Oct 17, 2016

How We Approach a Website Content Project

Conveyor helps brands tell better stories. One way we do that is by helping them create better websites, which are lead by informed strategy, smart content and high-quality design.

The types of website content projects we work on generally fall into two categories:

  1. Rebrand / Fresh Start: This is when a client wants a whole new site. In this case, we’ll recommend a designer based on the client’s needs and budget, work closely with them to outline the content and design the layout, then write everything from scratch. (For a rebrand, there may also be other marketing tactics involved, such as recommending a brand identity and designing a new logo.)
  2. Content Rescue: This is when a client has a website created — possibly using lorem ipsum — thinking that they’ll just stuff their old content in after the fact. Or they plan to write everything themselves, but then realize they don’t really have the bandwidth. Conveyor’s job is to rescue the client’s message from obscurity. We do this by combining their communication needs with our strategy and writing talent to create new content that works in their site. We’ll work with their existing design team on this to make sure everything looks and functions the way it’s supposed to.

Regardless of the type of project we’re working on, our approach stays pretty much the same:

Meet and Greet

First, we’ll meet with the client to review their needs and goals for the project. During this phase, we might also recommend they take our core messaging workshop, where we help them pinpoint their company’s mission, vision and values. This core messaging will help them develop a clear brand voice, which will drive all of their marketing efforts. Once we’ve figured out what their core messaging is, we’ll have a clearer idea of who their ideal customer is and how best to tell the brand’s story.

Strategy

Once we know what the client is after, we start digging deeper into their business and their industry. At this point, we’ll also audit all of their existing web content and marketing materials. Then we’ll develop a content strategy and outline, figuring out which content can be repurposed, what needs to be written fresh and where it will all go. This will also likely involve current and desired buyer personas and a detailed competitor analysis.

The Write Stuff

At this stage, we’ll create all of the original content we are writing for the site, which will then follow a pre-established workflow from drafting to editing to proofing stages, before moving onto the client for review. Then we’ll update it with any client comments or suggestions before editing and proofing again. Depending on the size of the project, the content might go through one or two more rounds of editing, proofing and client approval before it’s considered ready.

A Time for Design

Once all of the content has been written and approved by the client, it moves to the designer. Conveyor has a stable of great design firms we work with. Which one we recommend depends on the kind of website functionality the client is looking for and their design budget.

Just because Conveyor isn’t a web design firm, though, doesn’t mean that the project is out of our hands at this point. We’ll continue working with the design team to be sure the design makes the content shine. We’ll also do at least two more rounds of proofing, making sure that headings, spacing and fonts are correct and consistent, and that everything is playing nice together.

We Deliver

Once everything is as it should be, we’ll deliver the final project to the client. This isn’t necessarily the end, though! Depending on the size of the project and the agreed upon scope of work, Conveyor may also send out emails announcing the new site, manage the domain and provide any number of other marketing services for the client — including writing blog posts, newsletters and press releases, managing social media channels, and helping create apps, signs, sandwich boards and fliers.

If you enjoyed reading about the process we follow for a website content project, you should check out our blog posts on how Redesigning A Website is Like Buying A House, and why content-first design matters—in A Plea for Content-First Website Design.

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