understand what is needed for good strategy alignment – WAU
Aligning expectations, finding partnerships that offer the services that your company needs and understanding what your company must present for the process to occur in the best way is essential for a good RFP in Content Marketing. Understand more about this subject.
If you work in a large company, you know that to propose new ideas, it is necessary to go through a more structured process – not to say “bureaucratic”. An example of these processes is an RFP, from English Request for Proposal, or “Request for Proposal”.
In this post, we’ll better explain what an RFP is and how you can use this device to your advantage to build the best content marketing strategy for your company.
What is an RFP?
An RFP (Request for Proposal) is a invitation sent by a large company to a pre-selected group of suppliers to present their services, products and prices.
Typically, an RFP consists of a documented notice that meets the following basic criteria:
- the object (what will be hired);
- scope of the project with a schedule for presenting the project to suppliers;
- dates for opening the strategies with the stakeholders interested interns;
- winning supplier announcement;
- dates for signing the contract and starting the project.
Also part of a good RFP is the definition of how information and suppliers will be presented, which technical and administrative requirements will be considered and how the evaluation and choice of the supplier will be made.
The contract that will be used, as well as other strategic and important information, must be in the RFP for suppliers to decide whether they want to compete for it or not and, thus, guarantee transparency in the entire process – which is vital for the demanding company .
Why do an RFP?
Making a purchase process through an RFP increases the company’s bargaining power.
It also removes subjectivity from the selection process and ensures that more suppliers are using their creativity to be able to present the best strategy for that “problem” or for that opportunity.
In addition, this document also helps to make the process clearer for those involved in a negotiation and also for the company’s internal clients, creating points of organization and planning before a project goes live.
After all, one of the most important parts of the service contracting process is the alignment of expectations and the role of each party within the partnership.
Who to call for an RFP?
If you liked this idea of making an RFP for a service that you want to hire internally, great!
Now, just develop the document and send it to the suppliers you want to contact.
Defining which companies can be contacted to receive your RFP is entirely up to you! But make sure that before making an RFP you map the market and who are the main players that offer the solution you need.
See successful cases of each of them, try to talk to customers served by them and ensure that you select companies that are really experts in that subject or do a little of each thing.
Why do a Content Marketing RFP?
Content Marketing is a new area in marketing teams, but it has been well studied and widely adopted by companies.
It consists of a content production strategy aimed at the company’s public, aiming at some possible objectives, such as:
- increase your lead generation, consisting of a powerful acquisition channel;
- increase your organic traffic and visibility in the digital environment;
- reduction of CAC;
- decrease in the churn rate and cancellations;
- improve the customer experience.
Several reputable companies have already realized the importance of being present in this scenario. GE, Coca-Cola and Red Bull are some of them.
Many started to do it when demand came from other units or headquarters outside London – content marketing and inbound marketing are “must have” out there.
And the great thing about being in London is to start now and not waste time.
If you’re not already doing it, you’re falling behind. Much is discussed about Internet of Things (IoT), Industry 4.0 and digital transformation.
Content is key to many of these new features.
In order for your company to be able to position itself in the best possible way in the face of these changes and market updates, it is essential that you produce relevant content for your audience!
Importance of doing an RFI with players with authority on the subject
So far, we’ve talked about the acronym RFP, right? Before proceeding, let’s clarify another acronym, RFI.
Request for Information (RFI) is a part of the planning process for an RFP where the demanding company goes to the market to talk to the main players, who can even participate in the RFP later to understand what strategies they propose for their demand.
It is very important to hear what these players have to say.
If you choose authorities suppliers in the subject you are looking for, you can build your RFP on top of the information they will offer and, consequently, you will have a higher quality RFP.
Your objective with your RFI is to understand the feasibility and technical scope, the necessary integrations, how your demand will be delivered, which means quality, what can be expected from a quality service, etc.
In the case of Content Marketing, we will discuss some assumptions of a good strategy later on, but at RFI it is time to understand various aspects of content strategy. The main ones are:
- the need for long or short articles;
- the volume of articles;
- what materials can be used;
- what is expected in terms of SEO and marketing automation;
- account support and account success.
In addition to these factors, it is also important to understand how the content will be delivered, if there is a platform and what it does and what integrations can be done to make managing your project easier.
Now that you understand the scope and what to ask suppliers for, it’s time to get ready to launch the RFP.
What you have to know to make a good RFP in Content Marketing
Know the first steps to implement a strategy
Some criteria are important that you have already defined when submitting your Content Marketing RFP.
