Every day, marketing managers are trying to get busy people in their firm to help with thought leadership and content marketing.
It's so important to get this right for the firm but there are a few stumbling blocks that can be removed to make writing content much faster and ensure the content is more effective.
Here they are in order of which occurs first in the content writing process.
Sitting down to write on a blank piece of paper with only a general topic in mind is tough for anyone, even journalists with years of a lot of experience will tell you that inspiration is one of the most difficult hurdles to overcome.
There are two ways to jump that hurdle. The first is to start by commenting on something else. Looking at a news article or an industry development and giving your opinion is much easier than starting from scratch.
The second way is to combine an existing article with a really specific suggestion to the people that are writing your content. Include a link to the article and a description of why they should write it and when it would be useful to have.
"Hi Jenna, I saw this news article about Brexit and employment. I thought it would be useful for our clients in recruitment to give a brief description of what that means for them. If we have something for Friday we can use it to follow up on the contract we sent last week."
What are you using to write your content? Where does it go when it's done? What will it look like to readers? All these questions effect the way content is written. Without the right workflow from inspiration to publishing content can get delayed and lost. Without certainty about how and where to write content, authors have another unknown that will delay their writing.
Make sure that your team knows what your process is. Have it drawn out in a simple and easy to digest form. Include information on the tools, how the final content will look and where it will end up. Ideally, have this in a system that circumvents emails so your content is not lost at the bottom of an unread list.
Suggester > Author > Approver > Approved/Back to Author > Published
Getting content written seems relatively easy when compared to getting it approved. Communications, managers, external agencies and marketing teams all need to have a say and by the time your content has bounced back and forth its usually taken hours of time from your team and delayed the publishing exponentially.
In an ideal world, you have a simple governance process with a trusted approver for each author who can make the decision quickly and effectively on which edits to make and when to publish. The approvers need training and to understand best practice. Central marketing and communications then need oversight on this process but as an observer and coach rather than a blocker.
Once content is ready to publish it needs to be in front of the people that matter. Where you publish your content is a big question for marketers. Should your authors publish to LinkedIn directly or publish it to the main company blog?
We recommend that most content be published on the company blog directly. There are a few reasons for this:
- It's more trackable
- It's evergreen and better organised for visitors to find other content
- It's your brand under your control
- The wider firm can share it easily to drive people back to the firm's website
- LinkedIn and social networks can still be used to drive growth through sharing
Perhaps most importantly, make sure that you have a mechanism to share your content internally. One of the best ways to judge if your content creation is genuinely helpful for clients and prospects is if your own people are reading it and sharing it with their networks.