Almost all small and large businesses have the need for a strong marketing strategy paired with engaging content to truly distinguish their organisation. This holds especially true for technical businesses where the services can be quite complicated. Whether you require the services of one technical writer or several, a technical writing agency has the skills and experience to help you deliver your information to your customers through value-driven content.
However, your content will only be as strong as your relationship with the technical writing agency (and their writing skills). Effective collaboration and communication play a crucial role in creating content that offers value to your customers.
When hiring a writing agency, you need to make the most out of their services which often involves careful planning; otherwise, you might end up with poorly crafted content that drives your potential customers away.
Here are a few ways you can ensure an objective and value-driven relationship with your technical writing agency.
Create a Strategy
Your first order of business should be to create a well-thought-out strategy. We recommend working with your agency to develop this plan. It?s necessary to determine which direction you need to give your content. For this purpose, we suggest you take a look at your short- and long-term business goals.
For example, a short-term goal may be to optimise your website for search engines. On the other hand, your long-term business goal may be to help your customers understand your services better. Therefore, you need content that effectively fulfills both these goals. Once the business requirements are clear, you can develop a strategy that addresses those requirements.
Here is a step-by-step guide on how to create a strategy that works:
- Research your agency (and the technical writer you use) and find out their capabilities and resources of delivering your technical communication.
- Define and revise your business short- and long-term goals.
- Assess your current situation. Go through your website and find what information is already available to your customers. Also, look for content that you can reuse or link to.
- Find out more about your customers or readers. Can they understand technical jargon or will they be better motivated with simpler language? For instance, your strategy may involve creating a glossary that is available at the end of each article that uninformed readers can refer to.
- Lastly, create a solution that caters to your goals, improves your current situation and engages your audience.
A Solution-Driven Strategy
You may offer a service or a product that helps solve a specific problem. A part of your content should be dedicated to educating your readers about this problem. This way you get content that serves both sides of the spectrum, those who want a solution for the problem and those wondering if the problem applies to them as well.
Ensure that your strategy caters mainly to the solution you?re offering while providing background information on the initial problem it solves. This is the key to effective developer marketing.
Ensuring Effective Communication
One of the biggest challenges you may face as a technical business is to create information and technical documentation that is easily accessible by the large-scale audience. Such content cannot be possible if you do not communicate with your agency. To ensure effective communication there are a number of factors you must consider.
You cannot expect the content to be perfect unless you lay your expectations out to the agency. Give them clear, concise content and concrete instructions about the kind of content you require. These instructions may include:
- Type of reader
Inform the agency about the type of reader your business caters to. Technical businesses often develop products that only other developers may use. In such cases, using technical jargon may be preferred. On the other hand, if you want to market your business solution to the less informed, using simple language and more detailed explanations may be the more intelligent choice.
We recommend that you set up the template yourself. This way, you can ensure all necessary information is being delivered without any irrelevant content. However, the major advantage is that all of your content will be consistent which makes it easier for the reader to find any relevant information.
In addition, your business may cater to more than one type of audience. In such a case, creating multiple content types and templates will help you engage each type of audience.
Formatting guidelines can help you retain consistency with your content. Think about the type of format you would like. Should it be super professional? Should every section include an informational video? Do you need to include external links?
On the other hand, it can also increase readability. If your main target audience is mobile phone users, then you may want to optimise your content for the small screen. This may include using smaller paragraphs with less fluff.
Also, determine how often you will review the content created by the writer. You can choose to review a rough draft for the writing and editing or the information they have collected or you can directly review the final product. This is why giving out clear instructions is crucial because it ensures fewer revisions.
If you are an expert on the topic and your agency has very little knowledge, then you may need to make revisions quite often. On the other hand, if they?re the experts, then the content might not need revisions at all.
Medium of Communication
The key to effective communication and collaboration is the medium of communication. You can call the agency for a quick update on the project while emails may be preferred for informational or instructional information. It is important that you determine the medium beforehand to avoid any confusions or delays.
Deadlines and Response Time
It is important that you set up deadlines for each project you assign. Clearly inform the agency of when you expect the content and ensure that they understand the expected delivery time. Not only that but set up response times as well. For example, if you have an urgent query, the agency should answer within that pre-determined period.
To determine the effectiveness of your content, it is important that you measure the results. Doing so will help you and the agency learn and grow together. More importantly, it will help you both reach a higher level of understanding with each other.
There are a number of ways you can measure the result of your technical content strategy. In the case of technical blog posts, you may want to measure the boost in site traffic or the search engine optimisation (SEO) rank of your website due to the article. Other ways may involve the readability of the article or simply how many people like it.
Since the agency is providing you with technical writing services, you need to ensure all data they provide is correct and accurate. Inaccurate data can lead to your business losing credibility. Accurate data is another great way to evaluate the quality of the content.
Setting up a Framework
You need to set up a clear framework on how you will be monitoring and measuring the success of the content. This usually involves the following three steps:
- Decide what data or factors you will track
- Track and measure the data
- Convert the information you?ve gathered into actionable insights
The factors you decide to monitor and measure may include:
- Blog visits
- Video views
- Time spent on the website
- Organic traffic that chooses to buy your product or hire your services
- Readability score
- SEO rank
- Accurate data
- Relevant information
- Content that is in accordance with all the instructions
Furthermore, ensure that you have a reliable way to measure these factors. For example, you can use analytics to measure the blog visits, clicks and other types of engagement data. You can use websites to calculate the SEO rank and the readability score. On the other hand, there may not be any way to quantitatively measure factors such as how accurate the data is or how relevant the information is.
You can choose to measure these factors periodically or after each article. How often you review these results depends on the type of the result. For example, you may review the accuracy of the data immediately while you may measure any engagement data after a week or two.
Two-way feedback involves feedback from you to the agency as well as from the agency to you. Give them accurate feedback about the results you have measured and how you both can work together to improve these results.
Ask the agency if there are any resources that they don?t have access to that can result in better content?or perhaps they need more information about the product.
This two-way feedback can help you evolve your content over time. The end result is well-structured, hyper-relevant and expertly crafted content that drives engagement from your audience.
When outsourcing technical content writing services, it?s important to develop a strategy, ensure clear communications and measure results. Content can be a crucial and influential tool for developer marketing but only when it is well-produced and tactically delivered. This is only possible when you collaborate effectively with your technical content writing agency.