10 Keys Content Marketing Managers Should Know About Managing Copywriters
Even when working with skilled writers, creating compelling, accurate, and well-written content is not always straightforward. This is due to the fact that managing copywriters differs from managing photographers, videographers, and social media producers.
If you're a content marketing manager (or want to be one), here are some tips and methods for getting the most out of your copywriting staff.
What does a manager of content marketing do?
All material created for marketing reasons inside a company is managed by a content marketing manager (also known as a director of content).
The marketing, sales, and customer care teams approach these managers with requests for material. They also develop a long-term plan, anticipate the company's content marketing requirements, and match all material to the goal and vision of the organization.
Managers of content marketing are familiar with the fundamentals of producing textual, audio, video, and visual content. In order to generate demand, cultivate audiences, encourage conversions, and boost customer retention, they also understand how to distribute and market content efficiently.
Of course, being an excellent content marketing manager entails more than just creating a few blogs that are search engine friendly and publishing on LinkedIn or Instagram every day. These managers need to be strategic thinkers who are adept at leading teams of authors, designers, multi-media experts, and other professionals in order to be successful.
What part do copywriters play in the content marketing strategy of a company?
Despite the fact that marketing pays a lot of attention to visual content assets like photos and videos, written content is an essential component of any effective marketing plan. Managers are aware of this and invest a lot of time in selecting the best copywriters, developing the brand's voice and tone, revising the material, and arranging it to match different content settings.
It is crucial that content marketing managers communicate with their copywriters in a clear and consistent manner since individual copywriters are not always aware of the manager's larger goal. The company's content outcomes drastically increase when content directors and their copywriters work together.
Managers depend on copywriters to meet all of their demands for written material, including:
- Email nurture streams
- Ad copy
- Social posts
- Landing page copy
- Product description pages (PDPs)
- Transcriptions (webinars/podcasts/interviews/etc.)
- Infographic copy
- Technical guidebooks
- Press releases
- Proofreading messages from leadership (announcements, employee newsletters, etc.)
- And more
Even though there are plenty of writers who can provide content for all the demands mentioned above, most managers only deal with a small number of hired or in-house authors. The most effective strategy is often to assign particular content categories to authors based on their abilities.
When managing copywriters, there are 10 things that every content marketing manager should be aware of.
1. When providing tasks, directions, and revisions, use your words carefully since writers care about them.
Be cautious what you say to your copywriters if you're the kind of boss that enjoys "thinking aloud." Many of them take what you say extremely seriously, which may cause them to feel overburdened or lead them to believe that you are unsure of what you want.
For each sort of written material, think about creating a content brief or template and include the most important details. To ensure that they have read and comprehended the assignment, ask your writer(s) to affirm. This should be plenty to ensure the success of your authors as long as you are available for any further inquiries.
2. Be explicit about the final product (blog, email, ad text, etc.).
Many supervisors give out tasks without making clear what the expected output is. Do you anticipate your writer to deliver a Google Doc, Google Slideshow, or Powerpoint when you give them a presentation assignment, for instance?
Do you have a sample of a final draft they might utilize to provide you with what you want right away? The greatest method to illustrate your point is often by using one or two excellent examples.
Once again, being clear, succinct, and consistent will be made possible by designing a content brief template for each sort of written assignment. Avoid using confusing language that leaves instructions up to interpretation and be as explicit as you can in your requests.
3. Whenever appropriate, let your copywriter know what you want the article will achieve.
Every piece of content you produce need to advance your objectives. It's a good idea to let your writer know what you need the blog post or whitepaper to accomplish.
For instance, if you want to publish a blog that encourages readers to schedule a demo, letting the writer know will assist them identify their target audience and choose how to steer the blog's discourse. Similar to this, letting your copywriter know that you want to position yourself as an industry expert via your blog, resource page, or email newsletter will enable them to concentrate on educating readers rather than marketing them.
4. Recognize the distinction between editing and modifying while proofreading.
You may not be working with the correct writer or you may be editing for yourself rather than your audience if you find yourself having to rewrite the text.
You don't have time to compose the copy since you are the director of content. Trust your authors to conduct their research and their best work once you've set clear parameters. The purpose of your revisions should ultimately be to rectify minor stylistic errors, grammatical errors, or factual errors.
Grammarly is a fantastic trick that more and more content managers are using. Grammarly will automatically check for obvious mistakes and provide recommendations since it allows you to define style and grammatical guidelines for your authors. Before submitting a draft, you may mandate that your authors use Grammarly to check their work.
