When a client gives you the green light to create content, it can be tempting to jump in and start writing instantly. To shield yourself from stress and scope creep, nail down answers to four key questions. These questions are critical. You don’t want to start drafting if you don’t have clear answers from the client.
By establishing agreement on these four points, your chances of success – and a happy client – are significantly higher. As a bonus, you can leverage the opportunity to provide input and advice. These content marketing tips will help guide your client toward a winning content strategy.
1. Who’s the intended audience?
How familiar are they with the topic? Get as much detail about the reader persona as possible. If we’re targeting two or more personas, would it be wise to create multiple versions of the piece? Targeted content that addresses each audience’s questions, needs and goals is much more effective than one-size-fits-all marketing.
2. What’s the scope?
What topics do we want to cover? For example, will this be a high-level overview of the industry? What about a deep dive into our product? Understanding project scope is essential to on-point proposals, pricing and successful outcomes.
3. What’s the desired tone and approach?
What’s the desired tone and approach? Are we aiming for a formal research-driven paper or short, snappy content? This conversation will likely be closely related to scope and audience. What’s the best strategy for delivering our message? What will be relevant and relatable?
4. What does success look like for this content?
Do we want people to sign up for a webinar? Or are we looking to inform and educate? This is often a difficult question to answer. While challenging, it serves as a valuable goal that the client and writer can move toward.
Setting these parameters won’t guarantee your first draft will be a slam dunk. It can, however, minimize revisions and scope changes. You might even consider including a summary of the agreed-upon guidelines at the top of your draft. They’ll be a gentle reminder that will help keep both of you in check.