How ESM Inbound learns about your business [enough to create content as if we are you]
by Lucy Seymour on 12 June 2019
Content is a highly personal thing. You’ve spent a long time getting to know your customers and what they want from your business, then creating content they’ll enjoy and find useful.
You probably speak to your customers in a particular way, about the pain points you know they have. You offer them solutions that only you can give them, and reassure them when they feel anxious. Your customers’ goals, hopes, successes and challenges are also yours, and you understand them better than anyone.
At ESM Inbound, we understand the bonds that tie customers to a business. These relationships are built on trust, and the fact you’ve been offering a consistent service. That’s why it’s so important that, when we start creating content for you, it illustrates your tone of voice, expertise and authenticity. We want one of your customers or prospects to read your blog, email or website and know it comes from your business, never jarring or confusing them with a style that doesn’t feel right.
We’ve honed our content-creation process around these fundamental points. When we write "as you", we want the transition to be seamless. This is so your customers know it’s you who’s speaking (not us), but also so you feel you can hand over your content to us in trust, knowing full well it’s being created to your specification.
Here, we’ll explain more about how our content-creation process works, and how we work alongside you to create the highest standard of content possible.
The reason our content-creation process works is that we really take the time to get to know you. After you’ve submitted a content request form, or started on a content retainer with us, or content strategist will call the point of contact at your business for an initial 20-30 minute ‘getting to know you’ chat.
Who should be your point of contact?
Sometimes the business owner wants to be involved, since working with an agency was probably their decision. But most of the time, it’s the head of marketing or a marketing executive who is assigned this task. Whoever understands best about the kind of campaigns you want to have created, and who is going to be available to work alongside us, is the best fit for this call.
During the call, you will agree with your strategist on the purpose of the content, the buyer persona to be targeted and other key details such as the deadline and any wider campaigns linked to the content.
What if you don’t have a buyer persona yet?
If you don’t already have a buyer persona (if you are onboarding to HubSpot with ESM Inbound, this is part of the process so will already be done with you) then we can help you with this. We have designed a quick 5-minute persona builder tool for those who are new to personas, which allows you to build up to three personas for free, then your results are emailed to you to keep.
Once we’ve sketched out the initial details between us, your strategist will ask you questions such as:
These sample questions show a few examples of the kind of detail we’ll go into during the initial consultation call. We share the questions with you ahead of the call so you can prepare a little should you need to, and the conversation can be as productive as possible.
Once we’ve spoken, we’ll begin our research stage. This will be based on anything you’ve told us to read during the consultation call, as well as some obvious areas to help us develop a sense of your existing style and tone of voice. These include:
It's really important in this stage that you've armed us with as much information as possible, so our content strategist can go away and complete a thorough and comprehensive review of existing content, ahead of planning your piece. This enables them to match the way you speak to customers, while also finding aspirational examples of content we can start aiming for, and gathering an overview of your industry.
Once a plan has been drawn up, shared with you and approved by you, the content strategist will go away and create the content, working closely with designers and developers to deliver exactly what has been agreed. Our objective is to create a piece of content that feels as though it was written by you or one of your team members; not by someone who works at ESM Inbound.
While the content strategist is creating your content, you have a few days to focus on the things that matter to you (the parts of your job you've maybe been distracted from while trying to keep up with content), safe in the knowledge that you'll still meet your deadlines. Our expert writers will be in touch, as soon as the content is created and has undergone rigorous internal quality assurance. We keep you in the loop every step of the way, informing you once the copy is complete and ready for review, via email.
You will receive your copy in the form of a Google Doc so that you can make comments live on the document in the event that you wish to request any revisions. Everyone's content benefits from a few minor tweaks – this is a natural part of content creation. However, we do charge extra for major revisions, such as an entire re-write (since this shouldn't occur after so much communication, preparation and planning first).
Our expert writers are well equipped to create content across a range of sectors because:
We are dedicated to learning as much about your business as possible. We want you to feel like we are a member of your team – we just happen to be working remotely! That's why we put as much human interaction in place as we can. Ultimately, we know the best way to get a sense of who you are is to talk to you, and most importantly, to listen.