faster-content-marketingCreate a faster client approval process with your content marketing with this proven editorial method. Show your client the strategic vision behind each post.

Performing inbound marketing services for your clients is anything but a cakewalk. You have to stay up to date on industry trends, analyze your buyer personas’ wants and needs, and create killer content that gets results. In many cases, the client themselves can be the biggest roadblock during content creation. Having a documented editorial process is vital for content marketing. In this post, I’ll share a few of the best practices my agency has put in place so that you can create a smoother approval process for your client content.

So you’ve analyzed keywords, monitored LinkedIn Groups, and found a topic that will pique the audience’s interest and also rank well for long tail search terms. Now it is time to present the ideas to the client.

The problem is that sometimes the content you create may be a great fit for the client’s buyer personas but is only indirectly linked to the company’s actual product or service offerings. You know that your ultimate goal is to entertain and educate the ideal customers in order that they begin to know, like, and trust you. But the client doesn’t always understand that.

I once received this note from a member of a client’s marketing team: “You don’t mention the product once in this article. Make sure to always pitch the product.” Clearly we hadn’t educated this client enough on the value of helping versus pitching with your content.

After getting that comment back, I knew we had to do a better job of showing how each piece of content fits into an overall strategy.

You may have received similar feedback at some point and are looking for a better way to present content so that your client can understand the strategy behind each piece and get on board as well. I’ll outline a way for you to do that here. You’ll want to set it up in a way that they can see that there is a cohesive strategy in place to make a positive impact on thought leadership, SEO, and lead generation.

Here’s how we now present each blog post before we create it:

  • Target Keyword (One)
  • Title (Optimized for less than 55 characters)
  • Meta Description (Optimized for less than 160 characters)
  • Key Takeaway (In many cases, same as meta description)
  • Outline of Post
  • Links to trending related resources (one to three)
  • Denote which "lead magnet" offer this blog post will promote

Each piece above is crucial to ensure that the client understands how and why this will be relevant for his company blog. I’ll break it down in greater detail below.

Keyword and Title

By presenting one target keyword first, we are showing the client that capturing search results is always on our strategist’s mind. That keyword should be present in the title. The title is our headline. This is the first thing people are going to use to disqualify your post from their reading list. Yes, I said disqualify. With the amount of content available on the web, it is important to keep in mind that our readers constantly have to filter out irrelevant and uninteresting articles. The headline/title should grab the attention of the reader and make them want to read a little more. In fact, the only job of the title should be to get the reader to read the key takeaway/meta description.

Example keyword: content marketing editorial process
Example title: A Fool-Proof Content Marketing Agency Editorial Process

Meta Description/Key Takeaway

Now that the reader has decided to give you a little more of your precious time, you want to reinforce why this post will be relevant to them. Good meta descriptions are less than 160 characters, and deliver a clear value proposition for the potential reader. Remember, the title and meta are the only things the reader can see from search results.

This can also be used as the first paragraph in your post. This reinforces your key takeaway to the reader.

Example meta description: Create a faster client approval process with your content marketing with this proven editorial method. Show your client the strategic vision behind each post.

Outline of a Post

"Tell them. Tell them what you are going to tell them. Then tell them what you told them.” That was my Dad’s advice to me in elementary school about writing essays. Take this opportunity to give the client a feel for how the post will take shape.

Example Outline: A how-to post on what we do to create an editorial blogging process for our clients:
The problem: Client’s often fail to link the strategy to the content marketing process, and thus often do not approve posts
Provide the following:

  • Target Keyword (One)
  • Title (Optimized for <55 characters)
  • Meta Description (Optimized for <160 characters)
  • Key Takeaway (In many cases, same as meta description)
  • Outline of Post
  • Links to trending related resources (one to three)
  • Denote which "lead magnet" offer this blog post will promote

Get comments and any additional resources from client.
Get quicker approvals to go to production

Links to Trending Related Resources

Providing your client with some information on where you’ll be gathering ideas from and/or linking to in the post is crucial. You’ll want them to know where you are getting your information for a variety of reasons. Most importantly, to make sure you are on the right track. This will give them a chance to provide feedback on your sources, as well as to give you new ones to consider.

Example related resource: Why Title Tags Are Important For SEO
http://moz.com/learn/seo/title-tag

“Lead Magnet" Offer

Now that you have the attention of your reader, what one thing would you like them to do? Unless your reader is a sales qualified lead already, you probably don’t want to go for the close just yet.

Make sure to call it out to reader in multiple locations on the post — once in a graphic at the bottom and once somewhere at inline in the article.

These are called calls-to-action. Giving your client an idea of the next step you intend for the reader to take (along with their extraneous knowledge of the content funnel), will give them greater context of where this post fits into the overall strategy.

Example lead magnet offer: The Five Website Must Haves for Driving Traffic, Leads & Sales

http://resources.thinkhandy.com/five-website-must-haves-for-driving-traffic-leads--sales

Linking to this offer with a custom graphic or button at the end of your post is a best practice, but do not forget to link to relevant offers in the content itself.

What it Looks Like When Presented to the Client:

Target Keyword:

content marketing editorial process

SEO Title:

A Fool-Proof Content Marketing Agency Editorial Process

SEO Description/Key Takeaway:

Create a faster client approval process with your content marketing with this proven editorial method. Show your client the strategic vision behind each post.

Outline of Post:

The problem: Client’s often fail to link the strategy to the content marketing process, and thus often do not approve posts
Provide the following:

  • Target Keyword (One)
  • Title (Optimized for <55 characters)
  • Meta Description (Optimized for <160 characters)
  • Key Takeaway (In many cases, same as meta description)
  • Outline of Post
  • Links to trending related resources (one to three)
  • Denote which "lead magnet" offer this blog post will promote

Get comments and any additional resources from client.
Get quicker approvals to go to production

Trending Related Resource:

Why Title Tags Are Important For SEO: http://moz.com/learn/seo/title-tag

Lead Magnet Offer:

The Five Website Must Haves for Driving Traffic, Leads & Sales: http://resources.thinkhandy.com/five-website-must-haves-for-driving-traffic-leads--sales

Final Thought

After we implemented this process of editorial presentation for our clients, we saw the approval time for posts reduced from three weeks to three days. We are now able to catch problems and add valuable client input before we go to production.

Keep your clients educated on these fundamentals, and reinforce them with every piece of content you create. Not only will this process demonstrate that you know your stuff, but also that you apply a strategic vision to everything that you do.

Originally published Jun 16, 2014 8:00:50 AM, updated July 28 2017

Topics:

Content Creation