Consider hiring an editor if you discover that you are spending too much time editing copy or if you don't feel qualified to do so. You'll save time by doing this, and your writing will be of higher quality.
5. Differentiate between writing jobs that call for SEO expertise and those that don't.
All website material must include information that is search engine friendly. Use copywriters for these projects who are knowledgeable about SEO writing techniques including keyword integration, sound backlinking, and the intelligent use of H2/H3 headers. For the greatest outcomes, blogs are a good example of where you will always require SEO writers.
Email writers, on the other hand, don't necessarily need to be SEO experts. Writing for ebooks, eguides, and whitepapers doesn't necessarily need to follow SEO best practices as long as the information is factual and understandable by the intended audience.
It's usually a good idea to specify if SEO writing is necessary and the keywords you want to rank for when giving jobs to your authors. Your authors may not be aware that you want a certain page to rank on search engines until you explicitly tell them.
6. Style manuals are fantastic if you keep them succinct and simple to use.
There are so many 10- to 20-page style guides out there that I can't even count them. That is just too lengthy, and your copywriters will probably scan it and never refer to it again.
You don't have to explain every grammatical point in your guide. Give a list of the official grammar and spelling norms to adhere to, along with a URL that authors may use to consult them. If your blog, for instance, adheres to the AP method, be sure to specify this at the outset of your style guide and provide a link to the AP website.
Make sure to provide both some excellent and poor samples of the tone of voice you're seeking.
Some audiences and publications don't need strict adherence to grammatical rules. If this applies to your brand, provide a section explaining what the exceptions are and why they exist.
Another excellent option is to provide a glossary of essential terminology and phrases from the industry to aid authors in adhering to brand guidelines.
In this method, you can keep your style guide straightforward while yet providing authors with a useful tool.
7. Create detailed plans for lengthy content.
For your audience to increase, the flow of ideas in any long-form item, like a blog or an e-guide, is essential. As a result, if you take a little more time to create outlines for your authors, the quality of your work will always be significantly improved.
You may create a straightforward outline by include a few notes and the major categories. Alternately, you may create more detailed outlines with headings, subheadings, citations for data, quotations to utilize, etc.
If you have writers who have been employed by you for a while, you may give them the assignment of creating outlines based on certain subjects. Before permitting them to complete the item, be sure to approve the outline.
8. When reusing written material, consult your authors.
One of the most effective methods to get the most out of any textual asset is to repurpose it.
Making blog series and then turning them into an ebook is one of my favorite things to do (and vice versa). You could also wish to utilize blog quotations on social networking.
Do not be scared to engage your authors in your content repurposing plan. Since they designed the original parts, they can rapidly make any alterations that are required and may even suggest creative ways to reuse items you might not have considered.
9. Hire your favorite author(s) on a full-time basis.
You probably outsource copywriting to freelancers, just as many other content managers do. If money is limited or you just haven't discovered the right writer, this strategy is great. But once you do discover one or two writers you like, do all you can to get them on board as full-time employees.
Finding excellent writers that are familiar with your business and industry might be challenging. When these authors can concentrate on your brand, their writing will improve. They can also make fantastic editors and potential content marketers. Before another corporation does, seize them.
10. When you give writers access to market information, they produce better writing.
One thing I've discovered about myself and other writers is that the more information we have about a subject that is pertinent, the better our writing becomes.
In contrast, writing properly becomes very challenging when the topic matter seems hazy or unfamiliar. And sometimes, even the information you need cannot be found by doing a simple Google search.
Showing your writers where to locate knowledge is one of the greatest ways to educate them for complicated markets like SaaS and cybersecurity. Obtaining memberships to prestigious journals like the Harvard Business Review or to research databases like Statista or eMarketer's Insider Intelligence can help you do this. You may also provide any relevant data that you have from your own business.
While you shouldn't have to "spoon-feed" your writers every source, going above and above to get research, data, or other material that is not available to the general public would benefit your writers much.
Writers put forth a lot of effort, especially when they have to produce thousands of words on challenging themes quickly. Your drafts will almost always be of higher quality and need fewer modifications if you take the time to be explicit about your goals, deadlines, and other requirements. What's more, copywriters devote more effort to writing for supervisors they respect and trust. You can develop a strong writing staff and get that trust fast by using the list above.