When you outsource content to a content provider, you give up certain control over your content. In order to make the process successful and ensure it is going the right way, you need to establish effective communication with your content providers so that they can produce content that aligns with the brand’s messaging and goals. What are the key steps you should follow to improve the communication process between you and your content provider?
Key steps to effective communication between you and your content provider
Provide a detailed brief
We already discussed the significance of creating a comprehensive content brief and outlined how you can write it effectively. When starting your work with a content provider, make sure to give them a detailed guide that includes your style, voice, and formatting requirements. That way, your provider will be able to produce content that is consistent with your brand and matches your needs. Also, inform your content creator about the project’s goals, target audience, and key messages, as well as clearly define the marketing goals and tactics, to ensure that the final content result is consistent with your overall marketing strategy.
Offer enough creative liberty and time
While it is essential to provide guidelines on your project, it is also important to give creative liberty to the content creator so that they can produce content that resonates with your target audience and helps achieve the marketing goals. Additionally, providing enough time for the content creator to create quality content is important, so set realistic deadlines if you want to receive high-quality content that matches your requirements and professionalism.
Establish roles and the frequency of communication
First of all, agree on communication channels and the frequency of keeping in touch throughout the whole project to keep track of your content production process. Along with this, clearly define the roles and responsibilities for both: content provider and yourself. That way you can avoid misunderstandings and unfulfilled expectations.
Make proper planning
Staying in control of meeting your brand’s goals is important, especially when you outsource content to a third party. We recommend you to organize a content calendar where you can outline the deadlines and determine the approval process of the content produced.
Before you begin your collaboration, make sure you and your outsourcing partner have agreed on a budget and rates for their services so that you both have the same expectations.
By following these keys, you can establish effective communication with content providers and as the result, start receiving content that resonates with the target audience and meets marketing goals.
Why it is important to share your feedback and lister to the one given to you?
Sharing feedback and listening to feedback is crucial when working with a content provider as it contributes to getting the effective results in the end.
Here are three reasons why you should exchange feedback with your content provider
- It helps improve the quality of content by allowing content creators to understand what you want and need, and vice versa.
- Sharing feedback builds trust between the content provider and you, as a client, which is essential for a productive working relationship.
- Providing feedback early in the content creation process can save time and resources.
Feedback encourages open communication between the content provider and the client, leading to better content creation and a more productive working relationship overall.
Using communication tools properly
When establishing a communication process, you will definitely need some tools. We want to share some useful communication tools as well as general suggestions regarding the tools and channels that you interact with every day.
Instant Messaging Tools: Slack, Microsoft Teams, or WhatsApp
- Use for quick back-and-forth conversations with your content provider
- Organize discussions by topic or project
Email: Gmail, Microsoft Outlook, Apple Mail, ProtonMail, ZohoMail
- Use email for important messages or for sending formal requests or updates.
- Write clear and concise subject lines to help the recipient prioritize the email.
Calendars: Google, Apple, Outlook Calendar, or Calendly
- Use shared calendars to schedule meetings and deadlines and set reminders
- Share your availability with the content provider so they can schedule meetings at a time that is convenient for both parties.
Collaborative document editing: Google Docs, Microsoft Office, or Dropbox Paper
- Ensure that the document repository is organized to store all project-related documents and is easy to navigate.
- Use version control to keep track of document revisions
- Grant access to the appropriate people and restrict access to sensitive documents.
Project management tools: Asana, Trello, or Basecamp
- Use project management tools to track progress and assign tasks, including setting clear deadlines and milestones
- Keep your content provider updated on project status via project management tools
Video chats: Zoom, Google Meet, or Skype
- Use video chats for quick updates or to discuss urgent matters that are too complex to discuss via email
- Set a schedule for regular check-ins to discuss project status and address any concerns.
Challenges in communicating with your content provider
You should be aware of the challenges that you may face when setting up a communication process with the content provider so that you can prevent them before they arise.
Time zone differences
If your content provider is located in a different time zone, it can be difficult to find a time that works for both parties to discuss project details or resolve issues. Additionally, if you need to make urgent requests or changes outside of their working hours, there may be delays in getting a response.
Communication styles and expectations can vary greatly across cultures, and this can create misunderstandings or misinterpretations. For example, some cultures may value direct and assertive communication, while others may place more importance on politeness and diplomacy. It’s important to be aware of these differences and address your communication style accordingly.
Even if your content provider has good command and understanding of your language, there may still be nuances or idioms that they are not familiar with. That’s why you should try to be patient and clarify any misunderstandings that may arise.
Differences in expectations
Finally, it’s important to make sure that both you and your content provider have a clear understanding of each other’s expectations to avoid misunderstandings and delays in the project. Clearly state your expectations, including deadlines, quality standards, and project scope.
Although establishing a communication process may seem difficult, it is a critical aspect of your future collaboration with a content provider. We recommend that you invest significant time and effort in developing a proper communication process with your outsourcing partner in order to receive content that meets your quality expectations and pays off in the end.
Lastly, we have created a final checklist to ensure that you understand how to effectively communicate with your content provider.
Effective Communication Checklist
- Check in on a regular basis and provide constructive feedback to help with the content creation process.
- Create an effective communication strategy that includes email, phone calls, video calls, and project management software. Set deadlines and response times as well.
- Make a detailed brief that includes all of your content provider's expectations, such as your goals, target audience, and preferred content style.
- Discuss the budget and payment terms with your content provider before beginning work to ensure you agree on the selected budget, payment structure, and timelines.
- Define clear expectations for your content provider by communicating your project goals and requirements to them in a clear and concise manner so that they understand your vision and can deliver quality work.
- Be open to suggestions from your content provider, as they are experts in their field and may provide some new insights for your content.