How to Successfully Write Content for a Complicated Business
At Syrup, my job as a content strategist is to write content (social posts and blog posts, mostly) for our Growth Factor clients. (Learn what Growth Factor is here.) This can prove to be challenging when it’s a client that’s in an industry completely new to me.
There can be a lot of questions from new clients around the topic of “how in the world will someone in marketing be able to successfully write about my business and what we are all about”. Afterall, I’m not in your office every day and I just recently learned about your business.
We know we are a part of each of our clients’ businesses. We aren’t just “that marketing agency” you work with, rather a new member of your team. Therefore, it’s important for me to be able to write about any business as though I am that business.
Here’s how I do it:
- Understand the client and how they talk. I join meetings and listen closely to how the client talks about their business. What words are they using often? What things do they keep bringing up? I jot down notes and put stars next to really important things or great quotes that I hear from the client. I also write down any words that shouldn’t be used or things a client doesn’t want to talk about.
- Research online. I read, read, read, and then read some more. A great resource for this industry research is the client’s competition. What are they writing about? What can I learn from their content? Using places like Pinterest, Buzzsumo and Google Analytics to find topics that work well for that industry is very helpful.
- Google. I’m using Google as a verb here. I understand that I’m not going to know what every term means in the [insert complicated business industry here] industry, and that’s ok. That’s when Google (or even the dictionary) becomes my best friend. I’m not afraid to look things up so that I truly understand what I’m talking about. (And I always make sure to use multiple resources here, because not everything you read on the internet is true!)
- Ask questions! There are no dumb questions and it’s so important to ask everything I can think of to truly understand the client and their business. Even though I’m usually better at writing than talking, I can’t be afraid to speak up! It’s better than delivering something completely off-track.
- Think about the audience and learn about them. I not only learn about the industry and our client’s business, but I take the time to understand who their client or customer is as well. You can’t capture the audience’s attention and engage/connect with them if you don’t even know who they are.
Having confidence in the topic is key! Those first few pieces of content may need some proofing from the client themselves to ensure everyone’s on the same page and there are no inaccuracies, but I’m always open to feedback and willing to adapt. I also take the time to learn from how the audience responds. What type of content are they engaging with and reading? The more I can learn from them, the better the content will be.
Sure, I spend many days outside of my comfort zone and into new topics, but that’s what makes it so fun! I have a thirst for knowledge, and I’d love for your business to be the next one I tackle.