See here what are the main questions you should ask yourself in order to reach the definition of these criteria!
Define persona: do you know who your ideal buyer is?
As the first step of a Content Marketing strategy is the definition of a persona, when sending your RFP it could not be different.
It is essential that you have information about how she behaves on the internet, what social networks she is on, what topics are of interest to her and what you can help her solve.
Understanding your persona is the first step to discover the best size of articles to be posted and the most cost-effective volume. That is, should I post once a week or every day? The definition of the persona will assist in structuring the strategy.
In addition to size and frequency of publication, the persona will be instrumental in defining who will be able to produce your content.
Think about whether it can be written in a less technical way because the persona does not understand much of that subject, or if more technical production would be necessary for talking about engineering for a trained engineer, for example.
Volume and format of content for your blog
As we mentioned above, it is necessary to define how often you should publish content on your blog. How big are the texts that should be published? This is not just a question of persona, but also of results.
What keywords do you want to rank? Is your competitor already making a complete Content Marketing strategy? What are your goals? Where are you today and where do you want to go?
Only with the advice of an expert on the subject will you be able to plan volume and breakdown of services / products in your RFP.
Other content formats
A Content Marketing strategy goes far beyond simple articles published on a blog.
What other materials are interesting for your strategy? Guest posts? Or would a video be interesting? A white paper? An ebook? A podcast? What other formats will help you get even closer to your goal?
Content Marketing is a multi-pronged strategy, as we can see GE doing very consistently here.
Create or specify your CMS or blog
Another important definition to have at the time of your RFP is what will be the platform that will allow you to publish all of your produced content.
Usually, here at Websites Are Us, we suggest that you use a blog, as it is a platform that accepts different types and formats of different content.
So, it is necessary to answer some questions: how will this space be managed? And his optimization?
Technology has to work in our favor, making everyday easier, which is why it is so important to choose a format that in addition to bringing results, will not let you down.
Requirements for your content platform
To hire a content platform, you need to understand your team’s needs.
What is your content creation workflow, if you are going to create content internally, outsource or both, what channels will you use. To define your platform, take into account some important features:
- Allow you to create multiple roles for your creative team of journalists, designers, etc .;
- Allow to create approval flows with steps and deadlines that adapt to your needs;
- Integration with social networks and CMS;
- Access to creative talent and content outsourcing;
- Support and service level;
If you need help with this, read this post.
If you want to know the WAU platform, check here, or talk to one of our consultants.
Know what are the next steps to continue a successful strategy
Now that you understand the criteria needed to begin a Content Marketing strategy, it is important to ask other exploratory questions so that you determine the next steps to keep and succeed with your Marketing strategy.
Experts working in each part of the process
It is important to find a company that has experts in the various areas of Content Marketing and / or that will teach you to be that expert.
I can mention several important points here in a content strategy, such as:
- sending newsletters;
- creation of nutrition flows;
- configuration of marketing automation;
- dissemination on social networks;
- SEO-optimized posts;
- assembly of an editorial calendar.
A professional who brings all these people together in one way
Here at Websites Are Us, we have some professionals who are responsible for the success of our clients’ Strategy.
They are called CSM, which stands for English Customer Success Manager, or Customer Success Manager.
That person must know your strategy from start to finish. She must also know her company and segment and be aware of all the changes and how the content can best help her.
Remember I talked about content size, format and volume?
That person should be responsible for reallocating resources whenever the strategy needs to make it even more successful.
It cannot be cast and no one better than this professional is in charge of it.
This professional must also be responsible for the other services contracted within the company, such as a newsletter or an automation service, to move towards the success of the strategy.
Automations and integrations that will make the strategy more complete
Always remember to use technology to your advantage.
How to integrate your CMS with Google Analytics or another measurement and insights tool? Which tool to use to have an automation that helps you put your leads in a nutrition flow? And which CRM will help your salespeople to sell more and better?
All of these points are important for the success of a strategy and must be raised when starting an RFP.
It is essential to have a platform that is a content hub, where you can manage your content provider, your freelancers, journalists, designers and all the other professionals involved in the process.
In addition, creating approval flowcharts is essential.
Often, the content, before going live, must be approved by the marketing manager, the sales manager, the board and so on.
And having control of that will help you optimize processes and ensure that each step is delegated to the right person.
Having internal people on your team contributing to make the materials more complete is also very important.
As you have seen, there are several points that we must consider before starting an RFP and before choosing the best supplier for your demand. Use the Websites Are Us RFP template to send to your suppliers and choose the best company to take care of your Content Marketing strategy!