Some of my clients have a clear client brief where they’ve done a lot of the background work.
They deliver me a document with a well-defined target audience, SEO terms, call to action, and sometimes even an outline.
Other clients need more help planning than that and we might schedule a brainstorming session and even review current well-performing content in real-time to choose “what’s next.”
The Background of a Marketing Writing Assignment
As a marketer and business writer, my first job is not writing but planning and preparing.
After all, I’m always suggesting that others share their process so here’s mine.
About the Planning and Researching
Heroic Success Stories
I spent the morning mapping out content for a client’s website and it occurred to me that most people don’t think about their website this way.
And why should you? It’s not what you do.
But writing site content is a BIG part of what I do so I thought I’d “pull back the curtain” and show you how one professional approaches it.
From a strategic perspective, I list each page — about, home page, services, and any sub-pages on a spreadsheet.
Then, I include the purpose of each page, overview of the messaging, target audience and the primary desired action – click this, download that, watch this.
I also include the primary and secondary keyword terms for SEO purposes (this helps you get found by Google.)
These terms come from keyword research tools like Wordtracker, SEMRush or even sometimes, Google Keyword Planner
Then, the client and I go over it, make any needed adjustments, and THEN I write.
See, it’s important to write using the language of your potential client. The keyword tools can give you insight as well as specific terminology.
If you can touch on those “hot button” issues in your copy and show how you solve those problems with the product/solution you’re selling…well, that’s the gold.
Here’ s a Peek Into My Writing Process:
- Interview you for background and the right messaging. – While some clients have a better handle on this than others it’s always a valuable exercise. You know your business far better than anyone on the outside can and I often pick up valuable nuggets that can be turned into copy or at least insights into the what makes you different.
- Read your current website and marketing collateral I can get my hands on – brochures, ebooks, blogs, etc. it’s all a window into your market.
- Research your competition. What are they saying? How is your product/service different from theirs?
- Research your target market – reading LinkedIn groups/forums, search on Twitter hashtags to find out what people are talking about. (Even if I know the market pretty well, I always do some component of this)
- Keyword research – using software tools like PowerSEO, Wordtracker and Google Keyword Planner, I put in keyword terms to narrow it down the topics, find the most searched for keyword phrases with good but not insane competition and create a keyword strategy for the website (if needed). Sometimes clients are working with a great web development company that had done a bang up keyword analysis that they pass on to me. I LOVE that! I think it’s happened twice.
For SEO Writing
If I’m rewriting/optimizing your website so you can increase your traffic and conversions, I analyze the keyword research and assign terms to different pages on your website in alignment with your targeted prospect. I also include meta descriptions – these are the “behind-the-scenes” code that helps your webpages get found.
I let it sit (a day or two is ideal) to revise.
Then it’s off to you, the client, for review.
Next, we can jump on the phone to go over any changes or you can use the edit function in your software program to make revisions and send back to me.
I turn around the revisions, you review again and off they go to your web team for implementation.
Whew! It looks like a lot but really, you probably take as many steps before you start a project too.
You just don’t think about it because you’ve done it so many times. It’s the “inherent” knowledge you develop from years of practice.
Are you ready to get started with your writing project?
You can schedule a short call to discuss your needs here.