Why is your agency delivering content you need to rewrite?
Do you ever feel like a high school English teacher or a newspaper editor reviewing and revising content your agency delivers for your content marketing? The bottlenecks that come from this editing can upend deadlines and derail campaigns.
Fixing content that missed the mark just isn’t a quick task, so use the following guidelines to improve your editorial process.
Set a clear target
Good content is crafted with a target reader in mind, so make certain your writers or agency understand your target audience. Bredin research revealed that 60 percent of SMBs say it’s important content addresses the concerns of companies the same size as their own; 63 percent say it should address concerns of companies in their industry.
A helpful target definition includes profile specifications and top pain points. For example, are you writing for CEOs of fast-growth companies under pressure to scale and make quick decisions, or for smaller company decision makers focused on finding new customers and improving cash flow? A clear target and narrow focus should result in better first draft content and less editing.
Insist on specific, in-depth topics and outlines
Even Pulitzer Prize-winning writers can’t flourish if their assignment is vague. For example, instead of assigning a general content piece on increasing productivity, consider a narrower focus, such as, “How teams use communications apps to get more done.” Narrow the direction of a piece on improving cash flow to “Three contract changes that can speed up collections.” Your writers will create better content and cut down on your editing time when you make their assignments more specific. Ask your agency to create a short bulleted list indicating where a story “will go.” Gaining agreement at the outset will reduce editing time and rewrites later.
It’s not enough to hire writers solely based on writing ability — you need content creators who have experience with your audience and domain. For example, if you target SMBs, you may not hit the mark with content written by lifestyle writers, consumer content agencies and others without experience in that space. Before you bring someone on board, review their writing samples to determine whether they can provide authoritative and actionable content that will succeed in your space.
Put layers in place
With roughly three-quarters of SMBs saying it’s important content is well-written and easy to understand, every piece of content you publish needs to be edited. And without a fact-checker or editor between you and your writers, you’ll be doomed to an eternity of editorial work. Ensure multiple people thoroughly check over your content before it crosses your desk to catch any lingering mistakes. If you don’t have the staff to do this, screen agencies based on their editorial processes: what steps do they have in place to ensure that content is carefully vetted before it reaches your desk?
Set and stick to realistic deadlines
The sooner you get your content, the better, right? Not so fast. Quality content takes time, and deadlines should factor in multiple rounds of review so you aren’t left making hurried rewrites at the last minute. Discuss with your agency a realistic timeline for content creation and review to determine a deadline that sets everyone up for success.
Wish you had an agency that was already set up to deliver you crisp, focused, actionable content for your specific SMB audience? Shoot us an email to set up a brief consultation. We can explain exactly how we’ll restore your late-night hours to you.