As a content marketing strategist, a huge part of my job is determining how to best communicate with each of my clients. Like any unique relationship, the most important factor is that both sides are dedicated. I like to remind my clients that success doesn’t have to be time consuming.
Beyond subject matter expertise, clients may sometimes have concerns about whether a content marketing agency can truly take on their brand voice without constant supervision. We understand the concern – in an American Express Small Business Monitor survey last year, 84 percent of business owners said brand building is most important to the company’s future success. New data proves the ‘brand effect’ even impacts search rankings.
Rather than focusing on relinquishing control to a third-party creative team, I remind clients that it’s important to think of Brafton’s strategists and creative teams as an extension of their own. We can bring a new perspective and fresh ideas to the table while upholding the branding that has been already been established.
Here are four ways I ensure clients are successful with the content services they receive from Brafton:
1. I ask them to provide us with any type of marketing materials, such as brochures or links to company overview videos. Product demos are incredibly helpful. We want to familiarize ourselves with the brand and the product/service offerings as quickly and as accurately as possible. Once we have that foundation, we simply continue building upon it.
2. We frequently pursue interview-based articles featuring in-house experts from the client teams. The interviews we conduct and transcribe can be used for more than just one or two articles, but saved for future press releases or extended content like white papers or in-depth blogs.
3. I request that they introduce us to internal team member to develop content ideas or build subject matter expertise. For some clients, a 30-minute Q&A session with the client sales team can be quite helpful-we can hear the sales pitch, learn about the company sales cycle and explore ways we can align our strategies. In some cases, our editorial team has built robust buyer personas for a company blog.
4. For B2C clients or B2B that sell to resellers, a Q&A session with the support team can be incredibly enlightening. We learn about frequently asked questions, which will help us explore the types of questions a potential search visitor might be asking. And we can use that knowledge to build out good landing pages or a website resource section, to help answer some of these frequently asked questions and take a load off of the support staff.
Each client’s time commitment varies – but success is based more on alignment of goals and understanding of each other’s processes than the amount of time invested. Some clients simply forward us articles they want us to read as a reference, email us feedback on projects and prefer to meet on a monthly basis.
Clients that are more involved may make 30 minutes every week or every other week to meet with our teams. Depending on the current project, I can invite our editorial team and our social strategist to the call, or have our lead video animator and scriptwriter join the meeting.
The most productive meetings are when we approach these as creative brainstorm sessions. Our team meets and brings ideas to the table to share and collaborate on with the client. Honest and clear feedback is crucial – we want to be on the right track.
Content marketing is most successful when fueled by collaboration – and it’s a commitment we’re dedicated to. Learn more about Brafton’s movement toward a one-team approach in 2014 here.