Five things to look for in your content development partner

By Ena Taguiam, Project Manager

There’s a lot of buzz going around content development nowadays. One of the determinants of the longevity of the brand’s life is how ‘relevant’ it is in today’s time; and what better way to make a brand relevant by developing tons of  interesting content about it that people can talk about? “Content is king” is a popular statement in marketing for a reason. 

What is content development and why is it important for brands?

Before delving into what to look for in a content development partner, let’s first define what content development is. Simply put, content development is the process of creating content. It involves research and planning, production and execution, and distribution and publishing of content.  Content can mean anything from posts  to infographics to videos that people consume mostly on the internet. 

Photo Courtesy of Freepik

So why is content development important? Content development enables the brands to connect to a wider audience. For digital marketing for nonprofits, this can mean more awareness of the cause you’re fighting for which can lead to more volunteers and more community involvement. For businesses, this can mean recall which can eventually lead to increased sales. 

Developing quality content is very important, thus you must carefully choose the right content development partner for your brand. At ASSIST Creativelab, we believe that quality content development is important in building a brand. From our experience as  a social creative agency, here are 5 things you should look for in your content development partner:

  1. They do their research.

Content isn’t just developed, it’s carefully planned. A vital part of the planning process is research. There is a lot of preliminary research that comes into content development – your brand’s target audience, key competitors, existing campaigns. It’s where you learn about the brand – both its successes and failures.

You must find a content development partner that does their groundwork first before diving head on into the project. Doing groundwork for the campaign helps not only your content development partner but also the brand understand your needs. With a well-researched campaign, you get to reach the right audience and deliver the appropriate message.

  1. They can strategically stir the ship into the right direction.

Every campaign needs a carefully-planned strategy. While research plays an important role in planning, having a clear-cut vision is equally important. It is important to find a partner that can co-pilot the campaign with you. Stirring the ship into the right direction means carefully calculating every step of the way. To do that, they must have a systematic approach in reaching the brand’s goal. These can be by quantifying the goals to KPIs and establishing set milestones in achieving these goals. 

  1. They’re collaborative in ideation and are open to discussion.

As hard as it is to hear, you don’t want a partner that says yes to every word you say. That would remove their role as creative collaborators in ideation and would possibly limit your campaign into a narrower perspective. What’s ideal is a partner that would be collaborative in the sense that they are willing to discuss their process and can come up with a healthy compromise when you get into a disagreement over a certain idea. 

  1. Their goal is not to be viral, but to be consistent. 

Let’s get this straight, every brand wants to be viral, to be talked about – that’s how you gain traction in the mainstream media after all. Your content development partner must understand two things: (1) going viral is one difficult and frustrating task and (2) they must develop a strategy or design for social impact. It is more important to foster a community that consumes content relating to your brand. Being consistent with your content helps foster a community of loyal audiences. 

  1. They’re proactive in content development.

Finally, look for a content development partner that is proactive in content development. Ideally, they should develop a content calendar with one month worth of planned content at the start of the campaign. This shows that they have a clear understanding of the scope of the campaign and a clear view of where the campaign is going. This also helps in foreseeing execution that will happen throughout the campaign like shoots and video processing if possible. Creating a content calendar also ensures that all stakeholders are on the same page early on when it comes to the content.