In a previous role I set up a joint sales and marketing team to investigate how we could work better together and reduce any barriers to success. An outcome from one of these sales & marketing forums was a re-think on how we could navigate visitors through our web to the relevant pages as quickly and smoothly as possible.
We had to do this within the constraints of the current web design and with no help from any web analytics, this was centralised and managed by our corporate team and figures were difficult to come by. Our business unit operated in a truly global market in a wide variety of market sectors but we finally decided that there were 3 key content areas we needed to consider:
- Technology – Self explanatory
- Solutions – Based on functional roles e.g. R&D, production etc
- Sector – Based on the markets we targeted
And this is how we based our web structure.
I mapped the content headers we had previously agreed on, under each of the 3 content areas in an xls spreadsheet and ended up with around 50 page titles. I got the ok from our corporate marketing team that this could be resolved without any hard coding changes which kept them happy. Now writing 50 new pages from scratch doesn’t sound like a massive amount of work but when you are very resource limited with a great many other priorities looming, it can feel daunting.
I decided to outsource the writing of the content, which in itself was a difficult decision to take, as was finding and deciding who to get to do it. The team were selected and briefed and set to work but within a week or so it was clear that it wasn’t going to work. The team I had selected was competent enough but without the knowledge and experience of the industry the content they produced was too generic. I didn’t spend too much time beating myself up over a bad decision (or perhaps a bad brief); I’d lost almost two weeks of my schedule. So it was with a heavy heart I realised the only way to get the content I wanted was to write it internally, ourselves.
Keeping it in-house is not always the answer but you need to consider whether the team you select has the relevant experience and knowledge of your business/markets. This is not always easy but one way around it is to get your agency/consultant to interview key staff to help focus on the relevant details that can then be created by the outside team.
If you have a view on whether you should manage all of your content production internally or if you think it should be outsourced to a copywriter, consultant or agency let me know especially if you have a specific experience by calling 01803 413481 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.