How to communicate effectively with your content creators
Content creation is one of the most important steps in marketing and brand-building. The right content can put across the exact message you are trying to deliver, and the better your communication with your content creators, the better your communication will be with your target audience. You need more content creators in today’s fast-paced world because many hands would make for shorter turnaround times than a few content creators slaving away for long hours. Not to mention the fact that a tired mind will find it difficult to be very creative! A larger team of content creators also allows more content to be created in a short time, and if the brief is on the money, it will lead to fewer revisions and therefore result in much quicker approval of the content.
As a brand manager, how can one achieve this ‘perfect communication’ with the content creator? Here are some good practices you can adopt to help your content creators do their jobs better:
Provide a detailed style guide
Whatever you might call it – brand book, style guide, or something else altogether – this lays the foundation of the tone of the communication to the consumer. It’s the bible for any content creator and tells them exactly what the messaging, tone, style, length, etc. for the content piece needs to be. The content you seek to create has a specific purpose, and a style guide will not only help tailor the image of the brand you want but also maintain consistency through time and creators.
Brief the content creator in as many ways as possible
Sometimes you’ll come across a content creator who has an almost telepathic understanding of what you want. But they are rarer than the Yeti, so it’s up to you to get the brief across in such a way that it cannot be misunderstood. This means you should share a detailed brief in writing but also have a phone/in-person conversation to explain it and clear any doubts they may have. If the information about the brand or product needs to be drip-fed to the audience, mention it clearly in your communication. Or the resulting information overload could lose you the audience. Remember, the fewer the doubts in the mind of the creator, the clearer your content will be. So make sure the contact lines are always open between the creator and the brand manager.
Offer enough creative liberty and time
Creative people aren’t always consistent workers. At the very least, you can’t expect a sustained high level of creative output from someone all the time. Therefore, you need to give them enough time to create the content. This time frame might vary depending on the format of the content; creating a video or design-based piece might take longer than a simple text-based blog. You also need to allow your content creators a little creative liberty. If they aren’t given that, you just might be stuck with content that lacks flavor. Also, who knows, the creator might come up with a twist that you love more than the original idea! Again, with open communication channels, the two of you can work together towards a better content piece.
Share your feedback
If a content creator doesn’t create content the way it was envisaged, it’s probably due to a lack of understanding of the requirement. Whatever the case, feedback will help correct any errors, or refine what the creator has come up with on the first try. This is something that isn’t out of the ordinary, so be prepared, both in terms of patience and time. Feedback will also help in the long run – if you plan on working with the content creator in the future as well, they will now have a better understanding of the work than they did before. If you don’t share your feedback on less-than-perfect content, they might assume that is what’s required of them and continue to deliver work of the same quality. One or two feedback rounds are the norm; if three or more rounds are required consistently, you need to examine the path of communication to try and figure out where you can increase efficiency.
Listen to feedback as well
Sometimes, the content creators will have ideas of their own. Make sure you have conversations with them periodically, reminding them to share their thoughts and ideas, no matter how silly or fanciful they may seem. Some of the best brand-building ideas were born from trivial conversations over lunch, so the more conversations you have with your content creators about ideas, the better.
Use social media influencers the right way
The latest wave of content creation rides on the good-looking shoulders of social media influencers. Their massive reach and honest opinions are a great way to build your brand. However, each influencer has its own personality, and their audience expects a certain type of content from them. So, when working with known content creators, if you want to leverage their popularity, you should try to let the brand fit into their style and not the other way around. If you ask them to change their style to fit the brand, their followers may lose interest in the content, defeating its purpose.
Liaising with content creators and getting the right message across to them is one of the most challenging aspects of a brand manager’s job. However, if done right, it can lead to great efficiency and generate content that truly serves its purpose. So, spend some extra time communicating with your content creators so you don’t have to waste time with avoidable feedback rounds.