Content Creation

 

TSL writes, designs, and builds/develops various types of content for customers, including:

  • Website content
  • Blog content
  • eBooks (web-based and PDF documents for download)
  • Infographics (Digital and PDF documents for download)
  • Case Studies (Digital and PDF documents for download)
  • Sell Sheets
  • Solution Briefs

Below you’ll find general information that the Project Lead must gather from the customer and/or TSL SMEs to run a content creation project.

General Production Flow

Disclaimer: Refer to Clarizen project templates for unique production process as some details and order will vary depending on the format of piece and whether or not there is a template to use as a starting point.

  • Prep copywriter for call: Refer to PM Copy-Led Call Checklist for breakdown of steps
  • Hold Client Intake Call
  • Copy outline created
  • Client approves copy outline
  • Copy draft (R0) created
  • 1-2 rounds of copy edits, per client feedback
  • Design draft (R0) created
  • 1-2 rounds of design edits, per client feedback
  • Development

 

Project Requests

The project manager should create a project request and post in Clarizen for each content or ad tactic we need to execute, and for any ad hoc requests (part of continuous improvement retainers, hourly digital work). Rounds of client-requested edits should also have a clear request posted.

Tips:

  • Be as specific as possible
  • Limit options or decision points for production that could cause delays or confusion
  • Consolidate all guidance from the client or SMEs into easy-to-read bulleted lists. Do not copy and paste full emails/chats unless full explanation is required.
  • Direct certain instructions at relevant assigned resources so they can skim and focus on their action items. This is especially useful for revision requests.

Content Planning Requirements

  • How will the content be used?
  • Who is the audience/persona?
  • What stage in funnel – top/middle/bottom?
  • What is the CTA available to include today?
  • Confirm phone/contact info, etc. to include with CTA and footers
  • How will it be promoted?
  • Does the client have existing content or assets to share that they want us to refer to for content and/or design guidance?
  • If the client does not have existing content for reference, they need to select a TSL-created portfolio piece that resonates with them.
  • Topic: does client have an idea or do they need TSL to help guide content direction?
  • When is the client available to schedule an intake call with the TSL copywriter?
  • How many versions/iterations is the client or strategist requesting (relevant if we plan to A/B test an ad image to the same audience, for example).
  • Is there any specific functionality? (ex: LinkedIn auto-fill button)
  • Who are the stakeholders who need to review and approve rounds? (This is especially relevant for case studies)

Design Requirements

The following assets and information are needed.

  • Format:
    • Will this content be printed? (This is critical to understand up-front as the designer will need to create the asset with high resolution images, full bleeds, and specific page sizes. Process is the same and does not take extra time/budget if designer knows this from the start.)
    • Is the orientation of the content to be vertical or horizontal?
  • Logo file: .eps or .ai format preferred, otherwise the highest resolution file available (i.e. largest size JPEG)
  • Brand Guidelines: guidance on colors (Pantone or Hex numbers if available), fonts, image usage, logo usage, tone, etc.
  • TSL-Created Style Board from website work (if exists)
  • Current website URL: use in place of branding guidelines if necessary and if the client confirms it should be used as branding reference
  • Image direction (be specific): tech imagery, real life images, people, abstract, icons, etc.
  • Any inspiration to model the design after, such as examples of current or past collateral to follow for consistency OR samples of TSL work they like and why

 

Kickoff and Intake Call Process

What is a Kickoff Call?

The initial touch with client where we have a broad conversation that is focused generally on their company, target audience, persona, markets, etc. The goal is to review the project specifics and gain a general understanding of the client’s goals and business objectives. Generally this conversation is not focused solely on content creation. Kickoff calls require a follow-up copy intake call where we gather more specific information around a content piece. Additional follow-up calls may be needed to dive deeper into goal-setting and identifying business objectives, value prop, etc.

What is an Intake Call?

Early stage conversation between Copywriter and client or SME where a topic is identified for a specific piece of content. An understanding of how the content piece is being promoted is discussed. The goal of the call is for the Copywriter to leave with enough information to proceed into writing an outline for the content piece, assuming they have received all relevant brand assets from the client. There should be a separate copy intake call for each new piece of content or each new topic.

Copy intake calls should always be recorded.

Intake Call Resources

 

Intake Call Process

Step # Owner Time Action
1     Check the Clarizen Resource Load and the Outlook Calendar of the copywriter to locate a day with the best availability for the call. Aim to schedule calls as far in advance as possible, but no earlier than 48 hours out, to ensure resource is available and able to prepare for the call.
2     Create an Outlook meeting invitation for the client call, including all TSL and client invitees and the conference bridge dial-in information. Note: Use a conference bridge service that has call recording functionality, so the TSL resources can refer back to the recording later if needed.
3     Create an Outlook meeting invitation for a brief 15-20 minute preparation call, in advance of the client call (no earlier than the business day prior to the client intake call).
4     Assign Clarizen tasks to the copywriter for Intake Call Prep, and for the Intake Call date itself.
5     Post the initial Project Request, any background information available/questions to consider for the intake call, and supporting resource files to the project’s Clarizen Discussion thread, and tag the assigned resources.
6     Hold internal prep call with copywriter and any other resources. Answer questions where possible, and note what may need to be addressed with the customer on the call.
7     Hold intake call.
8     Download the call recording file and upload to the appropriate Teams folder.
9     Reply to the original project request discussion post in Clarizen with the link to the recorded call file and any other notes taken during the intake call.