Welcome to Marketing Monday, where I give you tips and tricks for being your own content marketer. This week’s post is about how you have to keep tabs on your content, even if you hire a professional content marketer.
I had a client a few months ago who asked me if I had finished his project weeks after I had emailed it to him. When I replied in the affirmative, he said he would send it on to his “website guy” to have it transferred from the Word documents in which I had sent it onto his website. It was clear he hadn’t even looked at the content I had worked so hard to write for him.
Some people might consider this the ideal client. It’s certainly better than the ones who rewrite everything, completely disregarding all the keywords I worked so hard to research. Or the ones who have to have SEO explained to them over and over because it’s so far outside their area of expertise. But the only thing that was ideal about this client was that he paid right away.
In general, I actually prefer the clients who send work back for a few edits, or even a rewrite or two, because it shows they’ve looked over the content and carefully considered how well it fits with their overall brand.
Content = Brand
Not only do I feel a little underappreciated when people don’t look at my work, but it also shows they don’t have a strong sense of brand. They know they need a website and they need content, but they don’t consider their audience, what stage of the buying process their audience is in when they look at the content, or how the content should address their audience’s pain points.
When a brand is weak, the content is going to be equally weak. If you haven’t done the work to figure out who your audience is, you’re essentially shooting in the dark. You can’t be sure your content will resonate with them or motivate them to take the next steps in the buying process. This creates a huge gap between what your audience is looking for and what your content is actually providing. You don’t want to lose potential customers to gaps in your content strategy.
Quite frankly, if a client doesn’t have a strong brand, it makes it pretty hard for me to do my job to the best of my ability. The first thing I always ask a new client before getting started is if they already have a blog. If not, are there blogs whose voice they do like? I like to get a sense of the the tone of voice the client is looking for in their content, and the more information I have to work with the better.
I’ve even had clients send me a style guide on how to write content for their company and I love it. It tells me what their goals are for their content and helps me write in a way that I know will appeal directly to their audience.
Creating a Style Guide
If you don’t have a style guide and have no idea how to create one, that’s absolutely an area in which I can help you out. There’s a set of rules for creating a style guide, but if that’s not something you want to bother with, I’m more than happy to take care of it for you.
Get the Most Out of Your Content
The job of a content marketer is to make your life easier. We know all the tricks for growing your online visibility through content, but that doesn’t mean you can just tell us what you need and check out. If you really want content that fits your brand and appeals to your audience, you have to at least look it over before publishing it.
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