Writing for clients keeps my team at Contentworks Agency on their toes. Whether it’s a forex broker, tech provider or brand new beauty brand, there are some basics we will implement before we get started. So, here’s a sneak peek into how we write for clients.
OK, we don’t wear a shiny badge or communicate via ‘walkie-talkies’, as fun as that sounds. But when we’re first asked to collaborate with a client, it’s our job as a leading content marketing agency to check out their existing content and communications and to come away with key takeaways that’ll drive the project forward. There’s no shaming involved here. Perhaps the client has been producing high level content and simply need to change direction. Alternatively, we may be starting from scratch on their blog and social media channels. Either way, here are some of the things we will do:
#1 Carry out a full content audit
A full content marketing audit helps us to identify what’s being done well and what needs attention. As well as looking at website content, we also check out active social media channels including Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn to generate an overall ‘content happiness rating.’ Having the relevant background knowledge helps us to review current progress and to move forward in a structured and well-informed way.
#2 Open and honest communication
Direct communication with clients is important. It allows us to find out which strategies have been successful in the past. And which strategies sunk like a lead balloon. All companies go through highs and lows but pinpointing the reasons behind great campaigns and complete failures is key. We also want to hear about future goals as this enables us to take brands to the next level of success through high-end content and social media strategies. We will be objective too. We are not here to be “yes men”. Our years of content marketing expertise are what our clients pay for.
#3 Exploring the target audience
As a content marketing agency, we know the importance of understanding a brand’s target audience. Believe it or not, a significant number of organisations do not know the demographics of their clientele and therefore can’t implement efficient communication.
So, the first step is to use analytical tools to find out who’s interested in the brand and who interacts on a regular basis. If it turns out that millennials are in the picture, for instance, all elements of a marketing strategy need to be concise with little waffle. All questionnaires and sign-up processes must be kept as short as possible as millennials are notoriously impatient and prepared to jump ship if they’re not satisfied. Mobile-friendly content is also crucial with 92% of US millennials using a smartphone. The product and target audience will also help us to determine the channels you need to be present on. Hint… it isn’t every single social media network known to man!
#4 Nailing the essentials
Do you prefer US or UK spelling? Are you regulated by FCA, ASIC or CySEC? When writing for tightly governed industries like the finance and legal sectors, it’s important to stay aligned with compliance. And as an agency, we always stay in-the-know regarding any current or potential regulation changes. Check out my article at AgoraPulse for more on this. We build a fact file for your brad and share it with the writers working on your account. We also implement double checks to ensure nothing slips through the cracks. We understand that a non compliant sentence can be costly in fines and we don’t want that to occur.
Content Marketing Stylists
Aside from being detectives, we’re also stylists. Just take a look at our Instagram account for all the latest trends. Jokes aside, producing content that works means not trying to squeeze a brand into skinny jeans if they’re clearly more suited to boot cut or flares. You see, every business is unique. And therefore, a one-size-fits-all approach simply isn’t good enough. As a content agency, we give careful thought to each part of a company’s appearance and that means taking a look at the tone of voice (ToV) in use.
Often, brands already have a document drawn up stating how to address clients, be it in the first person or third person, or whether to use the active or passive voice. It’s common to find stylistic comments such as ‘use sentence case for all header tags’ and examples of content to help content writers hit the nail on the head. If you don’t have that document then hey, we can create that for you too!
This is all well and good, but there are two main problems we encounter – and resolve.
#1 The ToV is not consistent
The guidelines are there but they’re not being used and the blog is a mixture of tight-laced formal articles and slang-laden comedy. At Contentworks, we help companies to find their voice and ensure the ToV remains consistent, not only on the website but across the plethora of social media channels. This is important because consumers need to know what to expect. This helps them to feel relaxed and comfortable when they approach a brand of their choice. Being consistent also makes it easier to deliver a positive consumer experience time-and-time again without leaving the client completely baffled.
To bring this to life, imagine the two content examples below are personalised emails sent from a reputable brokerage firm. Which one would you expect? And which makes you laugh a bit, then cringe?
- Dear Hannah,
Welcome to our efficient trading platform that allows you to trade multiple assets from the same account including cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin.
Please find a starting deposit in your account and don’t hesitate to contact us if you’ve any problems.
- ‘Sup Hannah?
How’s it going on this lovely day? Hope you great!
So, we’ve got your trading experience off to a crackin’ start with a deposit of XXX! Get going girl.
Ciao for now,
I’m guessing number 1 is what you’d expect from a financial organisation trying to improve their retention and acquisition! But, as you can see, it all comes down to language and tone which is why what we do on a daily basis is so important. It’s also really easy for companies to fall off the wagon and start heading down a new path, particularly if they expand their in-house team and get new writers. That’s where we help to keep everything consistent and on-track.
#2 The ToV does not suit the brand in question
A fun, modern make-up brand targeting teens should not be using serious, formal language that doesn’t engage their target audience. Instead, they need to adopt an identity their followers can relate to. On the other hand, those in the finance sector, need to prove their reliability and authenticity. Therefore, the ToV should be confident and knowledgeable.
ToV plays a significant role when it comes to shaping content and so this has to be addressed from the very start. As experts in our field, we always make recommendations to compliment the brand at hand.
Explorers (no really)
Contentworks is made up of a large team of talented writers who love to explore a wide range of different topics. While some of our writers particularly love venturing into the finance sector (backpack, torch and all) and have a high understanding of how the industry functions, other writers are fintech specialists. We’ve also those that go off the beaten track to deliver truly breath-taking, well-researched pieces that have been specifically requested by clients.
As explorers we know the importance of getting back before dark and therefore there’s absolutely no concerns regarding our time keeping abilities. In fact, we’re usually the ones setting deadlines to ensure the workflow of content and overall business plan stays on course.
Writing for clients requires multiple skill sets and a passion for meeting the needs of individual brands. Speak to my team about effective content marketing solutions for your company.