Whether you’re sat at your window pining for a delivery to arrive, or you’re stuck in a digital queue for concert tickets, few feelings are quite as frustrating as wanting to speed up a process that you have no power over.
It’s a feeling many B2B marketers are familiar with. From waiting on stakeholder responses, to staring at the back of a copywriter’s head wishing they’d get a move on, it’s an everyday annoyance that a lot of people simply write off as something they just have to live with.
But (in the latter example at least) those marketers aren’t as powerless as they feel. You can’t reach over your writer’s head and start tapping away for them, but you do have a lot more influence over how quickly your content is delivered than you may realise.
In writing – just as in any other endeavour – the fastest path to a positive outcome is the one with the fewest obstacles. You might not be the one walking it, but you certainly do have the power to move a lot of those obstacles out of your writer’s way.
The journey starts with a thorough brief
The strength of a brief is what sets the pace for a writing project. If we only get one line of briefing to work from, we’ll have to spend time filling in the blanks before we can even start writing.
Most importantly, we need to know why the target audience should be interested in what we’re writing. What are their challenges? Why should they make a change from what they’re currently doing? And what do we want them to do after reading the content?
As a good B2B marketer, it’s all stuff you know. And kickstarting the writing process is as simple as jotting it down into a brief, or picking up the phone and talking the writer through it.
Above all, it’s an area where cutting corners really doesn’t pay off. Skipping over a piece of information like your desired audience response, or where the content will be published can appear inconsequential. But, in practice, every detail you leave out (or leave up to a writer to determine for themselves) is an opportunity for a failed draft, sending you right back to square one.
Next, a comprehensive briefing call
If there’s anything in the brief that needs a bit more clarification, a briefing call is the quickest way to sort it. The more thorough the written brief we have in advance of a call, the easier it is for us to figure out exactly what we’re missing, and what we need a bit more information on.
And a call goes both ways. It also gives you the opportunity to stress to us precisely what parts of the brief you want us to prioritise, what areas are most important, and any clarifications that you want to make.
The best calls are the ones that are well prepped and get everything out on the table without the need to follow up. But if you can’t answer all our questions while on the actual call, don’t worry. Just follow up with an email as soon as you can afterwards.
Finally, let us know exactly what needs changing
If you required an outline from us before a full draft, then it’s important that you can turn it around to us quickly. It’s simple: the faster you get back to us, the faster we can start (and finish) writing the piece.
As amazing as it is to achieve perfection in a first draft, it doesn’t always work like that. But the better the brief, the better the first draft – and hopefully – the better your feedback.
The principle around the feedback process is exactly the same as the briefing process. If you can be clear and specific in the changes you want made, we can make them more quickly. And if your content has a change in scope, be as clear as possible with the new brief. Don’t just tell your writer what’s changed; tell them what’s staying the same too.
Now you know how to get your B2B content quickly
So, next time you’re putting together a brief with a tight turnaround, don’t rush to get words on the page as quickly as possible. Instead, focus on making sure those words are right first time – because it will help your writer do the same.
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