A web content request form is an intake method for capturing and documenting content requests, usually from other teams inside your company, such as SEO, sales, executive leadership, or support.
For instance, suppose your sales team needs a blog post that will drive a major prospect and others in their niche to schedule a consultation. To clarify what the requester wants to cover, a content request form might include the main idea, target keywords, reference or resource links, and what the requester is trying to accomplish (the goal of the content).
Call it a mini-brief. Though not as detailed as a brief you might create for your content teams, it contains enough information for you to evaluate the merits of the request, as well as the steps the requester may want your team to follow, such as sending the first draft for their approval before refining the content for a final draft. Also, including attachments and links to guide research is helpful, especially for highly technical content.
A web content request may also needs to specify a target deadline, an essential item to include so that you can assign it to a content team with enough wiggle room in their schedule. Getting it on the content calendar with a firm deadline ensures that it won’t take a back seat to your regular marketing content.
For busy content teams in larger companies, getting requests in writing is a must. Otherwise, such requests might fall by the wayside in favor of internally requested content.
As a member of the content leadership team, you need to draw up a form for requesters that’s detailed enough for your content creators to work from. However, as Content Marketing Institute’s Gina Balarin pointed out, “Requesters only have a vague idea of what their needs are.” So, you need to provide enough guidance on the form itself to help them define and clearly state their needs.
Done and implemented efficiently, a solid web content request form can help you align your content with your company’s business goals. Here are some guidelines that can help you leverage this tool to improve your brand’s bottom line.
Use Your Content Request Form as a Springboard for Collaboration
When you work with outside teams to produce brand-aligned content, don’t let the filled-out form be the sole form of communication with the requester. Encourage your content teams to engage in content collaboration with the requesting team to gather all the information and knowledge to create in-depth, valuable content for your company’s prospects and current customers.
However, to ensure that the information on the request form ends up in an effective brief, it’s best to route requests through a designated person on the content leadership team. That way, that person can clarify the requester’s intention and create a detailed brief that will communicate their wishes effectively.
Don’t Let Last-Minute Requests Derail Your Overall Goals
Requiring requesters to fill out a detailed content request form is only the first step toward building a collegial relationship with other teams. Meet with the leadership of all the teams in your company to set your expectations. Make sure they know that last-minute content requests, especially during busy times, might not be possible to fulfill.
Instead, stress the importance of getting their requests in early. Teach them to anticipate their content needs well before the situation elevates to an emergency level. Engaging in cross-departmental communication is essential in building relationships that tear down silos that stifle creativity and progress.
However, Make Exceptions for High-Value Urgent Requests
Suppose your company’s sales team gets a phone call out of the blue from a prospect they’ve been trying to reach for years. They want a meeting, and your sales team is scrambling for content that will address the prospect’s needs.
When you receive a last-minute request that will clearly advance your company’s goals, do what you can to make it work. That goes double if the requester didn’t have any warning of the situation, as in this example. Whether it takes a few extra hours or bumping a not-so-urgent project out to the next week, do what you can to get the content out there.
Your content team will emerge as the heroes, and the requesting team will be more likely to cooperate with you for future requests. You might need them to take some time away from their assigned tasks to provide insights into technical topics or departmental jargon.
Consider Using Web Content Request Forms Internally
We couldn’t agree more with Balarin’s idea to expand the use of content request forms to your marketing leadership as well. Providing your content teams with request forms well ahead of when you need the content can help your creative teams brainstorm ideas that can speed up the content production process once they receive a more detailed brief.
Educate Other Teams on Using Your Content Request Form
Remember that the other departments in your company aren’t familiar with content creation, content marketing jargon, or what format would work best for a given piece of content.
So, it pays to educate them on the basics of content marketing before you introduce the form. Not only will it give them an overview of what goes into creating a piece of content and what information your teams need to make their content a success, but it will also help to facilitate communication among you and other departments.
Since your teams will need their help on projects that require subject matter expertise, it pays to cultivate interdepartmental relationships. Once you have your system in place and everyone’s on board with the request process, you’ll find that your and your teams’ work with external teams will flow more smoothly.
DivvyHQ Content Requests Tool – Example Content Request Form
Also, you might consider giving departmental heads access to your content calendar, idea repository, style guide, and compliance requirements.
With these resources, they’ll have a better picture of your content teams’ workload and requirements. Then, they can put in requests that better align with your goals and those of your company.
The education process should go both ways. Encourage external teams, especially those most likely to request content, to fill your creative teams in on the nuts and bolts of their work. For example, the more your content teams know about the sales process, the better they can target content to the sales team’s needs at any point along the buyer’s journey.
Similarly, expand your content teams’ knowledge of your products and the technical details that make them work. Getting familiar with questions the support teams face, too, can help your creative teams have a better grasp of potential subject matter even before they receive a content request.
Using web content request forms is only one way to better streamline your content workflow and deliver content targeted to your requesters’ needs. With a content marketing platform that covers your entire content operations and governance process, you’ll have a seamless process from the initial request to measuring the impact the finished content makes.
That platform is DivvyHQ. Try it for 14 days absolutely free and experience the difference for yourself. Start your free trial today!