When gathering content for your website becomes a major bottleneck for your agency, the rest of your project can quickly get derailed. Missing content can prevent your team from moving forward, hitting milestones, and launching sites on time. To get your content collection back on track, your agency can step into your client’s shoes to see what’s causing delays.
In this post, we’ll outline the key challenges that clients face in the content collection process. We’ll also explain how simplicity, clarity, and the right content planning tools can help you collect content with greater ease.
Challenges in the Content Collection Process for Clients
From your expert perspective, your content collection process may seem flawless. But what’s easy to understand for your agency can be overwhelming for your clients. Even if they intend to assist you to the best of their ability, clients may find content creation to be difficult and daunting.
The average client hasn’t built a website from the ground up before. They don’t know what a product description needs to look like or how brief a call to action must be. Without the right guidance, they may not be able to provide the content you need to proceed.
Another common content collection issue you might run into is missed deadlines. If your process is too complex, clients may put off providing content, even if they intend to help. Clients have busy schedules of their own, so they may put content creation on the back burner if they need to complete dozens of steps just to send content to you.
To ease your clients’ stress, you need to simplify how you’re gathering content for your web projects and clarify what you need.
The First Step: Laying the Foundation
Well before introducing clients to your content software of choice, your agency must offer clarity on what your content requests will entail. Upon your first meeting with your clients, they should know exactly what they can expect. For example, you can explain:
- What type of content you’ll request
- When each piece of content is due
- What would occur if clients miss their deadlines (for example, the project could be put on hold)
- You can even create a checklist of content requirements to help clients track their own progress.
Providing content guidelines early into your client relationship can help, too. For instance, you can provide instructions for how clients should structure their content submissions. If a client doesn’t have their own brand guidelines in place, creating one for them that helps them write in their brand tone of voice will help you get more effective content.
Streamline Your Collection Process With Content Software
Once your client has clarity on what type of content you’re collecting for your website design, it’s crucial to find ways to streamline the process itself. You need to make it as simple as possible for your clients to submit content for a design.
Start by centralizing your content collection process. Gathering content for your website with a single content planning tool will make your process easier to follow. Ideally, clients will only need to familiarize themselves with one platform.
With client management software like SimpleStage, the entirety of your process can occur in the same place. When your team completes a design, you can efficiently upload it to the platform, mark areas where you need content, and assign content creation and/or collection to clients. Clients can then submit content straight from your design — no need to keep multiple tabs open to complete one task.
Clients will even get automatic reminders when deadlines are coming up.
On the other hand, if you’re using three different tools, your clients can get overwhelmed by the options. Imagine collecting written content on Google Docs, images on Dropbox, and sending requests via email. Your process can get messy fast. This leads to a poor (and confusing) client experience.
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Offer a Framework With Content Planning Tools
For clients who are still intimidated by your content collection process, it’s helpful to use content planning tools that clarify the structure of your site. Clients should be able to visualize how the content they provide works within your design. This way, they’re not writing blindly, as would be the case if you’re gathering content for your website via email or an unstructured document.
SimpleStage is one content planning tool that can help your clients write more effective content. When clients are ready to work on content, they can simply tap on an area of your design to update the field with copy and images. You can add minimum and maximum word counts to guide your clients. Regardless of whether you do so or not, the visual context clients receive will help them create content that perfectly aligns with your design.
Be Available For Support
Content software makes gathering content for your website significantly easier, but that doesn’t mean you should take a backseat. Even if clients are comfortable with your new and improved process, they may need your support to provide the best content possible.
Make it easy for your clients to reach you. You can designate one communication channel and one point of contact for all content collection questions. Then, respond in a timely manner to ensure your clients can get back to preparing content straight away. This way, your project continues moving forward smoothly.
Implement Content Planning Tools to Assist Your Clients
Content collection is an essential part of building a website that requires plenty of collaboration with your clients. If your clients are overwhelmed by your process, it can delay your entire project. As an agency, it’s your job to simplify content collection for your clients to ensure you meet key milestones and your ideal launch date.
To start, set expectations and provide clear content guidelines. Then, use content software like SimpleStage to offer helpful visual context and streamline content submissions for your client.