It’s something content writers dread like the plague. And it can seriously damage your efforts to get written content published effectively.
What is this deadly virus?
Believe it or not, it’s collaboration. Better said, it’s poorly organized work teams with too many voices. Let’s find out how to avoid this time and resource killing trap.
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In most cases, companies seeking to revamp their websites hand over the task to a marketing individual. The person responsible for marketing presents their vision about the company to the writer who then gets to work. A first draft is eventually delivered.
Then the curse is spoken: “Let me run this by my team, and I’ll get back to you.”
This makes a writer’s stomach sink. Why? Because the next thing you know, you have tons of edits and suggestions flying around, and some ideas may even contradict each other. This leads to frustration, redundancy and unnecessary delays.
So how do you make sure this doesn’t happen?
Get It Together
Before your decide to produce new content on your website, have an in-house pow-wow. Everybody who will have a say in how the content will be written should be on board. Ideally, the content writer could be included in this conversation as well. Some important questions to answer (in writing) are:
- What’s our core message and unique selling proposition?
In other words, what promise do you make to your audience?
- How do we position ourselves in the market? What distinguishes us?
Example: Is your doctor’s office more focused on cutting-edge science or compassion?
- What tone do we want? Professional? Irreverent? Playful? Trendy is not an option.
Choose carefully as this is hard to reverse later.
- Are there any websites out there that we wish to emulate?
Your image is essential to the success of your content marketing. So define your brand image as clearly as you can. David Ogilvy says that, “The manufacturers who dedicate their advertising to building the most sharply defined personality for their brands get the largest share of the market.”
So it’s not enough to just say, “We’re the best.” Instead, you must develop your brand personality as precisely as possible. Think about truly memorable people you’ve meet. Seldom do you describe them as simply “nice”. Instead, you say they are extroverted, wild, kooky, overwhelmingly kind or highly annoying. Or you might say the crazy guy with super curly hair that wears really loud silk shirts. You know the guy!
Try to describe your brand in the most specific terms possible.
Limit The Voices
This might be the hardest part, but you should let one person call the shots. If you absolutely must, expand to two people. When you have too many people giving their opinions, you end up trying to be everything to everyone. Not everyone you meet loves you. After hashing it out as a larger group, hand off the final say to a select few. Then let them work with the writer to get the job accomplished.
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