If you want a content marketing expert to write for your business, do you just say “Write this, and make it viral”?
Six words of instruction will not result in great content.
Even if you just say “Write this” and leave off the viral part, this will not work either.
You and your content creator have to have a shared understanding of what the content will be.
For example, as I indicated in a previous post, you and your content creator have to agree on the tone of voice to use in the content. The content creator could write something in a tone of voice that may not match your voice at all, which would mean that the content would sound horribly wrong to your audience.
Imagine a piece for financial executives written in the style of Crazy Eddie. Ouch.
And that’s just one thing that could go wrong when you and your content creator are not on the same…um, page.
Bredemarket’s content creation process includes six questions
When Bredemarket works with you to create content, I use a content creation process. I’ve revised my original content creation process several times, and I’m sure I’ll revise it more as I work with more of you.
But as of today, Bredemarket’s kickoff meetings with clients begin with six high-level questions that set the scene for everything that follows.
Question One: Why?
As I noted in my Simon Sinek post, the “why?” question needs to be answered before any other question is asked.
Before you ask a content creator to write a case study about how your Magnificent Gizmo cures bad breath, you need to understand why you’re in the good breath business in the first place. Did you have an unpleasant childhood experience? Were you abandoned at the altar? WHY did you care enough to create the Magnificent Gizmo in the first place?
(As I write this post, I’m going to look at how each of these six questions can be answered for the post itself. After all, it’s fair to ask: Why does Bredemarket do what it does? Short answer: because I write. You can pry my keyboard out of my cold dead hands. For the longer answer, read the “Who I Am” page on the Bredemarket website.)
Question Two: How?
You also need to make sure your content creator can explain how you do what you do. Have you created your own set of algorithms that make breath good? Do you conduct extensive testing with billions of people, with their consent? How is your way of doing things superior to that of your competitors?
(Now if you’re asking the “how” of Bredemarket, my content creation process is the “how.” After these initial six questions, there are other things that I do, and things that you do. Here’s how I create content of 400 to 600 words. Here’s how I create content of 2,800 to 3,200 words.)
Question Three: What?
Once these are clear in your mind, you’re ready to talk about the “what.” As Sinek notes, many people start with the “what” and then proceed to the “how,” and may or may not even answer the “why.” But when you ask the “why” first and the “how” second, your “what” description is much better.
(Again, you may be asking what Bredemarket does. I craft the words to communicate with technical and non-technical audiences. For additional clarification, read “What I Do,” which also notes what I don’t do. Sorry, finger/face/ID document vendors.)
Question Four: Goal?
Once the Golden Circle is defined, we’re ready to dig a little deeper into the specific piece of content you want. We’re not ready to talk about page count and fonts, yet, though. There’s a few other things we need to settle.
What is the goal of the content? Simple awareness of the product or service you provide? Or are you ready for consideration? Or is it time for conversion? The goal affects the content dramatically.
(In the case of this post, the goal is primarily awareness, but if you’re ready for conversion to become a paying customer, I won’t turn you away.)
Question Five: Benefits?
I’ve written ad nauseum on the difference between benefits and features, so for this question five about benefits I’ll just briefly say that written content works best when it communicates how the solution will help (benefit) the customer. A list of features will not make a difference to a customer who has specific needs. Do you meet those needs? Maintain a customer focus.
(Bredemarket’s primary benefit is focused content that meets your needs. There are others, depending upon your industry and the content you require.)
Question Six: Target Audience?
This one is simple to understand.
- If you’re a lollipop maker and you’re writing for kids who buy lollipops in convenience stores, you’ll write one way.
- If you’re a lollipop maker and you’re writing to the convenience stores who could carry your lollipops, you’ll write another way.
Now sometimes content creators get fancy and create personas and all that (Jane Smith is a 54 year old single white owner of a convenience store in a rural area with an MBA and a love for Limp Bizkit), but the essential thing is that you understand who you want to read your content.
(This particular piece is targeted for business owners, executives, directors, and managers, especially in California’s Inland Empire, who have a need to create focused content that speaks to their customers. The target audience not only affects how I am writing this post, but also how I will distribute it.)
What if you use a different content creator?
I am forced to admit that not everyone chooses Bredemarket to create their content.
- Maybe you create your content yourself.
- Maybe you already have access to content creators.
- Or maybe you have a limited budget and can only pay a penny a word to your content creator. Let’s face it, a five dollar blog post does sound attractive.
But that doesn’t mean that you can’t use these six questions. I did publish them, after all, and they’re based on questions that others have asked.
If you create your own content, ask yourself these six questions before you begin. They will focus your mind and make your final content better.
If you have someone else create your content, make sure that you provide the answers for your content creator. For example, if you seek a content creator on Upwork or Fiverr, put the answers to these questions in your request for quotes. Experienced writers will appreciate that you’re explaining the why, how, what, goal, benefits, and target audience at the very beginning, and you’ll get better quotes that way. If someone knows your target audience is crime scene examiners, then you’ll (hopefully) see some quotes that describe the writer’s experience in writing for crime scene examiners.
And if you provide the answers to those six questions and your content creator says, “That doesn’t matter. I write the same for everyone,” run away.
Maybe the resulting content will even go viral. (The good viral.)
What if you want to use Bredemarket?
Or perhaps you’ve decided that you don’t want to trust your content to someone on Upwork and Fiverr, and you want to work with me instead. After all, I can help you with white papers, case studies, blog posts, proposal responses, or other written content. (Well, unless the written content involves finger, face, driver’s license, or related identity services. There’s the day job, you know.)
Ah, we’ve moved from awareness to consideration. Great.
If I can work with you to create your written content, please contact me.
- Send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Or go to calendly.com/bredemarket to book a Saturday morning meeting with me.
- Or go to bredemarket.com/contact/ to use my contact form.
And to make our meeting even smoother, start thinking about the answers to the six questions I posed above.