If your agency has expanded its content offerings to include managing custom business blogs, you might be working to nail down an onboarding process that gives you the most relevant information you need to get started. When launching a blog, it is important to think about what type of business you’re representing in the posts as well as the marketing goals that the client has. Asking the right questions will give you everything you need to pass along to your content marketing provider, so equip yourself with the following list before jumping on a client call for editorial planning:
1. How would you describe your business in one or two sentences?
You’ll probably have a good idea of what a business does just by its name, but you should understand how the client views his or her business. Asking for a one- to two-sentence “elevator speech” about the business will give you some essential keywords and services to base a blog strategy around.
2. What are your long-term business goals?
A blog that is not set up with long-term goals in mind will not be a very effective marketing tool, because topics may be scattered and lacking specific direction toward consumer action. Though a blog may not always be the most direct means of describing a client’s products or services, it should align with goals for growth, promotions, and seasonal events. Your client will also value your effort to understand their business better when you address long-term goals.
3. What are your goals for content marketing?
To ensure that your clients are satisfied with their blog from the get-go, you should be sure that they understand why blogging is important and what it should accomplish. Blogs are informative, educational, and often casual in tone, but they can still be appropriate for a wide variety of businesses. As you explain the benefits of blogging, you’ll also want to check in to see what your client’s marketing goals are. Do they want to see increased site traffic? A boost in sales? More engagement on social media? Get specific and check in periodically so that you know where the blog will fit in.
4. Where are you struggling most with online marketing?
If your client is starting from scratch with their online marketing, building a new website and starting new social pages, then the challenges of their campaign will be clear, since initial goals will focus most heavily on creating a presence in search engine results as well as brand recognition through increased awareness. It is likely, however, that many of your clients will already have some presence online, which will provide you with more specific data on where their strategy is not working. Knowing where a marketing campaign is going wrong can offer valuable insight for which keywords to emphasize in blogs, what type of language will gain attention from the client’s desired demographic, and what types of design features to use in the blog structure.
5. What kinds of questions do customers tend to ask about your business?
Once you’ve covered more of the general marketing background of your client, you’ll be ready to start coming up with an editorial calendar with specific blog topics and headlines. By asking your client what types of questions customers tend to ask about their business, you can generate some ideas for blog topics that you know people will be interested in. If a customer asks a question in person, he or she might be inclined to Google the same question. This consideration is especially important for clients whose services may be relatively unfamiliar to the public or those who service a niche section of a given industry.
6. Which services are most profitable for your business?
At the end of the day, blogging and other online marketing strategies are intended to drive up business, so you’ll want to know which aspects of the business deliver the highest financial returns. By emphasizing higher-profit services in blogs, you can help your clients focus their growth on the areas of their business that already perform the best for them.
7. What perspective do you want your blog written from?
With some concrete topic ideas in mind, it will be time to start creating content and posting it for an audience. Now it’s time to discuss style decisions, such as how the blog will be positioned to readers. For some businesses, such as small medical practices, it might make sense to have blogs written from the doctor’s perspective.
If you are in search of a better system for providing content to your clients, Pennington Creative can become your partner in content marketing. Our team of writers, designers, and editors will deliver reliably high-quality content that goes through a QA process to ensure your clients’ satisfaction. We’ll also pair you with a dedicated account manager, so you have a point of contact for every project. To learn more about our blogging services and other content offerings, browse our website or schedule a discovery call with us today.