As a businessperson, you probably get excited when it comes to meeting a new client. Getting to plan out the development and implementation of new strategies designed to increase their brand awareness, provide value to a certain audience, attract attention, boost sales, or generate traffic can be very rewarding.
But when it comes to content marketing, it’s typical for that excitement to become partially replaced by anxiety. As you already know, writing stellar, user-oriented, properly optimized content is the key to success in search marketing. The pressure can pile up, if you’re not a born content marketer. Your questions might include: “What does the client actually want from me?”
Here’s an idea: Why don’t you ask him?
Fishing for Better Concepts with a Little Help from Your Client
We will let you in on a little secret: you can come up with quality content by simply interviewing your clients! Your clients could become your best source of information. In this context, it is crucial to find the simplest ways to create and maintain a solid relationship with the ones who depend on your words to promote their business. An honest, punctual exchange of information can guide your content creation in the right direction and even offer you the much-needed source of inspiration. So what do your clients want to know from you and what can your content answer for them?
Sailing the Seas of Great Ideas: Ask Your Client to Jump on Board
The real challenge is to create a real bond with your client. How do you do that?
The answer is quite simple: by getting to know him or her.
This is where your curiosity should normally kick in. What does your client actually do? How and why does he/she do it? What short-term and long-term goals is he/she pursuing? After finding the most accurate answers to these basic questions, you can start to dig a little deeper. What concepts does your client have in mind for the content you have to create?
10 Foolproof Ways to Get Great Content Ideas from Your Client
Crafting high-value content for someone other than you is no easy task. Nonetheless, you can simplify the entire process by kindly asking your clients to answer the seven following questions. Channel your inquisitive nature, use this definitive client-interviewing guide and delve into their minds.
1. Where Are You Heading?
Most people who own a company realize the journey from startup to sustained and accelerated growth is challenging and fairly unpredictable. However, this doesn’t stop them from dreaming big and setting goals. Talk to your client about his business-related ambitions. Avoid the most annoying question that you’ve probably heard a million times while trying to get your first job: “Where do you see yourself five/ten years from now?” and get to the point. What are your client’s goals and what are the key points of interest they are focused on? Should the new content encourage an action, increase traffic, build authority in a certain industry, increase brand awareness, stimulate sales, or attract a new audience? Every single objective requires a unique approach.
2. Why Do You Actually Do What You Do?
Next, try to establish a deeper connection with your client on a more emotional level. What motivates them to get out of bed in the morning? Why do they produce and sell napkins when he could do a million other things with his time and money? According to Business 2 Community, you should discover the passion that fuels the daily actions of your client. This will enable you to determine what type of values you should express through your content and will also give you the opportunity to adjust your writing style based on the information and vibe your interlocutor is sending you.
3. Who Will I Be Writing for?
Writing for the sake of writing is not a very productive strategy. Your creative process should be directly influenced by the needs, demands, and expectations of your target audience. Who may be interested in what you have to say about someone else’s business? Get in touch with the sales people and ask them for important details related to the following aspects.
4. Get A Customer Profile
Are you trying to start a meaningful conversation with Boomers, Gen Xers, “echo boomers”, or with the iGeneration? Before putting pen to paper you should know your target customers. According to Entrepreneur, a better understanding of your prospects’ demographics will allow you to determine what type of content marketing tactics could deliver the best results. Next, start to analyze the relationship between the product, the seller, and the beneficiary.
5. Get Product or Service Specifics
How does your client’s product or service actually make a difference in one’s life? What are its weak and strong points? What are the main attributes that enable it to outshine its counterparts?
6. Identify Customer Pain Points
What are the most common concerns/complaints that customers express after buying or testing your client’s product? How does your client respond to this feedback? What type of customer service policy does he embrace?
7. Can You Provide Access to Testimonials, Support Calls, and Service or Product Reviews?
According to another post on Search Engine Journal, testimonials, support calls and product reviews are often overlooked by content marketers who are constantly striving to connect one or more concepts with real life, personal identity, the client’s mind, or other unrelated concepts. They rely on curation, self-interest, case studies, and their own storytelling skills and end up neglecting the most important sources that actually indicate how the end consumer feels.
Read (good and bad) product reviews and testimonials, listen to support calls or just profit from a quick chat with a member of the customer service team. These resources offer you the strongest support in the battle with a mean case of writer’s block.
8. Who Are Your Main Competitors (and Why Should They Be Afraid of You?)
In most industries the competition is fierce. By understanding the relationship between your client and his competitors and grasping the achievements and failures of his counterparts, you could become familiar with the mechanism of the targeted market and find the most efficient marketing strategies to reach them. After all, one man’s failure is another man’s warning sign, and one man’s success is another man’s inspiration. By asking your client to reveal his competitive advantage, you actually encourage him to define his unique selling proposition that you can highlight in your copy.
9. What Do You Want Your Content to Look and Sound Like?
Truth be told, it’s not always easy to get and stay on the same page with the people whose success depends on your copywriting skills. Sure, you can churn out an endless list of blogs, press releases, onsite content, and articles; but making them engaging and relevant in the eyes of potential buyers is a completely different story.
How do you bridge this gap? You start by talking openly with your client and asking him the following questions, which will enable you to identify the right format and tone for the content you will be creating.
- What are the content goals that you wish to achieve? (for instance: more followers, more likes and shares, improved conversion rates)
- What makes you tick?
- Are there any specific formatting/posting rules that you would like your content specialist to follow?
- What are the areas and/or specific topics that should be frequently explored in your new content pieces?
- Are there any concepts we should avoid while crafting, publishing, and promoting your content?
- Do you have any additional multimedia needs? (for example, QR codes, slideshows and videos)
- What kind of target voice would be the best match for your brand, product, or service? (For instance, a youthful, fun voice would work best for a teen audience, while a professional voice would be more suitable for companies operating in the financial or tech sector).
10. Can You Use Five Descriptive Words to Define the Values You Want to Communicate About Your Company?
This is a fun exercise you should try towards the end of your interview. According to Copyblogger, these five words will enable your client to crystallize and convey the most prominent corporate values his company embraces, making it easier for you to include these important aspects in your copy.
Take These Steps & Rock It Out!
Creating content for a new client can be quite complex and energy-consuming. However, you should remember that the people who need your writing are quite often the ones who can feed your creativity while providing the expert insight you need to better understand the concepts you’re trying to highlight. Collect and filter the info that your clients will generously offer and voila! You can turn a successful client interview into a pool of fresh ideas.