The Eternal Tussle – Content Writing vs. Clients

It’s good to be back after a 3 month snooze. What was happening the background is an array of frantic activity that saw us extending our capabilities both vertically (addition of 5 new client accounts across multiple industry verticals – most of them web development agencies and one of them being a Fortune 500 Company) and horizontally (addition of new offerings – e-books, whitepapers, even brochure design).

A good range of experience, one might say!

Extract value from website content development

This rich know-how has also bought with it a few challenges for our content development team when executing content development and content marketing for a web development company. This blog will look at how web development companies can extract max out of their engagement with content writing companies with just a frew basic TLC steps.

It wasn’t a single trigger that showed an obvious misalignment to client inputs vs. content managers scoping efforts, when executing a content development project. It is rather a collective bag of experiences that we have listed out here, which will help us serve our customers better in the future.

Here are my two cents on how web development clients can have a much more fruitful relationship with content writing agencies.

1. It will be good to have a sitemap

Website development agencies follow their own project management cycle which we content creators work with in the larger scheme of things. The ideal time to contact a content development company is when you have finalized website layout with end client.

The Problem – Anything before this phase, is requesting for quote without knowing the volume of content needed.

Why – Our estimates are based on number of words hence we need an estimate of how much content needs to be developed. A 2 page 500 word content is priced differently from a 35 page 500 word content. If we estimate too much, you would not be able to accommodate it, if we estimate too low, it will be unfeasible for us.

How you can overcome this problem?

A good time to contact a content company would be once your sitemap is finalized with End Client.

2. It will be good to get sufficient time to work on your content

On the other end of the spectrum, are some who wait till the web development activity is finished, to populate the website content. As mentioned before, the ideal case would be to integrate content creation parallel with web development.

The Problem – While we have had the good fortune of working with web development agencies who provide reasonable time, we have also had some amusing cases with others.

Why – For example, consider this mail

Hi Hanif
We need content to be developed for xxx website. Here is the sitemap for 18 services.
Kindly send content tomorrow as we are due to launch the site the day after tomorrow

I am thinking

Hello! 1 day turnaround for 18 web pages content of almost 500 words each? I am good but I am not that good!

How you can overcome this problem?

Again, it will be good to contact a content company once the sitemap is finalized to ensure we have visibility on content length. This way, we commence work parallel to your website development activity and be ready when you are ready.

3. Seamless Interaction

Content creators work on a sub-vendorship model, where web development agencies outsource the content development aspect to experts like Textuar. And a key success enabler here is to provide the end client with a seamless experience.

The Problem – We have seen a few cases where we interact directly with client only to know that certain information has already been provided to the web dev agencies which wasn’t passed on to us.

Why – This concern leaves the end client annoyed with the customer servicing ability because of obvious project management issues.

How you can overcome this problem?

Do share pre-collected information beforehand to avoid duplication of efforts. A good content writing checklist to collect prelim information would look like this:

Focus on End Client

  • Line of business
  • Past highlights, current USPs and future roadmaps (critical for Home and About us pages – the heavy lifters of web traffic)?
  • What problems of your target audience will you solve?
  • Any competitor site they particularly liked?

Focus on Customer of End Client

  • Persona of end client site visitor?
  • What help will end client site visitor get from the website?
  • Why should Customer of End Client buy/subscribe from End Client and not their competitors?

On average a web visitor consumes just 1/3rd of the content words. Getting this pointer right will help the end client continue to attract the right and relevant web traffic from your website. Read more to know what a full fledged web content checklist should comprise of.

Imagine the immediate benefits of having these 3 pointers in place.

  • The content development agency will be able to deliver as per your expectations.
  • They can provide a precise budget estimates and stay on track.
  • They can provide a precise ETA and stay on track for this too.
  • Your engagement with a content writing agency will be more fruitful.

… overall, a happy end client!

 

About the author

Hanif Hasan is the co-founder and Managing Partner of Textuar Communications LLP. He specializes in helping client businesses to communicate with their intended audience, by crafting the right message conveyed in a purpose-driven manner. He helps companies and marketing teams target their customers better by connecting with them in an appealing and engaging way.

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