strategy, the better they'll be able to meet your expectations. That's really all there is to it.
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